FIA president speaks out on Christian Horner investigation ‘damaging’ F1

Michelle Foster
FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem greets Christian Horner

Christian Horner has weighed in on the Mohammed Ben Sulayem investigation

Having met with Christian Horner in Bahrain, Mohammed Ben Sulayem wouldn’t go into details on what was said but did declare the headlines surrounding the team boss were “damaging” to Formula 1.

Although Horner was cleared by Red Bull’s Salzburg-based parent company Red Bull GmbH following an investigation into his alleged behaviour, the team boss was back in the headlines 24 hours later when an email was released claiming to contain information relating to the investigation.

It led to Horner putting out a personal statement in which he said he would not comment on “anonymous speculation”.

‘It’s damaging the sport… This is damaging on a human level’

He added: “I respected the integrity of the independent investigation and fully co-operated 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.”

But on a day when Max Verstappen’s pole position at the Bahrain Grand Prix was overshadowed by his team boss’s troubles, FIA president Ben Sulayem held a private meeting with Horner.

Speaking to the Financial Times afterwards, he would not go into what was said other than to say the saga has been “damaging” for F1.

“It’s damaging the sport… This is damaging on a human level,” Ben Sulayem said.

Stating that it is vital to “protect our sport from all of this”, he added: “It is the beginning of the season. F1 is becoming so popular. We just need to enjoy the beginning of the season. Look at the competition.

“Why do we overshadow it with negativity?”

The FIA boss confirmed that the governing body had no plans to conduct their own investigation as they had not received a formal complaint themselves. recommends

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Martin Brundle ‘very sad about the whole thing’

Former F1 driver turned pundit Martin Brundle says the Horner investigation is a “horrible situation” for all the parties involved.

“My personal take is that I am very sad about the whole thing, a lot of people are getting dragged into this,” he said on Sky Sports.

“F1 is all over the front pages, all over the internet all around the world and it’s not about the racing. It’s not about who’s going to win this grand prix or who’s going to be on pole position.

“So I think it’s unquestionable that what’s going on isn’t good for F1 and I do believe that some actions need to be taken to move this along and to bring this to an absolute conclusion.

“But as I have said, it feels to me like this is the beginning of the story rather than the end of it but we will have to wait and see.

“We’ll have to wait and see but what we do know is that all allegations have been denied and that it’s just a horrible situation, whichever way you look at it, isn’t it?”

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