Christian Horner will be the subject of a hearing into a complaint of inappropriate behaviour on Friday.
This latest development comes following a report from Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf on Monday which stated a Red Bull employee has made serious allegations about the team principal to the team’s parent company, Red Bull GmbH.
A separate report in The Times states the complaint came from a female colleague and concerns “inappropriate, controlling behaviour” while the Associated Press claim the complaint is allegedly about Horner’s aggressive management style. The allegations are being treated seriously by Red Bull chief executive Oliver Mintzlaff.
Horner, 50, who has been Red Bull team principal since 2005, will remain in his role during the investigation and strongly denies the accusation. The BBC now report that a hearing will take place on Friday.
When approached by The Independent, Red Bull Racing refused to comment on the matter.
The Red Bull F1 chief is married to former Spice Girl member Geri Horner and is the longest-serving team principal on the F1 grid, having been at the helm for six constructors’ championship victories and seven drivers’ championship triumphs – three for Max Verstappen and four for Sebastian Vettel.
Horner, who back in 2021 signed a contract extension at Red Bull until 2026, was made a CBE in the new year honours list for services to motorsport, having previously received an OBE in 2013.
Red Bull GmbH said in a statement on Monday: "After being made aware of certain recent allegations, the company launched an independent investigation.
“This process, which is already under way, is being carried out by an external specialist barrister. The company takes these matters extremely seriously and the investigation will be completed as soon as practically possible.
“It would not be appropriate to comment further at this time.”
The team are due to launch their 2024 F1 car next Thursday (15 February) at their headquarters in Milton Keynes. Horner is scheduled to appear.
Red Bull won 21 out of 22 races in 2023 in their most successful year so far in F1, with Verstappen storming to his third straight championship.
Speaking about their season of domination last year and whether they can match it in 2024, Horner said: “I couldn’t have imagined it in a million years.
“I don’t think we’ll ever see a repeat, certainly not in our lifetimes, of what we managed to achieve [last] year with a car that’s managed the kind of dominance of RB19 [the 2023 car].
“I’m fully expecting with stable regulations, [there’ll be] diminishing returns for us [this year] because I think we got to the top of the curve quicker than others.
“The field is going to converge. For us, it’s difficult to know who that will be. Will it be McLaren? Will it be Ferrari? Will it be Mercedes? It keeps moving around behind us. But that’s what we’re fully expecting going into [this] year.”
“There’s always a reset as you go into the following year. I’m convinced that you’ll see a lot more cars that look like the RB19 philosophy going into next year. If you stand still in this business, you tend to be going backwards. I think we have got up that curve quicker than others, but we’re into a law of diminishing returns.”
The first race of the 2024 F1 season – featuring a record 24 races – is on 2 March in Bahrain. Pre-season testing takes place in Bahrain a week earlier, starting on 22 February.