Wry-smiling Horner labels Vettel’s Aston a ‘good car’

Sam Cooper
Christian Horner smiling. Imola, April 2022.

Red Bull's Christian Horner smiles during the podium ceremony at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. Imola, April 2022.

Christian Horner joked Sebastian Vettel “has a good car” in reference to the accusations of the Aston Martin car being a “green Red Bull”.

Having spent five years together at Red Bull, four of which Vettel won the World Championship, the relationship between Horner and the now Aston Martin driver has never soured.

Sunday’s race in Baku was a day to savour for both of them with Horner’s team taking a one-two while Vettel finished P6, his highest position of the season.

The bond between the two was shown during Horner’s post-race interview when Vettel congratulated his former boss as he walked by.

The Red Bull team principal was later asked about how he felt seeing Vettel back amongst the points and could not resist cracking a joke at Aston Marin’s expense.

“He’s doing a great job,” Horner told Sky Sports F1. “He’s got a good car and and it’s good to see him up there. It’s good to see the old boy’s still got it. ”

As he made the comment, he did so with a wry smile and it was a reference to an ongoing issue between the two teams that began in Barcelona.

Ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix, Aston Martin unveiled a vastly upgraded AMR22 which bore a striking resemblance to Red Bull’s RB18. The car, and its development, was cleared by the FIA who judged that no wrongdoing had occurred despite a number of Red Bull employees leaving to join Aston Martin before the season.

That was not case closed though as Horner, alongside Helmut Marko, insisted there would be more to come with Marko going as far as saying they had evidence that “data had been downloaded.”

While there has been no news for a while, leading Aston Martin team boss Mike Krack to suggest nothing will come of the Red Bull investigations, Horner did say it was still being dealt with by the FIA.

He was pressed on his comment and played it with a straight bat, saying: “That’s down to the FIA, but I’m pleased for Seb he did a good job today.”

It was a near perfect afternoon for Red Bull having seen both Ferraris of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz forced to retire early on. This led to Sergio Perez leading ahead of Max Verstappen before the Dutchman easily breezed past his team-mate who had been told there should be “no fighting.”

Perez backed the order though, saying it was “a right call made by the team.”