Christian Horner Saga Continues To Overshadow On-Track Action

Christian Horner
Christian Horner

While the intensity of the Christian Horner scandal has subsided somewhat, former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher still thinks the long-time Red Bull boss should quit.

Horner is clearly in the eye of an internal power struggle at the otherwise-dominant Formula 1 team that he has run from the beginning, with the FIA now asked to look into a female staffer’s accusations of bad behaviour.

The saga has run and run on a daily basis since even before pre-season testing.

“It certainly doesn’t help the team,” former F1 driver Luis Perez-Sala, also an ex-advisor to the defunct HRT team, told Spain’s AS newspaper this week.

“Internal disputes do not help the proper functioning of a team, even one as impressive as Red Bull,” he said. “Wars or internal conflicts go against unity and harmony and are certainly never a positive thing.”

Ralf Schumacher, however, goes one step further, arguing that the Horner story has been overshadowing the actual sporting aspects of the 2024 season so far.

“It wasn’t until race day in Bahrain that there was even a little bit of talk about the sport,” the German told Sport1.

“I’m sorry for his family, but there was only one person who started this whole thing – him. And I can’t accept that he keeps saying he doesn’t want to talk about it.

“I can say from my own experience, from my divorce, yes, it is difficult at the beginning when such a private matter is carried out in public. But there comes a time when we have to talk about it because it’s what’s best for all parties.

“For example, you don’t hear anything from the employee and that’s not good. Nobody talks about her,” Schumacher added. “And one thing is certain – as long as this goes on, it does immense damage to Red Bull.

“Horner said himself that no one is more important than the team. Well, he should follow this command and resign as soon as possible.”

Max Verstappen has been guarded in his comments on the affair to date, but he did mention in Saudi Arabia recently that it is important to safeguard the legacy of the team’s late founder, Dietrich Mateschitz.

When asked if Horner is even jeopardising Mateschitz’s legacy, Schumacher answered: “I wouldn’t go that far at the moment. But everything should be sorted out as quickly as possible.

“It wouldn’t hurt anyone if he left. It would be important for the Red Bull brand.”

However, Schumacher admits that if Verstappen were to leave Red Bull and switch to Mercedes, the actual track action would at least be more exciting.

“Mercedes is too far away for him to win straight away,” he said. “Toto Wolff seems resigned when he is interviewed these days. Somehow the Mercedes engineers still haven’t understood the new car concept.

“But even if Max is really – as suspected – three tenths faster than the rest, it wouldn’t be enough to win at the moment. But it would make everything more exciting, there’s no question about that.”

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