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Max Verstappen remained tight-lipped over support for Red Bull’s Horner
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Max Verstappen remained tight-lipped over support for Red Bull’s Horner

On Wednesday, Max Verstappen did not fully express his support for Christian Horner, who was being investigated for allegations of controlling behavior towards a female staff member. However, just hours later, the investigation resulted in Horner being cleared of any wrongdoing.

The inquiry began on 1 February after a complaint made by a female employee of Red Bull Racing made the allegations to the team’s parent company Red Bull GmbH. No details of the allegations were released other than it is understood they referred to alleged “controlling” behaviour by Horner.

An English barrister, who remains unidentified, completed an investigation which involved a lengthy interview with Horner lasting more than eight hours.

Verstappen, however, did not offer unequivocal support for his team principal during the FIA press conference at the Bahrain International circuit. When he was asked if he was 100% behind Horner and how he ran the team, the world champion offered only his backing for the investigation then currently taking place.

“I am currently relying on the process,” he stated.

Horner was instrumental in bringing Verstappen into F1 and then into the Red Bull team when he was promoted from Toro Rosso in 2016. He has overseen the Dutchman winning three consecutive world championships with the team Horner joined as principal when it was formed in 2005.

When he was questioned about the procedure and his trust in Horner, he refused to give any further details.

He stated that he does not wish to be involved in that matter because it does not pertain to him. As a team, we have faith in the process and we must remain patient. It is unnecessary to make any rash statements or outbursts. Patience is key.

Lewis Hamilton, who was also present at the press conference, emphasized the importance of the investigation and how Red Bull and Formula 1 handle it as a significant step towards promoting diversity within the sport.

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The seven-time champion, who is starting his last season with Mercedes this week before joining Ferrari in 2025, has been a strong advocate for inclusivity and diversity in F1. He believes this is a crucial moment for the sport.

“We must continuously strive for a safe and inclusive environment in the sport and workplace,” he stated. “All accusations must be taken seriously and addressed promptly. While not all details are known, it is crucial that this issue is resolved as it is currently affecting the sport. It will be intriguing to witness how it is handled and the potential impact on the sport going forward. This is a crucial opportunity for the sport to uphold its values.”

Source: theguardian.com