Horner the last member of key trio Moving ahead with Red Bull
Red Bull Racing
Posted By: Declan Quigley  |  01 Jul 2015   |  12:40 am GMT  |  72 comments

Time was when the key members of Red Bull Racing all had linked contracts. Now Christian Horner is the only member of the star triumvirate, that led Red Bull to multi-championship success, who remains part of the thrust to bring the Milton Keynes- squad back to the top.

In recent days he quelled speculation about his future by confirming that he has signed a new contract with the team and the 41-year-old has made it clear that he has pinned his colours to the mast of a team in the rebuilding phase after years of dominance.

A total of eight consecutive driver’s and constructor’s world titles from 2010 to 2013 led to a disappointing second in the manufacturer’s standings last season and a current position of fourth in the 2015 constructor’s list.

  Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Austrian Grand Prix - Practice Day - Spielberg, Austria

Ongoing reliability woes and increasing speculation about Red Bull’s long term intentions might have tempered Horner’s motivation but instead, the Leamington-Spa native is fully focused on a future with the team.

“I recently signed an extension to my contract with Red Bull, I have a great relationship with Dietrich and my goal is very much on getting the team back to the situation we were in 18 months ago,” Horner told Sky Sports F1.

But if Horner is fully focused on the future with Red Bull, he’ll be doing it with a new inner cabal at the team. Formerly linked by contract with Sebastian Vettel and Adrian Newey, Horner now finds himself gathering a new crew around himself.

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Belgian Grand Prix - Qualifying Day - Spa Francorchamps, Belgium

Design guru Newey is not involved day to day in the key engineering decisions, while Sebastian Vettel is now firmly ensconced at Ferrari, so Horner finds himself fighting a rearguard action at the once dominant squad.

Either way Horner is delighted to put endless online chatter about his future with the team to bed, at least for the time being.

“[The speculation] is total rubbish. The thing is not to put too much energy into things like that, but in the world we live in sometimes people from rival teams say things and they get picked up and then a story goes on the internet and it goes from there.

“That is the problem with social media – two weeks ago I was taking over from Bernie, this week I was leaving the team, next week I’ll be driving the car probably.”

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Spanish Grand Prix - Practice Day - Barcelona, Spain

While Adrian Newey has been seen at certain races this year, indications are that he no longer has a hands-on role in the Red Bull car development. He remains contracted to Red Bull, which prevents his talent being tapped by any rivals on the pit lane.

Ferrari heavily courted the most celebrated design engineer of his era last summer but Red Bull managed to keep his creative genius under golden lock and key.

Vettel has departed but indications are that, in Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat, Red Bull have a strong driver line up to get the best out of the machines they develop.

Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Day 2 - Jerez, Spain

And in Rob Marshall, Chief Engineering Officer, and Paul Monaghan, head of Car Engineering, Red Bull have experienced talent from which Horner can use his managerial experience to create a new era for the team.

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Sorry that something went wrong, repeat again!

@ james….i have just tried to post a response to a comment regarding ‘DR’ and it simply vanished…again. could you please look at it and see what the problem is, thanks.


Will do


Also James my comments are all over the place!! Some just disappear! Others that should be replies come up as stand alone comments…


Sorry, we have a new version of the site in development and comment functionality will be at the heart of it

Andrew Tucker


It’s interesting that you mention that RB have a supposedly strong driver lineup in DK & DR. What do you say in response to some of the stories in the media that Ferrari via MA might be thinking about making an offer to DR to replace the struggling Kimi R at the Scuderia?

Yes I’ve heard from Marko that DE supposedly has a bulletproof contact but doesn’t the Scuderia have a bulletproof bank balance? But would Seb be willing to work with DR again?


Ricciardo is locked in to RBR so he is not leaving

He’s Ferrari’s first choice, but he can’t go

Bottas then Hulk the other options


Why would Ferrari have DR as their No.1 choice for replacing Raikkonen when they already have Vettel in the team? Would DR be OK being a No.2 to Vettel in Ferrari or are Ferrari departing from their tradition of having a clear No.1 & 2 drivers in the team?

