Christian Horner ahead of the Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on November 26, 2023.
(Photo by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Christian Horner's "Inappropriate Behavior" Hearing Set for Friday

While Formula 1's Red Bull Racing team is busy prepping for its 2024 season, team principal Christian Horner will be preparing for a hearing on Friday regarding allegations made against him.

On Monday, Red Bull Racing initiated an independent inquiry into allegations against Horner for allegedly engaging in inappropriate behavior with an unidentified member of his crew.

"After being made aware of certain recent allegations, the company launched an independent investigation," an official statement from Red Bull said. "This process, which is already under way, is being carried out by an external specialist barrister. The company takes these matters extremely seriously and the investigation will be completed as soon as practically possible. It would not be appropriate to comment further at this time."

When news of the allegations broke on Monday, Horner continued his team principal duties, and attended the F1 Commission meeting in London. Horner will meet with independent legal representatives on Friday to discuss the allegations.

Implications from the hearing could impact the team's leadership and its operational principals, though Horner, speaking with Dutch news outlet De Telegraaf, said, "I completely deny these claims."

The Sun reports that sources say the investigation is set to center on a female employee's concerns about Horner's strict work regime and does not relate to any sexual impropriety.

"Christian had concerns about her conduct and made it clear he was unhappy," an unnamed F1 source told The Sun. "She went on to make a complaint about his 'controlling' behavior, which detonated this crisis for the team."

Horner's wife, former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell, is standing by her husband of 9 years, insisting he has done nothing wrong.

This isn't Horner's first brush with controversy, as there is reportedly an ongoing feud with Mercedes' racing principal Toto Wolff, stemming from accusations that Red Bull broke budget rules and benefitted from rule bending when their driver Max Verstappen beat Lewis Hamilton to the championship in 2021.

Horner has led the team for 19 years since Red Bull entered F1 in 2005 and is now grand prix racing's longest-serving team principal. It has been one of the most dominant teams in F1 for the last several years, clinching seven drivers' championships.

The Red Bull team is scheduled to launch its new car, the RB20, on February 15, less than a week before the pre-season test in Bahrain.

More: Red Bull's Christian Horner Under Investigation