BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - MARCH 29: Mercedes GP Executive Director Toto Wolff and McLaren Chief Executive Officer Zak Brown talk in the Paddock before practice for the F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain at Bahrain International Circuit on March 29, 2019 in Bahrain, Bahrain.
(Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)

Rival Team Principals Call for Further Horner Investigations

Despite being cleared of all charges, the Christian Horner saga continues as two rival team principals, Zac Brown and Toto Wolff, have called upon the FIA (International Automobile Federation) to look into the investigation carried out by Red Bull GmbH.

"I read the [Red Bull] statement," Brown, McLaren's team principal, said. "I think from what I've seen, there continues to be a lot of rumors and speculation, questions. I think the sanctioning body has a responsibility and authority to our sport, to our fans...there are a lot of unanswered questions about the whole process. So, I think that's what's needed by those who run the sport to be really able to draw a line under it. Until then, I think there'll continue to be some level of speculation by people, and I don't think that's healthy for the sport."

Not even 24 hours after Horner was cleared to continue in his role, anonymous emails were sent to F1 senior personnel, current team principals, Jos Verstappen, father of Red Bull driver Max Verstappen, and members of the media revealing alleged evidence of Horner's "inappropriate" texts. According to the Athletic, who received the email, the message included a Google Drive link to a batch of 79 files, though no one has been able authenticate the documents yet.

Formula One Management and FIA were both included in this email and have said they will be evaluating next steps to take in light of the new development.

"I won't comment on anonymous speculation, but to reiterate, I have always denied the allegations," Horner said after news of the documents broke. "I respected the integrity of the independent investigation and fully cooperated with it every step of the way. It was a thorough and fair investigation conducted by an independent specialist barrister and it has concluded, dismissing the complaint made. I remain fully focused on the start of the season."

While Horner speaks to the integrity of the independent investigation, Wolff, Mercedes' team principal, also backed up Brown's stance by calling Red Bull's statement, "pretty basic," and calls into question the transparency of Red Bull investigation.

"My personal opinion is we can't really look behind the curtain," Wolff said while speaking at a media conference in Bahrain. "At the end of the day, there is a lady in an organization that has spoken to HR and said there was an issue, and it was investigated and yesterday, the sport has received the message that, 'It's all fine, we've looked at it.' I believe with the aspiration as a global sport, on such critical topics, it needs more transparency, and I wonder what the sport's position is?"

With the first race of the 2024 season happening March 2 in Bahrain, it will be interesting to see how fast or to what extent the FIA and FOM further investigates Horner, if at all.

More: Red Bull Clears Christian Horner After Investigation