Geri Halliwell WILL be at Bahrain Grand Prix, Red Bull confirm, with former Spice Girl set to appear alongside her under-fire husband Christian Horner in show of solidarity amid leaked text messages scandal

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Written By Maya Cantina
  • Christian Horner was cleared of ‘coercive behaviour towards a female employee’ 
  • But texts and photos the Red Bull chief allegedly sent were leaked on Thursday
  • His wife, ex-Spice Girl Geri Halliwell, has jetted to Bahrain and will be on the grid

Geri Halliwell will be on the grid during the Bahrain Grand Prix in a show of solidarity with her under-fire husband Christian Horner after text messages and photographs the Red Bull chief allegedly sent to a female employee were leaked.

Red Bull confirmed to Mail Sport on Saturday that the former Spice Girl will be on the grid alongside her husband after jetting over from the UK in a private jet on Thursday night.

Horner, who cut a lonely figure as he emerged at the Bahrain International Circuit on Saturday morning, was cleared of misconduct by Red Bull ahead of the 2024 season curtain-raiser after the Formula One team launched a probe into allegations of ‘coercive behaviour towards a female colleague’.

Flirtatious WhatsApp messages apparently exchanged between Horner and the female complainant were leaked to 149 F1 figures while Halliwell was on the flight to see her husband ahead of this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix.

Halliwell, who married the Red Bull team principal in 2015, went ‘into meltdown’ when she touched down in the Gulf state on a private jet on Thursday and discovered the bombshell messages had been plastered all over social media. 

Geri Halliwell (left) will be on the grid during the Bahrain Grand Prix after jetting over from the UK to hold ‘crisis talks’ with her husband Christian Horner (right)

Under-fire Red Bull principal Horner arrived at the Bahrain International Circuit for the opening race of the 2024 season, cutting an isolated figure as he turned up alone

Under-fire Red Bull principal Horner arrived at the Bahrain International Circuit for the opening race of the 2024 season, cutting an isolated figure as he turned up alone

The Red Bull boss is at the centre of a deepening scandal after text messages allegedly exchanged between him and a female employee were leaked

The Red Bull boss is at the centre of a deepening scandal after text messages allegedly exchanged between him and a female employee were leaked 

Horner and wife - Spice Girl Geri Halliwell - pose after the F1 Grand Prix of Italy back in 2014

Horner and wife – Spice Girl Geri Halliwell – pose after the F1 Grand Prix of Italy back in 2014

Throughout the probe and since the messages were leaked, Horner has denied any wrongdoing and was present as the team began the defence of their three successive world titles in qualifying on Friday, with Max Verstappen sealing pole position.

The world champion was 0.228 seconds quicker than Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in second, while Mercedes’ George Russell came third and his team-mate Lewis Hamilton had to settle for ninth. 

Both Red Bull and Ferrari shared the lead throughout the three qualifying rounds, with Red Bull undoing the Italian racing team just at the end of Q3, with Leclerc placing second and George Russell finishing strongly to finish third, 0.306 seconds behind Verstappen.

The Dutchman insisted on Saturday morning that he and the rest of the Red Bull team were ‘fully focused’ on the Bahrain Grand Prix and claimed the controversy surrounding team boss is ‘none of our business’. 

Ahead of her flight to the Gulf Kingdom, friends of Halliwell say that they are ‘deeply concerned’ for her and that she appeared ‘fragile’. One friend proposed that the text message scandal has put their marriage ‘in question for the first time’.

But Halliwell’s confirmed presence at the Bahrain Grand Prix indicates a public show of solidarity with Horner, who has insisted throughout that his focus is on racing and getting Red Bull’s world title defence off to the perfect start.

Mail Sport reported on Friday that Halliwell plans to be at Horner’s side on the pre-race grid, alongside his major ally on the Red Bull board, Thai billionaire Chalerm Yoovidhya, who owns 51 per cent of the energy drinks company. 

One insider told Mail Sport ahead of the GP: ‘She [Halliwell] took off before the email landed. I don’t know whether she will be at the race but it will be mayhem if she is.

‘It would be nuts. She may even be flying home.’

Horner’s future at the organisation still remains under threat, despite Red Bull clearing him of wrongdoing earlier this week. 

Red Bull launched the probe on Horner, pictured alongside Halliwell in Monaco, on February 5

Red Bull launched the probe on Horner, pictured alongside Halliwell in Monaco, on February 5

Geri, pictured at Wimbledon in 2019

The couple are pictured on their wedding day in Woburn on May 15, 2015

Friends of Halliwell (pictured at Wimbledon in 2019, left) say they are ‘deeply concerned’ for the former Spice Girl and that she appeared ‘fragile’ when they saw her some weeks ago

Horner took up his position in the Red Bull paddock as usual on Friday as Max Verstappen (left) secured pole position for Saturday's race, but also left the pit wall for talks with the FIA

Horner took up his position in the Red Bull paddock as usual on Friday as Max Verstappen (left) secured pole position for Saturday’s race, but also left the pit wall for talks with the FIA

Horner and Halliwell in a holiday photograph taken on an unidentified beach over Christmas

Horner and Halliwell in a holiday photograph taken on an unidentified beach over Christmas

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem, the sport’s chief executive Stefano Domenicali and F1 team principals including Mercedes’ Toto Wolff and McLaren’s Zak Brown, as well as journalists, were among the recipients of the email which contained 79 screenshots of messages and photographs allegedly sent by Horner.

Ben Sulayem admitted that the controversy surrounding Red Bull team principal is ‘damaging the sport’. 

The FIA and F1’s owners Liberty Media were weighing up their response to the evidence now in the public domain.

It is not certain if the messages were presented to the Red Bull-led investigation, but it is believed they probably were.

Now, though, Horner is open to a public trial, while the most intense pressure on his role may be presented by the team’s sponsors potentially withdrawing their backing.

Horner, who left the pit wall on Friday to hold crunch talks with the FIA, urged that he would not comment on ‘anonymous speculation’ and stressed that he has ‘always denied the allegations’.

More to follow. 

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