Marko succeeds in keeping Horner at Red Bull in a dramatic revelation by Helmut Marko. Christian Horner, one of Red Bull’s key figures, was about to leave the team but Red Bull head of driver development, Helmut Marko, had to pull out all the stops to keep the British team principal from moving to Ferrari.
Ferrari is no stranger to Christian Horner’s work when he arrived in F1 in 2005. Since that year, Red Bull has racked up almost 100 victories and is sure to claim a 7th drivers’ world championship title.
Impressive track record
Christian Horner’s journey up the Formula One management ladder began behind the wheel as a reasonably talented young racer who had competed with the likes of a young Juan Pablo Montoya in the junior categories before he went on to found the Arden International Race Team at the age of 25.
Three consecutive International Formula 3000 titles brought the young team’s owner to the attention of Red Bull and when the company decided to run its own F1 team in 2005, they turned to Christian to run the business.
In 2010, Christian led Red Bull Racing to its first back-to-back titles, with further back-to-back world championships following in 2011, 2012 and 2013. Now in his 17th season at the helm of Red Bull, Christian is still one of the youngest team principals, but he is also the most experienced.
Ferrari targetting Newey & Horner
The Scuderia has long coveted Adrian Newey’s signature. However, he seems determined not to jump ship at Red Bull. Ferrari came close to securing Horner at the Montreal race last June.
Although Ferrari started 2022 with a car capable of winning, strategic and reliability errors spoiled their chances of fighting for the title and gradually pushed Mattia Binotto out of the team. This ousting benefited Fredéric Vasseur, the Italian’s successor.
Marko had to ‘break the bank’
However, the story could have been completely different: Marko recounts that a Horner-Red Bull deal was close to being finalised.
“It took me all night to convince Horner to stay with Red Bull, which cost us millions more,” explained Marko.
While Horner has finally stayed and Newey has recently signed a new long-term contract with Red Bull Powertrain, other key members will be leaving the Austrian structure.
Dan Fallows has been appointed Aston Martin’s Technical Director, having previously been responsible for aerodynamics at Red Bull Racing. Head of Engineering Rob Marshall has been recruited by McLaren, where he will start work from 2024.