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Mercedes’ Toto Wolff says investigation into Red Bull’s Christian Horner is ‘an issue for all Formula One’

By Sammy Mncwabe, CNN

(CNN) — Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has called for transparency around the investigation into allegations of misconduct leveled against Red Bull boss Christian Horner.

An independent investigation was launched by Red Bull in February after Horner was accused of engaging in inappropriate behavior towards a member of the racing team.

“What Red Bull has started as an independent investigation, if this is done in the right way with transparency and with rigor, I think that’s something that we need to look at – what the outcomes are and what it means for Formula One, and how we can learn from that,” Wolff said at a press conference on Wednesday.

The Red Bull parent company in Austria has declined to comment on the investigation or provide a timeline for the outcome despite the season starting in Bahrain on March 2.

“I obviously deny fully the allegations that have been made against me,” Horner told CNN Sport last Thursday at the launch of the team’s car for the new season. “There’s an ongoing process and that obviously is being worked through at the moment.”

Horner also told the BBC that he remains in his role with the team and said he is focusing on preparing for the upcoming season.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Wolff was reportedly the only one out of five team principals who addressed the Horner investigation.

“I think it’s clear. Formula One and what the teams do, we stand for inclusion, equality, fairness, diversity and that’s not only talking about it, but living it day-in, day-out,” Wolff said.

“And I think these are the standards we’re setting ourselves. We are a global sport, one of the most important sports platforms in the world, and we are role models,” he added.

Earlier this month, Dutch news outlet De Telegraaf reported that Horner had been accused of inappropriate behavior towards a member of Red Bull Racing, according to several unnamed sources.

The report doesn’t name the team member or describe the circumstances.

Wolff went on to speak about the Horner investigation, adding, “There is a lot of speculation that’s been happening over the last weeks, speculation that we have heard of, and lots of things that are going on.

“Because we want to talk about racing cars and we want to talk about the sport rather than these kind of very critical topics, that are more [than] just a team’s issue, it’s a phenomenon or it’s an issue for all of Formula One and in general for every individual that works out there,” Wolff added.

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