How Horner Gave Vettel and Webber a Tough Lesson in Privilege After Early Red Bull Friction

Published 05/26/2021, 8:18 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Monaco Grand Prix – Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco – May 20, 2021 Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner in the FIA Press Conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES


Since Red Bull Racing debuted in F1 way back in 2005, Christian Horner has been its only team principal. Across his 16-year career, he’s managed 12 drivers in Red Bull Racing, ranging from David Coulthard to Max Verstappen.

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After a successful weekend in Monaco, Horner appeared on “The High Performance Podcast.” He spoke about the friction between Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber, and how he improved their relationship.

Christian Horner reveals what he did with Vettel and Webber

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Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber raced together for Red Bull from 2009 to 2013. During that period, Red Bull won four consecutive championships.

Although they tasted amazing success, the two drivers did not get along with each other. There was considerable friction between them, which went out of control after they crashed into each other in 2010.

On “The High Performance Podcast”, Horner revealed he took both drivers on an outing where they realized the importance of respecting each other.

He said, “I got both drivers and I took them, with David Coulthard, actually, to Great Ormond Street, to meet some of the kids that were having a tough time. Also importantly, the parents. And to spend a morning there with those kids and parents, and some of the heartache and you know, that was real life issues.

“And it just demonstrated that, okay, we’ve got it pretty good. With the challenges these poor children and their parents and the anguish they had, what we do is nothing.”

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Horner: They had reasonable respect between them after that visit

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Although it was a simple outing, Horner saw the relationship between Vettel and Webber change. While it was not a complete turnaround, the Briton believed they developed enough respect for each other.

MONZA, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 13: (L-R) Third placed Mark Webber of Australia and Red Bull Racing, first placed Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Scuderia Toro Rosso and second placed Heikki Kovalainen of Finland and McLaren Mercedes celebrate in parc ferme following qualifying for the Italian Formula One Grand Prix at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

When asked about a meeting with his drivers after that visit, Horner’s answer was simple. “I didn’t need to, at that point,” said Horner. I think after that, we then had a period where there was a reasonable respect between the two of them.”

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F1 is no stranger to strained relations between teammates. Although such pairings are not on the current grid, the fight for the world championship has torn friendships like Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. While that is not a problem Horner has at the moment, could it be one that pops up in the future?

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Sanket Nair

145 articles

Sanket Nair is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. A Sports Management student, he is a huge fan of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo and hopes to see Red Bull break Mercedes' dominance and win the World Championship soon. Sanket has been hooked to the sport ever since he watched the battle for the 2010 World Championship go down to the wire at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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