Horner not interested in Carey's job


A few years back, when asked who he though would make a good successor to him as F1 supremo, Bernie Ecclestone replied, Christian Horner.

Fact is, Bernie was doing what he enjoys most, for in naming Horner - who he had just spotted out of the corner of his eye, he subsequently admitted to a source - much like his recent comment about "taking a bullet" for Vladimir Putin, he was playing with the media.

However, as Toto Wolff is now being linked with the F1 supremo role - if (when) Chase Carey moves on next year - Horner insists that he is not interested in the role.

"My commitment is with Red Bull," said the Briton. "There is a lot more I want to achieve from a competitive position and my objective is to get Red Bull back into a consistent winning position, challenging for championships.

"I am not aware that Chase is about to step down imminently," he added, "I think there is a lot of speculation but I think it is exactly that, so as far as I am concerned I am very happy doing what I am doing and my focus and commitment is very much on getting Red Bull back into a competitive, consistently winning situation."

Asked, assuming Carey is moving on, how he would feel about Wolff taking on the job, Horner joked: "Well, Toto already is, by all accounts I think!

"To be honest with you, it's an irrelevant question," he continued. "As far as myself is concerned, I think I've made my position clear: I love racing, I love competing, I love the team that I've been involved with since the beginning and my goals and ambitions for the future are to very much bring it back into a competitive situation.

"It's Liberty's business at the end of the day," he added. "Whoever they choose to run it for them is their choice, it's not down to the teams, it's their business, it's their investment.

"I think that Chase is doing a great job," he continued. "I think he's learned quickly about Formula One. I think if you look at the actual show now, the crowd sizes, the attendance, everything that's going on around the sport, there's a lot of great things happening. We just need a better product and I think if the product can be addressed through the regulation changes for 2021 and we get that right then the potential for this sport is phenomenal because even when we're seeing serial winning, there's still 140,000 people coming through the gate here.

"Austria was a sell-out, Canada was a sell-out. Attendance is up everywhere we go and you think crikey, if we can actually put on a great show like Austria was and it doesn't necessarily mean that that means Red Bull need to be doing the winning, it would be great to see some of these guys doing the winning as well, then I think the potential of Formula One is huge.

"Formula One's doing a lot of good things at the moment," he added. "If you look at the fan engagement, if you look at the amount of fans that are getting into the circuit now, things like the hot laps, things like Netflix that were done over the last winter, in terms of digital engagement, the whole digital media strategy. All of that is being embraced and I think the fundamental thing isn't the promotion of the sport, I think it is the product itself.

"When you look at a race like we've had at the majority of races this year they're too static, they're too predictable, there's not enough action. One pit stop races are the most boring races you can have and I think that's what we need to focus on as a collective group because that's where ultimately we all benefit out of: If the product is better, the racing is better. Partners, manufacturers, sponsors will want to be there. The fan engagement then goes through the roof. So I think we need Ross Brawn and his team working in conjunction with the FIA to give Chase and Jean Todt a blueprint of this is what Formula One needs to be."

Which probably means that Geri's already working on the new theme tune...

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Published: 17/07/2019
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