Red Bull’s Christian Horner wants 'to go back to basics’ after ‘inappropriate behaviour’ scandal

Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner pictured next to wife, former British singer and Spice Girl Geri Halliwell.

Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner seen here next to wife, former British singer and Spice Girl Geri Halliwell ahead of the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix. Picture: Andrej Isakovic / AFP

Published Mar 8, 2024


Christian Horner on Thursday said it was "time to look forward and draw a line" under the controversy surrounding his conduct and the furore that has rocked his championship-winning Red Bull team.

"There’s been a lot of coverage surrounding this," he said, referring to allegations of inappropriate behaviour against him from a female member of the Red Bull team.

"One has to go back to the basics," he told a news conference in Jeddah ahead of this weekend's Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

The 50-year-old added: "A grievance was raised, fully investigated and it was dismissed. We move onwards.”

Earlier Thursday, his accuser was suspended on full pay by Red Bull, a week after Horner had been cleared of any improper conduct towards her following an internal investigation.

"The company cannot comment" said a Red Bull spokesperson shortly before Horner, who has denied all the claims made against him, took his place on the pit wall as defending three-time champion Max Verstappen clocked fastest time in opening practice.

His wife former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell and Max Verstappen’s father Jos, who last weekend declared that Red Bull would explode if Horner remained in his job, were both absent and not expected to attend this weekend.

Horner faced a series of questions and gave a series of elusive semi-placatory answers.

"It has been of great interest to different elements of the media for different reasons. I think it's time to draw a line under it and to focus on what is going on on track."

He said he was unable to make any detailed comment on any aspect of the case and declined to confirm that his accuser had been suspended.

"This is confidential. I am not at liberty We are are all bound by the same restrictions. Even if I'd like to talk about it, I can't."

He added that the whole episode, which has gripped Formula One for more than three weeks, 2has been trying in many respects – not least for my family".

As he spoke, another F1 pundit, former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher, younger brother of seven-time champion Michael, added his backing to Jos Verstappen’s viewpoint.

"If Christian Horner holds on to his seat with all his might, he will not only damage Red Bull, but he will also ensure that Verstappen leaves the team," he told Austria's Kronen Zeitung newspaper.

Asked about Verstappen's future and the likelihood that the Dutchman will stay with the team to complete his contract that runs to 2028, Horner said he was certain that he would.