Christian Horner details reasons for spurning ‘flattering’ F1 team offers

Thomas Maher
Christian Horner looks on on the grid at the 2023 Dutch Grand Prix.

Red Bull's Christian Horner looks on.

Christian Horner has outlined the reasons why his head hasn’t been turned by the prospect of joining another team.

Horner, who turned 50 in late 2023, has been with Red Bull for almost 20 years – the former racing driver turned team boss in junior categories was snapped up as an unproven youngster by the late Dietrich Mateschitz.

Almost two decades later, Horner has become one of the most successful F1 team bosses of all time, with Red Bull having secured their sixth Constructors’ Championship in 2023 – a formidable rate for less than 20 years of racing.

Christian Horner: I bought into Red Bull from the very beginning

With Horner now the team boss with the greatest longevity in his role, despite still being one of the youngest team bosses, it’s unsurprising that other teams have made approaches to try snaffling him away from Red Bull – with no success.

Speaking in an interview with Motorsport.com, Horner said his intention has always been to remain with the Milton Keynes-based outfit.

“It’s always very flattering when you receive an offer or interest from another team, but my heart is here,” he said.

“I’ve built the team, I bought in from the very beginning, I feel a responsibility to the people and the shareholders and all the partners that we have.”

With it now unimaginable to have Horner working for anyone other than Red Bull, it is notable that, unlike Mercedes counterpart Toto Wolff, Horner has never been part of the ownership of the Formula 1 team.

Without any shareholding, Horner’s wealth pales compared to what Wolff has accumulated – but Horner has no qualms about not having any ownership stake in the team that has become synonymous with him.

“No, because Red Bull has always owned 100 percent of the team and the team has always had tremendous support from the shareholders,” he said.

“I’ve always treated the team with a responsibility that it was my own money to make sure that we spent it wisely and responsibly.”

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Christian Horner makes Man United comparison

One of Horner’s greatest achievements – a critical one to the team’s success – was convincing legendary car designer Adrian Newey to jump ship from McLaren to join the burgeoning Red Bull squad.

With Newey still leading the team’s technical department and the prowess of technical director Pierre Waché, Horner maintains the team are not completely dependent on Newey’s talents and they have strength in depth throughout the operation.

To that end, Horner made the comparison that Newey’s departure, when the time comes for him to take a step back from the coalface, could be akin to Manchester United’s incredible run of form when star player Eric Cantona departed.

“I was always a big fan of Manchester United, not as a Man United fan, but of Alex Ferguson, they had [Eric] Cantona and, then, they just evolved,” he explained.

“Red Bull is a team that, we’re stronger for having Adrian with us, but of course, the rest of the team is evolving.”

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