Christian Horner breaks cover as he ‘could be gone from Red Bull next week’ as he’s ‘lost support’ from team amid probe. bb

RED Bull chief Christian Horner broke cover for the first time today as he prepares to face a D-Day grilling over allegations of “inappropriate behaviour” towards a female staffer.

Horner, 50, will fight to save his career at headquarters on Friday as sources allege he could be gone by “next week” after “losing support” from the team amid the probe.

Christian Horner was pictured leaving his Highgate home this morning - the first sighting since news broke over the allegations

Christian Horner was pictured leaving his Highgate home this morning – the first sighting since news broke over the allegationsCredit: Ray Collins

The Red Bull chief is facing a formal investigation over his conduct towards a female colleague and sources say he has 'lost support' in the team

The Red Bull chief is facing a formal investigation over his conduct towards a female colleague and sources say he has ‘lost support’ in the teamCredit: Getty

His wife Geri Halliwell is 'standing firm by his side' through the scandal that could allegedly see him gone by 'next week'

His wife Geri Halliwell is ‘standing firm by his side’ through the scandal that could allegedly see him gone by ‘next week’Credit: PA
His future at the team could be decided next week as all parties are understood to want a conclusion reached before the launch of Red Bull’s 2024 car on February 15, The Telegraph reports.

Former F1 driver Giedo van der Garde backs Horner leaving his championship-dominating team before the RB20 unveiling.

The Ex-Sauber driver thinks the nature of non-yet disclosed allegations are a “blemish” on Red Bull.

“Horner is, of course, controlled internally by Red Bull. Believe me, when that presentation comes next week, there is no way Horner will be there presenting,” Van der Garde said on his DRS: De Race Show podcast.

“For Red Bull this is obviously dramatic and then they also have those presentations next week….  but this is a bit of a blemish on the name, but also the team,” he added.

Formula One was rocked on Monday by the news that the sport’s longest-standing team principal had been placed under investigation by Red Bull Austria.

The parent company said that after being informed of “certain recent allegations” it had hired an “external, specialist lawyer” to probe the claims.

It has allegedly compiled a “dossier of incriminating material” regarding “inappropriate and controlling behaviour” towards one female staffer, The Telegraph reports.

Horner issued an immediate denial on Monday, stating: “I reject these claims entirely.”

However, a report in Motorsport-Magazin claimed that Horner had “lost support” within Red Bull amid the ongoing probe.

Insiders alleged that the team principal could be replaced by Red Bull team manager Jonathan Wheatley on an interim basis if he were to step down.

“Whether the Thai side, which is traditionally close to Horner and holds 51 percent of Red Bull, can save the Briton will probably depend on the results of the independent investigation,” the report stated.

Sources say the investigation is set to centre on the employee’s concerns about Horner’s strict work regime and does not relate to any sexual impropriety.

An F1 source told The Sun: “Christian had concerns about her conduct and made it clear he was unhappy.

“She went on to make a complaint about his ‘controlling’ behaviour, which detonated this crisis for the team.”

Yesterday, a pal close to Horner said he is confident he will be cleared of wrongdoing.

“Christian is speaking privately and says that he will clear his name and come through this,” the source told the Daily Mail.

Horner – who is on an estimated salary of £8million at Red Bull – has been preparing for the start of the 2024 season with his all-conquering team steered by world champion Max Verstappen.

The first race kicks off in Bahrain on March 2.

Since Horner took over as team principal in 2005, Red Bull has won seven F1 world drivers’ championships and six world constructors’ titles.

‘Power struggle’

His defenders have reportedly claimed the accusations are part of a plot to oust him within the team amid an internal power struggle.

Rumours of the unrelated internal issues within the team’s leadership have swirled since the death of co-founder Dietrich Mateschitz in 2022.

After the billionaire’s death, Red Bull drafted in a new board of directors to oversee the business.

Former RB Leipzig CEO Oliver Mintzlaff was appointed chief executive.

Despite Red Bull enjoying its most successful season in F1 history in 2023, there was speculation of a rift between Horner and Helmut Marko – Red Bull GmBH’s motorsport advisor.

Rumours even went as far as to suggest Horner was determined to get rid of Marko, 80, from the team, reports the Telegraph.

However, the recent report in Motorsport-Magazin said: “The internal power struggle that Horner had instigated against Dr. Helmut Marko is said to have nothing to do with the affair.

“Head of Motorsport Dr. Marko is said to have no ambitions to take over the post in Milton Keynes.”

Respected F1 journalist Joe Saward also speculated over the future of Red Bull’s chief technical officer Adrian Newey amid the Horner controversy.

He wrote on X/Twitter: “It has long been believed that Christian Horner and Adrian Newey have contracts that protect one another. If one leaves the other can as well.”

Geri’s shock

Horner’s Spice Girl wife Geri Halliwell, 51, is said to be devastated by the bombshell allegations – but will firmly stand by her husband, who she married in 2015.

Another source said: “[She is] not talking to anyone at the moment. Geri seems to be simply too upset to engage with anyone. Just lots of tears.

“She will stand by him and be at his side just as much as she always has been. She never misses a race and that will not change.”

Mum-of-two Halliwell reportedly turned her phone off on Monday due to streams of cruel messages online, with fans demanding she leave her husband.

The glamorous couple got married in Bedfordshire in 2015 and have one child together, Montague, aged seven.

The racing boss is also stepdad to Halliwell’s daughter Bluebell Madonna, 17, and has another daughter, Olivia, 10, from a previous relationship with ex-partner Beverley Allen.

Another source told The Mail: “She is committed to him with every fibre of her being.”

However, the scandal engulfing her husband has blown a “Grand Canyon-sized crack” right in the middle of her “super-perfect, super-posh life,” they claimed.

It followed reports that Geri had been in “floods of tears” last weekend as she looked after her kids.

A source close to the singer told The Sun: “She is insisting Christian has done nothing wrong.”

Horner will fight to save his career on Friday

Horner will fight to save his career on Friday

The Spice Girl is said to be committed to Horner with 'every fibre of her being'
7

The Spice Girl is said to be committed to Horner with ‘every fibre of her being’

Red Bull co-founder Dietrich Mateschitz's death in October, 2022 allegedly sparked a power struggle at Red Bull

Red Bull co-founder Dietrich Mateschitz’s death in October, 2022 allegedly sparked a power struggle at Red Bull

Sources say the Ginger Spice star is refusing to speak to 'anyone' after news broke of the allegations

Sources say the Ginger Spice star is refusing to speak to ‘anyone’ after news broke of the allegations

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