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Exclusive Christian Horner Q&A: Success breeds success 27 Oct 2013

Race winner Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing celebrates with Christian Horner (GBR) Red Bull Racing Team Principal, Adrian Newey (GBR) Red Bull Racing Chief Technical Officer and the team.
Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Indian Grand Prix, Buddh International Circuit, Greater Noida, New Delhi, India, Race Day, Sunday, 27 October 2013 Race winner Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB9.
Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Indian Grand Prix, Buddh International Circuit, Greater Noida, New Delhi, India, Race Day, Sunday, 27 October 2013 Adrian Newey (GBR) Red Bull Racing Chief Technical Officer and Christian Horner (GBR) Red Bull Racing Team Principal.
Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Indian Grand Prix, Buddh International Circuit, Greater Noida, New Delhi, India, Practice, Friday, 25 October 2013 Christian Horner (GBR) Red Bull Racing Team PrincRw Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing and Christian Horner (GBR) Red Bull Racing Team Principal celebrates in parc ferme.
Formula One World Championship, Rd13, Singapore Grand Prix, Race, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Sunday, 22 September 2013 Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB9.
Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Indian Grand Prix, Buddh International Circuit, Greater Noida, New Delhi, India, Race Day, Sunday, 27 October 2013 Christian Horner (GBR) Red Bull Racing Team Principal and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing.
Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Indian Grand Prix, Buddh International Circuit, Greater Noida, New Delhi, India, Practice, Friday, 25 October 2013 Christian Horner (GBR) Red Bull Racing Team Principal.
Formula One World Championship, Rd13, Singapore Grand Prix, Practice, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Friday, 20 September 2013 Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB9.
Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Indian Grand Prix, Buddh International Circuit, Greater Noida, New Delhi, India, Preparations, Saturday, 26 October 2013 Red Bull team principal Christian Horner is delighted after Sebastian Vettel's seventh victory this season Red Bull Racing RB9 rear floor and rear suspension detail.
Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Indian Grand Prix, Buddh International Circuit, Greater Noida, New Delhi, India, Qualifying, Saturday, 26 October 2013 Race winner Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing celebrates in parc ferme with Adrian Newey (GBR) Red Bull Racing Chief Technical Officer and Christian Horner (GBR) Red Bull Racing Team Principal.
Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Indian Grand Prix,

Having guided Red Bull to a fourth successive constructors’ and drivers’ title double, team principal Christian Horner had every right to have a big smile on his face in India on Sunday evening. We spoke exclusively to the 39-year-old about the secret to the Milton Keynes-based team’s success...

Q: What’s the Red Bull secret to success? What do you do differently to all the others? A one-off success may be down to luck, but winning both titles four times must involve a smarter concept…
Christian Horner:
It is all down to the people, the team - and working as a team…

Q: Others do the same, so the concept is nothing new…
CH:
We work as one group. Everyone works for each other within the team with a common vision and one desire: to keep winning. The success that we have is a result of having tasted success before - it’s almost like a drug.

Q: So Red Bull is made up of success junkies…
CH:
Ha, let’s call it aspiration - and the team’s constant aspiration to grow. That goes throughout all the departments, of which there are many within a Formula One team.

Q: Why has Sebastian Vettel been the champion four times and Mark Webber has never won the title?
CH:
Because he (Sebastian) has done a better job.

Q: Is it that simple?
CH:
We do our best to field equal cars to both our drivers and it is ultimately what happens on track that has determined the success of Sebastian. This takes nothing away from Mark. He is a highly-skilled driver - he’s just been unlucky that he’s been paired against one of the most successful drivers of all time.

Q: Of course, success has a price tag - and it is expected that when Red Bull discloses its finances that it will be the team that has spent the most money. The rumour is that you’ve spent hundreds of millions - more than McLaren or Mercedes. Is that the price for success?
CH:
I disagree. The problem of how numbers are presented is what is included and what is not. If you take like for like the numbers are extremely comparable with McLaren’s, and considering the success bonus we have paid as well, it is an erroneous assumption that we are outspending every other team in Formula One. There are other, bigger spenders. It is very easy to say that Red Bull spends the most money in Formula One: that is factually incorrect.

Q: Success has many fathers - can you name the most important ones?
CH:
It is impossible to pull out individual names. Of course Adrian Newey is a hugely significant part of our success - as is Sebastian Vettel, Mark Webber and the six hundred or so employees that work within the team. And of course Dietrich Mateschitz , who had the vision and has given backing throughout the hard and difficult times, as well as in the successful times in the last four years. It is great to repay his faith and his commitment - not only for the team, but also for the sport.

Q: Has Red Bull benefited most from the changes to the tyres since Silverstone? Is that the dark spot on Red Bull’s clean slate?
CH:
We were winning races and leading the championship before the tyre change came - and we have developed the car well in a difficult situation, as we also had to keep a close eye on the 2014 car. So, no dark spots - just a fantastically working team.

Q: You announced Daniel Ricciardo when he was going through a fantastic period of form. His results have dropped off slightly since the announcement for various reasons - would you make the same decision again now?
CH:
Absolutely. Without a shadow of a doubt! Daniel’s performances have continued to impress us with the equipment that he has at his disposal. The determining factor was the test that he did for us at Silverstone, as well as the background knowledge that we have of him, whether from the simulator or previous testing he has conducted for the team. He has a huge amount of natural speed and a great deal of talent. The only thing he lacks is experience. We have been considering our options for next year for a long time and we all firmly believe that Daniel is the right man for us.

Q: In the light of the rule changes that are coming next season, would you have liked Mark to have stayed for one more year?
CH:
Well, the timing was right for Mark to decide to leave and I think it is a natural timing with a big regulation change to have a change in the driver line-up. The racing next year will be very different to the racing this year - and drivers and teams will have to adapt. So it’s a clean sheet of paper for everybody and it doesn’t really matter so much how many years a driver has under his belt.

Q: With the news that Red Bull’s head of aerodynamics Peter Prodromou is moving to McLaren, you will lose an important member of your technical department for the first time. Why would somebody leave in a moment of great success?
CH:
He has not left; he has a contract with us until the end of 2014 so he still has one more year to go with the team. He is a valued member of the team, but if any member decides that they don’t want to be with the team any more we’re not forcing anybody against their will at the end of their contract. But as I said: there is still some time to go on Peter’s contract.

Q: Is he the poor man’s Adrian Newey? As the saying goes: if you can’t get the master, get his best apprentice?
CH:
Well, McLaren obviously have lost significant technical staff over the last few years and it is only natural that they are looking to recruit.

Q: What does Christian Horner want as the next step in his career?
CH:
I still have an awful lot that I want to achieve with this team. I think we can achieve a great deal more and I can’t imagine any other job giving me the stimulation or satisfaction than this does. Yes, it is challenging and it has its moments but that is Formula One.

Q: So how does it feel having taken eight titles in four years?
CH:
It is one of those once in a life time moments - and we, the team, are living it for the fourth time. What more can I say.

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