Red Bull Racing suspended with salaryman who complained against Christian Horner: evidence

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia — A female employee accused of inappropriate behavior toward Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner has been suspended with pay, a person familiar with the matter said. Athletic Thursday.

The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity, did not provide further details about the terms or reason for the suspension, but acknowledged that it was related to the findings of an external investigation that led to the dismissal of a complaint against Horner.

Red Bull Racing's parent company, Red Bull GmbH, acknowledged the woman's right to appeal when her complaint was dismissed last week. It is unclear whether an appeal has been filed or how it will be processed.

A spokesman for Red Bull Racing said the team does not comment on personnel matters. Asked about the suspension, which was announced at a news conference Thursday, Horner declined to comment. “Even if I wanted to talk about it, I couldn't because of those confidentiality restrictions,” he said of the investigation.

The FIA, the sport's regulator, said it was not appropriate to comment on the team's action against one of its employees. It referred questions to F1, which declined to comment.

Since the complaint was dismissed, Horner has faced fresh scrutiny after messages allegedly sent between him and the complainant ahead of the new F1 season in Bahrain were leaked anonymously.

Horner declined to comment on what he called “speculative reports from an anonymous, unknown source.” AthleticReceived an email with leaked contents and could not authenticate them.

After Saturday's Bahrain Grand Prix, where Max Verstappen won the race ahead of team-mate Sergio Perez, the Red Bull team principal said he was “absolutely” confident of continuing in his role.

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“A full, lengthy internal process was completed by an independent (investigator),” Horner said. “And the complaint raised is rejected. In the end. Continue.”

Horner's status was further questioned last weekend by Verstappen's father Jose, who said there was a risk of Red Bull being “divided” if he continued in the role.

Horner held talks with Max Verstappen's manager Raymond Vermeulen in Dubai before traveling to Jeddah for this weekend's Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Speaking for the first time since his father's comments on Wednesday, Verstappen said he wanted to stay with Red Bull until his contract expires in 2028 and insisted his focus was on the team's performance on the race track.

“From my side, what I want is to have a calm environment where everyone works happily, no matter who is involved in the team or not,” Verstappen said. He added that he never saw a time when Jose was not part of his entourage at the races.

(Photo: Andrej Isakovic / AFP via Getty Images)

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