Geri Halliwell to miss Australia GP as Red Bull rival targets Max Verstappen

Geri Halliwell was by husband Christian Horner’s side at the first two F1 races of 2024 (Photo: Getty)

Geri Halliwell won’t be attending this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix as the scandal involving husband Christian Horner continues to overshadow Formula 1.

Red Bull boss Horner was cleared after an investigation into allegations of ‘inappropriate behaviour’ were made against him by a female employee of his own team.

But the matter is far from over as the accuser, who has been suspended on full pay by Red Bull, is now appealing the decision to clear the 50-year-old.

Former Spice Girl Halliwell married Horner in 2015 and has continued to support him over the last couple of months even after texts and images supposedly related to the probe were leaked.

The 51-year-old was at her husband’s side during the season opener in Bahrain as well as the second race in Saudi Arabia, but she will not be in Melbourne for the next round of championship.

That is according to the Daily Express who add that this is a planned absence and Halliwell has never intended to fly out to Australia.

F1 has arrived down under, with Red Bull looking to maintain their perfect start to 2024 after finishing 1-2 in the first two rounds.

F1 Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia

Max Verstappen has won the first two races of the year with ease, but he continues to be linked with leaving Red Bull (Photo: Getty)

Max Verstappen is also seeking to equal his own record that he set last year of 10-straight victories.

The scandal appears to have triggered a civil war within Red Bull, with the futures of Horner, Verstappen, team advisor Helmut Marko and chief technical officer Adrian Newey.

Rumours that Horner is trying to push Newey out of the team have been dismissed, though the legendary car designer continues to be linked with a move away from the F1 champions.

Christian Horner investigation – what we know

Ferrari are hoping to nab the 65-year-old, with German outlet Bild now claiming that talks between the two parties are at an advanced stage, with the prospect of building a car for the Scuderia and Sir Lewis Hamilton a tantalising prospect.

But that’s not where the rumour mill stops, as Verstappen has also been linked with a sensational move away, especially after his father Jos publicly called for Horner to be sacked.

Mercedes looked to be the three-time champion’s only realistic option, with a seat free in 2025 thanks to the departing Hamilton, but now another team are reportedly planning to make an outlandish offer for the 26-year-old.

Reports from Italy say that Aston Martin’s title sponsor Aramco, a Saudi Arabian oil company, are aiming to buy the team outright.

If they succeed they plan to lure Verstappen as well as Newey to the Silverstone-based team.

Fuelling this speculation is the fact that Aston Martin will use Honda engines in the near-future and Verstappen has close ties to the Japanese company.

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