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Formula 1: Top five potential Christian Horner successors at Red Bull Racing

Published at :February 10, 2024 at 2:22 PM
Modified at :February 10, 2024 at 2:22 PM
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(Courtesy : Formula 1)

Arpit Anand


The Formula 1 world speculates about possible successors to Christian Horner, the longtime team principal of Red Bull Racing, as the company becomes involved in an allegation involving recent claims against him. Horner’s future is uncertain, thus the team must choose a new leader who can keep the squad competitive and guide it through upcoming problems. This is a difficult task.

Red Bull Racing has to carefully assess candidates who not only have the required experience but also have the vision and leadership required to continue the organisation’s winning tradition in the wake of Horner’s legacy, which spans more than two decades with the team. 

Let us have a look at some top candidates who have a chance to succeed Horner and take Red Bull Racing to new heights of Formula 1 dominance.

Jonathan Wheatley

A possible replacement for Red Bull Racing is 56-year-old Jonathan Wheatley, a former F1 mechanic and team manager. Wheatley, who began his Benetton career as a junior technician before rising to the position of chief mechanic, has been crucial to the team’s accomplishments. Wheatley is a candidate to take Christian Horner’s job if he gets replaced. 

His radio comments during the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix were very crucial to the team’s triumph. Due to his background and accomplishments, Wheatley is a compelling contender for the position.

Oliver Mintzlaf

German businessman, former CEO of Red Bull Leipzig and Head of Global Soccer, is part of a three-man management team for Red Bull. He has also worked for Puma. 

Although he has no experience in running an F1 team, he would provide a stable hand until a permanent replacement is found. 

Oliver Mintzlaff, currently Red Bull Austria’s managing director, is rumored to be on standby to replace Horner. The German national, who was previously the CEO of RB Leipzig, has the inside know-how to ensure a seamless transition. However, the strained corporate structure within Red Bull may make appointing a senior figure from Salzburg an unwelcome power play.

Otmar Szafneur

Since his final season in Formula One with Alpine, Otmar Szafneur’s name is not held in high esteem. The man was hired in 2005–06 to help the French team return to the top, but everyone was left with a terrible taste in their mouths due to the way the entire project was handled.

After the Alpine management seemed to have a change of heart, Otmar was fired, and he has since maintained touch with a number of teams. Otmar had a stellar track record in the past as well. When Force India finished P4 in the championship, he was the driving force behind one of the most successful F1 organisations ever.

Also Read: Formula 1: Christian Horner’s decade at the helm of Red Bull Racing

Adrian Newey

At Red Bull, Adrian Newey serves as Chief Technical Officer.

Similar to Horner, the Colchester native has worked for Red Bull for almost 20 years, overseeing the background developments that have made the team famous.

Although the 65-year-old has been praised as “the greatest car designer in F1 history,” there may be issues with his selection.

Red Bull executives may be wary due to a possibly problematic contract clause that experienced F1 writer Joe Saward brought to light earlier this week.

It has long been thought that Horner and Newey have contracts protecting one another, according to a post made by Saward on X. The other can also go if one does.

James Barclay

James Barclay, the leader of Jaguar in Formula E, is a man whose name is not too well known in the F1 world. It might be challenging to distinguish out in a crowded and fiercely competitive sport like Formula E, but Barclay has managed to do just that.

His winning record at Jaguar caught people’s attention last year. Barclay’s squad is the most dominant in Formula E right present, with Nick Cassidy even holding the lead in the championship. If Red Bull is searching for an unconventional player, he might be someone they consider replacing Christian Horner.

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