Toto Wolff criticises Red Bull statement on Christian Horner investigation

Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff has hit out at Red Bull's "basic" statement about the investigation into Christian Horner.

Christian Horner (GBR) Red Bull Racing Team Principal. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 1, Bahrain Grand Prix, Sakhir,
Christian Horner (GBR) Red Bull Racing Team Principal. Formula 1 World…

Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff has urged greater transparency over the investigation into Red Bull team principal Christian Horner.

On Wednesday, Red Bull chief Horner was cleared following an investigation into alleged inappropriate and controlling behaviour towards a female colleague, which he denied.

Wolff, who has been one of been one of the loudest senior voices on the matter since the investigation into Horner began, described Red Bull’s statement as “basic” and “vague”.

"Well I just read the statement, which was pretty basic, I would say,” Wolff said on Thursday. 

"My personal opinion is we can’t really look behind the curtain. At the end of the day, there is a lady in an organisation that has spoken to HR and said there was an issue, and it was investigated and yesterday, the sport has received the message that it’s all fine, we’ve looked at it.

“I believe with the aspiration as a global sport, on such critical topics, it needs more transparency, and I wonder what the sport’s position is. We’re competitors, we’re a team and we can have our own personal opinions or not.

“But it’s more like a general reaction or action that we as a sport need to assess, what is right in that situation and what is wrong.”

Asked if pressure should be put on Red Bull’s parent company GmbH to reveal further details, Wolff replied: “Are we talking with the right moral approach, with the values based on the speculations that are out there?

“I simply think as a sport, we cannot afford to leave things in the vague and in the opaque on critical topics like this, because this is going to catch us out, eventually.

“We’re in a super transparent world, eventually things are going to happen, and I think we have the duty, the organisation has the duty to say well we’ve looked at it, and it’s OK, and then we can move on.

"It’s sometimes very short-sighted to try to suppress it. Not saying this has happened. We’re standing from the outside and looking at it. But just as a looking at statements or press releases or the timelines, it just seems that it’s a bit not as modern as things go in this world, in the real world out there.

“But maybe in Formula 1, we’re just our little bubble and we think that’s OK.”

Toto Wolff (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director. Formula 1 Testing, Sakhir, Bahrain, Day One.-
Toto Wolff (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director…

McLaren boss Zak Brown echoed Wolff’s call for transparency.

“I think the sanctioning body has a responsibility and authority to our sport, to our fans,” Brown said.

“I think all of us in Formula 1 are ambassadors for the sport on and off the track, like you see in other sports. So I think they need to make sure that things have been fully transparent with them. I don’t know what those conversations are.

“It needs to be thorough, fully transparent, and that they come to the same conclusion that has ben given by Red Bull, and that they agree with the outcome.

“But I think until then, there’ll continue to be speculation, because there are a lot of unanswered questions about the whole process. So I think that’s what’s needed by those who run the sport to be really able to draw a line under it.

“Until then, I think there’ll continue to be some level of speculation by people and I don’t think that’s healthy for the sport.”

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