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Ecclestone: Effectively [Red Bull] want to oust Horner

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Former Formula 1 supremo, Bernie Ecclestone, claimed Christian Horner is the victim of political and power games within Red Bull looking to oust him.

Christian Horner is under investigation for alleged “inappropriate behavior” towards a female colleague, and is waiting for the process, which is carries out by an independent investigator, to be concluded to know his fate at the helm of Red Bull Racing.

Horner has led the team since 2005, the year when the late Red Bull founder Dietrich Mateschitz bought the faltering Jaguar F1 operation and turned it into Red Bull Racing.

Under Horner’s watch, Red Bull grew into a formidable F1 force bagging eighth Drivers’ Crowns and seven Constructors’ Titles.

However, since Mateschitz passed away back in 2022, there has been talk of a power struggle between Horner and the top management of the energy drinks company that took over in Austria.

In light of the current accusations against Horner, those speculations have gained momentum, along other rumors of course, and former F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone, a close friend and ally of Horner, claims this is the case.

Speaking to AFP, Ecclestone said: “I feel when Dietrich [Mateschitz] died, it created a vacuum and several people moved into different positions and saw an opportunity to make up all sorts of stories and hurt him so they can engineer his departure and create an opening for themselves.

“Effectively they want to oust him,” the 93-year-old Briton maintained.

Ecclestone: Once you are successful you make a lot of enemies

As mentioned earlier, Horner and Ecclestone are known to be close, the latter hoping the Red Bull boss, who is the longest serving F1 team principal can survive the investigation.

“He has been responsible for a huge run of success and done an incredible amount of good, not just for the team but for the sport,” Ecclestone added. “My advice to Christian, apart from keeping his head down, is to do nothing, wait and see what happens.”

Ecclestone, who was removed from his position as CEO of F1 back in 2017 when Liberty Media bought the sport, revealed he still keep is touch with Horner.

“I keep in close contact with him,” he said. “The trouble is once you are successful you make a lot of enemies and this is a case in point.

“I hope Christian keeps his head down and that someone talks individually to him and the woman and it is sorted out,” Ecclestone concluded.

Horner became the youngest ever F1 team principal when he took over the reins at Red Bull at the age of 31 back in 2005. He, along with his team, are now gearing up for the 2024 F1 season with pre-season testing set to start on Wednesday, February 21, in Bahrain. The first race is on March 2 in Bahrain as well.