Christian Horner leaves unusual plate of gifts for Santa

Horner opens up on Red Bull's 'barren spell' amid Mercedes dominance

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Christian Horner left a can of Red Bull alongside the mince pies and carrot on the plate for Santa Claus. The Englishman will soon celebrate his 18-year anniversary as team principal of the energy drink giants Formula One set up and made the most of the opportunity to promote the brand. 

Horner is currently enjoying his Christmas break after a stressful season at the Red Bull helm. The 49-year-old oversaw an excellent year on track with the team claiming the Constructors Championship for the first time since 2013 while Max Verstappen comfortably defended his driver’s title. 

Yet, events off-track were somewhat more difficult. The team were embroiled in controversy after exceeding the budget cap in 2021 with Horner regularly being the public face of their defence. There was also heartache after Red Bull founder Dietrich Mateschitz sadly passed away. The team boss enjoyed a close relationship with the Austrian and felt his loss particularly hard. 

However, he has put the trials of the season behind him as he enjoys the Christmas period, making a light-hearted joke about his plate for Santa. Horner has three young children with his wife, former Spice Girl Geri Horner, and took advantage of their offering to Father Christmas to promote the energy drink. 

Posting on his Instagram story, Horner displayed a picture of his gift to Santa with a can of Red Bull alongside the traditional offering of a mince pie, cookie and carrot. The post was captioned: “Ready for Santa.” 

Horner has overseen a hugely successful period for Red Bull with the team coming from relative obscurity in Formula One to become one of the most successful teams in the sport’s history. It has been tough over the last eight years with Mercedes dominating for eight years after changes to engine rules in 2014 with the 49-year-old praising the team’s culture and spirit for bringing silverware back to Milton Keynes. 

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“I think the team spirit and culture that we’ve always had has never lost belief or sight of the target of wanting to get back into a winning position,” he told Racingnews365. “Obviously, we did have a few lean years off the back of the dominance in the V8 [engine era], to a big regulation change with a V6. 

“But everybody focused on their part and doing the best that they could on the areas that they could influence. We kept a very strong core, we developed some young talent and that’s really starting to pay dividends.” 

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