Christian Horner told to resign from Red Bull by Bernie Ecclestone

The Red Bull chief is battling to save his career in the sport (Picture: Getty Images)

Christian Horner has been privately encouraged to resign from his role at Red Bull by former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone amid an investigation into allegations of ‘controlling behaviour’.

The 50-year-old, who is the husband of former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell, is battling to save his career after a female Red Bull employee accused him of ‘inappropriate’ conduct.

Horner ‘completely denies’ the claims and presented his case to an independent lawyer during an eight-hour grilling at an undisclosed location on Friday.

Red Bull had initially hoped to have the matter resolved before their 2024 car launch this Thursday, but the investigation is now expected to drag on until the start of the new F1 season at the beginning of March.

Now it is being reported that former F1 chief Ecclestone has personally got involved, privately urging long-time friend Horner to step down.

Sources have told F1 Insider that the 93-year-old warned of the dangers of a long and messy investigation, instead telling Horner that resigning would save him and his family from further damage caused by the fallout from the scandal.

But Horner is refusing to resign despite Ecclestone’s plea and continues to deny the allegations.

F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone and Geri Halliwell

Ecclestone is also friends with Horner’s wife Geri Halliwell (Picture: Getty)

Ecclestone is the former chief executive of Formula 1 group and was involved in the day-to-day running of the sport from the late 1970s until 2020, forming a close bond with Horner in the latter years of his reign.

Horner is still scheduled to appear at Red Bull’s 2024 car launch on Thursday, with the event also being billed as a celebration of the team’s 20-year anniversary in F1.

The Red Bull team principle is believed to have filmed promos for the event as recently as last week, though it remains to be seen if he will make an appearance at the Milton Keynes HQ on Thursday.

After the allegations emerged last Monday, parent company Red Bull GmbH issued a statement which read: ‘After being made aware of ­certain recent allegations, the company launched an independent investigation.

‘This process, which is already under way, is being carried out by an external specialist barrister. The company takes these matters extremely ­seriously and the investigation will be ­completed as soon as practically ­possible. It would not be appropriate to comment further at this time.’

Horner’s wife, Geri Halliwell, is said to have been in ‘floods of tears’ but will stand by and support her husband to the end.

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