Q & A with Christian Horner
|By Jonathan Noble||Monday, November 8th 2010, 10:58 GMT|
Red Bull Racing made history on Sunday in Brazil after clinching its maiden constructors' title with one race to go.
Afterwards, team boss Christian Horner spoke about the long road to Formula 1 success and AUTOSPORT was there.
Q. So what is the feeling in the garage after that one then?
Christian Horner: It is unbelievable. To see the joy on the faces of so many guys, who have put so much time in. All the all-nighters, all the hours and hours of work - not just here but back in Milton Keynes. What has gone into this year, I don't think there is a more dedicated and committed team in the pit lane. To have achieved what we have is very much a dream come true.
Q. Is your Constructors' Championship success the over-riding good feeling that has come out of this weekend?
CH: It is an unbelievable result. In six years this team came from a team that nobody really considered seriously and perhaps thought was a party team, and thanks to the tremendous dedication of all the team members that have worked collectively so well, with the tremendous support from Red Bull – and the vision and unstinted unfaltering commitment from Dietrich Mateschitz, it is a very proud day for everyone in the team and for everybody within Red Bull to have won the Formula 1 constructors' world championship. And to have done it in such dominant fashion is very special.
Q. What has been the secret to Red Bull Racing achieving such success after six years in F1?
CH: I think we have assembled a great group of guys and girls who work together so fantastically well. There is a commitment and dedication that has gone in, not just this year but previous years as well under the technical leadership of Adrian Newey. But it is not all about individuals. It is about how the group has worked fantastically well collectively and six and a half years ago Dietrich Mateschitz had a vision and today we've fulfilled that vision which is just an unbelievable feeling.
Q. Has it been a struggle to shake off the stigma of being a party team?
CH: Not really. Obviously I think Red Bull, as soon as it joined F1, it brought a new energy and went about things differently in the way that we invited guests into our motorhome and the way we were involved in F1. It didn't mean that we were any less serious or committed than any other team – we were just different. And, we have built a great group as a privateer team with a customer engine, with great support from Renault and the culmination of that is this result, which is a tremendous, tremendous team effort.
Q. Despite the delight of being champions, was there a time when you thought that it might slip away?
CH: No. This was our eighth grand prix victory and our fourth 1-2 finish this year, our 14th grand prix victory in total. Obviously we could have won more this year. It was only two weeks ago when we were in a similar position only for circumstances to prevail against us – but the bottom line is that we have done a better job than all of our rivals. We have some illustrious teams that we are competing against and we've done it on merit, and it is a tremendous feeling for the whole of the team.
Q. When you came in, how many years did you think it would take to get to this point?
CH: When I sat down with Dietrich for the very first time he had a vision, not just to take part in Formula 1 but to win. He gave me the support and backing to assemble the right group of people which has been unbelievable. The target was to do it as soon as possible – whether that was five years or 10 years or whatever. It was just do it as soon as we can, and within six seasons to get to where we have is testimony to the brilliant group that we have that have worked together so fantastically well.
Q. But after Jaguar, you must have thought there was a lot to do and it was going to take a long time?
CH: Yes. At the beginning the team that Red Bull inherited, there were some strengths and there were a lot of weaknesses. We focused on addressing the weaknesses and building a very, very strong unit, and with two great drivers and the group that we have assembled, the unstinting support from Red Bull, it has culminated in today's world championship success.
Q. So can you relax a little bit heading to Abu Dhabi, or is the pressure really on?
CH: We go there with the Constructors' Championship secure, with two drivers still in this world championship as genuine contenders. We are determined to try and finish the season on an absolute high. We know it is going to be tough next weekend but we will still believe it is achievable.
Q. Does it matter if you add a drivers' championship to the crown?
CH: We have won eight grands prix, four 1-2 finishes and 14 poles so far. Both drivers have won four grands prix. Going into next weekend, both with a chance of winning the world championship. Nobody has a crystal ball and nobody can predict what will happen. We back both equally and that has been very much the Red Bull ethos, and we will continue to do so as we go into next weekend's round.