Christian Horner: Too Soon To Judge New Teams

What Happens When Logic Is Seldom-Used

12:42am EST — In an interview published at, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner makes an incredibly valid point that is likely soon to be lost in a melee of opinion, “it’s wrong for anyone to judge them [the new teams] until we get into the racing season.”  His statement certainly helps combat the constant mention by bastions of Formula1 (cough, Bernie Ecclestone, cough) that specific new teams will not make the grid in 2010.

It is important to note that it is nearly impossible to judge any of the team’s (new or historically competitive) effectiveness before the racing begins for that season, as the 2009 season so properly showed.  The former Honda team spent much of 2008 developing the 2009 car (and certainly not performing well in 2008) and it showed when BrawnGP dominated the early season and won both the driver’s and constructor’s championships.  McLaren and Ferrari fought to the bitter end over the 2008 titles and had dismal showings in 2009.  Red Bull was a championship contender in 2009 and not the joke that it had been in the recent past.  Teams change and develop.

Horner was adamant, “I think it’s wrong for us to judge them.  It’s down to them to do the job. It’s a heck of a challenge for any grand prix team – irrespective of size – but they’ve been given the opportunity…I’m sure they’re all working very hard.”  Not to mention, the time that should be spent developing and manufacturing F1 cars has been spent chasing down spurious rumors that nothing at all is being manufactured.  It is one thing for a journalist to question the ability and commitment of a team whose message looks shaky.  It is an entirely different thing for the head of promotions for the sport to do so.

Horner has been team principal at Red Bull since it began racing in F1 in 2005 and, presumably, is speaking from experience in being judged before having demonstrated any ability to perform.  Perhaps we all should take his advice to not make overly broad judgements before, at least, testing begins this winter.


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