Why Zak Brown ‘vocalised concern’ over Christian Horner investigation at Red Bull

Jamie Woodhouse
Zak Brown and Christian Horner.

Zak Brown alongside Christian Horner.

Claiming it is “very important” to serve as a “voice for the sport”, McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown felt it was right to air his concerns over the Red Bull Christian Horner investigation for the good of Formula 1.

Off track matters dominated the headlines for Red Bull at the start of the F1 2024 campaign, as an internal investigation into team principal Horner was launched following allegations of inappropriate behaviour from an employee, a case which was dismissed.

Zak Brown felt it right to vocalise Christian Horner investigation ‘concerns’

Details of the case were not revealed by Red Bull, which prompted Brown to call for transparency ahead of the season start.

“McLaren holds themselves and all the men and women at McLaren to the highest standards. Obviously, diversity and equality and inclusion are extremely important to us, our partners, to everyone in Formula 1,” he said.

“Red Bull corporation, it appears, has launched an investigation and all we hope and assume is that will be handled in a very transparent way as FIA and Formula 1 has said.”

And now in an interview with The Times, Brown would explain why he felt the need to speak out on such matters, painting the picture that “we are all brand ambassadors” for Formula 1 and so he felt that was justification to express his concerns considering Red Bull “are a big part of the sport”.

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“I think it is very important to be a voice for the sport on key issues,” said Brown.

“We all have a responsibility to protect our brand, the brand of Formula 1. We are all brand ambassadors. We need to hold each other to the highest standards and what F1 stands for.

“What transpired there was not good for his [Horner’s] brand and team but his brand and team are a big part of the sport, so I felt it was right to vocalise our concern that the matter was dealt with swiftly, appropriately and transparently.”

Red Bull currently lead the way in the Constructors’ Championship with their three-time World Champion Max Verstappen atop the Drivers’ standings, though McLaren and Ferrari are threatening to mount a title challenge, McLaren’s Lando Norris having claimed a first career win in Miami before finishing within a second of Imola race winner Verstappen.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc meanwhile opened his account for F1 2024 with victory in Monaco, reducing Verstappen’s lead to 31 points, while Ferrari has trimmed Red Bull’s Constructors’ standings lead to 24 points.

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