Exclusive interview - RBRs Christian Horner 04 Sep 2006
Red Bull may be known as Formula One racings party team, with their Energy Station motorhome, Formula Unas girls and a steady flow of celebrity guests, but behind the fun lies a serious yearning for success. Having already secured arguably the most famous designer in the paddock, they have now signed up one of the most promising driver line-ups for next season. So could 2007 could be payback time? We spoke to team boss Christian Horner
Q: With four races to go, how satisfied are you with the performance of Red Bull Racing so far this year?
Christian Horner: The season's expectations obviously grew following a strong debut year and after a difficult start we have made steady progress throughout the year, the highlight of which so far was obviously David Coulthard's podium finish in Monaco. Obviously the team has been strengthened considerably during the last 18 months and this year has been used as a building year which we expect to see the benefits from starting in 2007.
Q: Your dive into Red Bull's swimming pool in Monaco after David's podium finish is one of the best remembered moments of the season. Will you be making any more bets?
CH: After Monaco I have learnt my lesson not to make any idle bets, but it was a great result for the team and I was happy to honour the bet.
Q: Red Bull Racing were one of the first teams to announce their 2007 driver line-up, with David continuing and Mark Webber joining from Williams. What was the motivation behind signing Mark?
CH: Mark is a very talented driver who has never fully realised his potential and we are convinced that both he and David will make a very strong team. Both drivers are very motivated, have a great deal of experience and should help us to reach our targets in '07.
Q: How do you expect the Newey-Coulthard connection to push development forward? David has spent almost his entire Formula One career driving a car designed by Adrian Newey
CH: Obviously both Adrian and David know each other well and this will be a useful factor, however I am sure that Mark, with the experience he has gained especially on Bridgestone tyres, is going to make a significant contribution to the development of the car.
Q: The driver side is settled, questions are still being asked in the paddock over your engine supply. Will RBR stay with Ferrari or, as has been widely rumoured, switch to Renault?
CH: At present we have a Ferrari contract for 2007.
Q: The two Red Bull teams are a vibrant force in the paddock, but both seem to keep a very low profile when it comes to politics. Why is that?
CH: We are here to focus on going racing and as an independent team we don't need to get involved in the various politics that have mainly been centred around the automotive manufacturers. Our objectives are clear in that we want to achieve success in Formula One and for that reason we remain focussed on the racing.
Q: Monza is next and then the three fly-away races with very little chance to significantly modify the car. You currently have 16 world championship points - what is a realistic season total for you?
CH: Our target is to try and beat Williams in the constructors championship and get closer to BMW Sauber. We will be pushing as hard as possible at the four remaining races to score as many points as possible.