Christian Horner reveals drivers he wished drove for Red Bull – but never did

Henry Valantine
Red Bull principal Christian Horner in the paddock. Australia, April 2023.

Red Bull principal Christian Horner wearing sunglasses in the paddock.

Christian Horner has named Juan Pablo Montoya and Tom Kristensen as drivers he wished had raced for Red Bull in the past.

The Red Bull team principal has been in post since the team arrived in the sport in 2005, and has been overseeing the Milton Keynes-based squad as Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen have gone on to win multiple titles with the team.

For the most part since the late 2000s, Red Bull have opted to use junior drivers from their own programme in both the senior and Toro Rosso/AlphaTauri squads, but Horner was asked about any drivers from the past he wished he had seen in Red Bull colours who had never driven in them.

And after picking seven-time grand prix winner Montoya, Horner added that he felt Formula 1 “missed” the opportunity to see the driver who would end up becoming known as ‘Mr Le Mans’, having won the legendary 24-hour race nine times.

“There’s a few over the years that I would have liked to have seen,” Horner explained on the Extraodinary Tales with Seb Coe podcast.

“I think Montoya underperformed in Formula 1. I think he was a wonderfully talented driver that should have achieved more.”

He continued: “There was a driver that I tested in the Arden team that I again thought was a phenomenal driver that Formula 1 missed, there was a chap called Tom Kristensen, [who] went on to enjoy tremendous success in sports cars.” recommends

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Horner has worked with a multitude of drivers in Formula 1 in his time as Red Bull team boss to date, with Vettel and Verstappen being the two to become World Champions and several others becoming race winners while with the team.

When it comes to what separates those two from the rest, the team principal explained there is just an added edge to their driving that sets them a little bit further apart from their competitors.

“There [are] so many great talents that you see come through, but they’re all different,” Horner said.

“They all have their own personalities, their own traits, but with the good guys, there is that same steely, ruthless determination that they all share, that I see in Max [and] I saw in Sebastian obviously beforehand.

“It’s that last little bit, they’re prepared to go that little bit further.”