Christian Horner intends to be present at the launch of the RB20 on 15 February, according to fresh reports. The Red Bull team principal is currently under investigation regarding misconduct allegations, but the report on the matter is still ‘weeks away’ from being ready.
As per a report from the Dutch news outlet De Telegraaf, Horner was present at the team’s shakedown at Silverstone on Tuesday, during which Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez enjoyed their first outings in the RB20.
The team principal’s presence at both the Silverstone shakedown and the car launch at the Milton Keynes factory has been the subject of much speculation since news of the investigation broke earlier this month, but this latest update confirms that Horner’s presence is expected at the big reveal on 15 February.
Horner took part in a hearing with the relevant Red Bull personnel on Friday with the 50-year-old quizzed over the allegations, which come from one female employee within the team and are believed to relate to his aggressive management style. He has firmly denied all allegations.
However, this hearing was not a cut-and-dry affair and has not led to an immediate decision regarding Horner’s future. Instead, according to the report, a final verdict is still weeks away.
This aligns with the expectations of Sky Sports News reporter Craig Slater, who claimed after Friday’s hearing that the outcome will ‘operate to a timetable appropriate to get a clear and fair solution for both parties’.
The drawn-out nature of this investigation process will be an unwanted distraction for the Milton Keynes-based team, who are looking to retain both World Championship titles in 2024.
Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez sealed a first-ever one-two Drivers’ Championship finish with their performances in 2023, but the field is expected to converge this year in what promises to be a more closely contested season.
The allegations are also reportedly impacting Horner’s family, with wife Geri Halliwell said to be ‘devastated’ by the developments. She is said to be convinced of her husband’s innocence while OK! are reporting that her former Spice Girls band friend Victoria Beckham has been offering her support.
A source close to Geri told the publication: “They always got on well and have been there for each other through the difficult times. When Geri was having a bit of a stormy relationship with some of the other Spice Girls, Victoria supported her and helped her through. It’s the same now – Victoria wants to support Geri any way she can.
“Victoria and David have had some really low points together as a couple and Geri was there for her. She’s never forgotten how good Geri was with all the Rebecca Loos stuff, and the horrible treatment of David after the World Cup. Now she knows it’s her time to be there for Geri, and she wants to look after her and help her.”