F1 and FIA meet at Bahrain GP after alleged WhatsApp chat leak drags Christian Horner to the mud yet again

FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem and F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali will discuss the current situation over Christian Horner's investigation saga.


F1 and FIA meet at Bahrain GP after alleged WhatsApp chat leak drags Christian Horner to the mud yet again

Stefano Domenicali and Mohammed Ben Sulayem (via IMAGO), Christian Horner (Via IMAGO)

Days after Red Bull headquarters declared that Christian Horner was found not guilty of inappropriate behavior, things took a massive turn. Red Bull GmbH had launched an independent investigation in response to a complaint from a female employee over Horner’s behavior. Since then, the investigation has been concluded. Horner has categorically denied any wrongdoing.

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On 28 February, Red Bull declared that it had decided not to file a disciplinary complaint against Horner. After an external lawyer conducted a “fair, rigorous, and impartial” investigation. On 29 February, Hundreds of people received a link to a Google Drive folder containing alleged evidence. Alleged WhatsApp conversations between the F1 team managers, the FIA, the media, and Formula 1 have been shared by an anonymous email address.

Furthermore, there is no guarantee that the messages are authentic. It has undoubtedly brought attention to a situation that Red Bull had thought to be resolved with the team principal’s dismissal following the internal investigation. FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem and F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali will reportedly meet in Bahrain in the coming hours to talk about what transpired. Given the recent developments, the case is of the utmost importance. Christian Horner has also been summoned for a meeting with Ben Sulayem and Domenicali.

Christian Horner could be fired as Red Bull team principal by the FIA

Christian Horner’s investigation saga seems to be never-ending. New revelations have been made regularly. On March 1 a meeting was assigned between Horner and Stefano Domenicali, the President of the Formula 1. However, there has been no official comments made by either Ben Sulayem and Domenicali over the current situation.

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FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem and Christian Horner (Via IMAGO)
FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem and Christian Horner (Via IMAGO)

The International Sporting Code is primarily designed to address issues about on-track incidents and is typically applied to drivers. Although the maximum F1 fine has quadrupled to €1 million for 2024, its specified penalties still allow for suspension and even exclusion for serious or exceptionally serious offenses. It does, however, state that the ASN (National Sporting Authority), not the FIA or the stewards, administers those sanctions, which would further muddy the legal situation.

Additionally, there are provisions in the Formula 1 regulations that state the penalties for any misconduct. As Horner file is still open for investigation many new things are coming every day. It would be interesting to see where the future of the Team Principal would go.

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