F1 News

Woman who accused Red Bull boss Horner is 'angry, scared and intimidated'

Woman who accused Red Bull boss Horner is 'angry, scared and intimidated'

2 April - 15:00


The saga involving Christian Horner and a female Red Bull Racing employee has been quiet for a while now. Yet the matter with the team boss, who was accused of inappropriate behaviour, is certainly not completely settled. The woman in question has appealed to Red Bull GmbH against the decision to clear Horner. A complaint has also been lodged with the FIA's Ethics Commission. And the woman herself? She is still silent.

There is an explanation for this. All parties - including the woman and also Horner - had to sign a confidentiality agreement. It is unknown whether this was done under duress. The woman is only allowed to discuss the matter with her father and brother, the BBC knows through a close friend of the woman in question.

"It's impossible for people to understand what it's like for her," said the friend, who spoke to BBC Sport on condition of anonymity. "She can't talk and she won't talk. But I can tell you what it is doing to her. Every time I have asked her something, she breaks down in tears and says she's got no-one to talk to because she's not allowed to talk. She is very upset, very angry, very scared, very intimidated, very lonely. And I think it's impossible for people to understand without being in her shoes what it's like for her."

Doubts over 'independent' investigation into Horner

A day after the woman's complaint was rejected by an 'independent' lawyer, paid for by Red Bull GmbH, alleged WhatsApp messages, presumably from Horner and the woman, were leaked to the media, and other key paddock members. Red Bull and Horner never said whether the messages were genuine.

The woman's friend wonders aloud why Horner won't admit that the messages are genuine? "I do feel like you had some people who feel it takes two to tango, but that's unfair. That is trying to divert. The issue here is, should Christian have done what he did as a CEO?"

According to the friend, the woman is struggling to understand how an independent conclusion could be drawn. The fact that she is not allowed to talk to anyone about the case only makes it more difficult. "You have a single female who has followed the right process and feels like she is unheard and it has been a totally unjust process. It takes a pretty brave woman to do what she has done. And unfortunately it is a very poor state of affairs."

'Horner will not quit'

The complainant has appealed Red Bull's decision and has informed F1's governing body, the FIA, of the situation and asked it to investigate. She may still go to the employment tribunal to try to get her job back. A hearing of such a case is public. "As a friend, I can tell you I would assume that Horner, like he has done every step of the way, will do everything he can to make sure that the employee tribunal is not public."