If you are a world champion ( like Raikkonen is ), then you can demand an equal treatment from the team. But if you are a starter like Bottas and DR, they will surely not be allowed to challenge a 4 time WDC and their roles will be reduced to assist the team leader in winning the titles ( Like Eddy Irvine, Barrichello and Massa did). Also there is no guarantee that they will be promoted to No.1 if the lead driver chooses to leave the team.

So Bottas and DR should think twice before jumping on a Ferrari deal.


Ah, but James, contracts are not worth the toilet paper they are written on!!!

I do recall half a decade ago the Kimster had a iron clad contract to drive for the Maranello

Boys for 2010, and a decade ago Williams said they had a cast iron contract for Jenson Button to drive for them rather than BAR. Fernando Alonso had a concrete three year deal to drive for McLaren from 2007 onwards…………

Iron clad contracts can, and do, rust. It’s called extenuating circumstances and a “softener” in the form of financial compensation!


@ james, i am quite unhappy with that news. he is a super talent and it would’ve been really great to see him in red and up against a resurgent vettel. we would have been treated to a right old wheel to wheel fight unlike the mercedes ‘faux’ contest that we are currently witnessing.

red bull were super quick off the mark to make public there hold on ‘him’, which should spell it out for all the dissident voices out there.


My take is that Horner couldn’t build a fortune out of gold bricks. Give me a Newey designed race car, a superior engine (at that time), highly competent drivers, a first rate tech staff and all the money in the world and I will manage to stay sufficiently out of the way to win. As for his staying with RB, he seems to be a “yes” sort of employee, and who else wants to work for the bullmeister?


It will be interesting to see if/when they get back to the top. Team building seems to be Horner’s strength – he did a good job putting Red Bull together in the first place (yes he was building on an existing structure, but it wasn’t a winning one at that point).

Arguably he was less impressive in managing the team at its peak – weak in his control of the drivers, blustering and crude in his attempts to manipulate Pirelli and F1 through the media.


So James will Newey stay at RB doodling boats and if so how long is that contract? Or will someone manage to lure him back to race car design? You have to have some clues from conversations over the years. In some respects it would be better if he was done to let the younger generation have there chance to shine and equalize performance across the grid.


I’m guessing the Newey wanted to doodle boats and RB gave him a big retainer to keep him away from the other teams


mygawd @adam, do you truly think of Newey as old? And what is the expiration age for genius?


“I recently signed an extension to my contract with Red Bull, …..

And only in the last week or so, Horner was trying to convince us that DM’s threats to quit F1 were real! Why would he extend his contract with Red Bull, as TP, if the plug was about to be pulled by the owner ? Who’d of thought it, CH being economical with the truth? I tell you , you could knock me over with a feather!


There are some straight talkers in Formula 1, or rather there were, particularly in the shape of Patrick Head, James Hunt and Alistair Caldwell. None of them could be duplicitous if they tried – and GP racing is poorer for their loss.

At the 1979 British GP, James Hunt’s first commentary for the BBC, James said: “Jarier is pig ignorant!” and “The problem with [Jean Pierre] Jabouille is that he is a French wally, always has been and always will be.”

James Hunt – pulled no punches.


@ C63…no, you are not an orphan. i haven’t had any notifications for at least one week even more. terribly dissatisfying as one has to trawl each thread to see if there are any replies and frankly it is getting to be a bit of a stretch. james……?


I think Niki Lauda is a pretty straight talker , but I take your point. In fact , imo, it’s one of the problems with F1 . The drivers are frightened to say anything which doesn’t toe the corporate line and as a consequence, they can seem bland and devoid of personality.

On a different note – notifications have not been working for about a week – is it just me or is there a problem? Thanks


Error – I meant to type Jarier is a wally!

