Christian Horner was presented with Red Bull’s Constructors’ Championship trophy by FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem at the governing body’s annual Prize Giving Ceremony, where the two shared an exchange on stage.
Horner joined drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez at the event in Bologna following the team’s success in 2022, with Verstappen picking up the World Championship prize while Perez received his award for third place in the championship.
The campaign marked the first time that a team other than Mercedes has won the Constructors’ prize since 2013, and Horner received the trophy from Ben Sulayem.
When handing over the award, Ben Sulayem said: “Christian, this cup is nothing to do with the cost cap, okay? This is from the FIA, so we’re not going to deduct it from your cost cap. Okay?”
Horner responded: “That’s very generous, thank you.”
Several media personnel, including RacingNews365.com, witnessed during the conversations before the press conferences that, following remarks from Ben Sulayem regarding the smart attire, Horner had joked that the outfits fell under the marketing budget, and not the overall cost cap. The on-stage exchange appeared to be a continuation of the earlier comments.
Horner shares speech after Red Bull success
In a speech given at the event, Horner spoke of his pride at what Red Bull had achieved in 2022, before going on to dedicate the prize to the brand’s late founder, Dietrich Mateschitz.
“It’s been the most incredible year for the team,” he explained.
“[For] years there’s been one manufacturer on this trophy, so the team has done a truly outstanding job. Max Verstappen has been magnificent this year, and we’ve broken every record of our own; 17 victories, five 1-2 finishes, 15 victories of which Max won.
“The spirit in which the team has done it has been phenomenal. But what I would like to say tonight is that I’ve watched a lot of videos, and I think on all of those videos across all of these different championships, we’ve seen the Red Bull logo on so many cars in so many championships.
“I’d like to dedicate this championship, this trophy to a very special man that has done so much for motorsports and done so much for Formula 1.
“He was a fan of motorsport foremost and utmost, he gave so many drivers in the room tonight an opportunity, in so many categories. He gave thousands of engineers and technicians and mechanics [an opportunity], and I think, arguably, has done more for motorsport than any other person in history.
“And so tonight I’d like to dedicate this to Dietrich Mateschitz. Thankfully he saw Max win the championship in Japan, even though there was a bit of confusion over the points there.
“But thankfully, Max won it early and he saw it, and then the next weekend, the day after he passed, we managed to win this trophy, so it’s a very special one.”
Ben Sulayem responds
After Horner’s speech, Ben Sulayem shared some more words.
“Thank you, Christian. First of all, you deserved the win, if it’s the manufacturer or Max,” he said.
“Secondly, you said about Dietrich. I drove with Red Bull sponsorship in my last championship.
“And one thing you said about Japan. Japan, you said was controversial – no. The FIA was blamed for the points, but it was not the FIA, which made the rules. It was the teams who made the rules, and we were implementing it.”