Red Bull staff ‘afraid’ of Thai spy sent to watch Christian Horner | F1 | Sport

Red Bull staff are reportedly afraid of the Thai spy that team owner Chalerm Yoovidhya sent to snoop on Christian Horner and all operations at their headquarters. Yoovidhya and his family own 51 per cent of the racing team and are set to increase their influence once they get an insider’s assessment.

German outlet Bild claim that Yoovidhya sent a family member dubbed the ‘Thai spy’ to Milton Keynes to oversee the team currently in chaos. Horner was cleared in a Red Bull investigation after allegations of inappropriate behaviour, but the 50-year-old executive continues to deal with the fall-out as his accusor appeals the verdict.

The Thai spy sent by Yoovidhya is feared by those working at Red Bull, who are concerned that they will overthrow operations and clean shop as part of a dramatic overhaul, now that Yoovidhya wants to assert his power.

The majority owner had previously remained hands-off and left company founder Dietrich Mateschitz in charge. But after the Austrian billionaire passed away in 2022 and the continued scandal involving Horner, Yoovidhya is assessing the state of play from within through a spy.

The Yoovidhyas are the second richest family in Thailand, estimated to be worth £26billion. The Yoovidhya name is synonymous with power and status in Asia, having adapted popular drink Krating Daeng to the Western market with Red Bull.

When he was selling medications in Thailand, Red Bull founder Chaleo Yoovidhya came up with the beverage in the mid-1970s. He named the energy drink Krating Daeng, Thai for ‘Red Bull’ before together with Mateschitz launching the product as a global brand.

Chaleo Yoovidhya passed away in 2012, leaving Chalerm to oversee the team. The family have kept a ‘no-limelight’ approach favoured by the patriarch, who was a devout Buddhist and very rarely spoke to the media or made public appearances.

Their influence is well-known in Thailand. In 2012, Chaleo’s grandson Vorayuth was involved in a hit-and-run case while driving his Ferrari in Bangkok that left a police officer dead. He avoided prosecution by fleeing the country on a private jet in 2017 and Thai officials dropped all charges in 2020.

Rarely do the family step forward but such is the extreme nature of the situation at Red Bull they are reportedly prepared to do so and have already made the first steps by sending a spy that terrifies the current staff.

The pressure once again has been ramped up on Horner and Red Bull Racing despite coasting to victory in the first two races of the Formula One season, with a fresh set of powerful eyes cast over operations.

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