Ask The Expert:</br> The Christian Horner Edition

Christian Horner is at the top of the pinnacle of motorsport racing – Formula One. He’s been at the helm of Infiniti Red Bull Racing since its inception in 2005, and for all its four world championship wins. With the switch to turbo V6 engines in 2014 and Mercedes powerplants dominating the grid, Horner continues to amaze by masterminding rising star Daniel Ricciardo’s challenge for the F1 Driver’s Championship title. With Daniel answering your Ask the Expert questions, we thought you would like the opportunity to challenge Horner with your questions too!


Best known as the architect behind Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s incredible success – and perhaps for famously jumping into a pool wearing nothing but a Superman cape to celebrate the team’s first podium finish at the Monaco Grand Prix – his motorsport career started as a race car driver. He won the prestigious Formula Renault scholarship in 1991 before moving to Formula Renault, British Formula Three, Formula Two and ultimately Formula 3000 before retiring from driving at the age of just 25.

Rumored to be the next F1 boss by none other than Bernie Ecclestone himself, we are catching up with Horner at the Singapore Grand Prix and thought it would be great to have him answer your questions in the next installment of Ask The Expert. Whatever you would like to know – whether it has to do with racing or not  – now is your opportunity to ask. Add your question in the comments section below, and it just might be selected for answering in an upcoming post.

Elizabeth White
Instagram: @itswhitenoise

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What is the biggest technical challenge an F1 team faces in order to create a winning car? Why did you retire at 25? Lastly, if you could choose any engine to power Formula 1 with what would it be?


I'm an aspiring F1 race engineer I'd like to know what you look for when hiring a performance / data / race engineer within your team and what is the path these engineers have followed to get there ?
I've worked as lead engineer and data engineer for a Porsche GT3 team since graduating last year, but F1 seems quite far fetched for now. I'm starting an MSc. in Advanced Motorsport engineering at Cranfield in a few weeks time, are there any other things you would suggest studying / learning to have a shot at being an F1 race engineer ?

Thank you !


I would like to know how his 24 hours are usually spent; since we all have 24 hours but it seems like he has more!


Awesome to hear from you Mr Horner! My questions:
How do you mediate between two superstar drivers when something happens like Seb and Webber coming together a few years ago?
What kind of offer is thrown on the table when you court someone like Vettel?
How early do you step into a young driver's career and start to offer assistance?
What era/model of F1 car is, to you, the ultimate? And if you were to become the head of the FIA, would you try to bring some of the aural glory of F1 back, of are you all about moving forward to more exotic systems a la Le Mans?
Is the future of F1, in your eyes, heading towards electric motors or where?

Thank you!

Chris 'Haffy' Hafner

Hi Christian, just a quick little question. Is a front wing really worth £100.000, I know it costs a lot more for research and engineering but just the carbon and build is what im asking. It'll be interesting and fun to know. Cheers from Aussieland!


If the rules permitted, what would you like to see in your your dream F1 car?


If you could eliminate 1 rule section, what would it be? What about if you could add one?

For aspiring race engineers, what is the one skill they should become acquainted with? Computational Fluid Dynamics? Classical Aerodynamics? Composites Design?


Christian, as a fan I have always wondered, a lot is told about the racing drivers in the media but when a team is a small slump of performance, how do you motive the team? (ie mechanics, engineers, consultants even yourself!)
Thanks Christian, appreciate the interview!


Hi Christian on a race weekend what kind of support do you have from your factory that directly influence the course of the race weekend, I can only think of race strategy simulation and data analysis and how many staff will this involve?


Hi Christian, I am a mechanical fitter and machinist, my ultimate ultimate dream is to be a motorsport engineer. I know it will be a long long road but what, in your opinion, is the best start on that road? What university courses? I assume mechanical engineering but what electives should I take, especially with the direction the sport is going with the electrical drive systems and energy recovery systems, and the importance of aerodynamics?
David =)


how long does it takes to engineer new cars?


Hi Christian! I am a business student and I would really love to work for a formula 1 team. What courses would you suggest to attend? In your opinion, what kind of steps should I make to enter this world?


Mr. Horner,

Tell us how do you see Formula 1 in ten years and what are the things you would wanna change in this sport?


If you could be the Team Principal for any one team, combining one manufacturer and two drivers - from any or separate eras, what would your dream team be?


Thanks for your positive feedback WhiteBull!


Is bernies hair actually a wig?


Do you think V10 or V12 engines should come back to Formula One?


What percentage is spent on the items involved in building/development of the car, what do you feel is the most important?
10% suspension, 25% motor, 50% Aero etc...


Hi Christian,
What do you drive?
No, not the company car..... Yours. 

The one in the back of the garage that you don't get to drive enough?


Mr Horner;

Mercedes as we all know are just streaks ahead of anything else at present and it seemed they had been preparing this car for almost 18 months due to the newest regulations.

