Christian Horner Reveals How Sir Alex Ferguson & McLaren Pioneer Ron Dennis Inspired Him Through Tough Times

Published 10/20/2021, 3:00 PM EDT
Formula One F1 – Portuguese Grand Prix – Algarve International Circuit, Portimao, Portugal – Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner wearing a face mask in the team garage during practice FIA/Handout via REUTERS


Since Red Bull joined F1, Christian Horner has been its only Team Principal. Over the years, the Briton experienced some of the highest of highs, and the lowest of lows. While he led the Austrian outfit to four back-to-back double world titles, he also saw Mercedes dominate the sport for the last seven years.

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This season, his team finally has a package capable of challenging Mercedes for both championships. Recently, the 47-year-old spoke about two people who inspired him to keep going through the tough times he faced.

Christian Horner mentions the role of Ron Dennis and Sir Alex Ferguson

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In 2005, Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz appointed a 31-year-old Christian Horner to head the energy drink’s F1 team. This made him the youngest ever team principal in F1, which is a record that stands to this day.

During a recent interview with The Guardian, Horner mentioned how he fought through difficult times by learning through internal and external methods. He said, “You can always learn from others – whether that’s internally from seeing the way that Dietrich Mateschitz ran Red Bull or from other sports.”

Formula One F1 – Portuguese Grand Prix – Algarve International Circuit – Portimao, Portugal – April 30, 2021 Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner talks in the Team Principals Press Conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS

In terms of learning from other sports, he mentioned former Manchester United F.C. manager Sir Alex Ferguson and former McLaren team principal Ron Dennis. “I’ve always been an admirer of Alex Ferguson and the longevity of success that he brought,” said Horner. “He just kept rebuilding his team. I had great respect and admiration for him.

“Ron Dennis [the former team principal of McLaren], likewise. Ron was a very different personality to me but what he achieved was phenomenal. So there are always lessons to be learnt.”

DIVE DEEPER

Horner Takes a Pop at Hamilton & Mercedes’ Mind Games as He Reveals Verstappen Advice

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Horner outlines what will be the team’s biggest achievement

In the interview, the Briton termed Max Verstappen winning this year’s world championship would be the team’s biggest achievement. He believed it would cap off a season where they pushed Mercedes to the limit for the first time in the hybrid era.

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“If you look at the strength of Mercedes, and the dominance they’ve had, it’s clear that nobody’s come near them for years. No one has put them under this kind of pressure at this stage of the season so it will be an enormous achievement if we pull it off.”

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With six races left this season, Verstappen leads Lewis Hamilton by six points in the driver’s championship. Although the Silver Arrows look an improved outfit, the Dutchman will hope to keep the reigning world champion at bay.

WATCH STORY: Top 5 Wins of Max Verstappen’s F1 Career

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Sanket Nair

876 articles

Sanket Nair is an F1 & US Sports Author at EssentiallySports. He began following F1 since 2010, which made him an instant Sebastian Vettel fan. His favorite tracks on the calendar include Spa-Francorchamps, Monaco and Monza.

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