Red Bull factory, Milton Keynes, 2021

Red Bull employee who sent racist messages no longer with team

2021 F1 season

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Red Bull has confirmed an employee who sent racist personal text messages is no longer working for the company.

The messages, which contained racist insults, were sent earlier this year and emerged on social media this week. The individual behind them was not a prominent member of the team.

“We condemn racist abuse of any kind and have a zero-tolerance policy to racist behaviour,” said Red Bull in a statement. “The person in question is no longer an employee of Red Bull Racing.”

Last week Red Bull strongly condemned racist abuse aimed at Lewis Hamilton on social media following his collision with Max Verstappen.

“While we may be fierce rivals on-track, we are all united against racism,” said the team at the time. “We condemn racist abuse of any kind towards our team, our competitors and our fans.

“As a team we are disgusted and saddened to witness the racist abuse Lewis endured on social media after the collision with Max. There is never any excuse for it, there is certainly no place for it in our sport and those responsible should be held accountable.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said “highly charged emotions should never cross the line into racist abuse.”

“We have a zero tolerance approach to racist behaviour within our team and I personally feel strongly that those responsible for this sort of abuse should be held to account.

“We will continue to support the FIA and F1 in order to eradicate this from our sport.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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26 comments on “Red Bull employee who sent racist messages no longer with team”

  1. Dietrich Mateschitz?

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      30th July 2021, 14:43

      Lol, it’s more likely to be Helmut :-) I don’t think he’s much of a Lewis Hamilton fan.

      1. There’s a huge difference between not being a fan and feeling it natural to use racist abuse…

  2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    30th July 2021, 14:43

    Yeah, I was surprised to see him go full circle.

  3. No, it was about football, back in May, which came to light this week.

  4. How irresponsible of that individual.

    1. Yeah, yeah, I get it, I get why you want something to be done over Portugal 2020.

    2. Vettel is still on Red Bull payroll?

  5. and this bile will be removed shortly. Hope the poster goes with it.

  6. The normal brigade is already gearing up I see with lies and insinuations.
    The fact: Redbull discharges a employee (in may?) about racism.
    This has nothing to do with Lewis or the Silverstone soap.
    So why bringing this up now?

    1. It’s brought up out of simple blind hatred for anyone other than Hamilton.
      Former Mercedes WDC Nico was liked when he was finishing behind Hamilton but when he beat Hamilton in the WDC everything changed.

    2. I think RB is providing examples of how they are combating racism with an example that predates the recent events with HAM.

      1. @jimfromus It is hard to discern what exactly went on here, so I’m speculating too, but from the article above I don’t get the impression this is RB ‘providing examples,’ as much as it is that racist comments made against LH since Silverstone brought to the fore the comments a non-prominent member of RBR made and got fired for. I get the impression it was perhaps moreso a journalist or a reporter that dug this up and brought this to the fore between Silverstone and now, and fair game to that, and so Horner has merely explained the situation and that it was dealt with at the time. I saw a comment that implied it was about football not even F1 and happened in May, but I don’t know if that is accurate. It is the “Red Bull has confirmed” in the first sentence that has me fairly sure that someone brought this up to Horner, not that Horner wanted to bring this up as some example as you imply.

    3. erikje, the allegation is that Red Bull were notified about this individual exchanging racist material in May, but only fired the individual this month. The job advert for a replacement Parts Supply HUB Coordinator, which was the role this individual had at the factory, is only a week old – with the date that the advert was released being pretty close to the date that those messages entered the public domain.

      There is a related accusation that Red Bull only fired that employee now because the messages were entering the public domain, and that same employee had previously boasted that Red Bull had just asked him to delete the messages and to keep a low profile on social media (i.e. that they seemed to think that they might get away with those messages).

      1. (i.e. that they seemed to think that they might get away with those messages)

        Com’on anon, you might have done it differently (kudos), but don’t accuse RBR of ‘thinking they might get away with it.

        I don’t know the details but it might very well have been impossible to fire him back then. If the repugnant messages were sent in a private chat (as stated), and not using company equipment (phone/laptop) or during the boss’ hours, then they would have no legal ground to fire him.
        With the messages coming into the public domain, they now have a potential ground (still shaky) to let him go.

        You might not agree with me, but as this is a very junior staff member (parts mailroom employee in this case) it might have been better to help and educate him/her rather than fire them immediately.

        1. @jff –

          If the repugnant messages were sent in a private chat (as stated), and not using company equipment (phone/laptop) or during the boss’ hours, then they would have no legal ground to fire him.

          Errrr… No. Irrespective of what equipment was used, who owned it, or whether it was in a private or public chat, sending racist or discriminatory content is actually a hate offence under the law.

          Secondly,

          “I don’t know the details but it might very well have been impossible to fire him back then”

          No details of this incident makes it impossible to fire an employee guilty of it – except of course, the specific workplace organization actively encourages such behavior.

          Stop trying to excuse the inexcusable or justify the unjustifiable.

          1. is actually a hate offence under the law.

            That’s criminal law, and until convicted a company cannot fire an employee on such grounds (allegations).

            You might not like it, but that’s still the law in most Western countries.

            And don’t accuse me of “excuse the inexcusable or justify the unjustifiable”, I merely explained a possible reason for the actions so far by RBR, not the behaviour of the ex employee!!!

      2. anon Perhaps you have a source? I’ve googled and can find no more info than what is provided in the above article, and it’s vague and RBR haven’t provided any more details.

        @kbdavies That’s my understanding too, is that even if this employee used personal equipment and time for these inexcusable messages, it is a fireable offence.

        1. @robbie Of course some guys like anon would see that as a great opportunity to make up any hoax trying to portray Red Bull as racist and evil. This SJW really likes to police threads so that he may pretend he’s above reason.

      3. My sense is that in the UK “redundancy” proceedings can be protracted even under “at will” rules, and if there is litigation exposure as one can image here then even more so. I’m inclined to give RBR the benefit of the doubt. Summarily cashiering an employee for private texts would give an in house counsel a lot of heartburn.

    4. Because we were told about it very recently. (My guess is that we were told it recently as it had become thematically relevant – firing someone for racist comments is a demonstrable action when it comes to being anti-racist).

  7. If you don’t know what racist behavior is, that’s your problem.

  8. After the 2nd practice, Horner said it wasn’t related to the Silverstone incident.

  9. Fully justified, if the messages I saw were real.

  10. Good to see. No team in f1 wants racial abuse of abusive comments on any kind to drivers.

    RBR while I am not a big fan of Marko and Horner for fanning the flames have done the correct thing without question. It’s a great zero tolerance message all team should have for abuse to other teams personnel from any member.

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