Christian Horner
Christian Horner was present at Red Bull's new vehicle launch despite recent allegations made against him. Edgard Garrido/Reuters

Formula 1 authorities have spoken up about the controversy surrounding reigning double world champions Red Bull Racing and their team principal, Christian Horner. With just weeks to go before the start of the 2024 season, F1 is urging the team to conclude their investigation on allegations of "inappropriate behaviour" that have been lodged against their team boss.

Earlier this month, the team confirmed that it has been made aware of complaints coming from within the organisation, wherein an employee is accusing Horner of "inappropriate and controlling" behaviour. Multiple news outlets have reported that the complaint came from a female colleague, but the team has so far refused to divulge specific details about the allegations.

It is only known that the Red Bull headquarters in Austria is on top of the situation, and a hearing took place on Friday, February 9. An independent lawyer questioned Horner about the allegations for several hours, but the team has not yet announced any resolution to the case. It has to be noted that Horner has vehemently denied the allegations from the moment they came to light.

Meanwhile, he has been going about his duties as Red Bull team principal as per usual, while he and the rest of the racing community await the team's final decision. F1 is not happy by the air of uncertainty that the situation is causing, and in a statement said: "We hope that the matter will be clarified at the earliest opportunity after a fair and thorough process. We have noted Red Bull has instigated an independent investigation into internal allegations at Red Bull Racing. We will not comment further at this time."

The sport has so far refrained from intervening directly, and the investigation remains and internal matter for now. In a statement shared two weeks ago, Red Bull said that they are taking the allegations "very seriously", but the exact nature of the complaint remains a mystery.

It is unclear if F1 or governing body FIA are even aware of the details. However, everyone has allowed Red Bull to conduct an "independent investigation" for now, which the team promised to settle "as soon as practically possible".

It was widely expected that a conclusion would be reached before the team launched it's new car last Thursday, but that did not happen. Meanwhile, Horner was present at the launch and was seen going about his duties as team principal.

Speaking to the media during the launch, he said: "I obviously deny the allegations that have been made but I'm going through a process and fully respect that process."

The company's headquarters in Austria is on top of the situation, making it clear that the issue is big enough to require the intervention of the company beyond the racing team itself. According to the BBC, a final decision based on the independent lawyer's report will reportedly be made by the company's board.

American company Ford, which is expected to become Red Bull's engine partner from 2026, has also raised concerns about the case. Mark Rushbrook, global head of Ford Performance Motorsport, said: "As a family company, and a company that holds itself to very high standards of behaviour and integrity, we do expect the same from our partners."

He added that Red Bull is clearly taking the situation seriously, and with the investigation still ongoing, he refuses to comment any further.

The FIA has also refused to comment, and with the season gearing to kick off next month, a question mark will surely be hanging over the Red Bull garage if no resolution is announced until then. Some speculations suggest that the allegations are serious enough put Horner in danger of getting sacked.

However, with him having been in charge of Red Bull racing since 2005, the team will likely try to avoid having to replace him. It will be unfortunate timing as well, after they won both the Drivers' and Constructors' World Championship titles last season.

If Horner stays, then Red Bull might face a backlash unless they give out more details about the nature of the complaint. In any case, the team will do everything to avoid a PR nightmare. Other than that, they will also be working hard to keep the garage at peace amid the issue.

Red Bull is scheduled to run their pre-season testing sessions in Bahrain from February 21-23 and Horner has declared that he fully intends to be there.