Horner admits investigation has been a “distraction” for Red Bull F1 team

He was interviewed for several hours by an independent barrister in London last week, with it understood that the preliminary results of the investigation are now being evaluated by Red Bull pending a final decision from it on what, if any, action needs to be taken.

Horner has denied any wrongdoing over the matter and has continued in his team principal role – attending this week’s shakedown of the new RB20 car at Silverstone as well as Thursday’s official launch at its Milton Keynes factory.

While Horner remains unable to make any comments regarding the specifics of the investigation, he has spoken about the wider impact of the matter on his F1 team’s preparations for the 2024 campaign.

Asked by Autosport if the media frenzy about him and the team had made an impact, Horner said: “Inevitably there has been a distraction, but the team are very together.

“Everybody’s focused on the season ahead. So it’s been very much business as normal. The support has been fantastic.”

Red Bull Racing RB20

Red Bull Racing RB20

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

Pushed on whether the distraction would serve to hurt the team in any way once the racing began, Horner said: “I think that the team is gearing up for the season ahead and we’re in very good shape.

“We’re fully focused on going racing. Looking forward to being in Bahrain next week and seeing RB20 run. And the one thing that focuses everybody’s attention is the car. We’re very united and together in that focus.”

While Horner has had to deal with matters pertaining to the investigation, he says his mindset is very much about concentrating on the challenges that lay ahead as Red Bull attempts to defend its F1 world titles.

“Obviously, my focus is very much on the season ahead,” he said. “It has been business as normal, obviously there is an investigation, obviously, that I’m complying and working with fully. But that is very much going on in the background whilst we’re preparing the season ahead.”

There have been suggestions that the way the details of the investigation were leaked to the media shows there could be a potential power battle within factions at Red Bull for control of the F1 operation in the wake of the passing of founder Dietrich Mateschitz.

Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing

Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing

Photo by: Erik Junius

However, Horner claims that the different elements of Red Bull – from the Thai shareholders to the Austrian parent company – are all pushing in the same direction and are fully supportive of the way things are being run at Milton Keynes.

“We’re very united,” he said. “We’ve always had tremendous support from the shareholders since Dietrich’s passing. The shareholders have been incredibly supportive and you can see the level of investment that there is with Powertrains, with the future of Formula 1.”

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