Sorry Jean Pierre Jabouille…………..

Rubinho's Keyfob

HEADLINE: “Christian Horner says he will probably be driving the car next week”.



Just wondered how well would he go, he was a racer after all 🙂


red bull are going nowhere whilst that boat anchor sits in the back of the car.

one way or another rb need to find another engine. maybe rb can pay renault to go away.

Adrian Newey Jnr

Seems to be working for Torro Rosso. But perhaps that is merely just a stalking horse to appear successful and maximise the price paid by a new buyer (eg Renault).


It’s not really ‘working’ for them, they are still dead slow in a straight line. They just run high wing every race and hope for the best


not really adrien jnr. toro rosso are comprimising car setup due to a lack of power and straight line speed.

the engine is the problem.


James- Any idea if Horner’s deal includes an ownership stake in Red Bull Racing?


Horner has to rebuild his team in the same way that Frank Williams and Ron Dennis both had to after the departure of the footloose Mr. Newey. Unfortunately, I can’t help noticing that neither Williams nor McLaren have been as successful since Newey moved on.

Newey has been the “magic bullet” for F1 success over the past 25 years. Who will be the next design guru?

Gavin Campbell

I wouldn’t last year was dissapointing for Red Bull – 3 wins and 2nd Place in the championship. They were too far behind Mercedes though. But this year they are slower than last year and thats whats got them in a tis.

Although I do think all their politics and moaning to press has done them a huge amount of damage – irreputably so. They were a non-corperate team that had great engineers and a wiff of the different about them. But they’ve become like everyone else, closed, corperate and playing the game. They might think the queue outside the signing tent has gone down due to their results – that is not the case.


So it’s best to not “put too much energy” into social media chatter and gossip? I suppose that saves more energy to be put into moaning about Renault, the rules, Renault, other teams, Renault, the FIA, and Renault…


They’d be better off putting more energy into Renault – They could use it 🙂


Mark Webber’s Tell all book is out by the way and riveting read it is about the internal workings of team RBR.

His story seems to be one sided. Looks more like Webber was suffering from persecution complex in all the teams that he was a part of. i.e Mercedes in Le mans, Williams and finally RBR.

But good read!


Please fix the 5th paragraph. Newey didn’t say that to Sky, Horner did…

Otherwise thanks for the enlightening read


Done thanks


Scratch that and reverse it. Black text on a dark grey background. And towards the end it actually turns to a light grey text and is readable, but the first 3/4tHa aren’t. Thanks, James!


Dang down flip it and reverse it

If you gotta big wop!

Baby gotta work it…

Or summat like that yo 🙂


No no no… That was a reply, not a comment!!


As was that last one. WTH is going on here.


Oh man my cred is ALL gone 🙁


Us old gits can hardly see what is says. Nowadays its supposed to be stylish to have gray text on a gray tint background

It’s gatting almost as bad as trying to read the terms and conditions on a GM purchase order, which used to be printed in 4 point high 20% tint on a 10% tint background. However the last word counts and that was on the invoice. Then they started self billing…… Yup theres things I really do not miss.


At only 41 Horner has brought Red Bull unparalleled success. He suffers from negative publicity in the same way as Vettal did while at Red Bull.

The team as a whole generally has not managed to get fans and media on side in the same way as say McClaren who are having an even worse year.


The next few years will be the acid test for Horner’s legacy – if he can bring the team success without Vettel and without Newey then he’ll be remembered as a top team principal; if he doesn’t then he’ll likely be forgotten.


Vettal has done his image no harm at all with a move to Ferrari. Perhaps Horner would be wise to do something similar


Horner would do his image a favour by shaving everyday. His whole “look like a stumbling drunken bum” thing doesn’t do his image any good.


We all know RIC is not kind of guy who will stay tied down to RB if there are no results..so Horner will have to build his magic team around someone else..


How do we all know that?


