Christian Horner’s biggest fear as Red Bull switch from ‘hunter’ to ‘hunted’

Thomas Maher
Christian Horner in the Red Bull garage. Belgium, July 2023.

Red Bull's Christian Horner in the team garage. Belgium, July 2023.

Red Bull’s Christian Horner has identified a potential pitfall of being F1’s leading team, as other outfits keep them in their sights.

With Red Bull romping their way to another double-title victory season after rising to become the sport’s dominant outfit with last year’s regulation change, it’s a very different set of circumstances to a couple of years ago when the Milton Keynes-based squad tried, in vain, to beat the Mercedes squad on a consistent basis.

But, having toppled Mercedes from their perch to assume the position of leaders, Christian Horner has said it’s opened up a whole different set of challenges for him as team boss.

Christian Horner: Every other team is chasing us

Appearing in the team personnel press conference in Belgium, Horner spoke about the fact that, having become the ‘hunted’ team, rather than their usual position of the ‘hunter’, the other teams are always looking to take bites out of Red Bull.

Horner revealed that, across every aspect of the business, rival teams will do their best to try siphoning away the talent and resources they currently enjoy.

“The challenges are always different because, when you’re the hunter, you’ve got everybody focused on the target ahead of you,” he told media, including, when asked about the challenges he’s facing behind the scenes of Red Bull’s dominance.

“When you suddenly become the hunted, it’s a different type of pressure. Of course, we have numerous approaches from all these guys [other teams], obviously, chasing all our staff, sponsors, you name it!

“It’s just a different pressure. I think getting there is one thing, staying there is another, but I think the spirit of the culture that we have within the team is something that we’ve got great strength and depth in and have enjoyed great, great continuity over a long period of time which, again, is so important in this business.” recommends

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Christian Horner: There’s plenty to keep people focused on

With Red Bull having climbed the mountain and reached the top, the potential is that current staff will seek out new professional challenges – something which could be damaging for Red Bull due to the effects of ‘brain drain’.

But Horner is confident that the team spirit that’s been instilled at Milton Keynes, together with unique engineering challenges like a self-built engine department, will satisfy those who crave a challenge.

Asked whether it’s difficult to maintain the level of push needed for success, for himself as much as his staff, Horner said there are no issues with motivation.

“I don’t think so, I think we very much take it one race at a time, one session at a time,” he said.

“I think you have to focus like that. Nobody’s allowing their minds to drift. It’s a long, long championship, there’s a lot going on behind the scenes with Red Bull Powertrains – that is gearing up as well in the background in Milton Keynes with 2026 not being all that far away now.

“So there’s plenty to keep people focused on!”

Read More: Christian Horner hints at who could be next on Red Bull chopping block