“Max Expects 110 Percent Dedication, But He Also Gives It Back”


NOS Sports

  • Ghost Smedema

    NOS Sport Editor

  • Ghost Smedema

    NOS Sport Editor

With seventeen years of service, he is the longest-serving team boss in Formula 1, but gives a definitive answer to the question of whether it’s not boring.

“No,” said Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing’s main man.

“I wanted to be a driver and also race with Max’s mother, but it wasn’t good enough. I love this sport and I love working with people. I’m so involved in so many ways with this team and people that I feel like a second family.”

Watch below how Horner talks about his relationship with Verstappen in an interview with reporter Chiel van Koldenhoven.

Horner: Max and I talk about everything, problems big and small

England’s Christian Horner has been at the helm of the team since the first Formula 1 Grand Bull race in 2005. He was 31 when Red Bull CEO Dietrich Mateschitz gave him the keys to the racing stable.

Why is it getting boring after all these years? Horner was allowed to celebrate a world title from one of her drivers five times. From 2010 to 2013, Sebastian Vettel won the title and after seven seasons in which Mercedes dominated the sport, Max Verstappen was crowned world champion last year.


December 2021: Release at Verstappen and Red Bull Racing after winning the world title

“In all those years there have been countless milestones, but I can’t remember a moment that was more special than Abu Dhabi,” Horner looks back at Verstappen’s takeover of ultimate power.

“After a year of fighting, each race was like a round of a boxing match between two heavyweight teams, wheel by wheel until the last race. Nobody could have written that script.”

“We are a team run by an energy drink manufacturer that competes in motorsport against major engine manufacturers like Mercedes and Ferrari. As Red Bull Racing, we have shown that if you really want something, and act on it, you can win. Even for the dominant Mercedes.”

Horner on world title Max: ‘End of heavyweight boxing match’

“The passion in the team, that culture, makes us a little different. Thanks to the quality of the staff and perseverance, we succeeded. Max succeeded. We are very proud of that.”

Winter sports in Zandvoort?

Horner tells his story in an Austrian chalet. At least, or so it seems, because Red Bull’s pop-up guesthouse, with its wooden interior and spacious kitchen, looks more like a sleek, elegant restaurant at the bottom of the ski slope than a Formula 1 living room returning to transport five days after it was unpacked. go ahead.

In 2016, it was Horner who, on the advice of senior advisor Helmut Marko, dumped Toro Rosso driver Verstappen into the deep end and promoted him to the Red Bull main team. The story is well known: the first race of the main force resulted in a thrilling victory straight in Barcelona.

There was nothing wrong with “incredible, max, incredible” about the onboard radio, but Horner dared to put him in front of Verstappen at Red Bull.

France Press agency

2016: Verstappen after winning the Barcelona Grand Prix

In the world of football, the coach is sometimes dismissed as a bystander, or the person who stands in front of the group for a few seasons and then leaves. The bond between Horner and Verstappen is much closer.

“Max can talk to me about anything. If he’s worried about something, if something is stalking his mind. I know he feels like he can always get close to me. Whatever it is, problems big and small. That openness and honesty are important.”

And it’s not for nothing that Horner was there when Verstappen received a lofty royal award on Thursday. “It’s a great honor. It was a great moment for him and his family to be proud of.”


Max Verstappen and Christian Horner in Belgium

Even after all these years with Verstappen’s successes, and after going through countless actions, 29 grand prix victories and one world title, Horner hasn’t spoken openly about how far Limberger is headed for the goal.

“Put him in a car and you’ll get a 110 percent commitment. But he also expects 110 percent in return. It sets the standards high, but at the same time it’s easy to handle.”

From boy to adult man

“If we have a bad weekend, we put it behind us. We learn from it and we move on. Watching him grow into this is wonderful. When he came to us he was just a boy and I watched him grow into a man.”

“What Dutch fans are showing of Max, I haven’t seen anywhere else”

Horner, 48, heads a Formula 1 team with a total of 1,200 employees. “My job is to give employees all possible means to do their job and remove as many obstacles as possible.”

He can hardly point to 1,200 a day or a week of those for Verstappen. The team is too complicated for that. “There are a lot of people on the team involved with Max. From his engineers to the simulator professionals, the vehicle development and our marketing department.”

“There are similarities everywhere. It’s not just the people you watch on TV. Everyone has their role and function, they are all vital. Everyone should do their part to spend a weekend like last week in Belgium.”

Max shows time and time again that he stands out.

Christian Horner

In his early years with Red Bull, victories, not to mention top places or supremacy as he showed at Spa-Francorchamps last week, were rare. Renault’s engine wasn’t reliable enough to challenge the dominant Mercedes, while young Verstappen was driving too aggressively to take part in the battle for the world title.

‘A car that’s as talented’

Both barriers to structural success have been removed. Honda has given Horner’s racing stable a source of energy that has kept Verstappen competitive, and Verstappen himself walks the track more thoughtfully and rarely has a problem with it.

“We can now give him equipment to match his talent,” Horner said, proud of his engineers’ accomplishments. “And I hope we can give him that for a long time to come. It’s a great time for Formula 1 with so many young and talented drivers, but Max is showing time and time again that he’s outstanding. I’ve been his team boss for six years now and look forward to the next six.”


Zandvoort in NOS

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