Christian Horner: The Charismatic Team Principal Of Red Bull Racing F1 Team

Christian Horner

The Netflix series “F1: Drive to Survive” has already completed its sixth season – available on the platform – and has confirmed a seventh that will retrace the path of the current championship of the highest category of world motorsport. And it’s one of those shows that fans can’t stop watching. One of the most interesting figures in the series is Christian Horner, the Team Principal of the Red Bull Racing Formula 1 team.

Here Are Some Things You Might Not Know About Christian Horner

Christian Horner was born into an automotive family

Christian Edward Johnston Horner was born on November 16, 1973, in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, England into a family of good economic position and involved in the automotive industry: his grandfather was a manager of the Standard Motors Company, one of the factories of legendary cars from the UK.

Horner attended the prestigious Warwick School where personalities from politics, sports and the media in England were educated for centuries, as it is believed to be the oldest public school in the world, since its inauguration in 914.

Christian Horner started racing after completing his education

Christian Horner during his racing days

At the end of his refined education, Christian began racing. He started in karting and in 1991 won a scholarship to participate in Formula Renault. From there he advanced and climbed positions until he reached Formula 3000, where thanks to a loan and a strong investment he managed to put his team on the track, Arden International. 

He raced for two more years, but at 25 he realized that his calling was not in the car when in a race he couldn’t catch up to the Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya. He then crashed onto the wall.

Christian Horner switched careers from a racing driver to a manager

As a manager, he dedicated himself to developing his team and gaining powerful friends. Piece by piece he started writing his story in motorsports. Three consecutive international championships in Formula 3000 between 2002 and 2004, caught the attention of Dietrich Mateschitz, owner of Red Bull, just when the energy drink company decided to make the leap to F1, in 2005.

Christian Horner has always been in the limelight

Horner had a solid first season in the top flight and guided the team to seventh place in the Constructors’ Championship. In 2006, when the team managed to get on the podium for the first time with the help of Scot David Coulthard at the Monaco GP, Horner showed his most extroverted side and threw himself into a pool wearing only a Superman-style red cape.

Christian Horner Jumps Into The Pool After Red Bull’s First Ever Podium

In 2009, Red Bull’s first victory came in the Chinese GP: the German Sebastian Vettel won the first race in history for the Austrian team and the Australian Mark Webber, as a bonus, came third. From there it took off and Red Bull, with Vettel at the helm, won four consecutive world titles.

Sebastian Vettel (left) with Christian Horner

Then Vettel went to Ferrari, the F1 regulations changed and Mercedes began to destroy Lewis Hamilton. In the present, Horner is trying to make his protege, Dutchman Max Verstappen, become a four time world champion. The young Dutchman won his debut with the team, at the Barcelona GP, in 2016 and became the youngest driver in history to win a race in Formula 1, at 18 years and 228 days old. Max Verstappen has won three straight F1 Drivers World Championship from 2021-2023 and is looking like a firm favourite to dominate the 2024 season as well.

Christian Horner is married to a Spice Girl

Many things were said about the romance between Horner and the former Spice Girl, Geri Halliwell (Ginger Spice). They met on vacation in Ibiza, although they were both in a relationship. They declared many times that “they were just good friends”, but in the end, they couldn’t resist.

Horner separated from his wife of 14 years, Beverley Allen, with whom he has a daughter who was just a few months old at the time; and the singer, for her part, has a daughter who was seven years old at the time, called Bluebell. The identity of the father isn’t publicly confirmed, although it is presumed that he is the film director Sacha Gervasi.

The speculation in the British tabloid press is that the relationship between the two began when Horner’s -now- ex-wife was a few months pregnant.

The truth is that the love between Christian and Geri Halliwell finally triumphed, despite having suffered a breakup in the middle in which he apparently tried to win back Allen.

George Halliwell and Christian Horner on their wedding day

Horner and Halliwell married in 2015, in Bedfordshire. “Geri and Christian are disappointed because their parents are not going to attend, but all of their siblings, their closest family and their friends will be there,” a source told the Daily Mail portal, after it was learned that the groom’s parents would not like him. They would forgive their son for leaving his ex-wife Beverly Allen, with whom he had a marriage of almost 14 years, and ending it shortly after meeting Geri.

On January 21, 2017, Montague George Hector Horner, the couple’s first child, was born. And although Horner is a man who lives by speed, he needs time and calm for the pieces to fall into place. He suffered through eight straight seasons of Mercedes’ stranglehold on the F1 Constructors Championship. Finally, he managed to turn the tables and usher in another era of Red Bull’s dominance, spearheaded by Max Verstappen.

Christian Horner is heavily featured on Drive To Survive

The cameras go into the pits and the offices of the Formula 1 teams and the series reveals the management that exists in the ten teams, although without being explicit. Everything is evident. In this scenario, the drivers and their stories stand out, the competition, the vicissitudes they face to be the fastest and the fierce competition that exists – above all – between teammates.

However, the stars of the show are the bosses. Those who decide, those who change figures. Toto Wolff, from Mercedes; Fred Vasseur, from Ferrari; and Christian Horner, from Red Bull, are the ones that stand out the most. These are the teams that dominate the category on the courts and proportionally off them.

The case of Christian Horner is perhaps the most striking. For his arrogance, for his ability to face the Netflix cameras – the protagonists are responsible for highlighting their intrusion into the paddock -, for the move he made in 2019 with the French driver Pierre Gasly (he sent him to Toro Rosso) and the Thai Alex Albon, and also because in the second season he opens the doors of his mansion and reveals something about his relationship with Geri Halliwell, a celebrity in England for her past with the Spice Girls. Christian Horner is must see TV.

Christian Horner has come under some controversy with Red Bull 

Christian Horner (left) with Max Verstappen 

Earlier in 2024, a Red Bull Racing employee had accused Christian Horner of extremely transgressive behaviour and filed a lawsuit against him. The matter was internally investigated and limited details were released for public consumption. A Dutch newspaper revealed that Christian Horner had sent some sexually charged messages to the female employee.

After an internal investigation, Christian Horner was given a clean chit and he has served his role as team principal for the first two races of the 2024 F1 season. However, Max Verstappen’s father Jos Verstappen revealed that Christian Horner’s presence is causing internal strife within the Red Bull Racing team and “camps” are being formed. There were rumours about an imminent dismissal of Helmut Marko, the head of Red Bull’s Driver Development Program. However, Max Verstappen spoke publicly in favour of Helmut Marko and the rumours of Marko’s departure were laid to rest.

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