Christian Horner threatens legal action over ‘inaccurate’ new allegations

The Christian Horner scandal is about to escalate even further (Photo: Getty)

Christian Horner is threatening a Formula 1 magazine with legal action after it published new allegations against the Red Bull boss and named his accuser.

Horner is under intense pressure and scrutiny after a female employee of the Red Bull team accused him of ‘inappropriate behaviour’.

He was cleared after an investigation but the scandal has escalated after texts and images related to the probe were leaked to the media, including the Metro, and F1 personnel.

Horner, husband of former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell, has always denied the claims and defiantly said he would remain in charge of the reigning champions.

The matter is threatening to boil over even more this week after Jos Verstappen, father of three-time champion and Red Bull’s star driver Max Verstappen, called for the 50-year-old to be sacked.

Furthermore, BusinessF1 Magazine have published a 19-page investigation into the case, which will feature a ‘­series of damaging new allegations’ against Horner.

It will also go into detail about the power struggle at the top of Red Bull, but most significantly, it names the female employee whom Horner at the centre of the scandal.



Christian Horner investigation timeline

How the scandal has unfolded…

Monday 5 February – Red Bull confirm investigation into Horner over ‘controlling behaviour’ allegations

Friday 9 February – Horner grilled by independent lawyer during eight-hour hearing

Thursday 15 February – Horner attends Red Bull’s 2024 car launch and publicly addresses allegations for first time – says he ‘fully denies’ any wrongdoing

Friday 16 February – Fresh allegations emerge in Dutch Newspaper De Telegraaf suggesting Horner sent messages of a ‘suggestive nature’ to a female employee

Wednesday 21 February to Friday 23 February – Horner attends Formula 1 pre-season testing in Bahrain – says: ‘We hope there is a resolution as soon as possible’

Friday 23 February – Sixth series of F1: Drive to Survive releases on Netflix – Horner and wife Geri Halliwell feature in docuseries

Wednesday 28 February – Horner cleared of allegations – Red Bull say: ‘The investigation is complete and the grievance has been dismissed. The complainant has a right of appeal’

Thursday 29 February to Saturday 2 March – Formula 1 season gets underway with the Bahrain Grand Prix

Thursday 29 February – WhatsApp messages and images supposedly between Horner and the complainant were leaked to the media and F1 personnel

Friday 1 March – Horner summoned for showdown talks with F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali and FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem

Saturday 2 March – Jos Verstappen, Max’s father, warns Red Bull Racing ‘is in danger of being torn apart’ unless Horner leaves

F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain - Practice

Horner is said to have had a ‘blazing row’ with Jos Verstappen at the Bahrain GP (Photo: Getty)

The article initially went up on the site’s website over the weekend only for it to scrash but it is expected to be re-published later this week.

It is believed the accuracy of the article is highly disputable, and, according to The Telegraph, Horner’s lawyers have now demanded the article’s removal, saying it has caused serious harm.

They have sent two legal letters accusing the magazine of publishing an ‘unlawful’ article that was defamatory but also preached privacy and data protection rights.



Christian Horner investigation – what we know

F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain

The scandal has overshadowed the start of the new F1 season (Photo: Getty)

A Red Bull spokesman added: ‘The piece is littered with inaccuracies and is subject to legal complaint.’

The scandal is set to continue as the F1 circus rolls into Saudi Arabia this week for the second grand prix of the season, but Horner is not the only high-profile member of the sport in hot water.

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem is now under investigation over allegations he attempted to interfere in the results of last year’s race in Jeddah.

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