Horner recalls ‘obvious’ decision to let Steiner leave Red Bull

Christian Horner says his poaching of F1 technical guru Adrian Newey ultimately led to Guenther Steiner’s exit from Red Bull. 
Horner recalls ‘obvious’ decision to let Steiner leave Red Bull

Current Haas team principal Steiner worked at Jaguar before Dietrich Mateschitz bought the team and rebranded the Milton Keynes outfit as Red Bull Racing for 2005. 

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Steiner was initially appointed as technical operations director of Red Bull for the team’s first season in 2005 but new team principal Horner had ambitions of bringing Newey in from McLaren. 

Horner recalled the process which led to Steiner being redeployed to head up Red Bull’s NASCAR efforts in America, and Newey ultimately replacing him as Red Bull’s F1 technical chief. 

"If you look after people and they feel comfortable in the environment they are in they will show you loyalty,” Horner told iNews. 

"It’s about getting the right people in the right roles, empowering them, creating the right atmosphere.

"At Arden [the junior team he ran before Red Bull], people did not need to know how close to the wind we were sailing, the risks that were being taken. It was seat of the pants stuff.

"I was looking to see how I could take Arden into F1. Bernie [Ecclestone] was pushing me towards the Jordan team.

"Helmut invited me to meet Dietrich in Salzburg in the summer of 2004.

"The Jordan deal didn’t happen and Red Bull bought Jaguar. Dietrich invited me back at the end of 2004 and asked me to be Team Principal.”

Horner recalls ‘obvious’ decision to let Steiner leave Red Bull

Horner said the decision to let Steiner leave Red Bull’s F1 team was “obvious”. 

"Guenther was and is a character but it was obvious he was not a technical leader,” he explained. 

"I identified what the team really needed was technical leadership and direction.

"So from a very early stage I made a point of bumping into Adrian."

It was a decision Horner has never lived to regret, with Newey’s championship-winning expertise helping Red Bull go on to claim a total of 11 world championship titles to date. 

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