Christian Horner’s supporters reportedly insist he is caught up as part of a “wider power struggle” at Red Bull.
The Red Bull F1 team principal has denied accusations from a colleague of inappropriate behaviour.
He was questioned all day last Friday by an independent lawyer on the allegations which reportedly centre around controlling behaviour.
But those who back Horner describe him as “a pawn in a wider power struggle”, according to the Daily Mail.
The death of Red Bull energy drinks founder Dietrich Mateschitz in October 2022 meant that Horner lost his “main ally”.
Horner still retains Bernie Ecclestone, the 93-year-old ex-F1 supremo, as a “keen ally”. Ecclestone is “still a very significant figure” in major F1-related disputes, the report states.
Horner, who is “still backed by Ecclestone”, reportedly thinks he can keep his job. But “others within the sport doubt that”.
The timeframe for making a decision is unknown.
Red Bull initially hoped to make a call before the launch their 2024 car, the RB20, on Thursday 15 February.
But it now seems inevitable that longer will be needed.
“The matter will drag on longer in a case of ‘he says, she says, he says’,” the Mail report.
They cite a source within F1 saying: “It will take some time. It is the first time they have spoken to Christian to get his view on it and they need to ask the woman in question to respond. It may take a bit of to-and-fro to get a resolution.”
Red Bull hope to come to a decision before the season begins on February 29 in Bahrain.
A spokesperson for Red Bull GmBH, the F1 team’s parent company, said last week: “After being made aware of certain recent allegations, the company launched an independent investigation.
“The company takes these matters extremely seriously.”
Horner has said: “I completely deny the claims.”
The F1 team have said: “Having being made aware of certain recent allegations, the company launched an independent investigation. This process is being carried out by an external specialist barrister.
“The investigation will be completed as soon as practically possible. It would not be appropriate to comment further at this time.”
Red Bull will launch their F1 2024 car on Thursday at their Milton Keynes headquarters.
Bahrain testing begins on February 21 before the first round of the season from February 29.