Christian Horner investigation heads to the FIA, per report

The ongoing controversy surrounding Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner has now reached a new stage.

One that involves Formula 1’s governing body.

According to a report from BBC Sport the Red Bull team employee at the heart of the investigation into Horner has lodged an official complaint with the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), F1’s governing body. As reported by BBC Sport, the official complaint comes following two different whistleblower complaints lodged with the FIA regarding Horner:

BBC Sport has learned that one was made to the FIA ethics and compliance hotline on 2 February, and made direct reference to Horner’s behaviour towards a female employee, asked the FIA to look into it, and expressed a fear that Red Bull could try to cover it up.

The second complaint on 6 March referenced the first and warned that the whistleblower would next inform the media.

Soon after the allegations against Horner were raised Red Bull retained external counsel to conduct an investigation. At the conclusion of that investigation the grievance against Horner raised by the team employee was dismissed. Horner was with the team for pre-season testing, as well as the first two races of the season.

Furthermore, following the dismissal of the grievance, the involved team employee appealed the decision to the team. Red Bull has reportedly suspended the female employee as well.

This latest step comes as senior figures around the sport continue to call for greater transparency. Two of Horner’s peers — Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff and McLaren CEO Zak Brown — have called for both F1 and the FIA to shine a greater light on the allegations and investigation into Horner.

Said Brown ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix:

“I think the sanctioning body [the FIA] has a responsibility and authority to our sport and the fans. All of us in Formula 1 are ambassadors for the sport, on and off the track, like you see in other sports.

“That’s what needed by those who run the sport, to be able to draw a line under it. And until then there will continue to be some level of speculation by people and I don’t think that’s healthy for the sport.”

For his part, Horner continues to deny any wrongdoing, and has pressed the media that it is time to “move on:”

“The reality is that there was a grievance raised, it was dealt with in the most professional manner by the group, that appointed an independent KC, one of the most reputable in the land.

“He took time to investigate all the facts. He looked at everything and he came to a conclusion where he dismissed the grievance.

“As far as I’m concerned, as far as Red Bull is concerned, we move on.”

As much as Horner may wish to turn the page, this matter might not be going away any time soon.

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