Hamilton claims outcome of Horner investigation an ‘important moment for F1’

Hamilton claims outcome of Horner investigation an 'important moment for F1'

Lewis Hamilton calls Red Bull investigation into Christian Horner’s conduct towards a female employee “a really important moment for Formula 1” as it now reflects if it’s “true to our values.”

The Mercedes driver was speaking during the pre-event press conference for the Bahrain Grand Prix 2024 season opener as Horner is reportedly en route to Bahrain while the outcome of Red Bull investigation is still pending.

This comes after Red Bull GmbH announced on February 5 that Horner is the subject of an internal investigation after a female coworker accused him of engaging in “inappropriate behaviour” which the team boss denies.

The troubled Red Bull team principal is scheduled to arrive in Bahrain on Wednesday for the season’s opening race as he still serves in his leadership role despite several calls for him to resign.

A number of F1 stakeholders have pushed the company to swiftly determine the outcome, including the sport’s governing body and the championship’s commercial rights holder along with Red Bull’s prospective engine partner, Ford.

Hamilton was asked a specific question about Horner continuing in his role and being allowed to speak in an official capacity during pre-season testing while the investigation is ongoing.

“It’s a difficult one to answer, naturally,” the seven-time word champion said. “We always have to do more to try to make the sport and the environment for people to work in feel safe and inclusive.

“Any allegations have to be taken very seriously. We don’t know everything that has gone on but it needs to be resolved because it is hanging over the sport.

“Obviously, we don’t know everything that’s gone on. But, it does need to be resolved as it’s hanging over the sport and it will be interesting to see how it is dealt with, and the effect that it may or may not have on the sport moving forward.

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“It is a really important moment for the sport to make sure that we stand true to our values.”

The same question was asked to McLaren’s Lando Norris and Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso, with all declining to answer.

Norris, speaking before Hamilton answered, said: “It’s got nothing to do with us for the time being. The investigation is under way, things are happening. And [it’s] something I’d prefer to stay out of now. Simple as that.”

During the same press conference, Red Bull driver Max Verstappen was questioned about the Horner situation on multiple occasions.

Verstappen was asked if he was fully in favour of Horner and the way the Brit manages the Red Bull team following the Dutchman’s statement that the probe has no bearing on him or the team as a whole. However, he chose not to reply, responding instead that he is “trusting the process.”

“Horner is very important otherwise he wouldn’t have been in that position for such a long time,” the triple world champion said. “If your team boss disappears for one of two races, for whatever reason, not much is going to happen because everybody is in their role.

“Then things will start to be different if one of the leaders is not there anymore, but we are not thinking like that.

“We trust the process and we have to see what the outcome will be. Besides that, everyone is focused on what happens on track and we are in a good mood to get going again.”

Horner is the longest-serving team boss on the grid having been the Red Bull team principal since the team’s F1 debut 19 years ago and has overseen six constructor crowns and seven driver world championships.

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