Red Bull Formula One team boss Christian Horner faces a hearing on Friday (Saturday AEDT) following an accusation of “inappropriate behaviour”, British media reports.
Red Bull, the Austrian energy drinks company that owns the team, confirmed earlier this week that an independent investigation into Horner had been launched.
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Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf reported the allegation was made by another member of staff for the British-based team, which last year carried Max Verstappen to his third consecutive world title.
Horner, 50, who has been Red Bull team principal since 2005, strongly rejects the accusation.
In a statement released on Monday, Red Bull said: “After being made aware of certain recent allegations, the company launched an independent investigation.
“This process, which is already under way, is being carried out by an external specialist barrister.
“The company takes these matters extremely seriously and the investigation will be completed as soon as practically possible.
“It would not be appropriate to comment further at this time.” Asked about the accusations, Horner told De Telegraaf: “I completely deny these claims.”
Horner, who married pop singer Geri Halliwell of the Spice Girls in 2015, has overseen seven drivers’ world championships and six constructors’ titles in his time with the team.
Horner – who has an estimated salary of US$15 million ($23 million) at Red Bull – has been preparing for the 2024 season as the team looks to defend its championship titles.
The first race is in Bahrain on March 2, however Horner has reportedly been advised to step down from his position amid the investigation into him.
He described the allegations as “nuts” in a message to Mail Online.
His defenders reportedly claimed the accusations are part of a plot to oust him within the team in an internal power struggle.
Horner has led Milton Keynes-based Red Bull since their arrival on the grid in 2005.
The team won 21 of the 22 races staged last year, with Verstappen setting a record of 10 consecutive victories as he cruised to his third straight title.
Red Bull are due to launch their latest car on February 15 ahead of the new season.
– with The Sun