Christian Horner’s Red Bull still facing the sack as FIA intervenes

Red Bull GmbH, the team's parent company, initiated the inquiry following allegations of inappropriate conduct by a female employee.

Christian Horner’s status at Red Bull remains a focal point during the 2024 Bahrain Grand Prix, despite his exoneration by an investigation into alleged misconduct.

Red Bull GmbH, the team’s parent company, initiated the inquiry following allegations of inappropriate conduct by a female employee.

The investigation concluded without further action just before the Bahrain GP’s free practice sessions commenced.

However, the saga continued as purported evidence from the investigation found its way to the media and subsequently to the public, following criticisms from rival team principals Zak Brown and Toto Wolff regarding Red Bull’s perceived lack of transparency.

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While Red Bull’s statement absolving Horner lacked specificity regarding the allegations, the leaked evidence, which includes images and WhatsApp messages, remains unverified.

The FIA is reportedly keeping a close watch on developments and has indicated that it will await the investigation’s conclusion before taking further action.

They reaffirmed their commitment to upholding integrity, fairness, and inclusivity within the sport.

Despite Horner’s clearance and the absence of a formal FIA investigation, questions linger about potential repercussions.

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Article 12.2.1.f of the FIA International Sporting Code prohibits actions that cause moral injury or loss to the FIA or its affiliates.

Additionally, a recent amendment to Article 12.2.1.k broadens the scope of misconduct punishable under the code, potentially impacting Horner.

Horner has previously faced disciplinary action under Article 12.2.1.k, receiving an official warning during the 2021 Qatar GP.

The rule change for 2024 increases the maximum fine to €1 million and introduces provisions for suspension or exclusion for severe offenses.

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However, such penalties are typically administered by National Sporting Authorities (ASN), complicating potential disciplinary measures against Horner by the FIA.

While the International Sporting Code primarily addresses on-track incidents and is more commonly applied to drivers, its provisions extend to team personnel.

Suspension or exclusion, reserved for grave or exceptionally grave offenses, may be enacted by the ASN, further muddling the potential outcome for Horner.