Christian Horner’s devious dig over ‘Mercedes replica’ FIA trophy

Thomas Maher
Christian Horner and Mohammed Ben Sulayem handshake. Italy, December 2022.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner and FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem shake hands. Italy, December 2022.

Christian Horner has joked that Mercedes handed a replica Constructors’ Trophy back to the FIA at the end of last season.

The Red Bull boss appeared on the latest episode of the ‘Talking Bull’ podcast to discuss his team’s meteoric start to the 2023 F1 World Championship season, with Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez claiming every victory in the year so far.

Horner showed up with a special surprise for the recording of the podcast, as the team boss brought along the Constructors’ Championship trophy which the team won in 2022 – the first time anyone other than Mercedes has won it since 2013.

Horner had brought it along as the object that meant something to him – guests of the podcast are invited to bring along such an object for the sake of discussion. Presenter Nicola Hume was suitably impressed as she asked about why Horner had elected to bring along such a prestigious piece of F1 history.

“This is the big one for us,” Horner explained to Hume.

“This is the Constructors’ World Championship trophy – you can see some iconic brands on there over the years… Cooper, Vanwall, Lotus, Ferrari, McLaren, and Mercedes – so so many great, great teams!

“We had a run of four of them around here (pointing) from 2010. Then there were an awful lot of Mercedes badges after that! Then finally we managed to get ourselves back on the trophy with that Constructors’ Championship last year in 2022.” recommends

Stealing sponsors: Christian Horner sets record straight on Red Bull’s rivals

Christian Horner discusses Red Bull driver relationship amid rumoured tension

Christian Horner jokes about his trophy being a ‘Mercedes replica’

Asked about how the trophy is handed over to each team at the end of their winning season, Horner explained how Red Bull were given the trophy at the FIA Prize-Giving ceremony in December 2022.

“This is presented at an FIA Prize-Giving at the end of the year and the team or the driver is not officially Champion until the trophy has been handed out,” he said.

“So it’s always a big moment at the end of the year and the trophy was handed over. I brought it back to Milton Keynes, you get it for 12 months. And then it has to be returned to the FIA for them to inscribe on whoever is going to be the next winner and you get to keep a replica.”

With Hume asking about whether the replica is the same size, Horner replied mysteriously: “Is it the replica? That’s the big question. Who has the real one?”

With Hume pointing out that someone had carried in the trophy with gloves on, suggesting that the trophy Horner had in front of him was the real one, the team boss joked that it’s possible the real one and the replica could have been swapped around at some point – unbeknownst to the FIA!

“What do the FIA have at the end of the year? Do they have the replica or do they have the real one?” he asked, with the podcast production team bursting into laughter behind the camera.

“How do you know it’s the real one? It’s probably a Mercedes replica!”