A young Christian Horner lacked confidence
Christian Horner Details The Inner Lack of Confidence That Led To The Rise of Red Bull
Formula One

I have in the past lampooned Red Bull and Christian Horner because the journalist rulebook is to take every comment out of context and sensationalise. However, today we learn that Christian Horner, during his attempt to make it as a Formula One driver lacked confidence, which is the opposite of how Horner comes across. In a recent media interview Horner spoke of the time when he was competing in the Formula 3000 series during the 1990s and one young competitor was none other than Juan Pablo Montoya who was also doubling up as test driver for Williams F1.

During a Formula 3000 test session, Horner suddenly realized he was never going to be a top-level driver when he witnessed Montoya’s commitment and speed, which surpassed what he was prepared to give.

The rest is history, as Horner’s early reputation eventually propelled him to Red Bull F1, culminating in clinching the 2023 championship with the most dominant car/driver combination in F1 history. It wasn’t a stroke of luck; rather, it was the result of extensive hard work, a bit of chance with a coin toss, and an overhaul of the F1 history book.

However, the young Christian Horner was devoid of the racing bravado, as he candidly explained during a recent podcast appearance:

“I had this very vivid moment where I was running in Formula 3000, now the Formula 2 equivalent, and Juan Pablo Montoya was there.”

“We were at Estoril before the season, and there was a long straight. It’s an old-school track, and it had two very fast right-hand corners with a barrier that was about 20 metres from the track.”

“It was a sixth gear corner so we’re talking 160/170 miles an hour. I’m coming out of the pit lane that filters onto the track and Montoya comes haring past, he commits to this right-hand turn and I can just see the car moving and dancing around and the rim is trying to pop through the sidewall of the tyre and he’s on opposite lock.”

“And he’s got his right foot absolutely planted. I just knew at that point, ‘I can’t do that. I cannot.”

“I couldn’t have the confidence, or the skill, or the bravery to commit to that corner in the way he did. So I knew, prior to that season, I was honest with myself to say, ‘Look, I’m not even going to try and carve a career out in another category. I’m going to need to do something because I don’t want to go to university. I need to earn a living.”

A young Christian Horner lacked confidence
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