How do you concentrate and what formula or decisions can you make so far in advance in advance for next years car when in the middle of such a hectic season, and the fact you don't know where you really stack up against the competition come winter testing?

Look forward to hearing how you juggle such things and hoe you think the bridge to the top two can be achieved.

Kind regards,



Mr Horner, I would like to know how much time you spend away from home in a season and whether you enjoy living in hotels for the majority of your time at fly-away races? 


Do you mean the FIA Formula E?


InnerToxicity Im not christian horner but I might be able to help you out. 

If your sure you want to be a motorsport engineer then don't study mechanical engineering - do motorsport engineering! Im currently studying automotive engineering in the netherlands, but I very nearly chose to do motorsport engineering back home in England (Oxford brookes university have a good course). You'll need previous studies in maths and physics though before you can start the course. 

However if you want to keep your options open then choose automotive or mechanical engineering, as motorsport engineering is very specific.

Hope this helps


Given the fact that F1 is a spectacle that stimulates all senses including the ability to hear, how satisfied are you with the controversial sound of the turbo V6? Furthermore, by observing the recent F1 engine specification progression we see that displacement together with the number of cylinders have been reduced significantly. The current trend suggests that the F1 car of the future will be something similar to the current MotoGP Class (1.0L - 4 cyl.). Do you anticipate to have an increase or reduction in terms of displacement and cylinders within the next years?



As a professional mechanic with primarily US touring car racing experience, Formula 1 is only a dream.  In your view, what steps are necessary to move forward from a national touring car series level to be considered for F1 duty?  Also, what is the average age of the teams' mechanics? 

Thanks for your time, and best of luck in the remainder of the season.


What's going on with Vettel?


What are your thoughts on the driver line up for 2015, since it's highly likely that Dan will be kept but who will partner him?
Good luck for the rest of the season and please wish Dan luck in his championship endeavour.



If the current Red Bull had the Mercedes power plant this year, where would this place you in outright pace? or how much gain could be expected in Red Bulls lap time?


Hello Christian,
Many teams
in motorsport have had to adapt to new regulations in a effort to become more energy efficient, to reduce emissions. Which is where Formula E steps in.

What are your views on Formula
E, and do you think that F1 will benefit, would be a greater focus on electronic/regenerative
drivetrain technologies? And how do you see F1 evolving to staying at the
forefront of technology in the future?
Also the Redbull team recently collaborated with the creators of the racing
series ‘Gran Turismo’, Polyphony Digital. From which spawned the incredible
Redbull X-cars. Do you think that there’s a possibility that this could be a futuristic
vision of F1?


And if you do take over as F1 supremo- do you inherit the wig?


Hi Christian,

On the topic of telemetry, how critical has real time data analytics been a major factor to the success of RBR and other formula 1 teams? Could you explain with some depth on what type of data is acquired, how secure are these systems, and provide an example of how the data is presented in way where management can further identify flaws or areas for improvement to enhance the car and help inform the driver for future races throughout the season.

If this question is chosen, I really appreciate your time in advance!


Bima Leksono No, Formula 1.


TarmacTerrorist  ROFL


Hi Christian,

I'm wondering what happens to formula 1 cars after a wreck?


JoeWhaler InnerToxicity 
I wouldn't say a Motorsports Engineering degree is the be all and end
all. An F1 team is after all a massive business that needs people in a
variety of fields. One only needs to look at their recruitment pages to
see that they need programmers, managers and marketing people too. One
thing that is incredibly helpful is your choice of uni though and
involvement in Formula Student (disclosure: I study at Brookes and am directly involved in the FS team here). The close ties with industry is what made me choose Brookes but places like the Uni of Bath, Stuttgart Uni, TU Munich and ETH Zurich all produce exemplary engineers that would be capable of entering the field.


As an automotive engineering student who dreams of making his way through to formula 1. 

What chance of achieving this would you say a person with no contacts inside F1 have ?In other words, is F1 a closed club or can any qualified engineer land a position as an F1 engineer?


What is your favourite road car and why?


Hi Christian.
If you could pick the best parts of any F1 cars from the past to build you perfect idea of the ultimate combined F1 machine what would you pick and why?
Also Which F1 driver from past or present, who would you pick to drive it?
James Hatfield


Ho do I get a tour in Your factory to see design and Development the way a Formula one factory Works.

To see first hand, how my dream job would be like.


Kjell Inge Kleppe /Mechanical engineer/ Designer


If you had to give one piece of advice to anyone to be successful in whatever they do, what would it be?


Hello Mr. Christian. Didn't know that you're a racer as well. Now I know the secret to Red Bull Racing success. You're awesome. By the way, how many engineering divisions/departments are there in a Formula One team? And if I want to pursue an engineering job in Red Bull Racing, how can I get it?

Thanks. All the best!


A little late to the question game, but I do have a question for you, after watching the amazing success of your work: