until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Formula 1

Alleged Horner evidence leaked to F1 personnel after investigation

by Scott Mitchell-Malm
3 min read

Red Bull Formula 1 team boss Christian Horner “won’t comment on anonymous speculation” after materials implied to be from a recent investigation into him were sent to senior F1 figures and journalists.

Horner was cleared by Red Bull’s parent company on Wednesday following the conclusion of an external investigation it had ordered into recent allegations of misconduct.

An email with the subject line "Christian Horner investigation evidence" was sent to a list of 150 F1 personnel on Thursday, Horner’s first day in the paddock at the Bahrain Grand Prix, inviting the recipients to review materials “following Red Bull’s recent investigation and statements”.

F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem and representatives of all 10 teams were among the recipients, along with permanently accredited members of the media including The Race’s journalists.

Nobody from Red Bull or Red Bull Racing was sent that email. Jos Verstappen, father of Red Bull’s world champion Max, is the only person obviously related to the team to appear on the list.

Max Verstappen and Jos Verstappen, F1

The veracity of the material, which comprises 79 screengrabs of digital messaging conversations implied to be from what was submitted to the investigation, has not yet been established.

In response to the leak, a statement was issued on Horner’s behalf - rather than the Red Bull Racing team’s - insisting he would not comment on “anonymous speculation”.

“But to reiterate I have always denied the allegations,” Horner’s statement continued.

“I respected the integrity of the independent investigation and fully cooperated with it every step of the way.

“It was a thorough and fair investigation conducted by an independent specialist barrister and it has concluded dismissing the complaint made.

“I remain fully focused on the start of the season.”

Christian Horner, Red Bull, F1

The leak has been interpreted by many in F1 as an attempt to put further pressure on Horner and/or discredit him after the investigation ruled in his favour.

Rival team bosses said on Thursday in the FIA press conference that more transparency was needed following Red Bull’s limited statement on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, Red Bull said: “The investigation report is confidential and contains the private information of the parties and third parties who assisted in the investigation, and therefore we will not be commenting further out of respect for all concerned.

“Red Bull will continue striving to meet the highest workplace standards.”

F1 and the FIA have not commented, and it is not known if Ford - Red Bull’s engine partner for 2026 - has been placated by Red Bull’s action after recently putting pressure on the parent company to resolve the matter.

Christian Horner, Red Bull, F1

Red Bull GmbH is not responding to the leak but given it relates to an investigation it has emphasised the need for confidentiality over, it is likely it will look into this matter further to ascertain who has shared the materials.

It is not yet known if the complainant will appeal Red Bull’s dismissal of their grievance or try to pursue the matter through legal channels. That could either re-open the original process or start it afresh somewhere else.

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