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Wolff says F1 figures should live up to role model status amid Horner investigation

Mercedes Formula 1 team principal Toto Wolff says those involved in the series should live up to role model status in response to the Christian Horner investigation.

Toto Wolff, Team Principal and CEO, Mercedes-AMG, in the team principals Press Conference

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Red Bull's Austrian parent company instigated an investigation into team boss Horner after allegations of inappropriate behaviour were made by a female employee, which led to him being interviewed by an independent barrister on 9 February.

So far there has been no outcome, and Horner, who has strongly denied any wrongdoing, is continuing to oversee the Milton Keynes team at this week’s Bahrain test.

Wolff was the only one of five team principals present at a press conference in Bahrain on Wednesday who was willing to respond to a question about the impact of the investigation.

"I think it's clear,” said Wolff. “F1, and what the teams do, we stand for inclusion, equality, fairness, diversity.

“And it's not only about talking about it, but living it day, day out. And I think this is the standard that we're setting ourselves.

“We are a global sport, one of the most important sports platform in the world. And we're role models.

“But having said that, 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.”

Christian Horner, Team Principal, Red Bull Racing

Christian Horner, Team Principal, Red Bull Racing

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

Wolff made it clear that he had faith in the "rigour" and "transparency" of the Red Bull investigation, and that there would be lessons to be drawn for the whole series.

“I think what's important at that stage, for process with rigour, I think what Red Bull has started as an independent investigation, if this is done in the right way, with transparency, and with that rigour, I think that's something that we need to look at, what the outcomes are, and what it means for F1, and how we can learn from that," he added.

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“Because we want to talk about racing cars. And we want to talk about the sport, rather than these kinds of very, very critical topics that are more than just the team's issue.

"It's a phenomenon, or it's an issue for all F1. And in general, for every individual that works out there."

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