Horner plots ‘clear Red Bull route’ following saga

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Christian Horner has plotted a “clear route” for Red Bull to follow after the recent tumultuous period for the team.

The Team Principal and CEO was placed under investigation in early February after allegations of improper behaviour towards a female employee, which he denied.

Red Bull’s parent company Red Bull GmbH considered a report into the claims, dismissing the grievance on the eve of the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix – before alleged WhatsApps between Horner and the employee concerned were leaked to influential people in F1, including all team bosses, FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem and F1 chief Stefano Domenicali.

Over the Bahrain weekend, the father of Max Verstappen, Jos, indicated that the team would “explode” if Horner was not removed from his position, although clear the air talks were held before the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

During that weekend, reports that Motorsport Advisor Helmut Marko would be suspended arose, with Max Verstappen giving a full-throated defence of Marko, and claimed that he would consider his own future if the veteran Austrian left the team.

Horner laid down the gauntlet to Verstappen – indicating that the team “does not force” anybody to be there, but he is keen to continue Red Bull’s on-track form which has seen it win 23 of the last 24 races stretching back to the start of the 2023 season.

“We’re focused on winning, and that is what we do,” Horner told media includin RacingNews365.

“That is how we’ve started the season, and obviously I am aware of all the noise, but it hasn’t distracted the team from the job.

“We are one team, and with the speculation about Helmut, Helmut doesn’t work for me, he doesn’t work for Red Bull Racing, he works for Red Bull GmbH.

“But I think you can see a very clear route that is looking forward and wanting to continue this incredible winning streak that we’ve been on.

“I am sure that every team in the paddock would love to have Max, but as Toto Wolff said, the best drivers always want to be in the best cars.

“Max achieved his 56th Grand Prix victory, and his 100th podium, all of which have been in Red Bull Racing cars.

“As a team, we perform exceptionally well together, and everybody has a role to play in that team, whether it is from the designers, the support staff through all 22 different departments that make up Red Bull Racing.

“If everybody isn’t doing their part, you don’t have performance like this, so as a team, we’re performing at an exceptionally high level, and we expect to see that continue.”

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