Christian Horner

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Christian Horner
Christian Horner at the British Embassy, Japan crop.jpg
Horner on-stage at the British Embassy in Tokyo, Japan
Born (1973-11-16) 16 November 1973 (age 43)
Leamington Spa, United Kingdom
Nationality British
Occupation Team Principal of Red Bull Racing (2005–present)
Spouse(s) Geri Halliwell (m. 2015)
Partner(s) Beverley Allen (2000–2014)
Children 1

Christian Edward Johnston Horner OBE (born in Leamington Spa, England, on 16 November 1973)[1] is the Team Principal of the Red Bull Racing Formula One team, a position he has held since 2005.[2] His motorsport career started as a race car driver, before he switched roles to become Team Principal of FIA F3000 and later GP2 Series team Arden International Motorsport in 1999.

Driving career[edit]

Horner driving for Alan Docking Racing at Silverstone during the 1995 British Formula Three Championship season

Having started his racing career in karts, Horner's career in car racing started after he won a Formula Renault scholarship in 1991.[3] He competed in the 1992 British Formula Renault Championship with Manor Motorsport, finishing that season as a race winner and the highest placed rookie. He then moved up to British Formula Three for 1993, finishing second in the Class B Championship for P1 Motorsport and winning five races[3] before moving to the Fortec and ADR teams in 1994 and 1995, and then to the TOM'S team in 1996. In 1996 he also raced in British Formula Two.

Horner moved up to Formula 3000 in 1997, founding the Arden team.[1] According to Horner he set the team up with borrowed money, including a loan from his father, and persuaded P1 Motorsport founder Roly Vincini to take on the role of his race engineer. He bought a second-hand trailer for the team from Helmut Marko, who as head of the Red Bull Junior Team was one of Horner's main rivals as a manager in F3000, and who he later worked closely with at Red Bull. He stayed in F3000 for 1998 and was joined at Arden by Kurt Mollekens, who showed good pace and led the championship at one stage. Feeling that he wasn't as quick as the best of the drivers he was racing against, Horner retired from driving at the end of the season to focus on developing the Arden team.[3]

Complete International Formula 3000 results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 DC Points
1997 Arden International SIL
16
PAU
DNQ
HEL
DNQ
NÜR
DNQ
PER
DNQ
HOC
DNQ
A1R
16
SPA
DNQ
MUG
17
JER
6
21st 1
1998 Arden Racing/KTR OSC
Ret
IMO
12
CAT
Ret
SIL
Ret
MON
16
PAU
DNQ
A1R
17
HOC
18
HUN
Ret
SPA
DNQ
PER
17
NÜR
17
33rd 0

Team management[edit]

After retiring from competitive driving at the age of 25, Horner signed Viktor Maslov and Marc Goossens for the 1999 FIA F3000 season. Before the start of that year Dave Richards' Prodrive organisation bought a 50 percent stake in Arden on behalf of Russian oil company Lukoil, whose boss was Maslov's father. However Horner bought back Prodrive's share in Arden after one season.[3] Darren Manning was signed to replace Goossens for 2000/2001 season, scoring 1 pole and 2 podium finishes.

Arden also competed in Italian F3000 in 2000 winning three races and finishing second in the Championship with Warren Hughes.

After parting company with Lukoil, a new driver line-up was recruited for 2002, with Tomáš Enge and Björn Wirdheim who were brought in to replace Manning and Maslov. The team took five victories (four for Enge, one for Wirdheim), and Enge won the title that year, but was demoted to third after a failed drug test, handing the title to Sébastien Bourdais.[3] Arden won the Team Championship.

Wirdheim stayed in 2003, with Enge replaced by Townsend Bell. Björn Wirdheim won the title by a 35-point margin to second-placed Ricardo Sperafico. Arden retained the Team Championship.

The final season of F3000, 2004, was dominated by Arden's lead driver Vitantonio Liuzzi; the support of Robert Doornbos helped to secure both the Drivers and Constructors Championship titles by a large margin. The team won eight of the ten championship rounds that year, with Liuzzi taking seven and Doornbos winning one. Liuzzi was brought to the team by his manager, Helmut Marko, with sponsorship from Red Bull.[3] At this time Horner based his Arden International Team at Prodrive premises in Banbury, before relocating them to the former 22 Motorsport facility close by.

