F1 Spotlight: Horner controversy won’t go away, Bearman stuns on F1 debut

The second Formula One race week was power-packed with just as much racing action as controversy. Christian Horner, Red Bull Team Principal and CEO, continued to dominate the news headlines as rumours swirled about his sacking. Horner might have thought that being cleared of all allegations after an investigation would mean a clean slate for the rest of the racing calendar, but little did he know that those accusations of inappropriate behaviour seem to be shadowing his every move.

At the other end of the spectrum, Ollie Bearman, who caught everyone’s eye with his stunning debut for Ferrari following Carlos Sainz’s absence due to appendicitis, established himself as a fan favourite.

Marko-Horner-Max exit?

Following Red Bull’s 1-2 finish at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, rumours have been rekindled about the team principal’s sacking despite his being cleared of all allegations. Reports suggested that Horner could be released before the Australian Grand Prix weekend. Jos Verstappen, the father of Max, the defending world champion, is among those that havecalled for Horner’s exit, declaring that the tension in the team could lead to an explosion if Horner continued as team principal.

While all that drama unfolded, Helmut Marko, Director of Red Bull Racing, revealed that he was contemplating leaving the team, while admitting that he had started thinking of an exit long before the Horner controversy.

If that wasn’t enough to increase the turmoil within the Red Bull garage, the Verstappens, father and son, said that their loyalties lay with Marko. Marco was instrumental in bringing Verstappen to Red Bull. So, of the director leaves, the premier driver could follow suit.

“I have a lot of respect for Helmut, it is very important that he stays,” said Verstappen on the sidelines in Saudi Arabia. “If such an important pillar falls away, and I have told the team this, that it is not good for my situation as well. He is an important part in my decision making for the future.”

To add fuel to the fire, Jos Verstappen has been captured having multiple meetings with Toto Wolff, the Mercedes Team Principal who has a seat open in 2025, following Lewis Hamilton’s decision to move to Ferrari.

Ollie all Jolly!

Bearman left a lasting impression on F1 pundits and fans alike as Sainz’s replacement at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. The young British driver seized the opportunity and made his dream debut for Ferrari as one of the youngest drivers to have raced in F1. Despite it being his first start, Bearman impressed with his exceptional skills on a challenging Jeddah street circuit.

Not only did he drive flawlessly and catch the eye of Fred Vasseur, the Ferrari Team Principal, he also clinched crucial points for the team after finishing seventh.

The 18 year-old was especially impressive when defending his position from Lewis Hamilton, the seven-time world champion, in his Mercedes and McLaren’s Lando Norris. Many drivers on the grid showered praise on Bearman including the likes of Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel, four-time world champion.

Although Bearman earned respect of his peers and love from the fans, he will not be at the steering wheel for the next race as Ferrari were “quite optimistic” about Sainz’s return for the Australian Grand Prix.

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