First F1 chief responds to Christian Horner allegations in open interview
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Williams F1 chief James Vowles has become the first team principal to publicly address allegations made against Red Bull's Christian Horner.
Horner, who has been the team principal of Red Bull Racing since the drinks company bought the old Jaguar team in 2004, is currently the subject of an internal investigation.
The team are yet to confirm the specific nature of the complaint, although BBC Sport claim that the investigation relates to an allegation of inappropriate controlling behaviour.
The team's parent company, Red Bull, said on Monday that they are taking the allegations "extremely seriously", and added that an external specialist barrister is carrying out the investigation.
The Times report that the 50-year-old will be questioned on Friday about the allegations. He will remain in his post while the investigation is ongoing, the team have confirmed.
Speaking at the launch of the 2024 Williams car, their team principal Vowles, who formerly held roles with Mercedes, Brawn GP and Honda, was asked by Bloomberg to comment on the allegations made against Horner.
He replied: "The sport itself, wind back 20 years ago, male-dominated without question.
"If you had to ask me what makes up a team, it would be white, more than likely male, more than likely 40 years old... something in that ballpark. That's changing, and it's only a positive that's changing that result.
"I can only control what happens within Williams and what I can do within that environment is open everyone's eyes to, this is how we have to be, because the best ideas don't come from being a closed group of individuals. It comes from diversity.
"These allegations are allegations. I'm afraid I don't have any understanding of what is behind them and the significance of what has happened.
"All I can say [is] that, should this ever happen in our regard, we'll be entirely supportive in terms of fixing it and making sure we have a culture that is accepting of everyone."
When asked about a potential outcome of the investigation meaning that Horner leaves the sport and the impact that would have, Vowles responded: "Again, I think it means we all have to look each other in the mirror and make sure that we are posing the right questions internally, and acting in a way that we can be proud of not today but in the next 10 years."