Horner: Ferrari needs to get back to being ‘a race team’

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Red Bull’s Christian Horner believes Ferrari is under too much outside influence and must operate as a proper “race team” rather than a national institution.

Although Ferrari is the only team to have defeated Red Bull this season – courtesy of Carlos Sainz’s win in last September’s Singapore Grand Prix – the Scuderia’s championship drought in Formula 1 has persisted for 15 years.

Reflecting the team's struggles to find stability and success, the Scuderia has undergone multiple leadership changes over the years.

From Stefano Domenicali to Marco Mattiacci, and from Maurizio Arrivabene to Matta Binotto, each leadership transition brought its own set of strategies and approaches, yet the championship drought persisted.

Since the beginning of 2023, it has been Fred Vasseur's turn to try and revive Ferrari's former lustre.

Horner, who has been at the helm of Red Bull racing since 2005 and is the longest serving F1 team boss on the grid, believes that too much outside influence has contributed over the years to undermine the team’s efforts.

“I think the biggest problem for Ferrari is that it’s a national team,” Horner explained, speaking on the Eff One podcast. “It needs to get back to being a race team.

“It’s an Italian institution and there’s probably too many people at the top end. Everybody has an input and has a say.”


Ferrari holds indeed a unique and deeply ingrained status in Italy as more than just a Formula 1 team; it is often regarded as a national symbol and a source of immense pride.

The "Scuderia Ferrari" badge carries a legacy that transcends the realm of motorsport, symbolizing Italian excellence, passion, and craftsmanship.

This perception has both positive and challenging dimensions. On the one hand, it fosters a fanatical fanbase and a strong sense of national identity around the team's success.

But on the other hand, the intense scrutiny and pressure from the Italian media and public can become a double-edged sword.

Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Ferrari SF-23. 22.10.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 19, United States Grand Prix, Austin, Texas, USA, Race Day. - www.xpbimages.com, EMail: requests@xpbimages.com © Copyright: Coates / XPB Images

Horner believes that all this trickles down to the team’s operations, and it’s a weight that does not exist at Red Bull.

“From the outside looking in, one of our strengths is that we move quickly, we make decisions and we stick to them,” he added. And if we make the wrong decision, we change the decision.

“I think, for Ferrari, the newspapers have such an influence on what happens there. So it’s a lot of pressure, being at Ferrari.”

A year ago, following Ferrari’s decision to part ways with Mattia Binotto, and before it had contracted with Vasseur, Horner was reportedly approached by the manufacturer’s top brass, a move later confirmed by Red Bull motorsport boss Helmut Marko.

But the Briton politely rejected the offer, likely repelled by the turmoil of politics that have always surrounded the House of Maranello, although Marko admitted that it had taken him “a whole night” to convince Horner to remain with Red Bull.

“And it cost us millions more” he said at the time.

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