#2 : Christian Horner

#2 : Christian Horner
The Edge
#2 : Christian Horner
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Episode 2 March 30, 2021 00:41:40

Hosted By

TAG Heuer

Show Notes

This time on The Edge, a podcast by TAG Heuer, we take a deep dive with Christian Horner, Team Principal of the Red Bull Racing Formula One team, behind the scenes of an 8-world-title-winning F1 team. We discussed what gives a great driver their ‘drive’ and found out how the world of Formula One has weathered the 2020 storm. Your host is Teo van den Broeke, Style Director at British GQ. Watch out - this is The Edge.

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 0 00:00:01 I think you push the edge, you know, in sport, I think as you get older, you get more experience. You, you learn to deal with situations perhaps slightly differently, but, uh, of course, you know, you are, when you're competing for grand pre victories, you are always on the limit. Uh, and if you're on not on the limit, you won't be winning. So, um, it's just getting comfortable with living your life there. And, uh, as I say, I think experience helps with that Speaker 3 00:00:38 Keeps what gives us our edge and how do we go beyond it? How thin is the line between taking part and tipping into victory? What inspires those moments of rare advantage that change the shape of a race a winner's born or made and what happens when things go wrong or when it all goes right. Welcome to the edge. We'll be talking to people operating at the very edge of possibility from athletes to actors and from artists to entrepreneurs. I'm your host te van and BRCA watch out. This is the edge, a podcast by tag Hoyer. Hi, Christine. Uh, wonderful to have you here at the edge. Thank you so much for, for joining us. Um, how are you? Speaker 0 00:01:37 Very good. Good to, uh, good to be here. Good to see you all obviously, um, crazy times, but hopefully the end is in sight. Speaker 3 00:01:45 Absolutely. So you are, you are just back from Bahrain, um, where you've just had a very successful test period. Can you tell, can you tell us a little bit about that? Speaker 0 00:01:53 Yeah, it was the, uh, the preseason testing. So three days the shortest preseason, you know, we've ever had the same for all of the teams, but, uh, was a good, um, three days for us, uh, was split between the two drivers, you know, max first SAP and Sergio Perez. And, um, I think we recorded the fastest time on the first and the last day I managed to achieve quite a lot of lapses as well during the three days. So of course, very difficult to read into form at these tests because you don't know what power levels people are running, what fuel loads, what car weights, um, you know, are, and Mercedes always, uh, sandbag somewhat during, uh, winter testing. So it's only when we get to the first race that we're really gonna see, you know, where we are, but as far as our own preparation has gone, we're quite satisfied with the way that's gone to date. Speaker 3 00:02:42 Fantastic. Very, very exciting. Looking forward to the season ahead. Um, so Christian, I guess before we, well, not before we get started, as we get started, I think it would be a good way to begin by you kind of explaining how little, uh, a little bit, how you got to where you are, how you became the principal of red bull racing, um, a role which you've inhabited for now 16 years, if I'm not mistaken, um, it would be kind of great to get a kind of short potted history of, of how you got to where you are. Speaker 0 00:03:10 Okay. Well, I, I started life, uh, originally as an aspiring young driver, I raced in, in carting in the UK. I won a scholarship from Reno to move from carts into car racing. I raced in, in formula Reno, winning races in that category in formula three, I drove for, for the Lotus formula three team. I then moved up to, uh, British formula two. And then after that, what is now the FIA F two championship? I didn't have enough budget to drive for, for one of the better teams. So I thought with a, with a sponsorship that I'd, that I had, I would create my own team. Um, and, uh, that's what I did with a couple of mechanics and engineers. And off, we went racing, um, initially with one car and then I had a teammate join me. And I quickly realized that you had to choose between whether you were gonna be a driver or a team manager and, you know, running a team and driving for it was, you know, was impossible. Speaker 0 00:04:09 And, and my driving talents were, uh, shall we say, you know, modest. Um, so I decided that I would step out of the cockpit, but concentrate on building that team up, which I, which I did over the next few years, um, winning the championship in the category just below formula one for three years, uh, in succession. Um, and then, uh, obviously as re bull bought into formula one, acquiring the Jaguar team. I, I was looking at making a move into formal oh one, Bernie Kelson was encouraging me, uh, and potentially to do it with my own team. But, uh, I, um, obviously was intrigued with what rebel were doing and, uh, helmet Marco and Dietrich Chu, uh, approached me. Uh, I was only 31 years of age at the time, um, to come on board as team principal, rebel racing. And, um, and that's what I did and the rest, uh, the rest is history, but, uh, yeah, I started life as a, as