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Red Bull unveils more than just the RB20, breaking the silence surrounding Horner.
F1 Sport

Red Bull unveils more than just the RB20, breaking the silence surrounding Horner.

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Ever since the inquiry into Christian Horner’s alleged misconduct started earlier this month, there has been a noticeable lack of information and communication about the situation from Horner, his Red Bull team, and the investigation itself. However, at the unveiling of Red Bull’s new car on Thursday, the silence was finally broken amidst a flashy and orchestrated event that seemed to convey a specific message alongside the spectacle.

For the last two years, Red Bull has been the world champion in Formula One. They had a superior car compared to their competitors and are confident in their ability to win again in 2024. This event was planned well in advance and was intended to be a joyful and exciting celebration, before any concerns were raised about Horner.

Enthusiasts were given the opportunity to witness the unveiling of the new car in Red Bull’s private space, which happened to be one of their large airplane hangar-like structures on their premises. The space was adorned with previous race cars, large hanging black fabrics, and special lighting setups to enhance the atmosphere. The RB20 was the highlight of the reveal.

During the week of the launch, there was a lot of uncertainty about whether Horner would show up due to recent events. An investigation was also ongoing regarding an allegation of “controlling” behavior made by a female employee against him.

The 50-year-old arrived with his drivers, Max Verstappen and Sergio Pérez, and made an effort to follow the planned agenda as they appeared on stage to respond to questions that deliberately avoided mentioning recent occurrences that some may have thought were just a figment of their imagination from the previous week.

However, it was impossible to overlook the obvious issue. Even if Red Bull had unveiled their new car with Taylor Swift sitting on the back wing, all attention would still be on Horner.

The severity of the accusations cannot be underestimated and it is evident that the inquiry is not treating them lightly. Horner has been the driving force behind the Red Bull team since its establishment in 2005 and, similar to Mercedes’ Toto Wolff, is one of the most accomplished team principals in recent times. However, his position is uncertain as the investigation progresses. If it concludes that his actions were unacceptable, it is highly unlikely that he will continue as team principal.

Christian Horner

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Horner must have felt a great burden as he fought for his career, and it is difficult not to acknowledge that it was evident. Usually confident and commanding center stage, controlling the story and captivating the camera, Horner is a natural entertainer. However, this time, when he could have been brimming with excitement, the man on stage appeared slightly smaller, less fluid, and quieter than usual.

He may have not been fully supported by responses that seemed rehearsed and artificial, as if they were constructed to fit the inquiry’s agenda. He frequently mentioned the significance of team dynamics and inclusivity. It was implied that staying up late, working long hours, and making sacrifices played a role in creating a passionate and enjoyable culture, with people being the most valuable asset.

Horner then met with the media in small, quiet groups. The impressive technology of the F1 champions was oddly reduced to folding chairs arranged in a horseshoe around him. The temporary nature of the event was highlighted as the hangar was stripped of its flashy decorations, leaving only its bare metal structure in the background.

He handled the questioning calmly and confidently, indicating that he believed he had effectively defended himself against the allegations during the investigation. He expressed his firm belief that he would still be in charge for the first round in Bahrain.

After the car was unveiled and the curtain raised, Horner appeared determined to end on a positive note, stating his commitment to the team’s future.

In the past two decades, our accomplishments have been extraordinary and the upcoming years are filled with great potential,” he stated. “The outlook is very promising. Our hope is to sustain the momentum of our successful journey over the past 19 years.”

The event ended with a video of the original Red Bull car from 2005 driving alongside this year’s model at Silverstone. It is likely that this was prearranged to celebrate the 20th car and Red Bull team principal Christian Horner’s belief that there will be many more cars under his leadership in the future. However, it is also possible that these two cars could represent the beginning and end of Horner’s career.

Source: theguardian.com