Imminent end of Horner scandal will be ’nice’ - Verstappen

"Of course it’s nice when things are solved"


26 February 2024 - 07:01
Imminent end of Horner scandal (...)

The collective F1 paddock is expecting the outcome of the Christian Horner scandal to be known before track action resumes in Bahrain this week.

Even Max Verstappen, who has publicly stayed out of the saga involving Red Bull’s internal investigation into Horner’s alleged bad behaviour with a female staff member, now admits that a swift resolution is needed.

"It’s better that I just concentrate on my performance," the triple world champion said in Bahrain. "Everyone here focuses on the performance of the car, as it should be. Everyone knows their role.

"But of course it’s nice when things are solved," the Dutchman insisted.

Although the investigation into Horner has dragged on, most insiders still expect that the 50-year-old will struggle to hang onto his job as Red Bull’s long-time team principal.

That’s now especially the case given the latest development with Red Bull’s 2026 engine partner Ford, whose CEO Jim Farley has written a letter to the team expressing his concerns.

"As we have previously stated, and without receiving a satisfactory response, the values Ford is committed to are non-negotiable," the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf quotes Farley as having wrote last Friday.

"We are also frustrated by the lack of full transparency around this issue from us, your business partners, and look forward to a full report of all findings."

Former Red Bull driver Christian Klien told the Red Bull-owned broadcaster Servus TV: "Christian is an incredibly big part of the team and helped build it from the ground up, as we know.

"But he’s also a cog in the machine, I would say."

Therefore, plenty of rumours are doing the rounds about who might replace Horner.

"They could have Otmar (Szafnauer) immediately. Gunther (Steiner) would do it immediately too," said Klien.

"But I think Red Bull is more the type of team that pulls people up from their own ranks."

Klien thinks Red Bull might then install a two-man team at the top, as is the new management structure at the junior team RB where Peter Bayer and Laurent Mekies divide up the tasks.

"I think that’s the ideal now," said the Austrian. "Teams have become so massive with 1000, 1500 employees. I don’t think one man can do that anymore."

Another former F1 driver, Ralf Schumacher, says Horner being sacked would cause "unrest" at Red Bull, even though with such a fast car, the figure at the top this year "won’t make a big difference".

"It would be better for the team if everything stays like this," the German told Sky Deutschland. "But I have heard Oliver Oakes mentioned and he is very experienced, and also under discussion with other teams."

Red Bull


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