Horner tells Ferrari: Talk is cheap
9 September, 2011
Sep.9 (Reuters) Talk is cheap and any Formula One team is only as good as its last race, Red Bull boss Christian Horner said on Friday in a put-down to Ferrari’s declared plans for a new era of domination.
Speaking ahead of the Italian team’s home grand prix at Monza, Horner recognised that reigning champions Red Bull lacked the illustrious pedigree and 60-year history of the sport’s glamour team.
But he also made clear that Red Bull already had what Ferrari, for all their past achievements, were striving to create.
“It’s been a great run for us,” he said of a season that has so far seen Red Bull start every race on pole position and win seven out of 12.
“We don’t have the history of Ferrari, we’ve only been around six and a half years or so, so ultimately it comes down to what you do on the circuit and you are only as good as your last race in many respects,” he told reporters over breakfast in the team motorhome.
“It would be arrogant for us to say that we expect to dominate in future years. We don’t take anything for granted.”
Ferrari have won just one race this season, the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in July. They last won the drivers’ championship with Kimi Raikkonen in 2007.
Red Bull took both titles last year and Germany’s Sebastian Vettel has his second successive crown all but wrapped up.
“We’ve won 22 grands prix, we’ve had 32 poles, we’ve won two world championships,” said Horner. “So I think that we have earned respect in the pitlane.
“We don’t disrepect or underestimate the achievements of our peers but we are very much focused on what happens on the circuit.”
Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali told Reuters on Wednesday that he was laying the groundwork for a new era of domination with Spain’s Fernando Alonso and hoped the team would be in a position to win consistently next year.
The Italian, in a separate interview with Germany’s Bild Am Sonntag, also laughed off a suggestion that Ferrari could learn from Red Bull.
“They have a title and we have 16, so if Red Bull do half of what we have done then maybe we will have a rethink. The question is who has the better foundation,” he said.
Horner reminded reporters, with a chuckle, that Alonso had said only on Thursday that nothing could be taken for granted.
“At the end of the day, talk’s cheap,” said the Red Bull principal. “Everybody has the target of winning. But it’s ultimately what you do on the track that counts. There are no guarantees in Formula One.
“There are no guarantees that we will continue our level of performance but we’ve had stability within the organisation for some time now, we’ve got a tremendous strength in depth in the team,” he continued.
“I think we have achieved the status we have by not just having the best car but our drivers have delivered, we’ve had the best strategies, our pitstop work has been the best.
“To achieve the kind of results that we have, you have to tick all the boxes in every single area.”
As far as who had the better foundation, Horner pointed to Red Bull’s designer Adrian Newey — who has created title-winning cars for three separate teams — but also emphasised the team effort.
“Adrian was at McLaren for five years without winning a championship so Adrian is not the single secret to success,” he said.
“You can have the best centre forward in the world but if you haven’t got the midfield, the defence and the right goalie you are not going to win many football matches. It’s the same here,” he added.