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Christian Horner has been cleared of the charges brought against him. He therefore remains at the helmet of the Red Bull team. Whether this is just a delay or a final decision remains to be seen.

.Wednesday morning, when the circuit opened, the Red Bull terrace was packed. Would the historic Austrian team boss, suspected of “inappropriate behavior” towards one of his assistants, be leading his troops at the season opener this morning? Max Verstappen inevitably questioned even though he knew nothing about it.

The Dutchman remained relaxed in the press conference. Then, suddenly, he stiffened. “What’s your position on this?” a journalist asked him. “I don’t want to get involved,” replied the three-time world champion. “It’s not my business and I don’t want to get involved. We have to trust the ongoing process and be patient.”

In trying to say as little as possible, Verstappen did slip up a little. Frankly, he didn’t give the impression of rallying behind his boss. Yes, Horner is “an important figure, he’s been in his job for so long”. But no, it wouldn’t be an earthquake to drive without him: “If a team loses its leader for a race or two, for whatever reason, not much is going to happen because everyone knows their role.”

Lewis Hamilton followed suit. The seven-time world champion has a long-standing commitment to diversity and tolerance, which he seeks to bring to Formula One, and the Briton was no exception: “I think we always have to do more to try and make the sport and the environment in which people work safe and inclusive. Any allegations have to be taken very seriously. Obviously, we don’t know everything that happened. But it will be very interesting to see how the case is handled. It’s a very important moment for the sport, to make sure we stay true to our values.”

Just before 7 p.m. local time, the parent company’s press release came out: “The accusations against Mr. Horner have been dismissed. Red Bull believes that the investigation has been fair, rigorous and impartial. “A hundred-page report, dozens of hours of testimony in order to produce a clear copy.

The battle Horner has been waging for almost a month has just been won, the war is certainly not over. There are two opposing camps. And, it’s not certain that they can be reconciled. The Thai owner, Chalerm Yoovidhya, maintains his support for the boss, but the Austrian camp has clearly given in. The press release, very legal, very clinical, with no sign of support, leaves the door open for the plaintiff to appeal. 


This post is originally from L’Équipe