On 30th April 2011, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner competed in the opening round of the Aston Martin GT4 Challenge of Great Britain at Silverstone. Christian was racing the guest car with the Aston Martin Racing chairman David Richards. General Manager Ellie Bartley caught up with him to discuss Red Bull and life in general.
1. What made you want to get involved in motorsport?
I was always fascinated by speed as a young child. I started by having a go-kart that went around the garden but it kept tearing up my father’s grass so we went up to a local go-kart track at Cheddington near Banbury and it was there that I discovered motorsport. I was just fascinated by speed initially.
2. In terms of Red Bull, at what gap in the points do you start to prioritise your drivers?
When it becomes either practically or mathematically impossible for one to win it but it’s obviously a long championship
and there’s a long way to go. As we showed last year, we have both drivers who we support equally and aim to give them the best chance possible.
3. Do you have a strong relationship with Adrian (Newey), Sebastian (Vettel) and Mark (Webber)?
I have a good relationship with all the guys. Adrian and I are good friends as well as work colleagues. Sebastian has grown up with Red Bull. I’ve known Mark for many years. It’s a great team environment.
4. How do you boost the morale of team and drivers after a bad race? Take the collision last year in Turkey for example?
I think you have to first look at what went wrong and then see how you can learn from it, to prevent it happening in the future. I also think you have to look at the positives rather than the things that don’t go your way or wrong. However, you can learn from races you win as well. It’s all about finding a balance.
5. How did it feel when you won the World Championship?
It was a fantastic thing for the whole team and the Red Bull company. It was quite unique. It was such an exciting end to last year, having both drivers still in contention, meaning it all went down to that final race. Thankfully it came out our way.
6. In terms of KERS, why aren’t you running it?
Well we have it on the car but just haven’t chosen to use it in a race yet. We learn more and more about the system during every Grand Prix weekend. It’s getting better all the time. I’m sure we’ll have move a step forward next weekend in Turkey.
7. Is there any need to run it with the current speed of the team, Sebastian in particular?
Yes, it’s important technology on the car and all the guys are working hard to get it fully up and running as soon as possible.
8. What road cars do you drive?
9. I’ve heard that you’re a fan of tennis. Do you have a favourite player?
Crikey! I like watching Roger Federer play. I used to be a John McInroe fan.
10. Finally, is there a particular place you like to go on holiday?