Red Bull F1 team principal Christian Horner’s hearing into allegations of inappropriate behaviour is today.
Horner denies any wrongdoing and has appointed lawyers of his own to defend his position. He told Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf: “I completely deny these claims.”
The 50-year-old is due to be “interrogated in detail” and face “hours of intense questioning”, according to The Times, on Friday by the King’s Counsel appointed by Red Bull’s parent company to investigate claims widely reported to relate to controlling behaviour.
The hearing will take place in the UK. It was originally scheduled to be held at Red Bull’s headquarters in Milton Keynes but The Times reported it could be moved to London amid growing media attention.
The complaint is understood to have come from a female member of Red Bull staff, who has already been questioned as part of the process and is thought to have passed on evidence.
Red Bull confirmed an independent investigation into the allegations had been launched on Monday. Horner was reportedly “caught completely by surprise” by the news.
When will we hear the outcome?
The independent barrister is expected to review the evidence over the weekend before advising the team’s owners of the appropriate course of action early next week.
Red Bull are said to be keen to resolve the situation as soon as possible so that it does not overshadow the launch of their 2024 F1 challenger – the RB20 – next Thursday (February 15).
What about Horner’s future at Red Bull?
There has been lots of talk about Horner’s future and a possible power play behind the scenes at Red Bull to oust him – but this remains speculation.
For the time being at least, he is continuing as normal in his role and has not been suspended while the investigation takes place.
Naturally, the outcome of the KC’s verdict will have a direct impact on Horner’s future.
Horner has been in charge at Red Bull since the team’s F1 debut in 2005 and has won six constructors’ championships and seven drivers’ titles during his 19 years at the helm.
Last year, Horner led Red Bull to a record-breaking season in which the team won 21 of the 22 races as Max Verstappen secured his third consecutive drivers’ crown.