Christian Horner
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner is due to attend an internal hearing on Friday. ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP

Just a few months after the Oracle Red Bull Racing F1 Team clinched both the Drivers' and Constructors' World Championship titles for the 2023 season, their future is suddenly in jeopardy. Team Principal Christian Horner is currently facing an internal hearing on Friday, which aims to address a complaint of inappropriate behaviour. If this somehow leads to his departure, then it could lead to a domino effect within the organisation.

On Monday, the Red Bull headquarters in Austria released a statement confirming that the 50-year-old is under investigation for alleged "inappropriate behaviour", the exact nature of which remains unclear. The team only stated that the are taking the allegations extremely seriously and an internal hearing is set for Friday. An independent lawyer is expected to be there to facilitate the hearing, which will be taking place in the UK.

Horner immediately denied the allegations when the news first broke, but there are still speculations that he may be forced to leave the team whether through sacking or his own resignation. Of course, none of this is certain until the conclusion of the investigation, but the case appears serious and the possibility of his exit can't be ruled out.

It has to be said that following the team's success under Horner, Red Bull will not be inclined to let him go unless the offence is severe and he is proven guilty without doubt. With the start of the 2024 season just weeks away, Red Bull will want to resolve the matter quickly so that they can focus on their title defence.

Former head of RB Leipzig football team and Red Bull's chief executive officer of corporate projects Oliver Mintzlaff is being seen as a possible replacement, but a bigger question looms over another critical position within the team.

Will Adrian Newey stay at Red Bull?

Apart from Horner and of course their two drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez, their chief technical officer Adrian Newey is perhaps the biggest factor in Red Bull's success.

Last year, Red Bull's dominance was indisputable, with their cars winning 21 out of the 22 races throughout the entire campaign. Only Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz was able to snatch a winner's trophy away from the Red Bulls.

Newey is widely considered to be the greatest design engineer in F1 history, even though he keeps a much lower profile than Horner and other team principals. Newey is an aerodynamics genius, and his presence in the Red Bull garage is a reassuring factor which means they will likely be a cut above the rest once more in 2024.

However, if Horner ends up leaving the team, there are speculations that the 65-year-old may look at opportunities that may be offered by other teams. Horner was the man who poached Newey from McLaren nearly two decades ago, after the idea was peddled to him by former driver David Coulthard.

If Horner leaves the team, there is no doubt that everyone will be left vulnerable. All the other teams will be salivating at the chance to hire Newey, and with seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton having just confirmed his move to Scuderia Ferrari in 2025, Newey may consider following him in Italy.

Newey has been linked with Ferrari in the past, and as former Red Bull champion driver Sebastian Vettel wisely put it, everyone is a Ferrari fan whether they realise it or not.

Hamilton admitted as much when he announced his exit from Mercedes, stating that it is a childhood dream to race in Ferrari red. Newey may get caught up in the same wave, especially since the team will have a formidable lineup of drivers in 2025 with Hamilton and Charles Leclerc.

Of course, Max Verstappen is still with Red Bull, but Hamilton's vacated seat at Mercedes will likely cause a major shake-up in team rosters for 2025. Newey may see a big opportunity to create more history if he joins Ferrari, but so far there is no real indication that he may consider leaving.

Things will slowly become clearer once the hearing is concluded on Friday, although it remains unclear how long the team will need to make a decision on Horner's fate.