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BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 21: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing talks with Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner in the garage during day one of F1 Testing at Bahrain International Circuit on February 21, 2024 in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202402210848 // Usage for editorial use only //

Red Bull to decide Horner fate in coming days before Bahrain GP

BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 21: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing talks with Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner in the garage during day one of F1 Testing at Bahrain International Circuit on February 21, 2024 in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202402210848 // Usage for editorial use only //

Red Bull F1 team boss Christian Horner, who has denied allegations by a female employee about his conduct, could be out of a job or cleared to continue before Saturday’s Formula 1 season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

Well-placed sources told Reuters they expected an announcement from Red Bull’s Salzburg-based Austrian parent company before the race at Sakhir and possibly within the next 48 hours.

An investigation into the sport’s longest-serving principal, and husband of former Spice Girls singer Geri Halliwell, has been ongoing since January although details only emerged publicly on 5 February. The British-based team have no control over the process.

Neither the energy drink company nor the reigning champions have said what the allegations are, although media reports have spoken of inappropriate and controlling behaviour towards a female colleague.

Formula 1, owned by U.S.-based Liberty Media, has said only that it hopes the matter “will be clarified at the earliest opportunity, after a fair and thorough process.”

The sport, and governing body, are known to want the matter cleared up as soon as possible to avoid it hanging over the racing.

Horner was interviewed by an independent barrister on 9 February and the final report, submitted to Red Bull GmbH in Austria, is believed to be based on some 60 hours of interviews with all parties.

Horner: I deny absolutely any allegation that’s been made against me

marko newey horner

Sky Sports television reported the document amounted to well over 100 pages, but the details are likely to remain confidential.

Horner, 50, attended testing in Bahrain last week but returned to Britain and has been working at the Milton Keynes factory.

He would normally travel to Bahrain on Wednesday, with Thursday the first day of practice and qualifying on Friday. The race is being held on a Saturday to allow Bahrain and Saudi Arabia to host races before the start of Ramadan.

Horner said at the launch of his team’s RB20 car in Milton Keynes this month that he was confident and cooperating with the process and denied “absolutely any allegation that’s been made against me.”

Should he be forced out of Red Bull it would come as a seismic shock for the sport. Under Horner’s watch, the team celebrated the most dominant season in F1 history last year, with Red Bull winning 21 of 22 races. They start the 2024 F1 season favourites, with Dutch driver Max Verstappen chasing a fourth successive title. The team’s other driver is Mexican Sergio Perez.

Red Bull are also building up a powertrain operation at Milton Keynes before entering the new engine era in 2026 in partnership with Ford. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin)