Christian Horner has said he doesn’t fear complacency setting in at Red Bull any time soon, as his team is enjoying the “winning feeling”.
Red Bull head into 2024 as the undisputed kings of Formula 1, having cantered to easy titles in ’23 with Max Verstappen dominating on his way to 19 race wins from 22 Grands Prix.
It marked Red Bull’s second consecutive Constructors’ Championship win as well, bringing the Milton Keynes-based squad to a grand total of six championship wins in their near-20-year history.
Christian Horner: The winning feeling becomes addictive
Appearing on the Sky F1 podcast after the season end, Horner had it put to him that current Premier League title holders Manchester City have been speculated about as being less focused and hungry this season and that complacency may be starting to creep in.
With Red Bull dominating similarly, does Horner see any signs of a similar complacency setting in within his own corridors?
“I think everybody is so motivated by success,” he said.
“Of course, Singapore still hurt this year, that we lost a race.
“That’s a big reminder, a humbling reminder, that it’s not that easy.
“We’ve got some massive competitors that want to beat us, that want to see us fail.
“It’s that motivation that charges us and drives us, and that winning feeling becomes addictive – nobody wants to lose that winning feeling.”
Christian Horner: You never know when the winning might end
With the current staff at Red Bull getting used to winning, having spent years trying to challenge the dominant Mercedes team between 2014 and ’20, does having staff who remember the tougher days make a difference when it comes to keeping the fighting spirit going?
“Everybody plays a key role,” Horner said.
“One of the things that we’ve had at Red Bull has been tremendous continuity, a lot of our staff have been there for a long time, and we don’t have a high turnover in staff.
“So they’ve been there on the good days, they’ve been in our not-so-good days.
“In sports, you tend to have more days that you lose than you win. It’s that winning feeling that you have to harness and capture and celebrate and enjoy because you never know when it’s going to come to an end.”
While Max Verstappen downplays the importance of records and statistics in relation to his own career, and Mercedes’ Toto Wolff has also decried the extent to which numbers mean to a sportsperson, Horner is eager to keep adding to Red Bull’s tally.
“It’s what you’re measured by as a team,” he said.
“For us, we’re incredibly proud of every statistic that we achieve, particularly as a reasonably young team.
“We’re still not 20 years old and to think… 13 World Championships, 107 victories, the amount of success and podiums that we’ve had has been phenomenal on this incredible journey so far.
“So all of those statistics are incredibly, incredibly valued and important to us.”