Horner names Alonso as biggest rival to Red Bull

2011 F1 season

Christian Horner, Red Bull, 2011

Christian Horner, Red Bull, 2011

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner expects Fernando Alonso to continue where he left off in 2010 as the main rival to his team.

Speaking to the BBC he said: “I think Alonso, at the moment, he looks pretty fired up, his testing has looked impressive so far. So I think he’s going to pose a threat.

“But the British guys I’m sure are going to be right up there as well.”

Horner said the team have “a lot to live up to” after winning both titles last year.

He said: “It’s going to be a fascinating season, you’ll have all the usual protagonists – Jenson and Lewis, Fernando Alonso’s looked very strong in pre-season testing.

“And obviously our drivers Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel have both been looking pretty respectable as well.”

“So I think Formula 1 is set for another really exciting season.”

He said the cancellation of the Bahrain Grand Prix didn’t present much in the way of an organisational problem: “Ironically, we were ready to go on time this year, which is quite unusual for us!

“But a two-week delay is welcome for some teams. Logistically there’s a slight challenge to it but nothing to tricky.”

He added that Vettel and Webber had both completed extensive fitness programmes during the winter to prepare for the new season:

“Both our drivers, when they’re not in the car, will be doing approximately four hours per day training. Sebastian was in Finland for the whole of January working on his fitness programme, Mark went off to the Canary Islands and was training quite hard there.

“So they’ve both got programmes, they’re athletes, they’ve got to be in tip-top condition, and now is the time to really work on that condition before heading off for the first Grand Prix.”

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173 comments on Horner names Alonso as biggest rival to Red Bull

  1. Icthyes said on 25th February 2011, 11:50

    I’m wondering when I’ll read an interview where CH has something interesting to say…will probably have to wait until the next spat in his team for his usual unintentionally comic PR or something.

  2. would be cool if it was true. Been waiting a while for his 3rd WDC.

  3. McClaren would be embarrassed this season. I see Torro Rosso doing better.

  4. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 25th February 2011, 16:47

    I’d like to see Massa, Schumacher and Rosberg at least. A month ago Kubica would have been in that list also. I don’t think Christian Horner needs establish who the biggest threat is until we know who can manage these apparently short life tyres. Lap times mean less if this level of degradation holds up.

    • Adam Tate said on 25th February 2011, 22:56

      Yes! It seems not many are rating the chances of those 3 this season, I’d really like to see them step up and do well.

  5. Rob Wilson said on 25th February 2011, 16:50

    Someone who spells McLaren as McClaren and Toro Rosso as Torro Rosso and thinks they will out-perform McLaren this year makes me think – this guy doesn’t follow the sport very closely..I’ll eat my hat if Alguesuari starts pulling Moves on Hamilton because his car is faster..

    • Not everyone is using the English language precisely, their opinions can be just as valid all the same.
      According to Sam Michaels there is a risk, that You’ll have to find a recipe for Hat-stew or something. I think and hope not, but please correct others language in a friendly manner.

  6. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 25th February 2011, 17:16

    Wasn’t the one in Korea more oppurtunistic than pure over-taking skill, qq? ;)

  7. Could be fun to see a statistic of how we all think (not what we hope for) the ranking of the first 3 races will be, based on our impressions of the testing and news we have read this test period. Is it possible to put up a vote, Keith?

  8. earnst said on 25th February 2011, 22:14

    Sam Michael

    “It’s Red Bull and Ferrari,” he said. “One day I think Red Bull, the next Ferrari. It’s so tight and that could change at the last Barcelona test when everyone puts their first race updates on the car. The Red Bull is a more developed car than the Ferrari. If you look at its exhaust system, the back end, there’s much less to come from that car then there is from the Ferrari. If Ferrari brings an upgrade package that gives them something at the last test, they could nip in front.”

    Asked how much McLaren and Mercedes needs to bring to join the front-ranking teams, Michael opined: “Quite a bit, I’d say, to run with those guys. Very subjectively, I’d say you’ve got Ferrari and then Red Bull at the front at least four tenths faster than anyone else, then I think you’ve got a pack which is Renault, Toro Rosso, Williams and even Sauber, then another three or four tenths back to Mercedes and McLaren, then another step back to the new teams. That’s definitely what the picture was in Barcelona.

    “It could change. McLaren is clearly in trouble and so is Mercedes, so they are bringing stuff to the car and could easily switch up into that top group. The times that they were doing, especially on the qualifying-type runs, were nowhere near quick enough to go to the first race like that. Nico (Rosberg), I think, did a 1:23.1 with the Mercedes while Felipe Massa’s 1:22.6 Ferrari run wasn’t even low-fuel. Ferrari could have dipped into the 1:21s for sure. But, saying that, Mercedes has a massive upgrade package coming for Bahrain so maybe they will jump up there.”


  9. Larcem (@) said on 25th February 2011, 22:15

    This is going to be one hell of a season I hope. I am a McLaren fan, but I admit I am really looking foward to seeing Ferrari and Alonso. I donĀ“t know, they just seem to belong together.

    And I sure as hell hope that McLaren have a top car this year, so the 3 teams at the top (supposedly)car give us a show. Whoever wins this year will be awesome I say.

  10. PeriSoft said on 26th February 2011, 2:41

    That’s interesting, and all, but why’d you put up a picture of Julian Assange?

    *runs away*

  11. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 26th February 2011, 9:45

    In reply to Shimks: Yes, I would think being the underdog does only increase determination. Personally I could accept being number two only to benefit the TEAM, not my counterpart. Germany last year was inexcusable, call it naive, but put me in Massa’s shoes and I would not have pulled over. Vettel was no threat and Ferrari being of course more important than it’s drivers, those 43 points would have suited the ‘team’ regardless of how they were divided.

  12. Phildo said on 26th February 2011, 11:02

    alonso is the best driver in the world. massa isn’t. horner discrediting massa is all to right in my opinion; he isn’t in the same league as alonso

  13. Rob Wilson said on 26th February 2011, 11:44

    Massa wasn’t in the same league as Alonso last year but you must remember that Felipe does know how to win races, and almost won a championship. 2010 was a very average year for him and he’ll know that, i think he’ll be much stronger this year. I think he’ll suprise a few who have already counted him out.

  14. I would give Alonso one race, Vettel one race, and someone unpredictable the third.

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