What is going on with F1?

LUSAIL CITY, QATAR - OCTOBER 07: 2023 F1 World Drivers Champion Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing celebrates on his car in parc ferme after the Sprint ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Qatar at Lusail International Circuit on October 07, 2023 in Lusail City, Qatar. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202310070491 // Usage for editorial use only //

The allegations regarding Christian Horner’s behavior, the investigation, the dismissal and the tranche of What’s App messages that followed just 24 hours after absolution has me wondering what is actually going on here in Formula 1.

If you couple this situation with a brand new allegation and investigation over FIA president , Mohammed Ben Sulayem, for trying to impact the outcome of a race in 2023, you start to wonder if there isn’t a massive power struggle going on in F1 and who is behind these allegations, leaks and attacks.There isn’t a team boss alive that wouldn’t pile on another team boss to try and pull the rug out from underneath another teams. It is called the Piranha Club for a reason.

As Jonathan Noble speculates over at Autosport, something is amiss and there is certainly a concerted effort to destroy Christian Horner. Regardless of his actions, be them inappropriate if true, the attacks both publicly and now privately by leaking alleged messages is a targeted effort.

Is it a vendetta? Some say it is the Verstappen camp trying to get more money or out of a contract which seems odd given Max’s recent string of world championships. Is it another team boss trying to crush Red Bull’s advantage?

There is talk that several key employees have a “without Christian” clause that would let them leave if Christian leaves the team. Is there someone wanting out of a contract? Is that a possibility?

No one knows but there is also no question that teams and key figures in F1 are’t too happy with the current FIA president. Recent accusation about misogyny have been leveled and now tampering with race outcomes. I do believe there are many who like to see a change at the head of the FIA sooner than later.

Is Liberty trying to rest control of the sport or change the Red Bull domination to retain fans who are bored with the Max and Christian show? I’ve read those accusations too.

Ultimately the original allegations about Horner should be an internal HR issue that Red Bull should address. They did so but the outcome was apparently not what the person/people behind the leaks wanted.

It still is an HR situation for Red Bull but how patient is the parent company with their brand equity? Are there fissures within Red Bull from senior members who would like to move up? Are the new heads of Red Bull corporate looking for a change at the top of Red Bull Racing?
So many questions but clearly Christian knows someone is out to get him and it will be interesting to see how this unfolds.

Similarly, MBS could be in trouble for trying to force stewards to cancel a penalty for Fernando Alonso in 2023 and that could be a reason for a vote of no confidence.

This all leads to a single question, “what the hell is going on with F1?”

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Fabio

Red Bull is not comfortable with Horner’s power, and Jos is on the RB side.Which is why Jos is getting stuck into him.