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Christian Horner Q&A: Daniel grabbed his chance

08 Jun 2014

For much of Sunday’s race in Canada, it looked like Mercedes were going to claim another dominant one-two, but in the end it was Red Bull and Daniel Ricciardo who stole the headlines. After the race, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner spoke about Ricciardo’s maiden win, and also discussed Adrian Newey’s new contract and revised role with the world champion squad…

Q: Christian, what a fantastic race - and surprising result…

Christian Horner: Yes indeed, it was a phenomenal afternoon seeing Daniel taking his maiden victory. He’s been sneaking around a win for quite some time - and today it really happened. Maybe we’ve benefitted from Mercedes’ misfortune - but then Daniel was right there to grab the chance when it opened up. How does the saying go? ‘To finish first, first you have to finish!’ We’ve taken 40 points today - it’s the first time that we’ve outscored Mercedes - and that is great news in view of Red Bull’s home race, the Austrian Grand Prix, in two weeks.

Q: Indeed it seems that the happy days are back again for Red Bull Racing, but then the pre-race news that Adrian Newey has signed a new contract but will be stepping back from day-to-day duties certainly raised quite a few eyebrows. What does it mean?

CH: We have agreed on new terms which means that he is not retiring completely from Formula One - he will be mentoring and advising the team - which means that Adrian is still around and that we have access to him. As the group keeps on growing and developing it is exciting for Adrian to be involved in other projects as well. So I think that the future actually is extremely bright. I have no doubt that Adrian will be with the team for many years to come.

Q: Adrian is one of the most important people in the team, so how will the day-to-day business be run? By a single individual or a group?

CH: Adrian will still be contributing, monitoring and advising the team. He will still have a role in the team, but he will also be looking at some other projects that we will announce a bit later in the year. We do have a tremendous strength in the team - and there are no plans within the team to replace Adrian with anybody else.

Q: When looking back, Williams and McLaren gave out quite similar statements when Adrian left - is this the prelude to his departure?

CH: Adrian has not left. Adrian will still be drawing, he will still come to the factory in Milton Keynes, and a percentage of his time will still be focusing on the Formula One team.

Q: Has Adrian led the concept of next year’s car?

CH: Yes, absolutely.

Q: When you say that Adrian is involved in other projects - could that be yachts or space projects?

CH: Maybe Adrian is doing something on his own - you never know. We will explain later in the summer some of the projects that we are looking at. There are some exiting things in the pipeline.

Q: There is a feeling that Adrian is taking a step back because he is frustrated about the current situation - that ideas are so limited by the regulations; that the window for bright ideas is shut…

CH: Adrian has spent 26 consecutive seasons in Formula One. He is not leaving the sport, he is not retiring - he is simply taking on a new challenge by keeping an involvement with Red Bull Racing.

Q: But that corroborates pretty much the rumour that is around. You don’t step back from something that involves your heart and soul…

CH: We will announce some new projects in the near future and I think he is just in a stage to take on some new challenges. But as I said before he still will be involved in how we operate. We have a wonderful technical team - many times that is ignored - and it is fantastic that they will continue to draw on Adrian’s experience and knowledge. We have no plans to put in another technical director - that much can be said.