He said as much.



How can you say that?

RedBull gave him his 1st opportunity in the sport. They promoted him, gave him the tools to make his mark.

It would be ‘wrong’ if he took such a mercenary attitude – not so long ago the word loyalty was being banded around the web when another was contemplating moving on…… anyone else remember?


@Thompson – in f1 there is no loyalty, there are contracts..if performance is missing then its sayonara..

@Drew – when someone publicly talks about his own contract that’s how we know..its been in news that RIC is not happy and looking for exit if possible


Where would he go? People have to remember this is a guy who barely beat JV to the seat, has only won due to Mercs failures, AND has only won in a Newey car.

The first sign of a bad car he throws his team under the bus and has asked for SR staff to be fired. Sounds like a guy I’d like to have on my team.


I have just finished reading mark Webbers book, it is FANTASTIC. In the book, he is not too complimentary of Horner, though to be fair is is less kind to Sir Frank Williams! Apparently the problem Webber had was that Horner was too weak, particularly when it came to Marco, and was two faced about the better components, stronger engines (he was told by Renault engineers) going to Vettel from 2010 onwards. So from Webbers view he’s not a huge fan! But from the outside he appears to have done, and is doing, a very good job as TP.


That must be why he had the same number of technical issues as Vettel.

I don’t think he was uncomfortable at RB. He was able to get in his teammate’s way and get away with it. Even when he wasn’t anywhere near the fight for the championship.

To be honest, he should be pleased they had a weak TP like Horner, as he sort of calls him that. Because if it was someone else, he would have been ordered to get out of way every GP weekend. Very interesting, after Malaysia 2013 Horner was deemed weak while Vettel was deemed monster. While I get Vettel wanting to fight for every single win from the beginning of a season after 2012, I also got why Webber didn’t get out of his way to help Vettel. What I don’t understand is why he’d purposefully get in his teammate’s way when he wasn’t even fighting for the championship.

Sometimes he reminds me of DC who talks like the fairest them all when there was races he behaved questionable at best.


Vettel got stronger engines and better components? Interesting. I wonder how much of this is true, and if it is, to what degree.


@ james….time to go ‘investigative’ and see what you can find. i also would love to know the full story.


That’s sour grapes on Webbo’s part. He has only himself to blame for stuffing his RB into the barrier at Korea 2010 and his defeatist mental state at Abu Dhabi 2010, both of which terminally denuded his WDC attempts for that year.

As for Williams………..well, again, he could have joined Renault for 2005, but turned it down, so again – only himself to blame on that on.

Like David Coulthard, Webbo was good, but not great. A good bloke, carried himself well, but ultimately not championship material.



Webber is entitled to his side of story. But that doesn’t mean his views are necessarily right.

I get the sense that he felt victimized in all the teams that he was a part of.

If there is a reason he didn’t become a world champion, it might be because of his me vs. worlds attitude. He’s right in saying that Horner showed weakness in handling intense situations within the team. Do you think any other team would have retained Mark after what he did in Brazil ’12?He didn’t go to Ferrari because he didn’t want to become No.2 to Alonso there.

Whoever knew Vettel involved his lawyer and sent a notice to RBR after Malaysia -13!!

Smart move 😀


RE TG: Webbo turned down the chance of driving for Renault in 2005 and 2006……………..

Who knows what Mark would have achieved had he listened to his manager and drove the turquoise blue and yellow cars? He would have kept Fernando Alonso honest, because Webbo was at his peak in his late 20s/early 30s and he liked the Michelin tyres with their soft, squidgy sidewalls……

Perhaps the differences between drivers in terms of ability is not so much what they do on the track, but how they operate off it……..


RE Kenneth:

I wrote Webbo was a good bloke!

My point about him going to Williams is that if had listened to his manager at that time Mr Briatore he could have gone to Renault for 2005………..a team on the verge of championship stardom. If Mark had gone there, perhaps Formula 1 history would have been very different for the Class of 2005 and Class of 2006? Webbo, in his late 20s at his peak, driving a Renault that was fast and reliable..