At this point Horner was looking for an opportunity to move into Formula One. After discussions with Eddie Jordan regarding buying Jordan Grand Prix came to nothing due to disagreements over costs, in November 2004 the Austrian energy drink company, Red Bull, purchased Jaguar F1 Team, which became Red Bull Racing.[3] In January 2005, Horner was appointed to head the team, becoming the youngest Team Principal at the time.[4][3] Despite being appointed only eight weeks before the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, the team got off to a good start under his stewardship, with drivers David Coulthard and Christian Klien finishing fourth and seventh in Australia, and they went on to score a total of 34 points for the team compared to the nine taken by Jaguar the previous year. He also played a key role in recruiting Adrian Newey, who was announced as the team's chief technical officer in November 2005.[3]

2006 was a transitional year: by the time Newey started work at Red Bull in February 2006, that year's car (the RB2) had already been designed, and the team switched from Cosworth to customer Ferrari engines, which overheated and were unreliable.[3] However the team did take its first podium finish at the Monaco Grand Prix, where Horner jumped into a swimming pool wearing nothing but a Superman cape to celebrate.

2007 brought the RB3, the team's first Newey-designed car, and the arrival of Mark Webber and Renault engines, however the team continued to suffer from problems with reliability, with the car enduring 14 retirements and scoring a single podium, whilst the team dropped down to seventh in the constructor's championship the following year.[3]

The team finished a strong second in the 2009 Constructors' Championship with drivers Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber finishing second and fourth respectively in the drivers' title race, and taking six wins between them.[3] In 2010, the team won their first Constructors' Championship with one race to spare, and Sebastian Vettel won the Drivers' Championship at the final race of the season, becoming the youngest World Champion.[5] At 36, Horner was the youngest Team Principal to win a Formula 1 Constructors Championship. In 2011, the team won their second Constructors' Championship with three races to spare, with Sebastian Vettel becoming the world's youngest double-champion. In 2012 the team won their third Constructors' Championship with one race to spare. Sebastian Vettel became the world's youngest triple World Champion. In 2013 Red Bull Racing won its fourth consecutive F1 Constructors' Championship as Sebastian Vettel won his fourth Drivers' Championship.

Horner was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2013 Birthday Honours for services to motorsport.[6]

According to Red Bull's accounts report, Horner received a £2.6m salary in 2014.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Horner was born into a family involved in the car industry: his grandfather worked as purchasing manager at the Standard Motor Company in Coventry, before establishing an agency with Horner's father to supply components to motor manufacturers in the English Midlands.[3] Horner was privately educated at Arnold Lodge School in Leamington[8] and then Warwick School.[9] He has two brothers, Jamie and Guy.[10] He and his former partner Beverley Allen have a daughter named Olivia, born in October 2013.[11] Six months later, he began dating former Spice Girls member Geri Halliwell.[11] They announced their engagement on 11 November 2014,[12] and were married on 15 May 2015 in Woburn, Bedfordshire. On 10 October 2016 Geri Halliwell announced the pair is expecting their first child together.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Christian Horner". ESPN. Retrieved 12 November 2014. 
  2. ^ "Christian Horner: Team Principal". Infiniti Red Bull Racing. Retrieved 27 September 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Taylor, Simon (January 2012). "Lunch with... Christian Horner". Motor Sport (magazine). Retrieved 1 October 2016. 
  4. ^ "OBE caps hat trick of titles for Red Bull boss". ITV Anglia. 14 June 2013. Retrieved 27 September 2013. 
  5. ^ Ornstein, David (14 November 2010). "Sebastian Vettel wins Abu Dhabi GP to capture F1 title". BBC Sport. Retrieved 27 September 2013. 
  6. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 60534. p. 11. 15 June 2013.
  7. ^ Christian Sylt (16 Nov 2015). "Red Bull Racing supercharges spend in attempt to regain Grand Prix gold". Daily Telegraph. 
  8. ^ "History of the School". Arnold Lodge School. Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  9. ^ "Red Bull chief Horner is making a splash but admits: 'I still can't believe my car's the star!'". Daily Mail. 25 March 2011. Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  10. ^ "Hero's Hero: Christian Horner". Red Bull. Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  11. ^ a b "Geri Halliwell 'dating Formula 1 team boss Christian Horner' after his split from girlfriend of 14 years". Daily Mail. 29 March 2014. Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  12. ^ "Geri Halliwell engaged to Formula One team boss Christian Horner". The Telegraph. 11 November 2014. Retrieved 13 November 2014. 

External links[edit]