Red Bull clears Christian Horner after investigation into Formula 1 team boss

Red Bull announced Wednesday that a complaint against Formula One team principal Christian Horner “has been dismissed” after an investigation, clearing him to continue in his current role.

“The independent investigation into the allegations made against Mr Horner is complete, and Red Bull can confirm that the grievance has been dismissed,” a Red Bull spokesperson said in a statement.

“The complainant has a right of appeal. Red Bull is confident that the investigation has been fair, rigorous and impartial. The investigation report is confidential and contains the private information of the parties and third parties who assisted in the investigation, and therefore we will not be commenting further out of respect for all concerned,” the spokesperson said. “Red Bull will continue striving to meet the highest workplace standards.”

The news comes just ahead of the first race of the 2024 season this weekend in Bahrain. Horner, 50, had denied the allegations and insisted he was proceeding with business as usual, appearing at the Red Bull car launch on Feb. 15 and at the Bahrain track for preseason testing last week.

Horner has led the Red Bull F1 team since it was founded in 2005, enjoying an extraordinary run of success, including 113 race wins.

In that short time, Red Bull has won seven drivers’ championships: four with Sebastian Vettel, from 2010 to 2013, and three in a row with reigning champion Max Verstappen, from 2021 to 2023. It has converted six of those to constructors’ championships, losing out narrowly to Mercedes in 2021.

Based on early indications, Verstappen and Red Bull are seen as the favorites again in the 2024 season.

Red Bull announced the “independent investigation” by “an external specialist barrister” in early February, with a spokesperson citing “certain recent allegations” without elaborating on what they were. The Austria-based energy drink company said at the time that it “takes these matters extremely seriously” and would finish the probe “as soon as practically possible.”

Rumors about the allegations have since spread through the F1 media and European tabloids. NBC News has not independently confirmed the specifics of the allegations or the identity of the individual who made them.

Verstappen’s contract with Red Bull goes through 2028. The team’s other F1 driver is Sergio Perez, whose contract ends after the 2024 season.

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