Christian Horner has compared himself to one of football’s greatest ever managers as he continues to guide Max Verstappen to a second successive world F1 title. The Red Bull protégé is currently 70 points clear of second-placed Charles Leclerc, and it would take a remarkable turnaround from here for the Ferrari man to catch his rival.
But whilst the prospect appears inevitable, another Verstappen championship won’t be popular with all F1 fans, especially those backing Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes, given the manner in which he won his first. And Horner was seen as a central figure to Michael Masi altering his safety car instructions at the Yas Marina last December.
Horner, 48, has also been mocked for his frequent mid-race interviews on Sky Sports, whilst he has also been accused of calling out authorities in a bid to help his team. He’s recently voiced the need for an increased budget cap, an argument opposed by the likes of Guenther Steiner.
Horner’s tempestuous relationship with Toto Wolff, his opposite number at the Silver Arrows, has also divided opinion, whilst his marriage to former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell has ensured his ‘private’ life remains very much in the public eye. But regardless, the Englishman has insisted he’s not affected by outside opinion.
“If it bothers you, you shouldn’t do the job,” Horner told Martin Brundle during an interview for Sky Sports. “My job is to do the best I can for the team and the people I represent. If I look at someone like Sir Alex Ferguson, I doubt he ever worried about what perception other managers or people thought about him in the sport.”
Horner’s work at Red Bull certainly seems to be paying off in this campaign, and he reiterated that the team was his primary focus: “My priority and my prerogative is to do the best I can for the people I represent,” he added.
Horner became the youngest Team Principal in F1 when he took on the role at Red Bull in 2005. He’s since overseen five world title wins, the previous four coming from 2010-2013 when Sebastian Vettel dominated the sport.
This season, his team are also on course for the Contructors’ title, with Verstappen and Sergio Perez 77 points clear of the Scuderia. The season, currently in the midst of a four-week break, resumes on the weekend of August 26-28 in Belgium.