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Red Bull F1 boss baffled by exit claims

2015-06-24 08:07

UNDER FIRE: Red Bull F1 team principal Christian Horner is committed to turning around the team's so far disappointing 2015 season. Image: AFP / Mark Thompson

ALAN BALDWIN

  • Fractured relationship with Renault
  • Single point scored at home race
  • No 2015 podiums yet

LONDON, England - Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has shrugged off speculation about his future and said he is determined to stay on to help the troubled Formula 1 team resolve its problems.

England’s The Times newspaper reported on Tuesday (June 23) that one of Horner's rival principals had called him on Sunday (June 21)  morning, before the2015 Austrian F1 GP, to commiserate about his supposed departure.

YET TO FEATURE ON PODIUM

The unidentified boss had been given the impression that Austrian Gerhard Berger, a former McLaren and Ferrari driver who is close to Red Bull's billionaire owner Dietrich Mateschitz, was about to replace the Briton.

Horner reacted to the news by saying: "I was shocked, I had no idea people were talking about me that way. I have a long contract with the team. It is difficult, but I had dinner with Dietrich on Saturday (June 20) evening and we still get along very well.

"We know we have problems but we just have to work through them and I am here to do that job."

Red Bull, winner of four successive Drivers’ and Constructors’ titles from 2010-13, has yet to feature on the podium this season. Its relationship with under-performing engine partner Renault has been stretched to breaking point while Mateschitz has talked of falling out of love with the sport.

DISAPPOINTING HOME RACE

In Austria on Sunday (June 21) the GP, a home race for Red Bull, the team scored only one point after Australian Daniel Ricciardo and Russian Daniil Kvyat collected 10-place grid penalties for engine changes.

Red Bull is fourth overall in the constructors championship.

Horner said changes needed to be made to enable Renault and Honda to close the gap to Mercedes and Ferrari and the rules needed to be simplified. He added that Mateschitz remained supportive of the sport despite the situation.

Horner said: "He's telling what he thinks, ultimately he is a fan, that's why he's committed so much of Red Bull's marketing activities to F1. The risk for F1 is when someone such as Dietrich starts to fall out of love with it.

"That's a big worry - we need people like Dietrich to be engaged. He runs a multinational company and Red Bull does not exist because of F1... if F1isn't generating the return and the coverage for him then of course he's going to raise questions."

Red Bull runs two of the 10 teams in F1. The second, Toro Rosso, is used to develop junior talent such as 17-year-old Dutch driver Max Verstappen.


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