Formula One: Horner rejects all doubts about his Red Bull future

AFP , Saturday 2 Mar 2024

Christian Horner rejected any doubt about his future as Red Bull team chief on Saturday after watching Max Verstappen lead Sergio Perez home in a resounding one-two success at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

Christian Horner
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner during the Formula One Bahrain Grand Prix at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir, Bahrain, Saturday, March 2, 2024. AP


The 50-year-old Briton, who has guided Red Bull to six constructors’ championship wins and seven drivers’ title triumphs since 2005, said their comprehensive success was down to the unity and work of the team.

"A one-two finish like this is the optimum and you don’t get that without being absolutely united, having a strong team and great support from partners and shareholders," he said.

"You don’t achieve this without being united."

Asked by Sky Sports if he felt certain he had the backing of the Red Bull owners – including majority shareholder Chalerm Yoovidhya who was with him in Bahrain -- and was sure he would be at next weekend’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, he replied confidently.

"Backing? Absolutely, yes. And I’ll be there. Otherwise I wouldn’t be here!”

Horner’s position with Red Bull has been the subject of intense speculation in recent days following an anonymous email sent to Formula One staff and media on Thursday of alleged messages sent by him to a female member of the team.

This followed an announcement made on Wednesday that cleared him of alleged inappropriate behaviour following an internal investigation into complaints - which he categorically denied - against him.

"This is the perfect start," said Horner, who arrived at the Sakhir circuit hand-in-hand with his wife former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell.

"A dominant race. I have to say thank you to all the men and women back in Milton Keynes who, this winter, worked so hard and came up with another great car.

"It is a testimony to the hard work that goes on behind the scenes. It was a great team performance. The car you can see is an aggressive evolution and the design team, the whole team, did a wonderful job.

"They haven’t rested on their laurels. They pushed hard, pushed the boundaries and you can see a lot of innovative ideas on the car.”

Last year’s Red Bull car won a record 21 of 22 races as the team dominated.

"It’s a great statt, but a one-off on one circuit and one surface. It was very cool. Next week is a street track with much higher temperatures.

"We have to see three, four or five races before we see a true pattern. You can’t base too much on one race."

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