Published On: Fri, Mar 8th, 2024

Christian Horner fires accusation at F1 rivals after accuser suspended | F1 | Sport

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has accused his Formula One rivals of taking “advantage” of his ongoing saga to their “benefit”. Horner is in Jeddah for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix after being cleared of any wrongdoing following allegations of inappropriate behaviour.

The 50-year-old executive has been defiant in his stance that he is the right person to take the team forward, despite Max Verstappen’s father Jos calling for Horner to be sacked in an astonishing attack.

Horner continues his duties while his unnamed accusor has been suspended with pay by Red Bull. He has bullishly called out those in the F1 paddock for using the furore for their own gain in a tense press conference.

“The only reason that this has gained so much attention, obviously, is because of the leakage, and the tension that has been drawn in the media,” Horner said. “Which has been very, very trying, in many respects. Particularly for my family, because it’s all been focused very much in one direction.”

The “leakage” that Horner is referring to is a Google Drive folder containing unverified WhatsApp messages and photos between Horner and the accuser. The file was sent to F1 journalists, team principals and key figures in the sport shortly after the team reached its verdict and cleared Horner.

Horner continued his attack on those in F1 who “looked to take advantage” of their situation which resulted in rising tensions among Red Bull.

“What has happened, then after, is that others have looked to take advantage of it,” Horner added. “Unfortunately Formula 1 is a competitive business. There’s been obviously elements looking to benefit from it. That’s perhaps the not-so-pretty side of our industry.”

Questions have been raised over the futures of key Red Bull figures including Horner, Verstappen, senior advisor Helmut Marko and chief technology officer Adrian Newey. Though Horner has pledged his future to the team and on Thursday said that he was “certain” that Verstappen would not seek a move to one of their rivals.

Horner is at the Sauri Arabian GP while his wife Geri Halliwell and Verstappen’s father Jos are elsewhere due to scheduling conflicts. He will hope that focus can swiftly return to on-track action rather than concerning behind-the-scenes drama.

Defending champions Red Bull kicked off their season in style in Bahrain as Verstappen and Sergio Perez claimed a one-two finish in Bahrain but attention was instead focused on Horner.

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