Red Bull’s Christian Horner believes some Formula 1 teams have been dealing with owners Liberty Media in the same way they previously did with Bernie Ecclestone – an approach he says is the wrong one.
The completion of Liberty’s takeover of F1 in January last year led to Ecclestone being moved into a chairman emeritus role, with a new management trio of Chase Carey, Sean Bratches and Ross Brawn installed. Horner dealt very closely with Ecclestone during the previous ownership era but feels some teams have been slow to changing their approach when it comes to Liberty.
“People don’t like change,” Horner told RACER. “Bernie ran this show for so many years, so tremendously successfully, but it’s a different management, different style and different objectives. Each team has to decide whether those objectives fit their vision of being a grand prix team.”
While Ferrari has threatened to quit the sport if Liberty does not provide a set of regulations it is happy with, Horner says such dissent was always going to surface, with the new owners also looking to change the way revenues are distributed in F1.
“It’s inevitable as soon as you start talking about money. There’s a little bit of positioning and blustering going on at the moment, but I think everything that Liberty have done so far in their [tenure] has been positive. Hopefully that will continue.”
And Horner admits he sees Liberty’s vision for the sport as aligning closely with Red Bull’s own beliefs for how F1 should approach the future.
“Red Bull’s interests are all about putting on a great show, engaging with the fan and the consumer, allowing the drivers’ personalities to come through and that Formula 1 should be sport and entertainment rather than an engineering and technical challenge,” he said. “Of course technology has a place there but it used to be within reason, and I think those values are shared reasonably closely by Liberty.”