Red Bull and Christian Horner’s new 150-week challenge

Red Bull won Formula 1’s top two titles last year thanks to Max Verstappen and the fearsome RB18, a year after a fierce clash against Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton made so many headlines. A symbolic way for Christian Horner, who has guided his destiny since 2005 and started as a full-fledged manufacturer, to end his first 18 years in charge of the Austrian team.

“It’s a remarkable adventure”Presented by Horner for Motor Sport magazine. “Looking back, I looked very young in 2005 and the team has changed a lot. So I think we’ve both developed a lot in the last 18 years. [2023] This will be my 19th season in charge of the team and a lot has changed during that time.”

“The people who work with us – many faces have been there from the beginning, but of course we have welcomed many more – and the facilities have changed dramatically. And of course, with the arrival of Red Bull Powertrains, it was carried out in the workplace. , as well as the wind tunnel that came to the site, is a period of rapid expansion on campus. [tout cela] Basically by bringing all this technology together under one roof, on one campus.”

“The team is always evolving and any competitive team will always be evolving. But I’ve seen great support from the shareholders from Dietrich. [Mateschitz] it is clear that all these years have been fantastic; and current shareholders who continue in the same row as him. Therefore, it is decisive. Like having a large group of people around you. Formula 1 is the world’s greatest team sport and requires all elements to work correctly and efficiently to deliver the results we have achieved over the years. And at the end of the day, it’s about people.”

The value of sustainability

Jonathan Wheatley, Adrian Newey and Christian Horner (all three above left) are among Red Bull’s furniture.

For that matter of people, the continuity that Horner (and a large number of team principals) embodies in the fast-paced environment of Formula 1 is in stark contrast to the situation at Ferrari in particular, which has seen the likes of Jan Todt, Stefano Domenicali, Marco Mattiacci. , Maurizio Arrivabene, Mattia Binotto and Frédéric Vasseur have not won a world crown since 2008, but they are alternating in control.

“I think we’ve always valued sustainability, and I believe that sustainability has a huge benefit, which is that it removes the culture of fear.”Horner says. “And I think stability is one of the biggest things we have; I’ve always been a big believer in that. You build on that stability and you let people do their jobs.”

“And of course we’ve had quite a bit of success over the last 18 seasons, so my motivation is as high as the first day I came here and I’m excited about what’s in store for us this year, but also for 2026 and beyond.”

Engine problem

It is the new engine regulations, which will obviously be introduced in Formula 1 for 2026 and beyond, and which have already prompted the Volkswagen group to enter the queen discipline via Audi and Honda to announce its interest. On the Red Bull side, the future is unclear: not because it is a concern, but because the ultimate identity of this project still remains nebulous.

Therefore, the team built Red Bull Powertrains, the work of the engine department in 2026 looks very advanced; it remains to be seen if a major partner will come along to put the stamp on the power blocks or more. After the failure of talks with Porsche and doubts about the possible return of Honda, which contributes greatly to the current success, the rumor is now leaning towards an alliance with another car giant, namely Ford.

Will the alliance with Ford be the next chapter in the history of Red Bull?

Will the alliance with Ford be the next chapter in the history of Red Bull?

Regardless, Horner does not hesitate to insist on the scale of the task facing Red Bull: “I think [ce qu’il faut], to continue to deliver, to continue to grow the team and the business here. And I think the next big challenge for us is power blocks. I mean, we have a young engine company taking on Ferrari, Mercedes, Alpine, VW… And so it’s a big challenge.”

“Behind Red Bull, it’s 150 weeks until the engine leaves the pit lane for the first time. So the mind is focused. [sur ce dossier], this is quite a problem. It’s a bold move to believe that an independent team can compete with this type of manufacturer.”

“But it’s still important to have the same culture, the same approach we take on the chassis side, and ultimately having it all under one roof, and the long-term benefits it brings. So I’m dedicated to a good cause. I’m just putting my time and focus into making sure we reach our goals in that area.” “.

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