Christian Horner, the team principal of Oracle Red Bull Racing, awaits a crucial interview on Friday regarding allegations of controlling behavior.
However, the outcome of this interview, which may determine his continued leadership, might not be decided before the unveiling of Red Bull’s new Formula 1 car scheduled for February 15.
The interview, conducted by an independent lawyer, is set to take place at a discreet location on Friday. There are indications from insiders that the resolution of this matter might not occur before the anticipated car reveal.
Horner, 50, finds himself embroiled in a battle to retain his position after a female staff member lodged complaints against him, alleging controlling and inappropriate behavior. Horner vehemently denies these allegations.
Red Bull’s headquarters in Milton Keynes was initially considered as the interview location. However, heightened media scrutiny, exacerbated by Horner’s high-profile marriage to Geri, a former Spice Girl, has necessitated a change of plans.
While the lawyer’s offices remain a potential venue, Red Bull has kept details of the interview under wraps, even from Milton Keynes staff, adding to the intrigue and challenge surrounding the situation.
Amidst this uncertainty, both Horner and the complainant have continued their regular duties. Horner, notably present at the office since Wednesday, has been involved in filming activities leading up to the car launch, which coincides with the team’s 20th anniversary celebrations. Despite invitations extended to media representatives, the focus now shifts to the looming decision regarding Horner’s tenure.
While there was a hope to conclude the investigation before the car unveiling, the case’s complexity suggests that this may not be feasible. A more pragmatic timeframe for resolution is anticipated before the commencement of the new season in Bahrain on March 2.
The impending car reveal, intended as a showcase of Red Bull’s recent successes, now faces overshadowing by the uncertainty surrounding Horner’s future. The spotlight may shift from the team’s achievements to the leadership crisis brewing within.
Red Bull Austria has affirmed its commitment to addressing the allegations seriously, emphasizing the commencement of an independent investigation led by an external specialist. With the investigation ongoing, further comments have been deferred until its conclusion.