Horner on F1’s best future drivers and 2022

Jamie Woodhouse
Red Bull principal Christian Horner pointing. Mexico, November 2021.

Red Bull principal Christian Horner pointing during conversation. Mexico, November 2021.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner revealed the drivers who, alongside Max Verstappen, he feels are the future stars in Formula 1.

The current grid is seen as one of the strongest which Formula 1 has ever seen, so it is hoped that the new 2022 regulations will bunch up the pack and allow for more overtaking opportunities as planned, thus putting the emphasis back on driver ability.

In 2021 we saw the crowning of a new World Champion, that being Red Bull’s Verstappen, and since he is still only 24, the Dutchman is very much a part of the long-term future of Formula 1.

And in an interview with World In One News, Horner was asked to pick out the drivers that he believes are the future of Formula 1.

Carlos Sainz will be glad to hear his name mentioned, having spoken previously of feeling that he is recognised as a hard worker, but not so much as a talented driver.

Horner said: “Well, I think Formula 1 is in great shape at the moment because there’s so many exciting young drivers.

“Max, of course, is only 24, but he’s got a whole generation around him, like Charles Leclerc, George Russell in the Mercedes this year, you have Lando Norris that looks exciting, [there’s] Carlos Sainz.

“There’s many drivers, that are of a similar age, that are going to be there for the next 10 years or so.

“I think that’s great for the sport, it’s great for the competition and it’s going to be exciting to see how it pans out.”

Max Verstappen after winning the Abu Dhabi GP. Yas Marina December 2021.
Max Verstappen on the podium after winning the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to become World Champion. Yas Marina December 2021.

Horner went on to praise Verstappen for his relentless pursuit of an overtake, which combined with his determination and natural ability, makes him a “great driver” and one that continues to build an impressive fanbase.

Asked what makes Verstappen such a talented F1 racer, Horner replied: “I think it’s his hunger, it’s his determination, it’s his natural ability.

“But the fact that he never gives up, he’s a fighter, he will never let go of any opportunity, and that’s what marks him out as an exciting driver – a great driver.

“You know if you’ve got Max behind you, he’s going to have a go. I think that’s why he’s got such a big following in F1, [one] that we see continuing to grow.”

The question is, will Verstappen have the car underneath him in 2022 to continue his fight at the front?

The new regulations present an opportunity for the pecking order to be shuffled, a possibility which Horner is prepared for.


“There could be a shake-up in the order, I think you will see teams like Ferrari and McLaren, maybe even one or two surprises,” he said.

“Because it’s a complete reset of the regulations and ourselves, Mercedes were very much involved in last year’s championship fight, so inevitably that takes a little bit of distraction and emphasis away [sic] from the following year.

“But we expect to have some very fierce competition out there this year, and I think that’s going to be an exciting championship ahead.”


PlanetF1 Verdict


Horner selects his rising stars in F1

Christian Horner has selected the drivers who he thinks will be rising stars in F1.