FIA and F1 bosses set to discuss Christian Horner investigation

Thomas Maher
Stefano Domenicali, Mohammed Ben Sulayem chat.

Mohammed Ben Sulayem and Stefano Domenicali will discuss Christian Horner's investigation in a meeting on Friday.

Christian Horner is amongst the topics on the table for the FIA and F1 bosses to discuss when they meet on Friday in Bahrain.

Following Red Bull GmbH’s dismissal of their internal investigation into Christian Horner earlier this week, FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem and F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali are set to discuss the matter in their regular weekend meeting.

Horner has found himself at the centre of a media storm this weekend, following an anonymous email leak of alleged information regarding the Red Bull investigation.

Stefano Domenicali and Mohammed Ben Sulayem to meet

Following the leak, which was sent to hundreds of F1 personnel and journalists, Christian Horner issued a personal statement to clarify his position.

“I won’t comment on anonymous speculation, but to reiterate, I have always denied the allegations,” he said.

“I respected the integrity of the independent investigation and fully cooperated with it every step of the way.

“It was a thorough and fair investigation conducted by an independent specialist barrister and it has concluded, dismissing the complaint made. I remain fully focused on the start of the season.”

On Friday, PlanetF1.com understands Domenicali and Ben Sulayem are set to meet to discuss a variety of topics as part of their regular Grand Prix meeting.

The situation regarding Horner’s investigation by Red Bull GmbH, and the resulting dismissal of the case, is set to be discussed – although it is not the reason for the meeting, which is routine and is not an extraordinary arrangement.

Separately, Horner met with Domenicali for a conversation at 1700 local time – the pair disappearing into F1’s offices for their meeting. Horner is set to meet with Ben Sulayem later on Friday evening, following a greeting in the pitlane during FP3.

F1 and the FIA have kept a watching brief of the situation since news of the internal investigation first broke almost a month ago, with neither party getting involved.

However, several F1 team bosses have called for greater transparency into the outcome of Red Bull’s dismissal of the verdict, with Zak Brown and Toto Wolff weighing in on the topic on Thursday.

“The sanctioning body [the FIA] has a responsibility and authority to our sport, and to our fans,” Brown said.

“I think all of us in Formula 1 are ambassadors for the sport, on and off the track, like you see in other sports, and so I think they need to make sure that things have been fully transparent with them.

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“I don’t know what those conversations are. They need to be thorough, and fully transparent, and that they come to the same conclusion that has been given by Red Bull and that they’ve agreed with the outcome.

“But I think, until then, there’ll continue to be speculation because there are a lot of unanswered questions about the whole process.

“That’s what’s needed by those who run the sport to really be able to draw a line under it. Until then, I think there’ll continue to be some level of speculation by people and I don’t think that’s healthy for the sport.”

It was a sentiment shared by Wolff, who said more transparency is needed for such a critical topic.

“My personal opinion is we can’t really look at the behind the curtain,” Wolff told media. “At the end of the day there is a lady in an organisation that has spoken to HR and said there is an issue and it was investigated and yesterday the sport has received a message ‘it’s all fine. We’ve looked at it.’

“I believe that with the sport as a global sport, on such critical topics, it needs more transparency and I wonder what the sport’s position is? We are competitors, we are a team and we can have our own personal opinions or not.

“But it’s more like a general reaction or action that we as a sport need. We need to assess what is right in that situation, what is wrong.”

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