Home Sports Christian Horner’s godfather Bernie Ecclestone reveals what’s next for Red Bull boss and Geri, writes JONATHAN McEVOY

Christian Horner’s godfather Bernie Ecclestone reveals what’s next for Red Bull boss and Geri, writes JONATHAN McEVOY

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Bernie Ecclestone has shared his opinion on the scandal at Red Bull and the state of Geri Halliwell and Christian Horner's marriage.

Bernie Ecclestone believes peace will break out at Red Bull after the scandal that has engulfed the world championship-winning team.

The 93-year-old, Formula One’s most iconic figure and the best friend of previously embattled team principal Christian Horner, says everything is being put right after the scandal that broke in February.

Ecclestone said in this column: ‘It is peace in our time. And Christian informs me that everything is going great with Geri.

That was a reference to Horner’s Spice Girl wife, Geri Halliwell, who has shown complete loyalty to her husband of 50 years following harassment allegations leveled against him by an employee.

An internal investigation cleared him of the allegations, as the whistleblower’s allegations were dismissed as “dishonest.” The woman in question has lodged an appeal, which is believed to be ongoing. She has hired an American law firm to fight for her defense. A final verdict is awaited.

Bernie Ecclestone has shared his opinion on the scandal at Red Bull and the state of Geri Halliwell and Christian Horner's marriage.

Bernie Ecclestone has shared his opinion on the scandal at Red Bull and the state of Geri Halliwell and Christian Horner’s marriage.

Horner was Ecclestone's best man at his third wedding and the former F1 boss later returned the favour.

Horner was Ecclestone's best man at his third wedding and the former F1 boss later returned the favour.

Horner was Ecclestone’s best man at his third wedding and the former F1 boss later returned the favour.

The Spice Girl accompanied her husband to the Bahrain and Saudi Arabia Grand Prix (pictured)

The Spice Girl accompanied her husband to the Bahrain and Saudi Arabia Grand Prix (pictured)

The Spice Girl accompanied her husband to the Bahrain and Saudi Arabia Grand Prix (pictured)

Halliwell, 51, made a public show of support by walking hand in hand with him in the Bahrain paddock last month, and was present again at the second race in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, a week later.

Ecclestone, who was best man at Horner and Geri’s wedding nine years ago and brought him into Formula One to head the then-new Red Bull team in 2005, believes the controversy is fading and things will soon return to normal.

“It seems likely that Max (Verstappen) will stay, and it’s like all wars insofar as people get over things and move on,” Ecclestone, who ran the sport for four decades, said from his home in Switzerland. ‘After the Second World War, Germany was not allowed to be mentioned, and Jews did not buy anything there. It was understandable.

But soon everyone forgets about it and buys a Mercedes. So I don’t see why anyone would want to expel Christian, especially if time acts as a great healer. He is doing a great job and a few weeks can make a big difference.

‘He has Geri’s support and the whole team is fine. There is no logical reason to upset that balance.’

Max Verstappen now looks likely to stay at Red Bull after turbulent start to season

Max Verstappen now looks likely to stay at Red Bull after turbulent start to season

Max Verstappen now looks likely to stay at Red Bull after turbulent start to season

But the Mercedes team director is also confident of being able to sign the Dutchman next year.

But the Mercedes team director is also confident of being able to sign the Dutchman next year.

But the Mercedes team director is also confident of being able to sign the Dutchman next year.

I hear Toto Wolff is confident he can sign Verstappen, winner of three of the last four races on his way to a fourth title, for Mercedes next year.

I doubt it. Others close to the scene say there is no chance. We’ll see, but there is a feeling that the worst of the Red Bull saga is receding. Good results act as an invaluable balm.

Could anyone win at dominant Red Bull? Is Max Verstappen flattered by his machinery? It is one of the questions we are asked the most.

The answer is that any of the top drivers, seven or eight, could achieve success to the point of winning a world championship, but none would do so as conclusively as the Dutchman.

How many could win 10 consecutive races, as he did last season, or nine as he later described?

