“Who’s this kid that they’ve employed”– Red Bull staff was shocked when they first saw Christian Horner as the new team principal.
In Christian Horner‘s reign, Red Bull has seen the epitome of Formula 1, as a decade ago, he became the youngest team principal to win the championship.
However, he always had to prove people wrong, as he was constantly underestimated in his initial days, with many judging him because of his young age back then, according to an anecdote shared by Horner.
“When I first turned up, I think there was a complete dismay that they put some kid in charge,” Horner said on the High-Performance Podcast.
“The old team principal had been fired that morning and then the whole factory was pulled together and it was just like ‘duh, duh, this is Christian Horner, he’s now going to be the new team principal’.”
“There was a look of shock as I looked out at the sea of faces, thinking, ‘who’s this kid that they’ve employed’ so I went back to my office and I had a secretary in tears because her previous boss had just been fired.”
“I’ve got his Christmas cards on the desk, his coffee cup half-drunk, and it was like, ‘okay, so this is the stuff’. I had a pretty disgruntled workforce that all went home at five o’clock, I think in protest, so it was then a question of I’ve got to learn about this team.”
Formula 3000 to 1– used the same method.
Before joining F1, Horner was plying his trade in Formula 3000, and his success over there made his move to F1, and he claims that he used the same approach in the top competition.
“I said to myself, ‘this is the starting point, get on with it,’ I’ve got to roll my sleeves up,” Horner added. “I’ve got to get stuck in, I’ve got nothing to lose and just stick with my values and my trust my own instinct.”
“Trust my own limited experience that I had at that point in time to try and understand the strengths and weaknesses of the place to get to know the people.”