Martin Brundle reacts as Red Bull draw line under Christian Horner investigation

Michelle Foster
Sky Sports F1 team: Craig Slater, Naomi Schiff, Martin Brundle and Damon Hill

Martin Brundle weighs in on Christian Horner outcome

Despite Red Bull drawing a line under the Christian Horner investigation, Martin Brundle fears the story has been “damaging” for the team boss, Red Bull and Formula 1 as a whole.

That it rumbled on through to the eve of the season-opening Grand Prix in Bahrain made it even worse.

After weeks of investigating Horner, and rumours about said investigation, Red Bull GmbH announced on Wednesday that “the grievance has been dismissed”.

‘A damaging story for Christian and Red Bull and all of Formula 1’

Stating that it had been a “fair, rigorous and impartial” investigation, Red Bull went with no comment as to the exact nature of the investigation.

The company’s statement read: “The investigation report is confidential and contains the private information of the parties and third parties who assisted in the investigation, and therefore we will not be commenting further out of respect for all concerned.”

Brundle wonders if that’s the right approach.

“I think the problem of making no comment whatsoever on what may or may not have happened is that mud sticks,” the former driver told Sky Sports. “It’s been a global story, I think it’s been a damaging story for Christian and Red Bull and all of Formula 1.

“I think it’s not impressive that we have ended up here on the eve of the championship and we’re only just now getting any kind of direction or resolution.

“In terms of the team, they have got momentum, an incredible car, incredible people. I don’t think it will have an instant impact.”

For Red Bull, though, the matter it seems is done. recommends

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“Red Bull, the parent company, have drawn a very thick and firm line underneath the matter as far as they’re concerned with that statement,” Brundle added.

“It does say the complainant can take further action against this but they are clear. They have done a deep investigation and talked for hours, many pages of documents have been generated, so clearly there was something to talk about.

“Christian Horner has always strenuously denied all wrongdoing on this and they are literally like ‘case closed and complete’.

“I find this a very curious business. We knew no facts whatsoever about this story, lots of echoes, lots of rumours that swirl around.

“We can only go by that statement and it looks like a line drawn underneath it and let’s see if anything else comes out of that from third parties.”

‘No question about Horner staying in his job’

According to Brundle’s fellow pundit Craig Slater, now that Horner has been cleared there is “no question” about him staying on as Red Bull’s team boss.

It’s a position he has held since 2005, the Briton seeing the team through to seven Drivers’ Championship titles and six Constructors’ crowns.

“It’s worth reflecting how clear and emphatic it [the statement] is, in terms of the exoneration of Horner,” Slater said.

“My understanding is that there is no question, even in the aftermath of this, that there is any debate about Horner staying in his job.

“He will be running the team this race weekend, and in the foreseeable future. No question about that.”

He added: “It’s a very clear statement from Red Bull that the grievances against Horner have been dismissed.

“The team are advising me that there is absolutely no question about Horner either taking a break from the job, or stepping down from the job, in the aftermath of what has been personally an arduous week.”

1996 World Champion Damon Hill also weighed in, saying: “There will be people who say that it’s the organisation judging itself and not being exposed to any other external influences.

“They had to investigate an allegation and they’ve satisfied themselves that their man is in tact and that they’re going to carry on.”

Read next: Christian Horner investigation: New chapter, new sense of purpose for Red Bull boss in Bahrain