Christian Horner
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said an investigation into his conduct was a "distraction" ahead of the 2024 season AFP / Giuseppe CACACE

Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner has been exonerated from allegations of "inappropriate behaviour" coming from an employee. The results of the internal investigation were confirmed on Thursday, and it is understood that Horner will retain his position as Red Bull's boss as they launch their double World Championship title defence this weekend.

Horner's wife, former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell, has reportedly lived through a nightmare throughout the past three weeks since the allegations first came to light. She has stood by her husband through the ordeal, which hung in the air during Red Bull's 2024 car launch and the testing sessions in Bahrain last week. She is understood to be "relieved and elated" now that he has been cleared of the allegations of what the team vaguely referred to as "inappropriate behaviour".

However, several media outlets have been publishing unconfirmed reports stating that the complaint was about inappropriate messages of a sexual nature sent to a female employee.

Red Bull announced that an internal investigation was to be conducted by an independent barrister after confirming that there was a complaint made against Horner. He was questioned by the independent lawyer for several hours on February 9, and that ended in the decision to throw out the employee's complaints. The team has kept the details of the complaint and the decision under wraps, except for the fact that Horner will now stay on as team principal.

It has to be pointed out that Horner has vehemently denied the allegations from the start, while at the same time refusing to go into detail about the nature of the complaint. The news first broke three weeks ago, and there were a lot of speculations over Horner's job as team principal of the reigning world champions.

Amid the investigation, Horner carried on with his duties and saw Drivers' World Champion Max Verstappen dominate the time sheets at the Bahrain International Circuit last week. He has now flown back to the same venue where the opening round of the 2024 F1 season will be staged this weekend.

Almost as soon as Horner landed back in Bahrain, the team issued a statement which read: "The independent investigation into the allegations made against Mr. Horner is complete, and Red Bull can confirm that the grievance has been dismissed."

Despite this, the entire matter is not completely closed as the complainant still has the option to pursue the case. The statement added: "The complainant has a right of appeal. Red Bull is confident that the investigation has been fair, rigorous and impartial."

The entire F1 community and several stakeholders in the sport as well as Red Bull itself had been hoping for more clarity about the allegations, but it seems as though the team is determined to keep details under wraps.

"The investigation report is confidential and contains the private information of the parties and third parties who assisted in the investigation, and therefore we will not be commenting further out of respect for all concerned. Red Bull will continue striving to meet the highest workplace standards."

The complainant is believed to still be working with the Red Bull Racing team at their Milton Keynes headquarters. The employee's identity has not been made public.

For now, the team will turn its attention back to racing, but Horner's detractors will surely keep bringing up the matter particularly because of the mystery that surrounds the nature of the complaint. The issue has given birth to a number of memes across social media as well, with fans and haters all weighing in on the situation.

Nevertheless, Horner will be relieved to officially be cleared so that he can focus on the task at hand this weekend.