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Horner Affair F1 and FIA Intervention

Horner Case – Wolff and Brown Support F1 and FIA Involvement

01/03/2024

As Red Bull faces a leak scandal, the F1 community’s outcry for openness becomes louder, questioning the sport’s commitment to transparency.

While Red Bull has cleared Christian Horner in the recent controversy involving the team director, several Formula 1 insiders have expressed disappointment over the Austrian company’s lack of transparency. The firm chose not to share “private information” about the parties involved in its report.

During Free Practice 2 yesterday, an anonymous email containing nearly 80 alleged pieces of evidence (unverified at this point, it must be noted) was sent to almost 150 individuals in the paddock: all year-accredited journalists, Formula 1, and the FIA received a link to a Google Drive.

Horner responded by refusing to comment on “anonymous speculations.” Since then, Red Bull GmbH, headquartered in Austria, believes it has resolved the issue impartially and has declined further comment, labeling it a “private matter” between Horner and the involved individual following the leak.

However, Helmut Marko commented in the paddock, “I am shocked and surprised that documents have been leaked. I have never seen them myself.”

Lawyers have warned most journalists that disclosing the contents of this Google Drive, whether real or fake, could lead to legal trouble. So far, no one has dared to do so, though there is concern that tabloids might eventually get hold of it.

Should the FIA and Formula 1 intervene when such scenarios occur?

Zak Brown, CEO of McLaren F1, is certain: if a significant member of Woking’s staff were the subject of a similar investigation, everything would be handled transparently and according to regulations. The American also supports intervention by the sport’s governing body if necessary.

“I am very confident about McLaren. Like most companies, we’ve faced issues that we’ve had to deal with, and we’ve handled them transparently, fairly, and swiftly. That’s all I can say on behalf of McLaren; yes, we are well-prepared. My human resources head will be present this weekend. He and his team are a vital part of our racing team, not just for these reasons. It’s not why he’s there, but for mental health and well-being.”

Mercedes Advocates for F1 Integrity, Transparency

“Our human resources department is an integral part of our racing team because a healthy racing team – whether here or at the factory – ultimately affects performance. It’s not about making them work harder but supporting them to work to their fullest potential. And then, I believe I’ve already mentioned, I think the other matter really needs to be addressed by the sport’s regulator. It has the authority and responsibility to do so.”

Toto Wolff, head of Mercedes F1, explains that such issues must be taken very seriously when representing a major automotive manufacturer.

“I can only speak for ourselves, and we might have a different starting point or reference point because we are Mercedes. We are one of the world’s top ten brands, and compliance, good governance, transparency, diversity, and inclusion are part of what we do every day.”

“That’s why it’s sometimes hard for us to understand another world. In our organization, we stay constantly vigilant because it’s not only the right thing to do, but it’s also where you need to stand in terms of values as a company today. And that’s where Mercedes and the Formula 1 team stand.”

Horner Case F1 and FIA Intervention. Horner Case F1 and FIA Intervention

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