Christian Horner is under scrutiny for alleged controlling behaviour amid a tumultuous power struggle within the Red Bull organisation, as per reports.
The 50-year-old F1 team principal is facing an internal investigation from his Milton Keynes-based team following a complaint about his purportedly “inappropriate” conduct, which he refutes.
A specialised barrister is scheduled to commence questioning Horner on Friday, February 8.
The Sun alleges that the matter revolves around concerns raised by a female colleague regarding his stringent work regime, with no allegations of sexual impropriety involved.
A source disclosed, “Christian expressed reservations about her behaviour and clearly stated his discontent.
“Subsequently, she lodged a complaint regarding his ‘controlling’ demeanour, precipitating this crisis for the team.”
Another insider suggested this may be a deliberate ploy to undermine Horner’s authority within the organisation.
Reports of a power struggle between the UK-based team he oversees and the parent company in Salzburg, Austria, have been circulating for some time.
The passing of Red Bull founder Dietrich Mateschitz in October 2022 exacerbated this perceived divide. A new board of directors was installed following his demise.
Control of the F1 division was entrusted to former RB Leipzig chairman Oliver Mintzlaff, who is reportedly keen on removing Horner from his position. Motorsport advisor Helmut Marko is also rumoured to have a strained rapport with the British principal.
Nevertheless, Red Bull’s Thai backers, led by Chalerm Yoovidhya, son of co-founder Chaleo, are purportedly supportive of Horner’s endeavours.
With the commencement of the 2024 season less than a month away, the situation continues to evolve.
Horner remains active in his role, without suspension, as preparations proceed for pre-season testing in Bahrain in a fortnight.
He has held his position since 2005, contributing to Red Bull’s attainment of six constructors’ championships and seven drivers’ titles. Red Bull has been approached for comment.