Horner on his way to Bahrain, but uncertainty still looms

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Red Bull Racing team boss Christian Horner is en route to Bahrain for the season-opening F1 race in Sakhir, but the Briton remains in the dark regarding the outcome of an investigation into allegations of inappropriate behavior.

In early February, Red Bull GmbH, the parent company of Red Bull Racing, hired an independent lawyer to probe accusations levied upon Horner by a female employee of the F1 team.

Amid the ongoing investigation, Horner continued his team principal duties, attending the team's car launch and participating in pre-season testing, exhibiting a "business as usual" approach.

Red Bull is now in possession of its investigator’s 150-page report and formulating its conclusions which are expected to be made public before the start of Thursday’s track action in Bahrain.

According to Sky Sports News reporter Craig Slater, Horner is on his was to Bahrain, but insists this should not be construed as necessarily a positive indication for the Red Bull team principal’s fate.

“What I can reveal is that Christian Horner is on a plane and is flying over to Bahrain now,” commented Slater. “He’s on his way here.

“What I can also tell you and I know this for a fact he doesn’t know the outcome of this investigation into allegations of inappropriate behaviour made by a female member of staff.

“He’s come here without knowing how this has been resolved one way or the other. It’s I suppose a continuation of him saying ‘business as usual’ that he denies the allegations and he wants to continue with his job.

“He should arrive here this evening. Will we get an outcome this evening? I have been reporting consistently that my understanding was we would get something before the start of the season.”

Both Formula 1 and the FIA have chimed in on the high-profile case involving Formula 1’s longest standing team principal, with both parties hoping for a diligent and transparent investigation.

But Red Bull’s future engine partner Ford – in a letter penned by CEO Jim Farley - urged the energy drink company to issue its conclusions as quickly as possible.

“We are likewise frustrated by the lack of full transparency surrounding this matter with us, your corporate partners, and look forward to receiving a complete account of all findings,” wrote Farley.

Should Horner not survive the results of Red Bull’s investigation, Sky F1 commentator Martin Brundle doubts there will be an immediate impact on the F1 team’s performance.

However, he voiced his belief that the controversy could "create some challenges" for the team and the broader company "down the road."

“Christian Horner has been pivotal to Red Bull’s success,” Brundle said. “I know absolutely nothing about the current situation. I am as confused as anybody else in F1 what it is all about.

“We don’t know the details. It’s obviously quite serious. I think the problem Red Bull have is that Dietrich Mateschitz was the final arbiter of any key decision - they followed him.

“He said jump, they said how high. I think you are already seeing some of this chaos, too strong a word, disruption you can call it from that point on in 2022.

“If you take Christian out of that loop then a vacuum is always filled with other things and whether that would have the same effect.

“They’ve got momentum and they’ve got Verstappen. I wouldn’t be worried about their immediate performance but down the road you’d have to say that will create some challenges.”

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