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FIA, F1 speak out on Horner ahead of testing

Formula One and its governing body have addressed allegations against Red Bull boss Christian Horner, who is working to retain his position at the reigning world champions as testing and the start of the season approach.

Red Bull’s parent company in Austria initiated an independent investigation into the conduct of the 50-year-old Briton on Feb. 5 following unspecified allegations. The investigation is ongoing, and Horner has refuted any wrongdoing.

Formula One’s commercial rights holder released a brief statement on Sunday expressing hope “that the matter will be clarified at the earliest opportunity, after a fair and thorough process.”

The Paris-based FIA followed on Monday with a statement emphasizing that it “remains committed to upholding the highest standards of integrity, fairness, and inclusivity within the sport.”

Both said they would make no further comment until the outcome was known.

Neither the energy drink company nor the British-based team have given details of the allegations, although media reports have mentioned inappropriate and controlling behavior towards a female colleague.

Horner said at the launch of his team’s RB20 car in Milton Keynes last Friday that he was confident and cooperating with the process and denied “absolutely any allegation that’s been made against me.”

A Feb. 9 hearing in London with an independent barrister lasted almost eight hours, according to Sky Sports.

The Briton is due to attend testing in Bahrain this week and is scheduled to appear in a regular FIA news conference on Thursday with other team principals before the opening race at Sakhir on March 2.

Should Horner be forced out of Red Bull, it would be a seismic shock for the sport.

Horner and his team celebrated the most dominant season in Formula One history last year, with Red Bull winning 21 of 22 races, and will start the new season with Dutch driver Max Verstappen chasing a fourth successive title.

Horner is also the longest-serving team boss in Formula One and was by far the youngest when he led Red Bull into the sport in 2005.

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