Horner extends contract as team principal Red Bull Racing

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For the first time since 2013, Red Bull Racing can once again celebrate a world title in Formula 1. Immediately after Max Verstappen was the first to cross the finish line in Abu Dhabi, he announced via the on-board radio: “Let’s do this together for another ten to fifteen years.” It indicates that the brand new world champion is in an excellent position and so it should come as no surprise that Helmut Marko already wants to talk about contract extension this winter. Should that actually happen, Verstappen is in any case not the only Red Bull face talking about a longer commitment.

In the season finale of the Servus TV program Sports & Talk Marko revealed that Horner has already been working on a contract extension. “He is a charismatic team boss who, by the way – already recommends for you [Max] – was working on his contract extension until 2026. We want to have stability for the whole team, or at least in the key positions, for the transition years until the new engine regulations come in and the new chassis rules come into effect.” Where Marko is still in the middle here showed whether the new contract had actually been signed, learns inquiry through Motorsport.com that this is actually the case and that Horner will remain team boss until at least 2026.

Marko was also very keen to keep Horner on board, all the more so because the current division of roles was very satisfactory. “That works very well. Christian is the team principal, he is in the public eye and I am a bit more in the background. But we coordinate everything well, set the lines together for the team and for the staff. In political matters we talk also usually the same language. I think the success shows us right away.”

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Christian Horner has been active as team principal since the team was founded in 2005, although Marko well remembers that he first had to convince Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz of this choice. “Mateschitz initially said ‘Christian Who?’ Horner of course had zero experience in Formula 1, but I already knew him from Formula 3000. I knew his ambitions and I also knew what qualities he had in him. That has developed in a fantastic way.”

Verstappen’s words have not reached management

Where Marko keeps his right hand Horner longer, as mentioned, he also wants to tie Verstappen – Red Bull’s undisputed standard-bearer on the circuit – longer. Given Verstappen’s statements after the race in Abu Dhabi, that does not seem to be a problem, although Marko jokes in front of his driver: “These words have not yet reached his own management. But we are currently discussing that.” Verstappen repeats once again that he is in the right place at Red Bull and that he does not necessarily have to leave. When it is suggested that Lewis Hamilton’s contract with Mercedes will expire at the end of 2023 – at the same time as Verstappen’s contract – the man with start number 1: responds “Yes, but I don’t really care what happens on the other side.”

Watch the full F1 episode of Servus TV (in German) here with the new World Champion Max Verstappen and Helmut Marko as guests:

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