FEBRUARY 19, 2019
Age is irrelevant
By Dan Knutson
This year, Pierre Gasly, who just turned 23, joins Max Verstappen, age 21, at Red Bull Racing. How will team principal Christian Horner and the team deal with such young drivers?
"I'm starting to feel very old this year as the combined age of both our drivers is still younger than me," said Horner, 45, "and I am one of the younger team principals in the pitlane. Age is irrelevant it is about how they conduct themselves.
"I think Max now has that level of experience – we saw during the second half of last year a really impressive campaign from him. If he continues that momentum into this year, I think we can already see he'll be a phenomenal force to be reckoned with.
"With Pierre Gasly it is going to take him time to get up to speed as he is still very young in terms of experience. He was with Toro Rosso (for one season) but perhaps he has been promoted a little earlier than we would have ideally liked. But there is never a perfect time, and you've just got to grab that opportunity which he now has. He will have the full support of the team. We've known him for quite a few years as a member of the junior program. He knows how we operate and what is expected of him."
What does Red Bull look at when it evaluates young drivers?
"We obviously want them to be fast and cheap, that's the ideal combination," Horner replied. "But what we're looking for is speed, the character they show, their ability to work under pressure, their ability to be a team player and a technical understanding of what is going on around them in terms of developing the car. Obviously the crucial DNA is speed."