Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner has hit the headlines in the last month after he has been the subject of an investigation initiated by the Red Bull parent company. This was after an accusation of ‘inappropriate behaviour’ was made against him by a female colleague.

These allegations came to light on 5th February 2024 after a report emerged in a Dutch newspaper. Following this, it was reported that Horner met with an external investigator, an experienced barrister, on 9th February, to provide an initial response to the allegations further that lasted 8 hours. A thorough investigation is said to have taken place by the independent barrister however very little information has been made public.

Horner has denied the allegations throughout.

The purpose of the investigation is to fact-find and evaluate all of the evidence gathered. Once completed, the findings would have been presented to the board at Red Bull who would make a decision as to whether there was a disciplinary case to answer. For a large company in the centre of a media storm, it is vital for Red Bull to complete the investigation fairly, thoroughly and efficiently.

What we now know is that Red Bull has decided to dismiss the allegations made against Horner, following the investigation. Horner commented that he had ‘cooperated fully’ and he believes that it was ‘thorough and fair’. Accordingly, the investigation into Horner ended then and there and he was not invited to attend a disciplinary hearing to answer further questions on the alleged misconduct.

After Red Bull’s board made its decision to dismiss the allegations last week public, they then suspended the female colleague who accused Horner, finding that she had been ‘dishonest’.

There is no further detail provided in relation to this but this is said to have been in response to the internal investigation. It has been reported that she has been suspended on full pay which suggests that further investigation is being carried out by Red Bull as to whether her allegations were fundamentally dishonest.

In somewhat of a salacious turn of events, 24 hours after Red Bull dismissed the allegations made against Horner emails and messages were leaked between Horner and the female colleague by an anonymous source. Some messages were sexually suggestive in nature. However it must be stressed that it has not been confirmed whether these messages are genuine or not. Horner again has denied any allegation of inappropriate behaviour or wrongdoing.

As reported by the media, Horner will remain in his role as Red Bull Racing Team Principal whilst the investigation continues into the allegations made by the female colleague and the decision on her future employment with them.