Red Bull’s Mintzlaff publicly backs ‘very good CEO’ Horner


Red Bull managing director Oliver Mintzlaff has for the very first time publicly expressed his full support for Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner.

Earlier this year, Horner's leadership came under scrutiny following allegation of improper conduct made by a female employee of the Milton Keynes-based outfit.

This led to a lengthy independent investigation ordered by the energy drink company.

While Horner was ultimately cleared of any wrongdoing, the incident sparked rumors of an internal dispute within the team between the Briton and Red Bull motorsport boss Helmut Marko, with the Verstappen family siding with the latter.

It was also alleged at the time that Red Bull’s Austrian shareholder base, represented by Mintzlaff was keen on parting ways with Horner, a stance further fueled by the former’s lack of public support for the Red Bull team principal.

However, in an interview published on Sunday in Germany’s Bild Am Sonntag, Mintzlaff unequivocally endorsed Horner's leadership, emphasizing his confidence in his ability to lead the team to continued success.

"I am convinced of that," said Mintzlaff. "He only has the team's success in mind and is a very good CEO."

Mintzlaff also addressed the planned departure of prominent Red Bull designer Adrian Newey, whose creative genius has been associated with every single one of the team’s 117 wins in Formula 1.

The Red Bull chief acknowledged the significant loss that Newey's departure represents, but he also emphasized the talent and strength of the outfit’s existing technical infrastructure.

“Adrian has done great things here over the years and played a big part in us winning 13 world championship titles," he said.

"It's obviously a shame that he's leaving us, but we discussed it in a very fair and respectful dialogue. What he leaves behind is not only a unique legacy but also a structure that he helped to build.

"Of course, we will miss him – also as a person – but tomorrow we will still know how to build a very fast Formula 1 car."

While the sport’s 2026 F1 regulations represent a significant challenge, Mintzlaff is confident that Red Bull and its recently created engine unit, Red Bull Powertrains, have the potential to excel with the next generation of cars.

“In 2026 we want to continue where we are currently: at the top of Formula 1," he said.

"Of course, there is no guarantee of this, but while we have proven that we can handle major rule changes, other teams have not managed to close the gap for three years.

"Max [Verstappen] will also have noticed this, and it makes me look totally positive into the future. We haven't just been preparing for 2026 since yesterday.

"Sure, building your own engine is a big task and challenge, but we are confident that we can master this step. This is the next stage of development for Red Bull."

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