Red Bull team principal Christian Horner faces toxic penalty

Oliver Mintzlaff could take charge of the Red Bull F1 team if Christian Horner goes, according to a new report.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner faces toxic penalty

Red Bull managing director Oliver Mintzlaff could be “redeployed” to oversee the running of the F1 team if Christian Horner is removed from his position, insiders have revealed.

A hearing into a complaint of inappropriate behaviour made against Red Bull team principal Horner is set to take place on Friday. Horner has denied any wrongdoing and remains in his role while the external investigation is ongoing.

Red Bull staff “remain in the dark about what exactly is happening” and “can only speculate if the intention is to remove Horner from his position or to make a power play that leads to a senior figure from Salzburg taking a more active role in the all-conquering F1 team”, according to The Times.

The British publication goes on to report that “insiders believe a reshuffle could involve Oliver Mintzlaff, a former football administrator who is the managing director of Red Bull Austria, being redeployed to oversee the team.”

“Since the death of Dietrich Mateschitz, the Red Bull co-founder, in October 2022, Horner has been more vulnerable,” it adds.

“Mateschitz was his great ally and, while Horner continues to enjoy support from Red Bull’s majority shareholders in Thailand, the relationship with Austria is thought to be more fractured, even if there has been recognition of the fine job he has done, with the team having won 21 of the 22 grands prix last season.”

The Times report that Horner was “caught completely by surprise” by the investigation and had been taking part in a meeting of the F1 Commission in London on the day the news broke.

Horner is set to “face hours of intense questioning” on Friday from the King’s Counsel appointed by Red Bull’s parent company to investigate the widely reported allegations of “controlling behaviour towards a female staff member.”

The hearing was due to take place at Red Bull’s headquarters in Milton Keynes but could now be moved to the independent lawyer’s offices in London.

The female member of staff is understood to have already been questioned and is thought to have included “evidence” as part of her claim.

According to The Times, this will be reviewed over the coming weekend before Red Bull’s owners are advised “of the action that needs to be taken early next week”.

Red Bull are keen to resolve the situation before the launch of their 2024 F1 car on February 15 – next Thursday.

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