Marko defends ‘long duration’ of Horner investigation by Red Bull

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Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko stands by the energy drink company’s deliberate and thorough approach to the ongoing investigation into team principal Christian Horner.

Horner is currently under internal investigation by the F1 team’s parent company, Red Bull GmbH following unspecified allegations raised by a female employee of Red Bull Racing.

An independent lawyer has been tasked with gathering and assessing evidence and the probe remains ongoing, while Horner has so far denied the claims of “inappropriate conduct” levied upon him.

Last Sunday, ahead of the start this week of pre-season testing in Bahrain, Formula 1 called for a swift resolution of Red Bull’s investigation.

“We hope that the matter will be clarified at the earliest opportunity, after a fair and thorough process and we will not comment further at this time,” Formula 1 stated.

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Despite pressure mounting before the season opener in Bahrain, Marko emphasized the importance of Red Bull’s comprehensive and detailed process.

"As you know, this is an internal investigation,” Marko told Red Bull-owned broadcaster ServusTV on Monday evening.

"The sooner a result is available, the better because of course, rumours and other stories are bound to sprout due to the long duration.

"I think Red Bull has reacted very well in this matter. There is nothing we can do about the long duration of this investigation. They are trying to conduct a fair investigation and then react accordingly.”


Adding fuel to the fire, Red Bull's future F1 engine partner, Ford, is also expressing a close interest in the situation. In a statement to the Associated Press last week, Mark Rushbrook, global head of Ford Performance Motorsport, emphasized their expectation that Red Bull will uphold specific standards.

“As a family company, and a company that holds itself to very high standards of behaviour and integrity, we do expect the same from our partners,” Rushbrook said.

“It appears to us, and what we’ve been told, was that Red Bull is taking the situation very seriously. And of course, they’re worried about their brand, as well.

“And that’s why they’ve got an independent investigation and until we see what truth comes out of that, it’s too early for us to comment on it all.”

At the presentation last week in Milton Keynes of Red Bull’s RB20, Horner admitted the investigation has been a “distraction”, but the Briton insisted that it has not impacted the F1 team’s preparations.

"Inevitably there has been a distraction, but the team are very together,” he said.

"Everybody's focused on the season ahead. So it's been very much business as normal. The support has been fantastic.”

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