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F1 rivals say questions remain over dismissed Horner investigation

Some of Red Bull’s closest competitors want F1 and the FIA to address the lack of clarity on the matter, after Christian Horner was cleared by the investigation into claims made against him

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Other team bosses have spoken out over the lack of transparency surrounding the now-closed Christian Horner probe into alleged inappropriate behaviour.

Horner F1 Wolff Brown FIA investigation
Toto Wolff and Zak Brown have called on the FIA and F1 to help bring to light more information on the dismissed Christian Horner investigation into his alleged inappropriate behaviour. (Image Credit: @Flyin18T on X)

It’s a contentious news story – and one that doesn’t appear to be about to end any time soon.

It has rumbled on for several weeks, with the involvement of an independent council. It had looked to have been put to bed when the case was closed yesterday, with the allegations being dismissed and Horner remaining in place as Red Bull Team Principal.

Now, it’s been given a new lease of life. Aside from a Google drive “containing all the ‘Christian Horner evidence’,” Toto Wolff and Zak Brown have weighed in on the matter, as reported by Autosport.

Those leaks have yet to be substantiated, so will receive no more attention here, but teams fighting Red Bull – specifically Mercedes and McLaren – have called for F1 and the FIA to clear up some of the misinformation, speculation and “unanswered questions” that now engulf the paddock.

What is being said, and by whom?

Speaking at the Bahrain Grand Prix, which opens the 2024 F1 season, Wolff and Brown called for FOM (Formula One Management), who are the sports commercial rights holder, and the FIA to help ensure all was above board.

Wolff went as far as questioning what the sport’s stance on the matter might be.

“Well, I just read the statement, which was pretty basic,” he said when asked about the results of Red Bull’s internal investigation.

“My personal opinion is we can’t really look behind the curtain. At the end of the day there is a lady in an organisation that has spoken to HR and said there is an issue, and it was investigated. And yesterday, the sport has received the message: ‘It’s all fine. We’ve looked at it.’

“I believe that with the aspiration as a global sport on such critical topics, it needs more transparency. And I wonder what the sport’s position is.

“We are competitors. We are a team, and we can have our own personal opinions or not. But it’s more like a general reaction or action that we as a sport need to assess what is right in that situation and what is wrong?”

The Mercedes boss ended by suggesting that the situation cannot be left as is, saying:

“I just simply think that, as a sport, we cannot afford to leave things in the vague and in the opaque on critical topics like this, because this is going to catch us out.”

For the good of the sport

Brown urged for the matter to be cleared up for the good of the sport, stating: “I’ve read this statement. I think, from what I’ve seen, there continues to be a lot of rumours, speculation, and questions.

“I think the sanctioning body has a responsibility and authority to our sport, to our fans, and I think to all of us in Formula 1… I think they need to make sure that things have been fully transparent with them.”

After a frenetic off-season, which included the announcement of Lewis Hamilton’s bombshell move to Ferrari for 2025, the Horner saga now hangs over F1.

“I think until then, there will continue to be speculation because there are a lot of unanswered questions about the whole process. I think what’s needed by those that run the sport is to really be able to draw a line under it,” the McLaren CEO added.

“Until then, I think there will continue to be some level of speculation by people, and I don’t think that’s healthy for the sport.”

Featured Image Credit: Red Bull Media Pool via Getty Images

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