How Niki Lauda’s words of wisdom are helping Red Bull remain focused on winning

Niki Lauda may never have worked for Red Bull, but his words of wisdom stick in Christian Horner's mind

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Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has revealed a quote from Niki Lauda has helped the team remain grounded heading into the final two events of the 2023 Formula 1 season.

Lauda, a three-time F1 world champion in 1975, 1977 and 1984 who narrowly avoid death after a crash in the 1976 German GP, famously said he learned more from his defeats than his successes.

The late Austrian’s words of wisdom have inspired Horner since the flyaway events where Red Bull‘s rivals Mercedes, McLaren and Ferrari closed the gap to them at various races.

“Well, Niki was a very wise guy, and he was quite right,” explained Horner to the press. “You know the days you lose are the days you learn the most.  

“You’re always learning. The races that you win, there are always things that you can do better. So, even the analysis of the Austin weekend, for example, our opponents were closer to us on Sunday.   

“So you can never rest on your laurels. You’ve got to keep looking forward. You’ve got to keep pushing.”

Christian Horner speaks to Niki Lauda at the 2015 Abu Dhabi GP | Charles Coates / Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Horner: Verstappen just wants to race

Heading into the 2023 Las Vegas GP, Red Bull have won 19 out of 20 races in 2023, retaining both the driver and constructor’s titles as a result of their success.

Verstappen has won 17 of those races, and another victory on Sunday saw him tie Sebastian Vettel as the joint third most successful F1 driver with 53 wins each.

The triple world champion’s racing also extends into the virtual world as an avid sim racer for Team Redline, competing in prestigious events such as the Virtual Le Mans 24 Hours.

“He just wants to race, whether it’s racing GP cars or racing online, he’s hugely competitive, hugely hungry. He doesn’t want to leave anything on the table,” Horner added.

“Whether it’s a Sprint Race, a Grand Prix, [or] a qualifying session, the one thing that he certainly doesn’t lack is his motivation in any shape or form. It’s that inner desire that really drives him.  

“You see it in his driving time and time again, and I think he’s now coupled that with experience. It doesn’t all have to be done on the first lap. His race in Austin was excellent.

“The way that he managed the tyres, the strategy and the passes when he needed to make it was absolutely decisive.”

Ed Spencer
Ed Spencer
FIA accredited journalist
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