Sky Sports News understands Christian Horner was sounded out by Ferrari about becoming team boss but Red Bull team principal insists: “I’ve been [at Red Bull] since the beginning and we obviously have a very close attachment.”
Last Updated: 05/12/22 2:10pm
Christian Horner has distanced himself from reports linking him with the Ferrari team principal role and insists he’s committed to Red Bull.
Red Bull boss Christian Horner says Mattia Binotto’s Ferrari exit came as no surprise to him despite their “great car” in 2022, and insists he was never tempted to join the Scuderia as a replacement.
Binotto will leave Ferrari at the end of the year after four seasons as team boss of Formula 1’s most famous and pressure-filled outfit.
While 2022 was the Italian’s best year in charge – finishing second in the championship with four wins – it was also littered with operational errors. Binotto resigned, although it is widely established this was Ferrari’s choice.
Asked if he was surprised by the news, confirmed last week following a month of denials from Ferrari, Horner told Sky Sports News: “Not really.
Formula One CEO Stefano Domenicali sympathises with former Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto and hopes the team can find the right solution moving forward.
“It’s obviously Ferrari’s choice. I think it will be the sixth team principal there I’ve sat opposite since I’ve been at Red Bull!
“It’s obviously difficult for him. They had a great car this year, they were certainly very competitive.”
Ferrari hope to hire a new team principal early in the new year, and Sky Sports News understands Fred Vasseur, current boss of the Ferrari-linked Alfa Romeo team, is set to take over.
Naomi Schiff says Charles Leclerc’s rumoured dissatisfaction with Mattia Binotto would not have played a part in the team principal’s departure from Ferrari.
It is also understood that Ferrari sounded out Horner about the role.
The Englishman, however, had no interest in leaving Red Bull, who he has just steered to their first clean sweep of F1’s championships since 2013.
“My commitment is very much with the Red Bull team,” Horner confirmed to Sky Sports News’ Craig Slater at the Autosport Awards. “I’ve been there since the beginning and we obviously have a very close attachment.”
Sky Sports News reporter Craig Slater assesses who could replace Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto, who will leave the team at the end of the year.
McLaren boss Zak Brown also hinted that he felt Binotto’s exit was harsh.
“I don’t know the inner workings of Ferrari,” he said. “It seemed to me that Mattia had done a pretty good job. They were very competitive this year.
“From my standpoint, stability and getting a team to work long term delivers the best results.”