Mark was seduced by a romantic notion of being a straight talking bloke working for the straight talking Williams team…………..gullibility I think is the word.

FTR, I think Webbo is a fine man and a great ambassador for racing – but you would have to say, like Fernando Alonso (ironically) later on turning down the prospect of driving a turbo Merc, Mark made a terrible error of judgement in turning down the opportunity to drive the superb Renault R25 and Renault R26………..


@ gaz boy…that is just so wrong. webber is telling his story from the inside and you are trying to diss on the bloke from your armchair. williams promised him the world and failed to deliver. they lied to him and they were caught out. when webber was being held to account for bad results he suggested that they discuss this with sam as he was responsible for the car. williams didn’t like this and hence the major blow up with patrick head. SFW, when asked about his mistakes in F1 nominated that he should never have allowed mark webber to leave. webber was treated abysmally by red bull and he should have gone to ferrari but he said at the time, he didn’t have the desire to go about the drama of settling into a new team.

whilst i haven’t read his book i will as soon as i can. webber was one of the very few F1 drivers to tell it like it is, upfront. if he made an error he put his hand up and that makes him a good bloke IMO.


I remember webber from the schumacher era. He used to qualify that jaguar higher than it should have been and then became a mobile chicane during races and earning some points for a unfunded Minardi. He never did have the best of cars at the time when he was at his peak.


Poor form from Mark.

He took the money and never appeared to challenge the team. His last year with RB was damaging to his rep – is he now saying he accepted #2 status knowingly.

He did have an option to leave but settled for 1 more season.

It’ll be interesting to see how long it takes Horner to turn things around it’ll also be interesting to see if the group sticks with Renault.

Who I suspect will be eagerly be awaiting the specification for the next PU’s for 2017.


Webber seems to be suffering from persecution complex.He feels he was the victim in all the teams that he was a part of.

Its a one sided story and it would be interesting to know the reactions of RBR team members( or former) about it.


Glory days of Redbull are over, their era ended with the demise of the 2.4 V8 engines, If they wants to win the championship again they would need the VAG group to either supply them with works PUs or take over the team, and also Newey needs to fully commit into designing the 2017 car, finally they need a driver like Vettel or Hamilton, if all those pieces come together then Redbull can win again, its a tall order for Horner to do all that but not impossible.


That’s a very interesting thought process you have there… not very future oriented at all eh?


The 2015 car was designed by Newey!

He designed it last year when he was full time for Red Bull!

Even Newey can’t overcome a 100 bhp deficit.


newey didn’t design the torro rosso which looks better with the same engine and 2 rookies at the wheel

Adrian Newey Jnr

I’d argue that the key element of their loss of performance was that aero is no longer the dominant factor – powertrain, and to a lesser extent tyre management, has overtaken it.


I think Daniil Kvyat is going to be a good one. If he keeps it up, I might start seeing him, as I did Hamilton and Vettel at another time, as future WDC.


A driver like Vettel or Hamilton??

Mate…. Have you heard of Dan Ric?


Yeah old toothy that is struggling to keep Kvyat under control now, the smile has all but disappeared, hard to forget…


Yeah zero time world champion who won 3 races. Never established he is a prospect but this year the shine has quickly started to come off.


If Formula 2015 is the Old Testament, than Red Bull is Genesis, i.e The Downfall of Man and being forced to leave the Paradise of the Garden of Eden………..

Twas ever thus though – yesterday’s Hero’s are now today’s zero’s. There is only one certainty in the racing business – uncertainty. What comes around comes around……….domination does not last forever. Which is why Merc F1 should make the most of it while they can.


That is very true, Merc should break records while they can.

How long the Dominance will last is also another ?

Seems like Ferrari were catching up but seems like MERC is toying with them

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