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Christian Horner makes his case against ‘controlling behaviour’ claims

Christian Horner’s future remains in the balance after an extensive crunch meeting with the ­barrister ­conducting the investigation into allegations of inappropriate ­behaviour made against the Red Bull team principal.

Less than a week before the launch of the new 2024 Red Bull car and with the new season set to begin in ­Bahrain on 2 March, Horner attended a ­meeting with the barrister at an undisclosed central London location on Friday. It is understood it lasted for eight hours across the ­morning and afternoon and, as had been expected, no decision was immediately announced.

“It would not be appropriate to comment before the investigation is completed,” said Red Bull in a statement after the meeting. No statement has been issued by Horner, or the parent company that instigated the investigation, Red Bull GmbH.

Horner was making the case that will potentially decide the fate of his career as he defended himself against the allegations from a female employee that he had used what is described as “controlling” behaviour. He has already denied the accusations have any veracity.

It is understood the barrister conducting the inquiry has already gathered evidence, including from the employee involved, and the meeting on Friday was Horner’s opportunity to address it before the inquiry ­considers the case. There is no timeline of when a conclusion is expected to be reached, while further meetings if required have not been ruled out. The team hope a decision will be made before their car launch next Thursday.

The meeting was the climax of a torrid week for Horner, after the claims were revealed on Monday when the parent company made it clear it was addressing the issue.

“After being made aware of ­certain recent allegations, the company launched an independent investigation,” it said in a statement. “This process, which is already under way, is being carried out by an external specialist barrister. The company takes these matters extremely ­seriously and the investigation will be ­completed as soon as practically ­possible. It would not be appropriate to comment further at this time.”

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No information about the female employee involved has been made public nor have any details of the complaint. It is understood the investigation will continue until it is satisfied it has ascertained all the relevant facts. The conclusions will then be reported to Red Bull GmbH which will decide what action is to be taken. Horner will still have recourse to take his own legal action should he deem it necessary to do so.

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