Bernie Ecclestone refutes claims he advised Horner to resign amid investigation

Bernie Ecclestone refutes claims he advised Horner to resign amid investigation

Bernie Ecclestone has refuted claims that he secretly pushed Christian Horner to walk away from his role at Red Bull amid an investigation into allegations of “controlling behaviour.”

Former Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has strongly denied claims that he had urged Red Bull team principal Christian Horner to resign from his role with the world championship-winning team.

The 50-year-old, who is married to former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell is fighting to save his job after a Red Bull employee accused him of acting in an “inappropriate” manner.

An internal panel is currently investigating Horner’s conduct as the Red Bull Formula 1 team boss. The specifics of these allegations which are believed to have been made by an employee remain unknown to the although Horner has strongly denied them.

At the conclusion of the meeting, no decision was made and Horner himself has indicated that it may take weeks to receive official confirmation. However, he will continue working towards getting ready for the upcoming season in the interim.

Red Bull was hoping to have the issue settled before this Thursday, the day they will unveil their 2024 car, but it appears like the probe may take longer than expected possibly lasting until the beginning of March when the upcoming F1 season begins.

Meanwhile, sources in German media claimed that Ecclestone had advised Horner to resign as Red Bull team principal upon picking up more specifics regarding the accusations.

According to F1 Insider, the 93-year-old warned Horner about the risks of a drawn-out and nasty probe and instead advised him to step down in order to spare himself and his family more harm from the scandal’s aftermath.

“We have been good friends for a long time,” German news agency DPA quoted Ecclestone as saying this week. “He has now been accused but unless proven otherwise, he is innocent.”

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“Apart from keeping his head down, my advice to Christian is to do nothing and wait and see what happens,” he added in separate remarks to French press agency AFP.

“I am in close contact with him. The problem is that when you succeed, you make a lot of enemies. What I hope is that someone will talk to him and the woman individually and everything will be worked out.”

However, Ecclestone has now refuted the allegations on social media, posting on Instagram: “To clarify reports by newspapers that I had urged or suggested that Christian Horner should step down from his position in Red Bull is entirely UNTRUE.”

The FIA Vice-President for Sport and Ecclestone’s wife, Fabiana Flosi, also shared the message.

Ecclestone previously indicated that there was a power vacuum at Red Bull following the team founder Dietrich Mateschitz’s 2022 death, and that some employees perceived the accusations as a means of firing Horner.

“They want to overthrow him. He has achieved enormous success and has made incredible efforts not only for the team, but also for the sport,” Ecclestone said.

Former Formula 1 Group CEO Bernie Ecclestone was involved in the day-to-day operations of the sport from the late 1970s to 2020 and during  his latter years in office he developed a personal friendship with Horner.

Horner was Ecclestone’s best man for his third wedding in 2012, and the two have stayed close friends ever since.

Horner is scheduled to be present at Red Bull’s 2024 car launch on Thursday with the event being described as a commemoration of the team’s two decades racing in Formula 1.

The Red Bull team boss attended the squad’s “shakedown” on Tuesday at their Milton Keynes headquarters while filming promos for the event as late as last week.

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