Christian Horner, the Red Bull Racing chief and one of the stars of Netflix hit documentary series ‘Drive to Survive’, is facing an internal investigation by the F1 team’s parent company after the group received allegations about his conduct toward a female colleague.
Red Bull has launched a probe after the Dutch newspaper de Telegraaf reported Horner had been accused of “inappropriate behavior,” citing people familiar with the matter.
Horner rejects the accusations, which have not been described in detail.
Red Bull confirmed to multiple outlets that it had launched an internal investigation into the allegations against Horner.
“After being made aware of certain recent allegations, the company launched an independent investigation,” a Red Bull spokesperson told Fortune. “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.”
Times of London chief sports writer Owen Slot says he was told by an “F1 insider” that it would be “a considerable surprise if Horner survives this.”
Horner’s road to success
Horner has been in charge of Red Bull Racing since its inception in 2005 after the drinks company bought out Jaguar, where Horner was previously boss.
He is the longest-serving team principal out of the 10 current F1 constructors.
Under Horner’s guidance, the F1 team has gone on a remarkable run of success since a controversial victory in 2021 helped star racer Max Verstappen snatch the title from Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton.
The team won 21 of 22 possible races last year, taking the Constructer’s Championship while Verstappen won the Driver’s Championship. Verstappen took a record 10 consecutive race wins last season.
As investment has flowed into F1 in recent years, Red Bull Racing has climbed to a valuation of $2.6 billion, according to Forbes.
Horner became more widely known following the release of the Netflix series Drive to Survive, which showed his quarrels with rival team principals including Mercedes’ Toto Wolff.
It also documented his marriage to Geri Halliwell, a former Spice Girl whom he married in 2015.
The new F1 season will kick off at the start of March, where Red Bull and Verstappen are again expected to lead the field.
It was reported in October last year that Horner had been in an alleged dispute with Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko, which prompted Verstappen to assure the media neither of the pair were leaving.
First appeared on fortune.com