A decision on the future of Red Bull boss Christian Horner may not be made until after next month’s season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, according to reports. The 50-year-old is being probed over allegations of inappropriate behaviour, which he denies, following a complaint by a Red Bull employee to the team’s parent company.
Horner was grilled by a top independent lawyer at a hearing on Friday, which took place at a secret location after Red Bull ditched plans to stage the interview at their Milton Keynes base. There had been a strong desire to conclude the matter before the launch of Red Bull’s new car on Thursday, but it seems as though Horner’s future could remain in doubt for a number of weeks.
A final decision could be delayed until after next month’s Bahrain Grand Prix, according to PA, with Horner set to face subsequent rounds of questioning as he looks to prove his innocence. The 50-year-old remains in his current role for now and is reportedly expected to be in attendance at Red Bull’s season launch event next week.
The report adds that Horner was questioned for around eight hours on Friday, with the interview starting at 10am and running into the early evening. A quick resolution to the saga is said to be ‘highly doubtful’, meaning that Horner faces an anxious wait to discover if he will be relieved of his duties.
Horner has led Red Bull to seven Drivers’ Championship titles and six Constructors’ Championship triumphs during his 19 seasons in charge of the team. He is one of the most successful team principals currently in F1, with only Mercedes boss Toto Wolff having won more silverware than him over the years.
Red Bull completed a clean sweep last year in the most dominant season in the history of the sport, with Max Verstappen cruising to the individual honours ahead of team-mate Sergio Perez. However, a change of team principal at the start of the new campaign would risk derailing their efforts to make it a hat-trick of successive Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championship titles.
In a statement earlier this week, Red Bull insisted they were taking the matter ‘extremely seriously’ and that a conclusion would be reached ‘as soon as practicable’. The statement read: “After becoming aware of recent allegations, the company initiated an independent investigation. This investigation, which is already underway, is being carried out by an external specialised lawyer.
“The company takes these matters extremely seriously and the investigation will be complete as soon as practicable. It would not be appropriate to make any further comments at this time.”
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