Christian Horner In Dire Straits Facing Scandal

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F1 Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia - Qualifying

The Red Bull team boss, still under fire, is throwing all his remaining strength into the fray. But Thursday night he looked weakened.

For Christian Horner, as for the rest of the paddock, the days are the same. The Brit plays the role of Bill Murray in Groundhog Day and everyone is looking forward to a new revelation about the affair between him and his assistant, whose suspension was announced by the Red Bull team Thursday afternoon and who was the source of a complaint this winter for “inappropriate behavior” made public a month ago. Thirty days seem like years, so much has already been written, contradicted and commented on.

On Thursday, the FIA invited Christian Horner and three other team bosses to the traditional press conference. Forty minutes were lost to James Vowles (Williams), Mike Krach (Aston Martin) and Bruno Famin (Alpine), who had to listen in silence to their colleague’s plea against the attacks. The boss of the Red Bull team, with a pale look as ever, knew that this was where the battle would break out. But first he had to defuse Jos Verstappen’s last salvo on the evening of the Bahrain race, about a possible explosion of the Austrian team if he retained the lead.

We had a chat, obviously,” Horner began about his driver’s father. I congratulated him on his son’s result last Saturday. But to achieve the perfection of Max’s weekend in Bahrain, you need perfect harmony in the team. Everyone is focused on the future. We have championships to keep. This phrase was repeated several times during the conference, like that of a boxer intoxicated by all the blows he has taken in the past three weeks.

Hit but not yet sunk. First, he tried to put his champion driver in the referee’s chair. “Max’s father played a vital role in his son’s career, but Max has become a man,” he said, before defending himself by placing the fight on his family’s turf. It’s a very difficult time,” he declared twice. I’m lucky to have a wonderful family and a wife who supports me. It is not easy for the family, for the parents, for the children, when I am the only one involved in this affair. There was a complaint; it was handled in the most professional way by one of the most reputable law firms in the country. They took the time to investigate the facts and talked to all involved. And his conclusion was to dismiss the complaint. For me, as for Red Bull, it is time to move on, to do something else.

A phrase that again was repeated at least three times before he tried to focus the fight on his traditional rivals. F1 is a very competitive environment,” Horner concluded. And of course there are those who try to take advantage of the situation. That’s the dark side of our sport.

This post is originally from L’Équipe