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Geri Halliwell’s husband Christian Horner is CLEARED of Red Bull misconduct, after he was accused of ‘coercive behaviour towards a female employee’… but she can still appeal

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Christian Horner has won the fight of his life after being cleared of ‘coercive behaviour’ following an investigation into the Red Bull team principal.

The 50-year-old husband of ex-Spice Girl Geri Halliwell had faced allegations over his conduct towards a female employee. It remains to be seen whether he will stay in his £8million-a-year job.

In a statement, the team’s parent company, Red Bull GmbH in Salzburg, 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.’

Christian Horner has been cleared following a Red Bull investigation (pictured with wife Geri Halliwell)

Horner was the subject of an investigation after he was accused by a female colleague of 'inappropriate behaviour'

Horner was the subject of an investigation after he was accused by a female colleague of ‘inappropriate behaviour’

Former Spice Girl Geri (left) had been devastated by the jolt to their lives caused by the claims

Former Spice Girl Geri (left) had been devastated by the jolt to their lives caused by the claims

The allegations were made by a close colleague, with Red Bull GmbH in Salzburg, confirming an internal investigation on February 5.

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They appointed a London KC to lead the inquiry. He heard 60 hours of evidence, including at least eight hours from Horner in a single day, before producing the crucial 150-page report that went before the wider company’s board on Wednesday.

Horner was awaiting their adjudication as he took his private jet on the 3,000-mile trip from the UK to Bahrain for the opening race of the season this Saturday.

He was said to be in good spirits as the day developed, hoping his name would be cleared on landing in the Gulf kingdom this afternoon. He did not turn up at the paddock.

Former popstar Geri, mother of their seven-year-old son Monty, has stood resolutely by him throughout the ordeal. She is said to be ‘devastated’ by the jolt to their lives, which they split between their farmhouse (and stables) in Oxfordshire and a home in North London.

Horner has won 13 world championships since heading the team as a 31-year-old in 2005. He was then the youngest team principal on the grid, yet is now its longest-serving.

He attended pre-season testing in Bahrain last week before returning home, his position seemingly growing stronger as the days progressed.

But he appeared to be up against forces ranged against him within the organisation, notwithstanding the veracity of the accusations.

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Ford, who are entering an engine partnership with Red Bull from 2026, led calls for a swift conclusion to the saga. In a letter written last Friday, chief executive Jim Farley expressed his displeasure at the ‘unresolved allegations of inappropriate behaviour by Red Bull Racing leadership’.

Those calls for clarity at the earliest moment were echoed by F1’s American owners, Liberty Media.

Horner’s position was also undermined, it seemed, by the death of the energy drinks mogul who gave him his big break 19 years ago at the helm of the new Red Bull team. Dietrich Mateschitz died in 2022 of cancer, a tragedy that inevitably shook up the management structure, leaving executives jostling for position. One key mover is believed to have been Oliver Mintzlaff, the managing director and former CEO of RB Leipzig, who, it is said, resented Horner’s powerbase.

Horner was present for F1 testing in Bahrain last week ahead of the start of the new season

Horner was present for F1 testing in Bahrain last week ahead of the start of the new season

The 50-year-old also attended the Red Bull car launch in Milton Keynes despite the allegations

The 50-year-old also attended the Red Bull car launch in Milton Keynes despite the allegations

The announcement on Horner comes ahead of the new F1 season getting underway in Bahrain this week

The announcement on Horner comes ahead of the new F1 season getting underway in Bahrain this week

Him being cleared will come as a relief to Horner's wife Geri, who stood by her husband during the investigation

Him being cleared will come as a relief to Horner’s wife Geri, who stood by her husband during the investigation

HORNER PROBE TIMELINE 

February 5 – Red Bull Racing’s parent company GmbH confirms Horner is under investigation following an accusation of ‘inappropriate behaviour’. The company says it ‘takes these matters extremely seriously and the investigation will be completed as soon as practically possible’.

February 9 – Horner is questioned by a lawyer for eight hours at a secret London location. There is no immediate resolution.

February 15 – Horner appears at Red Bull’s car launch – his first appearance in public since news of the allegations emerged. He vows to be in his role as Red Bull team principal for the first race of the season, and says: ‘For me, it is business as normal.’

February 18 – F1 makes its first public comment on the matter, calling for Horner’s future to be ‘clarified at the earliest opportunity’.

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February 20 – Despite the ongoing investigation, Horner flies to Bahrain for three days of testing ahead of the new season.

February 21 – Horner takes his position on the Red Bull pit wall for the opening day of the test. Rival Mercedes boss Toto Wolff demands transparency from Red Bull’s investigation, and says the controversy is ‘an issue for all of Formula One’.

February 22 – Horner appears in a press conference alongside four other F1 team principals. He refuses to comment on the investigation, but says ‘everybody would like a conclusion as soon as possible’.

February 23 – Red Bull’s triple world champion Max Verstappen says ‘it will be nice for everyone’ when the investigation into Horner is concluded. Horner heads back to England following the conclusion of the test.

February 28 – Red Bull GmbH announces the ‘independent investigation into the allegations made against Mr Horner is complete and Red Bull can confirm that the grievance has been dismissed’, clearing Horner to remain in his position.

Source: PA 

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Horner, however, retained the support of Red Bull’s Thai faction, headed by Chalerm Yoovidhya, son of the firm’s co-founder Chaleo. Chalerm, as an heir to the company fortune with a 51 per cent stake in it, is estimated to be worth £30billion. He turned up intermittently at races and could be seen in long and friendly chats with the Englishman, including when Verstappen clinched the third of his consecutive world titles in Qatar last October.

Another significant voice was that of Dr Helmut Marko, Red Bull’s 80-year-old motorsport adviser – an Austrian believed to be more in line with Mintzlaff than Horner.

‘Marko was given a contract renewal last year, but he saw his money halved,’ said one well-placed F1 figure. ‘There is the notion that he wanted his revenge on Horner, and wanted him out.’

Source: Daily Mail

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