an aspiring driver and, and here I am far away from the cop. <laugh>, Speaker 3 00:05:17 I mean, I, I wonder what a kind of decision that must have been for you to make. Cause obviously, you know, we, for everyone who watches formula one, engages formula one, it's all about the driver. It's, it's very much about that kind of that position. Um, was it, was it a hard decision for you to make, to move out of the cockpit, uh, or, or did it come quite naturally? What was the kind of process? Speaker 0 00:05:39 It came pretty naturally in the end, because I think I recognize I was honest enough of myself that, you know, I was a respectable driver, but going up against, you know, the best, uh, you know, some of the best drivers in the world that were coming through at the time, the likes of Ron Pablo Montoya and, and, and other drivers that were going on to, to former one and LA racing that I, I, um, you know, recognized that I wasn't at their level. And, uh, I was honest enough for myself to say to, you know, I enjoy this sport. I don't wanna get a proper job. Um, I'd like to focus on, you know, working, you know, with the team, using the experience that I had to having driven for, you know, for good teams and not so good teams in the, in the past and build a team how I would've liked to have driven for a team. And that's what I, I focused on doing, um, you know, with the team and, uh, in the under study category to formula one, Speaker 3 00:06:30 I mean, you were in, as you, as you just said, you were incredibly young when you became a team principal. I think if I'm not mistaken, the youngest ever team principal, um, at that time, um, how were you accepted into the fold? Was it, I mean, obviously you'd been around formula one for, for, for a time before that, but how, how was it, were you, um, did you have to kind of earn your standing? Was there competition, were, were people, do you know what I mean? Sorry, I'm not expressing this properly. Um, how was the process of being enveloped into the fold of formula one as the youngest principal at the time? Speaker 0 00:07:04 Well, of course, when I came into the sport, um, into formula one, you know, 31 years of age, I was considerably the youngest guy at the table, and there were some iconic, you know, big characters, you know, Bernie eon was firmly running the sport, you know, with max Mosley at Theia, you had John to running, uh, Ferrari. You had Ron Dennis at McLaren, Frank Williams, um, even Eddie Jordan was still around and there were some formidable, you know, opponents and characters, the likes of Flavia Bri to, uh, Paul STAAR, you know, they were, they were all there. And, um, you know, they didn't suffer falls lightly. Uh, and you know, it was a matter of earning your, earning your stripes in many respects. And, uh, I think that, you know, I've never let age be a, you know, something to judge you by it's age is just a number as if you were at the young end as I was, or at the other end where Bernie Kelson was, it's how you conduct yourself on what you do. Um, that, that really matters. And I think that's, uh, you know, it was fascinating seeing those guys, you know, in operation and the compare and contrast to today is very, very different because they were effectively all entrepreneurs. Um, and, uh, but it was fascinating. And, you know, I held my own ground and did my own thing and stuck to the principles that had served me well in my, uh, team, in, in formula two. And, uh, you know, it worked out okay, Speaker 3 00:08:32 <laugh>, this is a bit of a question that I'm bringing on you, but were there any specific moments that, um, really kind of taught you a lesson that you've gone on to, to take into your further career, um, when you were that kind of young, young gun coming in to the game? Speaker 0 00:08:47 I remember some of the early meetings there used to be a meeting at Heathrow airport prior to the season. It was called Concord meetings at the time, because it all related to the Concor agreement and all the team principles came together. And there was not a single item on the agenda that anybody agreed on, nothing was achieved. Um, it was basically a two and a half hour argument, um, that, that Bernie was masterfully conducting, but at the end of it, everybody agreed what a fantastic meeting it was. Um, and, uh, and, and that's how it was to continue. And, uh, you know, Bernie was uniquely qualified to, uh, achieve exactly what he wanted by com creating as much chaos as he, as he, as he possibly could. And, uh, I remember coming away from that first meeting thinking, you know, we've achieved absolutely nothing <laugh>, um, but, uh, yeah, that was the dynamics of, of, of formula one. And, um, not much has changed since, I mean, obviously Bernie's no longer there, but, uh, sometimes we attend these long meetings. I'm not, I'm in doubt to sometimes what they do achieve. Speaker 3 00:09:53 That's an affable chaos by the sounds of it. Um, I, it would be interesting to talk a little bit about your kind of successes, um, I guess your early successes, um, as team principal, what was that first moment where you kind of thought, wow, I've really achieved something extraordinary here. Speaker 0 00:10:10 I suppose, you know, in the early days outside of formula one, it was winning the championships in, in formula 3000. I remember winning the, the support race at, at the Monaco grand Prix. And in those days used to get, um, prize money, um, that, uh, was awarded at the event. And so I was given an envelope of prize money. Um, and I thought, I, I need to buy something to commemorate this, this first victory at, uh, at Monaco. And so I, I went to the watch shop at the, at Denise airport, and there was a, a tag watch that caught my attention at the, the, the Mo edition mm-hmm <affirmative>, uh, even though we've been at Monaco, I couldn't afford the MoCo edition <laugh>. Um, and, um, and I bought this watch, um, to commemorate, um, winning that race, and I still have it to this, to this day. So that was, I guess, early on, but the first major moment in formula one was obviously winning our first grand Prix, um, with one of the cars, you know, behind me at the, uh, the Chinese gr Prix in, uh, in 2009. Speaker 3 00:11:15 Absolutely. I mean, I think I've seen you wear that watch, um, in the, in the F1 series that you've just, um, been, been involved in and watch having watched that series. It really struck me that the process, it seems that the process of building a successful formula one team is kind of analogous to that, of building an F1 car. Everything has to work in harmony and at the highest level. And if things aren't working, then there needs to be replaced or kind of souped up. Is that, is that a fair analogy? Is that something that, is that a way you think about it? Speaker 0 00:11:49 Yeah, very much so. I mean, formula one is the biggest team sport in the world. You've got, you know, to 800 people having to work in harmony with each other across 22 different departments. And I think that, uh, you know, formula one is the epitome of teamwork. Cause what you see at a grand Prix is only the shop window. Uh, you know, the engine room is behind the scenes. It's back in the UK, back in the facility and the factory and you know, here at the red bull campus. Speaker 3 00:12:14 Oh, sorry. Oh, just jerk a little bit. Um, yes. Okay. So, um, unlike other teams in F1, it's well known, obviously that red bull doesn't manufacture its own engines, does that, um, increase the workload? Does it increase the pressure or conversely, does it kind of give you a freedom to select the elements that you want and have a little bit more of an editing process, as opposed to that kind of, you know, overall pressure of creating? How does, how does that dynamic work? Speaker 0 00:12:44 Well in the previous, um, 16 years, we've always been a customer, um, with different engine, um, partners. And we currently have a great partnership with Honda, um, that, uh, is entering into its third season. Unfortunately, it's the final season. Of course we've had decisions to make for the future. What do we do? Do we continue to be a customer or do we take our destiny into our own hands? And, uh, that was the decision by the group to, um, you know, to go it on our own, to bring the engine here, inhouse, to integrate it fully within, into, uh, you know, the, the, the chassis into the organization. And that is tremendously exciting on one hand and slightly scary on another, because of the scale of the, of the challenge. But I think we've managed to demonstrate on the chassis side to produce a competitive car against some iconic opponents. And, uh, I see no reason why we can't by applying the same methodology, the same, uh, approach to do the same on the engine side. Speaker 3 00:13:45 So does that mean you're having to kind of completely restructure the internal kind of company in terms of the people that you're employing and creating new workshops? I mean, is it, is it must be a massive kind of, um, if not overhaul then recalibration for the way you operate, Speaker 0 00:14:01 It's a significant, um, development for us. It's the creation of a new company, red bull power trades, um, and, uh, based and located here on the campus, but it's a significant investment, probably the single largest investment that red bull had made in informal one, uh, in a new facility, uh, state-of-the-art equipped with, uh, the latest, uh, dinos and, uh, simulation equipment. So, um, and of course we have to be ready for 2022. So it's, uh, a race against the clock as well Speaker 3 00:14:32 For you personally, does the challenge of having this new element to your role overseeing this? Is that exciting? Is that something that you kind of relish? Speaker 0 00:14:41 It is exciting. It's a new challenge. It's, uh, something where we take in control of the future, you know, of, uh, uh, making sure that we've got the most competitive engine, the competitive people, the right people, the right tools, the right infrastructure to go, uh, and, and create competitive engines to challenge for future world championships. Speaker 3 00:15:01 Sure. Uh, you've kind of just touched on this, that obviously formula one is a shop window, but behind that behind the scenes is where most of the action happens. Um, and having watched the show, it kind of really comes to light and that sense of pressure, um, that is on you really is, is palpable. And, you know, you are as much a star of that show as the drivers are. And it also feels quite doggy dog to be, to be honest, there's a, there's a real kind of, um, push and pull, which you get a sense of. And I know that's obviously the drama created by the show mm-hmm <affirmative>. Um, but how, how do you deal with that? Is that something you enjoy? Is it, is it something that you kind of have had to learn to manage? Speaker 0 00:15:42 Well before one had a nickname of being called the Piana club and got that name for, for a reason, cause there's a fews out there. Um, and of course, you know, it involve, it's hugely competitive. It involves huge amounts of money. Um, you know, it's high, high stakes. And I think that, uh, it's a very, very competitive business, very competitive industry. And, um, but you, for me, it's about the racing on track and, you know, the rest of it is a necessary evil in order to get to a competitive position, you know, on circuit. So, um, you know, I've just stuck to my own values, which have served me well over the years and I will continue to do so for the future. Speaker 3 00:16:23 How, how have you personally found the increased exposure? Because, you know, we talked a bit at the beginning about, you kind of gave up being a driver to move into being the principal. And although obviously you do have exposure in that role, a great deal of exposure, a show like that kind of, um, takes you to another audience. Is that something that you've kind of enjoyed? Is it something that, um, detracts from what you're doing? How what's the, what's the dynamic? Speaker 0 00:16:47 Well, I think that, you know, grand Prix fans, you know, worldwide, wherever we go, we get a tremendous reception. Um, but that's been very much focused on, you know, the core fan base of formula one racing. I think, you know, the, the show and the Netflix, um, you know, addition have really taken formula one to broader audience. So I, I think that's what you notice is that there's just a more broad audience and visibility that, you know, Netflix have brought to, you know, to formula one and some of the challenges and more behind the scenes rather than just on, you know, at the circuit racing. So it's, it's an interesting dynamic. Um, it's not one that I pay too much attention to. Uh, and particularly in the current world, we don't see anybody anyway. So, uh, I changed my life too much. <laugh> Speaker 3 00:17:35 I mean, in, on that topic about kind of expanding the audience of formula one was, was that part of the reason why you wanted to get involved with it? I mean, is that need to bring formula one to a new audience, very much present? Um, what, what's the, what's the root to that? Speaker 0 00:17:51 Well, I think it's been a great asset for formula one because it has reached an entirely new audience, both in the us and across different generations as well. And of course, what it is doing, it is effectively it's promoting the sport, some of the characters, particularly the drivers. And, uh, of course then to, to see how those drivers are performing all those teams, um, you have to tune into a grand Prix. And so it's brought a new following, you know, to the sport, which is, which is great to see. And I think formula one has never been as popular as it currently is, you know, globally. And I think, you know, the Netflix show has, uh, certainly played a role in that Speaker 3 00:18:28 As much as a, a, a clear rivalries between the principles. Um, there also are obviously very clear rivalries between the drivers, but it seems to me that it's kind of less between drivers of different teams and often drivers in their own teams. Is that something that's kind of stoked to make them work harder and push harder? Or is it just something that happens naturally in your experience? I Speaker 0 00:18:49 Think, I think it's just something that happens naturally. I mean, the word teammate is a fallacy <laugh>, um, you know, your teammate, the two drivers, they have equal equipment and they're the only two on the grid that have the same tools that their disposable. So inevitably they're measured against each other. So, you know, drive one driver will ultimately come out on top. Um, and of course the driver that you are being constantly compared to because of the similarity of equipment is your teammate. And so they will make or break your career to a D you know, to a degree. So, um, of course there is that intense internal rivalry, but of course, they're also there to fulfill a role for the team. Um, because the most important championship for us ironically, is not the driver's championship, which is where the prestig is. But for a monetary point of view is the constructions championship, the team championship, which both drivers points count towards. Uh, and that's where we need the drivers really driving on behalf of the team. Speaker 3 00:19:51 Um, one of the things that you say in the, in the show that really struck me was how, you know, you, this is a, this is drinks company and you operate, you have operated in a very different sphere and you've come into this game, but you've come into it incredibly strongly. It's quite extraordinary. When you think that you are up against traditional manufacturers, do you feel very proud of that, that you've built this incredible thing? I mean, I personally feel like you should. <laugh> Speaker 0 00:20:15 Well, we're constantly looking forward forward rather than backwards. So it's only when you come into a room like this and you see some of the historic cars, and it's a relatively short history in 16 years, you know, we've won, we've managed to win quite a lot. Um, you know, four consecutive, double world championships, driver and constructions between 2010 and 2013. And in pretty much in, in each of the years, since we've been probably the co closest competitor to Mercedes winning races in every season, apart from 2015. So, um, you know, but you're always looking forward, you're never looking over your shoulder, it's always about the next race, the next season. Um, and you rarely get time to reflect on, on, uh, on last year or, you know, the last year. So, um, you know, we tend to be forward facing and, and constantly looking at addressing and taking on the next challenge Speaker 3 00:21:10 We should talk about then the forthcoming season. Um, how, how are you feeling about it? What are the, what are the biggest challenges? What's the a, obviously we know what the aim is, um, but how what's the, what's the general mood? How are you feeling? Speaker 0 00:21:24 Well, there's always a sort of a nervous anticipation and excitement about heading into a new season. It's like back to school and, you know, everybody turns up with their new cars and new uniforms and away you go again and see, see how you fare and, you know, we've had a good preseason, so that has increased the, the expectation and the excitement surrounding this year, but we're still mindful of the fact that Mercedes have been absolutely dominant in the last seven years. So, uh, we make no, um, bones about it. We've got a huge mountain decline, but it's gonna be a long season. It's a tough season, particularly the second half of the year 23 races around the world, um, is, is brutal for the, for the traveling staff. But, uh, it's something that, you know, the races in us thoroughly enjoy, and it's the competition. We've got great drivers, we've got a great team. Uh, we've got formidable opponents. Um, and it's gonna be, I think, season of all seasons this year, uh, particularly based on what we saw in, uh, recent testing in Bahrain, Speaker 3 00:22:27 You must be very excited for things to start back up as they were, I assume you were. I mean, it's a lot of traveling <laugh>. I mean, did you miss it last year? What was the, what was the kind of, um, how did you feel having that kind of hiatus and are you desperate to get back into it now? Speaker 0 00:22:42 Well, this time last year, we were just about to go into a 65 day lockdown unsure of what the future or rest of the year looked like. So that was a bizarre scenario where, you know, we were sat in our homes, um, trying to plot a championship and red bull played a key role in that in the first two races, but getting the championship up and running again. And the teams collectively worked hard together with a promoter and the governing body to get a 17 race championship up and running. And that was, you know, with the challenges of traveling around the world with, with COVID and restrictions, you know, that was some undertaking. And of course now we embark on a full championship year. Um, again, with the challenges that that COVID is, uh, you know, presenting, um, again has its has its challenges. And usually by the fourth or fifth race, you travel around the world at least a couple of times in, in, in air miles. And, uh, uh, you know, it is a busy, busy schedule, particularly the second half of this year, but hopefully, you know, we're gonna see more and more fans returning to sport, um, able to watch sport live across the globe. Speaker 3 00:23:49 And what, what is it not like not having fans avail there to watch it? What's the, what's the mood? Does it change the, the way that the sport operates? I just, you know, I'm talking about this, having watched certain other sports where they've had empty stadiums and, and you just get the sense that the kind of sense of purpose isn't quite there anymore, does it feel the same? Speaker 0 00:24:11 It's very weird. Um, particularly in the buildup and the aftermath of a race that, you know, the crowd make the atmosphere and the noise and the vibrance and the energy from the crowd, as soon as the lights go out, though, and the, the focus is on the cars, your, your focus is just on the race and it, it becomes, you know, secondary. And then when you get to the end of the race, and if you've had a good result, it's again, it's slightly bizarre going to a podium a bit like at a indoor go-kart race, um, where there's just you and your team stood around the podium and, and the drivers, you know, stood up there. So I can't wait for the fans to come back. It's, you know, the reason that we exist, uh, the reason that sport exists globally, and, uh, the sooner we can get fans back in the grandstand, you know, the better, Speaker 3 00:24:56 How do you feel that the last year's season will be remembered? Will it, will it kind of be a blip that people will want to forget? Um, you know, is it gonna be taken as seriously in the, in the kind of great Canon of formula one? Speaker 0 00:25:08 I think it was a success for formula one. It showed the dynamics of formula one that's able to adapt and, you know, to keep a 17 race world championship, uh, venues around Europe and, and the rest of the world last year was a phenomenal achievement, particularly introducing circuits that we'd either not been to for some time or never been to previously. And there were some great tracks that were, you know, that were introduced last year. So I think, you know, 2020 was a tough year for everybody. Uh, but I think formula one, um, you know, was a shining light, um, in sport in that, uh, you know, amongst that pandemic. Speaker 3 00:25:48 Mm. I mean, before we talk about your personal approach to the sport, um, we, we kind of just touched on the fact that you have some very serious competitors, what we will have covered this, but what is it about red bull that makes you stand out? What is it that gives you the edge and makes you such a viable competitor? Speaker 0 00:26:07 I think it's a spirit that exists in the team. We are a race team that is who we are, that is our DNA. Um, we are not trying to be something else. We're here to go racing and try and win formula one gro PR. And I think that, you know, that competitive spirit runs through the business. It runs through the whole team and, uh, people are proud to work for, you know, for the team. It's not a job. Uh, it's not a nine to five job. It never has been and never will be it's, uh, you know, everybody has to go that extra mile, particularly when you're taking on the might of Mercedes or, you know, other automotive manufacturers or, you know, giants of the sport, like, like Ferrari. So, you know, we are still relatively young at only 16 years. Um, and what we've achieved in a short space of time has been, has been impressive, but we're hungry to do a lot more. And, um, you know, it feels like we're on the verge of, uh, you know, picking up some winning momentum again. Speaker 3 00:27:07 So you personally, Christian, I mean, what is it that you love most about formula one? What is it that keeps you coming back day after day, that gets you on those flights that, that takes you through? Speaker 0 00:27:18 I love the competition. I love working within a team within a close team environment of getting the most out, you know, of a team. Um, I enjoy working with the drivers, uh, and the sport, you know, I'm, most of all, I'm a fan of the sport. I've been a fan of formula one since I was a kid. And that still remains, you know, in my heart today. And, you know, you have a competitive drive in, uh, you know, within you that pushes you on and, you know, winning is very much addictive and once you've tasted it, you just want more and, uh, you don't wanna let that go. And it, it hurts when you don't, but it focuses you onto, uh, you know, focusing on where you need to improve. And when you do manage to win races or ultimately championships, you get a real sense of, of, of satisfaction of everything collectively coming together. Speaker 3 00:28:12 Do you, you think you could, that anyone could, um, be successful in this business without being a really competitive person? Speaker 0 00:28:19 I think you've gotta have a drive you've gotta have, you know, be motivated. Um, and, uh, you know, there's many different characters, so, uh, I can't talk for others. I can only talk for myself, but, you know, that's what motivates and drives me. Speaker 3 00:28:32 I, I found it really interesting watching the way that you interact with the drivers, um, with, for staff and how you kind of instill that sense of competition in them, but also what you must sense in them to know that they're going to be successful. You kind of the way you talked about some of them, there was this kind of idea that there was something in them that made them, um, automatically ordained to do well. What is it, what is it that you sense in a driver that's gonna make them truly spectacular? Speaker 0 00:29:01 I think you can see with, you know, with young drivers that have got a lot of talent that they, they share the same, first of all, raw ability, um, in a confidence and hunger, you know, most of all, they need to have that ambition. They need to have that belief. They need to have that desire. And, uh, that's a common trait between, you know, all successful, um, drivers, certainly that we've seen through our, you know, the investment in our junior program. Speaker 3 00:29:28 Um, so obviously, you know, you've had a lot of achievements during your time at red bull, but perhaps away from the titles and the wins that are kind of the obvious obvious achievements. Is there something in the last 16 years that really stands out for you as a, as a kind of moment of achievement that you feel incredibly proud of? Speaker 0 00:29:47 Well, outside of the sport, obviously, you know, it's family life is the most important thing. So, you know, your children obviously, uh, are at the top of your, the list with your family. Um, and, uh, you know, the sport can be tremendously demanding on time. Um, but, uh, you know, it's important to find a balance between family life and, and working life. Speaker 3 00:30:11 How do you find that balance? Speaker 0 00:30:13 Um, with difficulty sometimes because this business is so demanding, um, but I'm very fortunate. I've got an understanding wife and, um, my children don't know anything different than, uh, the job that I'm, you know, have done their entire lives. So, um, yeah, you know, with a lot of understanding, but, you know, making sure that between grand PRS, that when we do get downtime, we do get family time that it's, uh, that, that we make it make it count. And, uh, uh, you know, that I'm, that I'm very much present and, um, obviously, uh, trying to enjoy as normal a family knife as we can. Speaker 3 00:30:51 Do you, um, do you see yourself doing this forever for the rest of your career? Is there any, what, what, what else would you be doing? If not, Speaker 0 00:30:59 I have no idea what I'd be doing if I wasn't doing this job <laugh>, um, that, uh, I enjoy what I doing. Uh, I'm still relatively young. I'm still extremely motivated. So, you know, long term in this business is about three years. Um, so, so who knows what the future holds, but I don't have any, uh, intention of doing anything differently, certainly for the foreseeable future. Speaker 3 00:31:24 Um, we just touched on family slightly. What, what would you say if there are any other parallels between, between being the head of an F1 team and being a father? Speaker 0 00:31:34 Well, sometimes, you know, needing to take a father, he starts with the drivers, um, can be quite similar to being with the children. Um, but, uh, no, I mean, look, um, I think that, you know, when I first came into the sport, um, my drivers were older than I was now. I'm old enough to be the driver's father. I raced against Max's mom, um, who was a very competitive car driver. Um, so, uh, yeah, the dynamics have changed, but you know, you don't see them as, as, as younger or older as I, it comes back to your earlier question that I think ages irrelevant. It's how you handle yourself, how you hold yourself and, and, uh, yeah. You know, that's, uh, ages just a number then, Speaker 3 00:32:21 But does some of those qualities, so, you know, that drive that eagerness, that belief itself, can that also be something that works against those drivers? You know, do you, do you see those because there must be a kind of crossover because to be that single minded and that kind of focus, it could, you know, maybe I dunno, does it, does it impact in different ways in negative ways? Speaker 0 00:32:43 Um, difficult to say. I mean, you know, the drivers are tremendously motivated. They they're, you know, very single minded. You have to be pretty selfish to be a, a successful sportsman in any, any sport. Um, and that obviously has its, uh, you know, have its has its downside as well as its significant upside. So, um, but that's just a challenge, not unique to formal on to any, to any highly competitive sport. Speaker 3 00:33:11 Um, what would you say has been the biggest challenge or unexpected challenge that life has thrown at you thus far? And in turn, how did you overcome it? Speaker 0 00:33:21 Uh, there's challenges every day, every, every week. Um, and I think to overcome it, you first, you have to understand it and you just have to apply yourself. And I think, you know, worry about the things that you can control and not the things that you can't. Um, and I think that, uh, you know, take things one step at a time, um, uh, you know, it's, uh, you're never gonna build Roman a day and, and you've just gotta go piece by piece. And I think that that's the same within any challenge that we face, you know, within formula one is first of all, understand what that challenge is, what your weakness is, and then try and address that and build on your strengths. Speaker 3 00:34:01 Um, you, you strike me as a very kind of calm person who, who doesn't seem to get riled. I mean, this podcast is the edge and we talk about kind of people operating at the edge and the extremes of what they do, which you certainly do. I mean, you're operating at the highest level in formula one. Um, what is the moment that you felt most closely pushed to your edge? Speaker 0 00:34:23 I think you're pushed to the push to the edge, you know, in sport. I think as you get older, you get more experience. You, you learn to deal with situations perhaps slightly differently, but, uh, of course, you know, you are, when you're competing for grand pre victories, you're always, you know, on the limit. Uh, and if you're on not on the limit, you won't be winning. So, um, it's just getting comfortable with living your life there. And, uh, as I say, I think experience helps with that. Speaker 3 00:34:53 Absolutely. Um, so obviously there's this proposed, um, shift to sprint race qualifying. Um, what are your, what are your thoughts on that Christian? Speaker 0 00:35:01 Well, these different, and you can argue, it takes away from the DNA and the tradition of the sport, but I think we have to, we have to try some of these initiatives cuz otherwise how do you know? Um, and I think it's an interesting dynamic introducing a effectively a pre-final on Saturday. So qualifying on Friday and then, uh, a pre-final race on Saturday, um, at three grand PR this year, Silverstone monster and, uh, and Brazil, I think they're all interesting venues, um, potentially something to gain potentially if you're running at the front more to lose, um, the chance of incidents or weather or other dynamic reliability coming to play. So I think it could be fascinating and could, could stir things up a bit. And I think, you know, it's, uh, something that we're embracing as a team and keen to see how it, how it works out. Speaker 3 00:35:54 Um, you just touched on a few of the kind of fabulous locations where the go PR take place, which is your favorite and why. Speaker 0 00:36:03 Uh, there are many iconic circuits we go to, I I've always loved racing in, in Melbourne. You know, you've got the glamor of Monaco, you've got the fact that I can stay my own bed at the British grand Prix. <laugh>, uh, qui Prix, um, you know, Singapore, another iconic race spar, real driver's circuit, Japan, another real driver's circuit. Um, so there's, there's so many, you know, venues hard to pick out one, but you know, usually where there's a big atmosphere, big event, you know, Montreal being another one that, you know, really stands out, Speaker 3 00:36:36 Which, which when you were racing was your favorite. I mean, I know you didn't do the big didn't necessarily the big venues, but where was your favorite place to race when Speaker 0 00:36:42 You grow at fair? I raced at Monaco. That was, that was something very special. Um, Silverstone was always a track. That was a big challenge as a, as a driver was a lot of fun, uh, you know, and sparse. So they were probably the big three. Speaker 3 00:36:56 Do you collect cars? Speaker 0 00:36:59 I, I do I have a modest collection, a Speaker 3 00:37:02 Modest collection. Could, can you, could you maybe talk us through or, or tell Lisa, which is your favorite in your collection? Speaker 0 00:37:08 Um, no, I got a, a, a 1964, uh, AC Cobra, which is, uh, uh, a great car, which, you know, it's fun to drive. It's very basic, basically was a, uh, a race car. And I think anybody that's watched the, the recent movie, um, about, uh, Ford versus Ferrari gives you an insight into, into some of, uh, the history of those cars. So, um, that's, that's probably my, one of my current favorites Speaker 3 00:37:43 And I, I guess we know in a kind of macro sense what that your schedule is like given, you know, we know the formula one, um, uh, season roster, but what's a day in Christian Horner's life. Like what, what, what do you do? How's it structured? I mean, imagine it must be quite full on Speaker 0 00:38:03 Structured. Well, it, it usually starts about six 30. I get up. I like to, you know, go for a run in the morning, start the day, sort of get all the endorphins going. Um, and then, um, yeah, if it, if it's possible, I'll drop, you know, one of the children at school, um, and, uh, you know, make sure, you know, obviously I'm in the office, um, it's long days, a lot of meetings, a lot of zoom calls at the moment, um, uh, you know, various briefings and so on. Um, and it's obviously how you utilize the time between go PR that needs to be very efficient because then obviously there's an awful lot of traveling and what I do. Uh, and then once you've got a go Prix, again, it's very regimented with the briefings, the meetings, the, uh, the media sessions, the, the actual running sessions. So the, the, the weekend is very regimented from start to finish. Speaker 3 00:38:59 Right. And so do you ever actually get any downtime Speaker 0 00:39:02 Usually on a, uh, a Saturday night after the park forme comes in, you know, we get to have a, a bit of downtime where we get to have dinner locally, so, uh, which is always nice to that's about the only glimpse you get of the local environment, other than the hotel, um, you know, in the circuit on the, and the car on the way to the circuit. So, uh, yeah, Saturday evening is if there's not a sponsor commitment or something is a chance to, to grab a dinner, um, and, uh, you know, be pondering your thoughts for the grand Prix the next day Speaker 3 00:39:34 With, with all the traveling that you do, it must make going on holiday abroad, not that appealing a prospect <laugh> do is holidaying in your house, kind of a thing Speaker 0 00:39:44 <laugh> yeah, you, I enjoy being at home. I, I, I enjoy the countryside. You know, we have a lot of animals that are, uh, you know, housed in the countryside with horses and dogs and donkeys, and, you know, you name it. So, um, so for me, uh, peace and tranquility is, you know, is being at home. Speaker 3 00:40:04 Fantastic. Kristin Horner, thank you so much for joining us at the edge. Uh, you've been a great guest and it's been wonderful to talk to you and good luck with the season ahead. Very Speaker 0 00:40:14 Excited. Thank you very much, indeed. Thanks a lot. Speaker 3 00:40:20 Thank you for joining us at the edge. A podcast by tag Hoyer, don't forget to subscribe on Spotify, iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts. The edge is also an online magazine. Go to magazine.tago.com for more articles, interviews, and photo series that bring together our love of watches and our desire to push ourselves to the edge of our limits. I'm your host te van BRCA until next time, keep an eye out. This is the edge before we meet again in our next episode, a final message from red bull. Speaker 4 00:41:08 Hi, I'm max Steppen. This is, Speaker 5 00:41:10 And I'm Patty host of talking bull, the official red bull racing podcast, where we bring you unrivaled access to the team. If you'd like to know more about what goes on in a formula on garage, what's new with the team, all stories, the drivers don't usually tell anyone else, search talking ball, wherever you listen to your podcasts and subscribe for free. So you don't miss any episodes from us Speaker 4 00:41:32 To find out more, visit red bull racing.

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