Toto Wolff, Zak Brown, Bahrain, 2024

Red Bull’s handling of Horner allegations “needs more transparency” – rivals

Formula 1

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Two of Christian Horner’s rival team principals have called on Red Bull to provide more “transparency” around allegations he was recently cleared of.

Red Bull’s Austrian owners issued a statement yesterday announcing the end of an investigation into Horner’s behaviour.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said Red Bull’s announcement did not go far enough to answer the questions surrounding the case.

“I just read the statement, which was pretty basic, I would say,” said Wolff in an FIA press conference today. “My personal opinion is we can’t really look at behind the curtain.”

Wolff referred to reports about the nature of the claim against Horner.

“At the end of the day, there is a lady in an organisation that has spoken to HR and said there is an issue and it was investigated. Yesterday the sport has received the message ‘it’s all fine’.

“We’ve looked at it and I believe that with the aspiration as a global sport on such critical topics, it needs more transparency.”

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown called on the FIA and Formula 1 to seek further clarification from Red Bull.

“It’s up to the FIA and Formula 1 to ultimately decide and ask what they feel gives them the level of transparency that they need to ultimately come to their conclusion,” he said. “We just have to count on them that they fulfil that obligation to all of us.”

Horner has returned to the paddock in Bahrain today as practice for the opening round of the season began. He was not called to appear in the FIA press conference.

Yesterday Red Bull Austria said they would not issue further details about the findings of the “confidential” investigation. “Red Bull will continue striving to meet the highest workplace standards,” it added.

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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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51 comments on “Red Bull’s handling of Horner allegations “needs more transparency” – rivals”

  1. more than absolute zero, that is

  2. Nope – internal matter – dealt with – nobody’s business but the team’s in reality. People WANT to know more, but there is no right to know more.

    1. Agree – it is always worth remembering that it’s likely we would know absolutely nothing about this complaint, had there not been a leak to the media.

      As a responsible employer, I can’t believe Toto Wolff is calling for a company’s HR files to be opened up for public scrutiny. This stuff is kept confidential for a reason.

    2. Everyone has rights. There’s no point talking about rights. And if there was sexual abuse going on in any organisation then it shouldn’t be secret should it. Saying they have a ‘right’ to hush it up is a ridiculous idea

      Not saying there was, it’s unlikely imo, but secret can’t be justified, abusers rely on secrecy, closing ranks and fake investigations

      1. Saying they have a ‘right’ to hush it up is a ridiculous idea

        They didn’t ‘hush it up’.
        They came with a public statement saying that the independent investigation found that the complaint was dismissed.
        They also explained that sharing (parts of) the full report would infringe the privacy of the claimant and others. Who are you to demand that their privacy should be infringed?

        I understand that some ‘want’ to know (hence the circulation numbers of tabloids/etc), but that does not mean that you have a ‘right’ to know.

      2. Mark in Florida
        29th February 2024, 18:05

        (@zann) You do realize what your saying?
        You would put this girls personal information out there for trolls to attack her and make her life he’ll. Even if this was some fake me too incident she doesn’t need that kind of situation. Maybe righteous Toto should hire her if he’s so concerned. Maybe Zac could offer her a raise and some employment with McLaren.
        But you don’t see any of that. This is all politics, trying to take out the leadership of their rival. Their words are hollow echoes of their fake wokeness.

  3. They are beholden to data privacy laws, they are literally restricted in what information they can share so they don’t infringe the rights of those involved.

    Just because Toto sees no issue with getting information he shouldn’t (then hiding behind his wife to cover it up), and his lapdog Brown doesn whatever he is told, doesn’t make it legal for Red Bull to share more.

  4. No, not at all. Would they have said the same if Horner was fired following the investigation? I don’t think so.

    This is all internal affairs. An appeal is still possible too, so why would they disclose sensitive information beforehand anyway?

    1. Funnily enough, I was discussing this with Geri Halliwell whilst we were drinking coffee in bed together earlier today…

      1. I gather it’s been raining messages all over the place this afternoon.

    1. Ooh well let’s see then, hopefully

      1. I’ve seen some already. Looks like the classic story of an extramarital affair where the woman happily goes along with it until the affair ends, and then constructs a narrative of how she was taken advantage of & then takes revenge.

        1. +1 if those images are real then I agree with you, presumably if they are genuine then that’s also why RB decided no further action.

          1. Indeed. I’m of the opinion that it’s not the job of companies to take sides in affairs between coworkers, unless there is a work-related abuse of power or such. Otherwise, the people and their wives/husbands can deal with their drama on their own time.

            It’s the job of racing teams to make cars go vrrrrrrrrrrrrr, not to decide whose fault it is that the affair between two coworkers didn’t work out or whether the perfectly legal behaviors of people were gentlemanly or ladylike enough according to some subjective norms about proper behavior within a relationship. As a society we decided that we won’t enforce relationship norms or punish people for extramarital affairs and it is then hypocritical to then suddenly make exceptions for certain people.

    2. Well, someone in Red Bull thinks it needs to be made more transparent.
      I guess we’ll see in due course if it was anything for F1 to be concerned about.

