One of Horner’s most inspired decisions since setting up Red Bull in 2005 was to sign legendary designer Adrian Newey away from McLaren. Currently Newey still has a big impact on the squad, despite not being involved in the day-to-day design process.
But Horner feels that under technical director Pierre Wache the team has the strength in depth to chart its own course should Newey ever decide to fully step away.
“Adrian is a big part of this team and big part of what we’ve achieved,” Horner said in an exclusive interview with Autosport. “But of course, his role has evolved over the last few years and the technical team beneath him led by Pierre Wache, they’re doing a wonderful job and so that they’re not reliant on Adrian.
“He has the ability to come in, come out and work on other projects and I think that’s part of the evolution of any team.”
Horner has likened the process of not relying on Newey’s genius with football giant’s Manchester United’s purple patch of success around the turn of the century after its influential star player Eric Cantona had left.
“I was always a big fan of Manchester United, not as a Man United fan, but of Alex Ferguson, they had [Eric] Cantona and then they just evolved,” he explained.
Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool
Sergio Pérez, Christian Horner, Max Verstappen at the Red Bull factory in Milton Keynes
“Red Bull is a team that, we’re stronger for having Adrian with us, but of course the rest of the team is evolving.”
Horner stated that while he had received “a few” offers himself over the years to change sides, he was always set on staying at Red Bull.
“It’s always very flattering when you receive an offer or interest from another team, but my heart is here,” he said. “I’ve built the team, I bought in from the very beginning, I feel a responsibility to the people and the shareholders and all the partners that we have.”
When asked if he ever dreamed of becoming a stakeholder in his team, he replied: “No, because Red Bull has always owned 100% of the team and the team has always had the tremendous support from the shareholders.
“I’ve always treated the team with a responsibility that it was my own money to make sure that we spent it wisely and responsibly.”