Bullish Horner's quick impression

Formula One 2005: New boys bring a blast of fresh air to the pitlane and threaten establishment

Rookie test driver Vitantonio Liuzzi setting the fastest time in Friday morning's first practice session; Christian Klien and David Coulthard fifth and sixth after first qualifying. There were myriad reasons for such strong performances, but it wasn't a bad start for the Red Bull racing team and their boss, Christian Horner.

Rookie test driver Vitantonio Liuzzi setting the fastest time in Friday morning's first practice session; Christian Klien and David Coulthard fifth and sixth after first qualifying. There were myriad reasons for such strong performances, but it wasn't a bad start for the Red Bull racing team and their boss, Christian Horner.

The new regime represents more than just a fresh start for a team whose employment policy appeared to be based on the revolving-door principle when they were Jaguar. It may also signal a new philosophy in Formula One.

At 31, Horner is the youngest team principal in the business, his edge honed by two successful runs in the now-defunct Formula 3000 Championship that has supported F1 in recent seasons.

"Red Bull have a clear vision of where they want to go," he points out. "Dietrich [Mateschitz, the founder of the Red Bull brand] has committed considerable resource to the programme, given me total support and allowed me to run it in the way I want to. We share the same objective. I want to be competitive, I haven't come into Formula One just to take part. I'm a young guy and I'm ambitious. So I have a clear objective of where I want to be, and that is shared by Red Bull. They have to have something to market, and you can't market a team that's running round at the back."

Arguably Red Bull stand to lose more than they stand to gain, in terms of their hard-won youth market appeal, if they don't succeed in a game that proved too tough for a major manufacturer such as Ford-Jaguar.

"This is all about reaching the man in the stands," Horner says. "There is a different strategy in terms of the way this team will operate that I hope will appeal to the public. Now that Eddie [Jordan] has gone I think there is a big hole in the market. I think people will quickly recognise that Red Bull are coming from a different angle. We will be more approachable. We won't be using the Paddock Club to entertain guests, because the idea is to get to the guys in the grandstand. They are the ones who matter."

Horner is part of a new wave of management in the big league, together with Nick Fry at BAR Honda and Dr Colin Kolles, who has been tasked with running Jordan. The three of them were part of a press conference on Friday, and their straight talking was one of the more refreshing aspects of the weekend.

"We have to recognise that we are competing against each other, which is clearly key to this," Fry said, "but we are competing as a sport with a whole bunch of other sporting activities, like watching Desperate Housewives or American Idol or whatever it happens to be. And I think there is increasing realisation that while Formula One is very popular, our school reports tend to say, 'Could do better'. And that's what we have to do. We need to be adding more entertainment and listening to the fans. I am glad that we have experts like Red Bull, a marketing company, really involved. We can learn a lot from them."

The Red Bull team have an engineering department strengthened by the recent addition of the former Jaguar technical director Guenther Steiner and former Renault and Jordan designer Mark Smith. Coulthard, newly sporting the sort of iron-filing beard specifically precluded by McLaren, is clearly enjoying being in a position where the team love him. In a sport where the line between success and failure is finer than gossamer, nobody can operate at their maximum without the confidence of the people around them.

"The important thing is that the car is a sensible package and the drivers can commit to it, and that gives them confidence, as you can see," Horner insists. "DC is revelling in an environment where he is very much the team leader. He's the biggest asset that we have. At 33 years of age he's won 13 grands prix, he's been on the podium over 50 times. His confidence is growing, and this business is all about that. I've sat behind the wheel and I know what it's like.

"If you look out from behind it and you think, 'These guys don't really believe in me' it's a very difficult scenario to be in. It's clearly part of the strategy to give him absolutely full support. He's the perfect benchmark for the team. I've learned more from him since I've been in Formula One than from any other member of the team, because he comes from a winning background. He's never driven for anything other than a top team, starting with Williams and then moving to McLaren. He's thrown himself into the programme, and he's probably at his peak."

Horner, too, seems comfortable in his new role. "It's just bigger than what I'm used to, to be honest. That's the only real difference. The basics remain the same. You've got to have good people, you've got to react to problems quickly, and have a committed group who are all sharing the same objectives and are working together collectively. I would apply all the same principles that served me well before here at Red Bull, and the most important thing is to do the basics well. When you think about it, it's not exactly rocket science, is it?"

News
people
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Keys to success: Andrew and Julian Lloyd Webber
arts + entsMrs Bach had too many kids to write the great man's music, says Julian Lloyd Webber
Voices
Left: An illustration of the original Jim Crowe, played by TD Rice Right: A Couple dressed as Ray and Janay Rice
voices

By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Hand out press photograph/film still from the movie Mad Max Fury Road (Downloaded from the Warner Bro's media site/Jasin Boland/© 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)
films'You have to try everything and it’s all a process of elimination, but ultimately you find your path'
Arts and Entertainment
Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
books

New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning

News
Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
news

New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

News
people

Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch at the premiere of The Imitation Game at the BFI London Film Festival
filmsKeira Knightley tried to miss The Imitation Game premiere to watch Bake Off
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes