- November 16, 1973
- United Kingdom
- Not Active
Christian Horner was an average racing driver but as a team principal, he conquered the world several times. He was a Formula 1 World Conctructors' champion with Red Bull Racing four times in a row between 2010 and 2013, also leading Sebastian Vettel to four Drivers' championship titles.
Before taking the leadership of Red Bull F1 team in 2005, Horner was a boss in the Arden International team from 1999. He previously drove for Arden for two seasons in the Formula 3000 International, what was his last competition as a driver. His greatest racing success was the second place in the 1993 British Formula 3 Championship.
Starting a career in the Formula Renault
Born in November 1973 in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, Horner started a racing career in 1991, after getting the Formula Renault Scholarship. His first competition was the Formula Renault UK in 1992, in which he was driving for Manor Motorsport to a rookie title, finishing fourth overall. The champion was Pedro de la Rosa.
British National F3 vice-champion in 1993
In 1993, Horner progressed to the British Formula 3 with P1 Motorsport. After winning six races, he finished second in the National (class B) championship, losing a title to Jamie Spence.
Horner stayed in the main class of the Formula 3 for three more seasons, driving for Fortec Motorsport and Team Tom's, but without notable results. In 1996, he also participated in British Formula 2 with Madgwick International.
Founding an Arden team in 1997
In 1997, Horner founded his own team Arden International to participate in the International Formula 3000 Championship. He set the team with money he borrowed, making a deal with P1 Motorsport founder Roly Vincini to work for him as a race engineer.
In 1997, Horner participated in all ten F3000 championship rounds but failed to qualify for six races. In 1998, the team expanded to two cars. Horner's results were not good while his teammate Kurt Mollekens was among the front-runners, scoring two podiums to finish seventh in the points.
Retiring from racing at the end of 1998
Faced with average results, Horner realized that his racing career hadn't a bright future, so he quit racing at the end of 1998 to focus on leading his team. Before the 1999 F3000 season, he sold a 50-percent stake to David Richard's Prodrive but bought it back at the end the season.
The naming sponsor in 1999 was the Russian company Lukoil. Arden's drivers in 1999 were Marc Goossens and Viktor Maslov, scoring no championship points. Maslov secured a place in a team as a son of Lukoil's boss.
First championship title for Arden in 2000
Darren Manning came as a replacement for Goossens in 2000, scoring two podiums and finishing 8th in the points of the International F3000 Championship.
Arden also participated in the Italian F3000 Championship with Manning and Warren Hughes. The team captured its first championship title, Hughes was the second among drivers. Arden retained Maslov and Manning for one more season but without notable results.
Three consecutive International F3000 Championship titles
After parting ways with Lukoil, Arden International hired Tomaš Enge and Bjorn Wirdheim as a driver for the 2002 F3000 season. The team won a title with five victories (four for Enge, one for Wirdheim). Enge was a champion provisionally but he was demoted to third after failing a drug test, handing the title to Sebastien Bourdais.
In 2003, Bjorn Wirdheim and Townsend Bell captured one more teams' title for Arden and Wirdheim was also drivers' champion. In 2004, Vitantonio Liuzzi and Robert Doornbos brought one more trophy to Arden while Liuzzi took drivers' title. It was the last season of the International F3000 Championship before it was replaced by GP2 Series in 2005.
Horner joined Red Bull Racing in 2005
Liuzzi was brought to the team by his manager, Helmut Marko, with sponsorship from Red Bull. A connection between Marko and Horner resulted in Horner's move to newly established Red Bull Racing Formula 1 team, which was created in November 2014 after a buyout of the Jaguar F1 team.
For the 2005 Formula 1 season, Horner was appointed as a team principal, becoming the youngest team principal in Formula 1. Red Bull Racing's drivers were David Coulthard in the #14 RB1-Cosworth and Christian Klien/Vitantonio Liuzzi in #15 car.The team ended a season in the seventh place among ten teams.
Horner brought Newey to Red Bull
Horner played a key role in recruiting Adrian Newey as a chief technical officer in November 2005. The team switched to Ferrari engines for the 2006 F1 season, retaining David Coulthard and Christian Klien as drivers. Coulthard captured the first podium by finishing third at Monaco Grand Prix. The team was again 7th in the points.
In 2007, RBR was using RB3-Renault, the first Newey-designed car. David Coulthard and Mark Webber were the drivers. Webber scored the only podium, in the European Grand Prix at Nurburgring, placing the team in the fifth place. Horner retained Coulthard and Webber in 2008, dropping to seventh in the Constructors' standings.
An era of Sebastian Vettel from 2009 to 2014
Sebastian Vettel joined Mark Webber in the Red Bull Racing in 2009, progressing from their second team Scuderia Toro Rosso. Both Vettel and the team finished a strong second in the championship. The best period followed after that.
Red Bull Racing and Sebastian Vettel, led by Christian Horner, have won four championship titles in a row from 2010 to 2013. In 2010, at age 36, Horner was the youngest Team Principal to win a Formula 1 Constructors' Championship. Vettel stayed with the team until 2014, when he finished fourth in the points and the team was second, behind Mercedes.
Horner's racing team still exists
For his services to motorsport, Horner was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2013. In recent years, with Christian Horner as a boss, Red Bull Racing is still among the leading teams, finishing second in the championship in 2016.
Horner's original team, the Arden Motorsport, still exists, currently competing in the Formula 2, GP3 Series and some other minor competitions.