Christian Horner highlights the ‘biggest problem’ with Ferrari F1 team

Oliver Harden
Christian Horner and Fred Vasseur

Fred Vasseur is the sixth different Ferrari team principal Christian Horner has faced in his Red Bull career.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner believes Ferrari’s status as the Italian national team is the “biggest problem” at Maranello, with the team subjected to huge media scrutiny.

Horner is the longest-serving F1 team boss by some margin, having led the team since their debut season on the grid in 2005.

Having overseen Sebastian Vettel’s run of four consecutive World Championships between 2010 and 2013, Horner is now enjoying similar dominance with Verstappen, the winner of 42 of the last 64 grands prix.

Christian Horner explains what’s holding Ferrari back

Verstappen clinched his third consecutive Drivers’ title in 2023, with Red Bull claiming a sixth Constructors’ title – their second in succession – having won all but one race this season.

Red Bull’s only defeat came in Singapore, where Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz won from pole position to end Verstappen’s record run of 10 wins in a row.

Despite that triumph, Ferrari remain without a title of any kind since 2008, with Kimi Raikkonen the last driver to be crowned World Champion in red back in 2007.

Current incumbent Fred Vasseur is the sixth different Ferrari team principal Horner has faced during his time at Red Bull, with the Scuderia sitting third in the Constructors’ standings – 420 points off top spot – ahead of the final two races of 2023 in Las Vegas and Abu Dhabi.

Appearing on the Eff Won podcast, Horner has claimed that Ferrari lack the agility of Red Bull due to interference at the top of the company and the pressure that comes with representing Italy on the national stage.

He said: “I think the biggest problem for Ferrari is that it’s a national team. It needs to get back to being a race team.

“It’s an Italian institution and there’s probably too many people at the top end. Everybody has an input and has a say.

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“From the outside looking in, one of our strengths is that we move quickly, we make decisions and we stick to them. And if we make the wrong decision, we change the decision.

“I think, for Ferrari, the newspapers have such an influence on what happens there. So it’s a lot of pressure, being at Ferrari.”

Following his DNS in Brazil last weekend, Sainz’s team-mate Charles Leclerc declared that his “only motivation” for the rest of 2023 is to defeat Mercedes in the fight for second place in the Constructors’ Championship.

Ferrari trail Mercedes by just 20 points and have started from pole position at five of the last nine races.

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