Motor Sports

Reports: Embattled Christian Horner meets with Verstappen manager

LONDON: Christian Horner met with the manager of his racing cohort Max Verstappen on Monday in the wake of public criticism and a recently put-to-bed wrongdoing investigation, according to multiple media reports.

The principal and CEO of Red Bull Racing, Horner saw allegations of inappropriate behavior dismissed last week, but has since weathered negative public comments from Verstappen's father, Jos, in recent days.

The two also were seen engaged in a public argument at the Bahrain Grand Prix, where the younger Verstappen took first place.

Jos Verstappen, a former Formula One driver himself, said in part, "the team is in danger of being torn apart," also telling The Daily Mail that "there is tension while (Horner) remains in position."

Red Bull responded yesterday in a statement to CNN, saying, "This is untrue. We are united as a team and we are concentrating on racing."

Max Verstappen, 26, is a three-time F1 world champion and has won 55 Grand Prix races. He is managed by Raymond Vermeulen, who took the meeting with Horner.

Austria-based Red Bull GmbH, which owns the Formula One team, launched an independent investigation in February after a female colleague complained about Horner, 50.

Red Bull, in a statement issued Wednesday, said: "The independent investigation into the allegations made against Mr. Horner is complete, and Red Bull can confirm that the grievance has been dismissed. The complainant has a right of appeal.

"Red Bull is confident that the investigation has been fair, rigorous and impartial. The investigation report is confidential and contains the private information of the parties and third parties who assisted in the investigation, and therefore we will not be commenting further out of respect for all concerned.

"Red Bull will continue striving to meet the highest workplace standards."

Horner has been at the helm of the F1 team since 2005.

Red Bull has won six constructors championships and seven drivers championships. Max Verstappen has won the past three drivers titles, and he teamed with Sergio Perez in 2023 to win all but one of the circuit's 22 races. -REUTERS

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