      1. What we’ll see is Toto & Co moaning louder that the sport is being damaged (regardless of true / false)

        The pressure will then mount up and Horner will be forced out – that is the end goal of whoever is in the background pulling the strings

    3. Massive legal trouble coming to whoever sent those emails…

      They have breached privacy law numerous times.

      I hope it was worth it to release quite frankly pathetic messages that far from constitute any wrong doing.

  5. It’s none of their business. Why would they consider themselves enough of a party in this to even make these comments? Stay in your lane.

  6. Someone is suggesting that Christian Horner evidence files have been leaked to hundred of people F1, team bosses, journalists…

    1. If that’s the same silliness now posted on Reddit, it sounds like more of a malicious joke than anything.

      Or maybe Horner is just a really dull texter…

      Probably file this under fake until proven otherwise.

    2. If the contents of the drive become public, Horner’s finished, especially after so vehemently denying the allegations.

      1. It has been, in its entirety…

        I’m interested to see what happens next, if he continues to deny them completely that’s fascinating.

  7. There is no additional “transparency” needed. This was an internal personnel matter and the confidentiality protects the accused and the accuser. If the woman who brought the charges is ok with her name and allegations being released, then she can release it. It’s not Red Bull’s place to do that.

  8. Lets not pretend these two are motivated by anything else than trying to destabilize their rival. Dirty games by those who cannot compete on merit.

    1. Even worse when you consider what the allegations were about. Will this constant hounding by them to have further details released (when they have no idea if that’s what the accuser wants or not) create an environment where people feel comfortable coming forward with similar complaints in future?

      Make a complaint in confidence and the other team owners won’t let it go until the exact details of your private complaint are known by all!

    2. ‘Sledging’ in other words.

  9. No more transparency needed.
    I can see right through Brown and Wolff
    Repugnant creatures.

  10. Two of their rivals? Well I wonder which two that could possibly be!? Haha

    Maybe they should do a trade? Mercedes and McLaren can each publicly release some confidential data for some of their staff members and then Red Bull can do the same. They can share the court costs then when they all get sued for it.

  11. Wolff and Brown, the most unethical teambosses in F1 at it again. Anything to destabilize the competition. Utterly discusting.

    1. I don’t agree with them on this.

      But how are they the “most unethical team bosses” when we’ve got Horner and Red Bull, in town!!!

      Please answer. I have a feeling it will be more entertaining than any of the Horner ‘scandal’.

      1. Let’s see… Toto has been defending unethical driving tactics from his own drivers, has been attacking Max in the media, leads a team that has stretched the limits of legality several times over the years, so much so that the FIA has ammended the rules with rulings several times to ban their “Innovation” based on it being against the intent of the regulations. He has been leaking info to the media, has complained about the FIA needing to change the technical regulations in order to help Mercedes solve their porpoising without ending up completely washed. He has placed an ex team member at the FIA and used information obtained illegally from her in the cost cap scandal… And he is being investigated for some form of fraud with properties he owns privately…

        And Zak Brown is currently fighting in several legal conflicts with drivers that signed contracts with Mc Laren…

        These 2 have 0 credit when it comes to ethics.

      2. @banbrorace: here you go…

    2. bullies fanclub speaking about ethics… lol

  12. So, now they show their real agenda…
    And by coincidence a lot of possible fake WhatsApp massages are ” leaked”..

    1. If they are massages, then I certainly hope they’re fake.

      1. Even if the massages were real it could just be a storm in a C-cup.

      2. If they are massages, then I certainly hope they’re fake

        Maybe Osnola is hoping for a ‘happy ending’ ?

  13. A friend remember me of this

    1. Let us never forget. One of the most unprofessional actions I recall in sports broadcasting

    2. That whole thing was a psyop

  14. I wonder what the leaked documents contain that were sent to the team principals, F1, and FIA.

    Could Red Bull have tried to just sweep this under the rug? Let’s move on type of thing.

  15. A google drive full of evidence is rumored to be sent to 1000’s of journalist – get the popcorn, there is a twist

  16. I might actually watch the next season of Drive To Survive. We might see Will Buxton explain to us what an affair is.

  17. It sort of looks like someone with a large set of data thought there should be more transparency.

  18. Should Toto be speaking out about the FIA pursuing further details about the investigation without getting clearance from the wife first?

  19. Also:


  20. Wow, seen the leak. If they were employed by Red Bull that’s gotta be game over surely. Multiple times they said it was inappropriate and didn’t want it to happen, told to delete the chat because Horner knew it was wrong.

    If he’s really defending it by flat-out denying then that does raise some questions as metadata on “screenshots” anyone can doctor doesn’t prove anything really.

  21. Oh, come on. I don’t mind “imaginative” interpretations of the regulations to get a performance edge, but this is too much. Why not publish conversations with your wife, Toto? Not that there’s going to be anything interesting in there (I’d prefer not to know and it none of my business), but it would be another exercise in stupidity.

  22. Red Bull seem to have turned a bad situation into a disaster for themselves. Clearly this isn’t going away.

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