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Christian Horner was strongly believed in line for a knighthood before the toxic WhatsApp scandal involving him engulfed Formula One – but the editor who has been threatened with legal action over the publication of a 19-page bombshell report on the storm at Red Bull has suggested that possibility is now ‘gone forever’. Rubython told Mail Sport that the investigation and subsequent leaked messages allegedly sent by Horner will have a lasting impact on the way the team principal is viewed in the sport, in turn impacting his chances of receiving royal honours. ‘He’s very proud,’ Rubython said of Horner, ‘he had the perfect life, and he was in line for a knighthood, if (Red Bull and Max Verstappen) had won a fourth championship. The editor has received correspondence from Horner’s legal representation alleging that Rubython’s reporting has been unlawful and defamatory, stating that the article does serious harm to Horner’s reputation. ‘I just don’t think the article’s defamatory,’ Rubython said of the piece, which is behind a paywall for all but the magazine’s subscribers.

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