Adrian Newey and Christian Horner ‘not necessarily a match made in heaven’ at Red Bull

Thomas Maher
Red Bull's Adrian Newey and Christian Horner at the 2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Red Bull's Adrian Newey and Christian Horner at the 2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Eddie Jordan believes that, despite their success together, Adrian Newey and Christian Horner’s personalities leads to clashes behind the scenes.

The former F1 team boss is now a respected Formula 1 pundit thanks to his years of knowledge gleaning from working in the paddock.

While Jordan’s time as a team boss barely overlapped with that of Christian Horner as Red Bull arrived in 2005, the last year of ‘Jordan Grand Prix’, the Irishman believes that two of Red Bull’s top people are likely to clash behind the scenes due to their personalities.

Christian Horner, who has been team boss at Red Bull since their very first season, works closely with the team’s chief technical officer and the man who oversees the designs of their F1 cars, Adrian Newey.

The esteemed designer had lengthy and successful stints at McLaren and Williams prior to his Red Bull switch, but Jordan reckons Milton Keynes is where the “fiery” engineer is a natural fit.

“Longevity, loyalty, focus, attention to all the minor details,” Jordan told David Coulthard on their Formula For Success podcast when asked for his thoughts on the ingredients that make Red Bull so successful.

“I think, even though sometimes it looks somewhat a little bit turbulent from the outside, Adrian Newey has found his natural home.

“Yes, he was good at Williams but he never really liked it. Him and Ron Dennis at McLaren, while they were massively successful, I think it just suits Adrian Newey and the brain that he’s got.

“There are not many better brains in the entire universe, in my opinion, when it comes to getting speed out of something that you design.

“I think the concoction of the main team, but the two key top people have been there for a very long time.”

But, despite the continuing domination of Formula 1 and their overall staggering success during their 15 years together, Jordan said there are likely clashes between the pair as both Horner and Newey are too strong-willed.

“It’s not necessarily a marriage made in heaven,” he said. “Sometimes that helps! Adrian can be a fiery guy, and Christian equally so, but it works.”

While Jordan believes the pair clash, it’s worth pointing out that no significant arguments between them have ever reached the public. recommends

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David Coulthard on when he saw Christian Horner ‘truly angry’

Coulthard, who raced for Red Bull between 2005 and his retirement at the conclusion of 2008, revealed that he has only seen his team boss “truly angry” on one occasion during his time with the squad, despite his long-term association with Red Bull as a brand ambassador.

“I’ve only seen Christian truly angry once and it was when Mark Webber and I were teammates,” Coulthard said.

“It was the Chinese Grand Prix and it was one of those transitional races, wet to dry. I was running out of sequence with the pit stops that Mark was on but in front of him, and crucially, just behind [Heikki] Kovalainen.

“The team call came because Mark, on fresh tyres, was catching us and for me to move over. I was like ‘Well, I’ve got a point in front of me. I’m not moving over for a point.’ I’ve done enough of that in my career at Williams so I declined the opportunity to move over, eventually was able to get past Kovalainen, and then Mark didn’t on that occasion get in front of me as well.

“So it confirmed my belief that I could get past the guy but when we were discussing it after the race, Jesus was Christian angry. Changing colour, veins popping on his neck, because he just felt that we needed to operate as a team at all times.

“He said I’m going to be a team player which really tweaked a nerve for me because I’ve always been a team player. That’s the only time I saw Christian angry.”

“And then Adrian angry is throwing his pencil on the table. And, when I say throwing it, he’s very respectful of his pencils. So he kind of sets it down and rolls it away! They’re not fiery characters in the way that I would imagine a Gunther Steiner is when he flips his chips!”