History says no one. Ten in a row is a unique feat in the 74 years of Formula One.

The pulverizing character and the margin of his victories make him the best driver of the moment. We’ll return to the question of where that places him on an all-time list in due course of his. For now, we will say that he leaves it in the final definition for the number one position in history.

If you doubt that, reflect on how Ferrari would thrive this season with him at the helm. Well, closer.

I hear talks are moving forward to add a couple more years to the Drive to Survive deal which has introduced a new audience to the sport. The figures are maintained, reasonably, despite the fact that the useful life is approaching. The rolling agreement will extend through this season and next.

Negotiations on an extension are ongoing and are likely to be concluded successfully.

Few sports documentaries have managed to capture the public's imagination and grow viewership like Drive to Survive.

Few sports documentaries have managed to capture the public's imagination and grow viewership like Drive to Survive.

Few sports documentaries have managed to capture the public’s imagination and grow viewership like Drive to Survive.

This exhibition goes hand in hand with the F1 film that will be released next year.

A statement about the success of the Drive to Survive project is evident in each race. I saw it in Melbourne, where the demographics of the crowd had changed radically. It was a family event. Or a place for a guy to take his girlfriend, without her feeling like she’s at an event being smothered by men.

Netflix’s Drive to Survive is a brilliant initiative, one that Sean Bratches, an American sports executive known for his custom-made blazers, got lucky with when Liberty Media bought the sport in 2017. But a little historical context needs to be added here.

The best television deal Formula One has ever done was achieved by Bernie Ecclestone when he presented Formula One on the BBC (and more widely in Europe) in the 1970s and 1980s. With the decibels of Murray Walker, the free-to-air television company transformed the projection of sport; James Hunt’s championship-winning season in 1976 was a classic example of this.

Ecclestone's historic television deal in the 1970s and 1980s allowed fans to follow the exploits of racing legends James Hunt and Niki Lauda (pictured in 1976).

Ecclestone's historic television deal in the 1970s and 1980s allowed fans to follow the exploits of racing legends James Hunt and Niki Lauda (pictured in 1976).

Ecclestone’s historic television deal in the 1970s and 1980s allowed fans to follow the exploits of racing legends James Hunt and Niki Lauda (pictured in 1976).

Such was the fanfare around the final race, with Niki Lauda returning from horrific burns in Germany to challenge for the title, the uproar topped the front page of the Daily Mail.

At the brutally rain-soaked finish in the foothills of Mount Fuji, the uber-brave Lauda stopped, declaring it would be “madness” to persist. Hunt wrote the introduction to our splash in his own words: “By all the laws of humanity, he should not be the world racing champion.”

By the way, nothing is still known about the identity of the KC who investigated the Red Bull saga. Answers on a postcard, please.

Andretti opened the doors of a new factory in Silverstone this week, preparing for his long-awaited entry into Formula One.

His nomination was approved by the FIA ​​but rejected by the Formula One Group (F1G), the sport’s owners, in January. F1G kept the prospect of Andretti’s entry for 2028 ajar.

Perhaps F1G is right to tighten the screw instead of rushing potential stragglers to the grid. But generally, a new team, at least one from the United States, would add cache, if it’s up to standard.

The Formula One group has questioned the resonance of the Andretti name, a gesture that might have surprised world driver Mario (pictured in 1977).

The Formula One group has questioned the resonance of the Andretti name, a gesture that might have surprised world driver Mario (pictured in 1977).

The Formula One group has questioned the resonance of the Andretti name, a gesture that might have surprised world driver Mario (pictured in 1977).

F1G says Andretti’s ‘name’ doesn’t resonate in Formula One. I wonder. Mario Andretti, father of team boss Michael, won the F1 world championship, among a million other accolades, including the Indianapolis 500 and Daytona. Which are some achievements that you should have in hand when you open any argument. He was a legendary racing driver, as well as one of the kindest men you will ever meet.

As for the former Sauber team, it is now called ‘Stake’. Resonate?

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