Christian Horner has ‘lost support’, Jonathan Wheatley ‘could take over’

Christian Horner has reportedly "lost support" within Red Bull amid an investigation into alleged inappropriate behaviour.

Jonathan Wheatley and Christian Horner
Jonathan Wheatley and Christian Horner

Red Bull F1 team principal Christian Horner has “lost support” amid an ongoing investigation into a complaint of inappropriate behaviour, insiders have revealed.

Horner, who led Red Bull to a record-breaking 2023 season in which the team won 21 of 22 races as Max Verstappen claimed his third consecutive world championship, has denied any wrongdoing.

But Motorsport-Magazin reports that Horner has “lost support” within the organisation and could be replaced by Red Bull team manager Jonathan Wheatley on an interim basis if Horner were to step down.

“Whether the Thai side, which is traditionally close to Horner and holds 51 percent of Red Bull, can save the Briton will probably depend on the results of the independent investigation,” the report states.

“The internal power struggle that Horner had instigated against Dr. Helmut Marko is said to have nothing to do with the affair. Head of Motorsport Dr. Marko is said to have no ambitions to take over the post in Milton Keynes.”

Respected F1 journalist Joe Saward reports that any departure for Horner could impact the future of Red Bull design guru Adrian Newey.

“It has long been believed that Christian Horner and Adrian Newey have contracts that protect one another. If one leaves the other can as well,” he said.

While Red Bull have not disclosed the nature of the complaint, BBC Sport understands the claims relate to an allegation of inappropriate behaviour of “a controlling nature”.

Horner told Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf: “I completely deny these claims.”

Red Bull will launch their 2024 F1 challenger on February 15 before the new season begins on March 2 in Bahrain. 

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