FIA and F1 chiefs to meet in Bahrain to discuss Horner case

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FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem and Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali are set to meet in Bahrain to discuss how to navigate the ongoing controversy surrounding Red Bull team principal Christian Horner.

Earlier this year, a female Red Bull Racing employee brought to the attention of parent company Red Bull GmbH allegations of inappropriate behaviour against team principal Christian Horner.

An independent barrister subsequently conducted an eight-week investigation, ultimately dismissing the claims. However, just a day later, the situation took a dramatic turn.

A dossier of messages and pictures – allegedly leaked evidence from the investigation - were sent from two anonymous email addresses to over one hundred members of the F1 paddock and the media, including team bosses and the sport’s chiefs.

This raised serious questions about the legitimacy of the information and fueled the controversy further, with the maneuver seen as an attempt to assassinate Horner’s character.

Due to the confidential nature of the complaints, Red Bull, Horner, and the independent barrister have remained silent on the specifics of the investigation and leaked materials.

While the situation initially remained an internal matter for Red Bull, the intense media scrutiny and negative publicity surrounding the controversy have sparked questions about potential intervention from the FIA and FOM (Formula One Management).

Although FOM lacks direct control over individual teams, it has a vested interest in protecting the sport's image.

The Horner saga, if left unchecked, could overshadow the actual competition and tarnish F1's reputation.

Similarly, the FIA, as the governing body for motor racing, also has a stake in ensuring that F1 maintains a good reputation and avoids disrepute.

The upcoming meeting between Sulayem and Domenicali at the Bahrain Grand Prix may lead to various potential outcomes. They might issue a joint statement expressing their stance on the situation and commitment to upholding F1's integrity.

Alternatively, they could commission an independent review into how the allegations and subsequent leaks were handled, aiming for transparency and objectivity.

It's also possible that the meeting concludes with no immediate action, with both parties choosing to monitor the situation and assess the need for further steps based on future developments.

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