David Coulthard calls for calm over Christian Horner social media ‘overreaction’

Thomas Maher
Red Bull's Christian Horner pictured with David Coulthard at the 2023 Miami Grand Prix.

David Coulthard says some of the extreme calls about Christian Horner on social media are an "overreaction".

David Coulthard believes there has been some overreaction from external observers regarding the allegations surrounding Christian Horner.

Horner has found himself at the heart of a media storm this week, following confirmation from Red Bull GmbH – parent company of Red Bull Racing – that the team boss is being investigated by an external barrister for unconfirmed allegations about his behaviour.

Horner, who has strongly denied the accusations, is set to meet with the barrister on Friday, with his future as team boss and CEO of Red Bull Racing and Red Bull Technology hanging in the balance ahead of the team’s 2024 F1 car launch next week.

David Coulthard: Everybody deserves their moment to explain

Appearing together on their Formula for Success podcast, former F1 driver David Coulthard and former team boss Eddie Jordan addressed the furore in passing to kick off the latest episode.

Understandably reluctant to discuss the situation in ways that could compromise a legal investigation, Coulthard stated the facts known about the situation – including reading out the statement issued by Red Bull GmbH confirming the investigation into Horner.

“I think, for now, that’s where we stand,” Coulthard said after reading the statement aloud, and clarifying that Horner is quoted by Dutch publication De Telegraaf as having denied all allegations.

Coulthard is a long-time Red Bull ambassador and drove for Red Bull Racing under Horner between 2005 and his retirement from racing in 2008. To this day, Coulthard retains Red Bull links and takes part in marketing displays with the Red Bull show runs around the world.

“I’ve seen all sorts of overreaction on social media, you know, people calling for Christian to resign, and for him to be suspended… all of these sorts of things,” Coulthard continued.

“But, as always, everybody deserves their moment to be able to explain their position. I believe that will be happening on Friday in Christian’s case.

“I don’t know about the other party involved. So, maybe by next week, we’ll have some clarity on that particular situation.”

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Eddie Jordan: Red Bull need finality on this by next week

Eddie Jordan, a pundit who never shies away from sharing his opinion, was also uncharacteristically cautious as he spoke about the situation in response.

“I endorse what you’ve just said,” said the Irishman.

“That’s the basic rule, isn’t it? Until proven guilty, the case is absolutely sub judice.

“Having said that, they do have to have – and I’m sure you will agree David – they do have to have finality on this one way or another by next week.

“Because it would be absolutely very hard to see, with a car launch, if Christian was there and there was no answer in all of these situations…

“As you rightly say, people are jumping on the bandwagon and coming up with their theory, which is conspiracy theory or call it what you like.

“I just want to tell people though, nevertheless, it is a Red Bull head office story. It’s not a Red Bull Racing story. So you can see why the barrister has been appointed because HR in that group and that company and what the brand stands for and how they deliver their product is hugely important.”

Jordan said he doesn’t envision a situation in which, regardless of outcome, Horner will be in attendance at the launch of the RB20 at Milton Keynes on February 15th.

“There needs to be an answer by this time next week or within the middle of next week prior to the launch,” he said.

“I do not think that Christian could be at the launch of the car. Bearing in mind what the launch is for, which is to show off the car, show off Red Bull in its glory and for the future hopes for the 2024 season.

“If there was not an answer from the barrister – so I think he’s under pressure, he needs to find a solution… this Friday is when we’re told that the meeting is with regard to finding further solutions with Christian, and I think things will happen then and we’ll know more fully this time next week.”

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