Why Christian Horner turned down ‘extremely flattering’ offer to replace Mattia Binotto at Ferrari

Red Bull has displayed the benefit of its strategy of backing youth in the form of Max Verstappen in recent years, with the Dutchman going on to win successive world championships in the last two seasons.

The youth policy doesn’t stop just at the drivers though, as the team also appointed Christian Horner as its principal at a point when he was the youngest amongst peers at other teams.

It is perhaps this decision to back him at an early age that made it easy for Horner to turn down Ferrari when they approached him to take charge following the dismissal of Mattia Binotto.

While Horner conceded that Ferrari offered him a “hugely flattering” deal, he repaid the loyalty displayed by Red Bull in his early career and swiftly turned them down.

The Red Bull team principal discussed events with Auto Moto und Sport in an interview.

Horner was asked if he was tempted to take up a new challenge. 

“To be honest, no, because I’ve been here since the very beginning. I feel very much responsible for the team. It’s a great group of people that I work with. And I think I’ve never been tempted away,” Horner said.

The interviewer then asked if he was keen on staking his claim for a role at Ferrari following Binotto’s exit.

“Yes, it’s hugely flattering to have been asked by Ferrari, but they’re a great team and I’m sure they’re going to be very competitive,” Horner said.

What is Horner’s long-term goal at Red Bull?

Christian Horner. Credit: planetf1.com
Christian Horner. Credit: planetf1.com

It is fair that Horner would want to stay at Red Bull.

He has put in a great deal of work behind the scenes and it is only now that the team is reaping the full benefits of it.

With Red Bull clearly the pace-setters last year, it could be seen as the start of a dominant period for the team following Mercedes’ run in the turbo-hybrid era.

It is worth noting that Horner previously spoke about his dream of making Red Bull fully sustainable.

In other words, he wanted a situation where sponsorship money would cover all costs of the team and would not offer any risk in terms of losses due to a poor finish in the drivers or constructors’ standings.

Its new deal with Oracle has gone some way to ensure that this could indeed become a reality at Red Bull.

Max’s lethal form in recent years has meant that the team’s overall stock is undoubtedly climbing in the sport and the day is probably not far when Horner fulfils his mega goal of sustainability.

Read more: Christian Horner closes door on Sebastian Vettel return at Red Bull; Comeback mooted by Sky Germany pundit

Add Comment