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Thursday Thoughts - Team Principal of the Year // Why Christian Horner deserves the award for best management in 2009

Published by Christine

There are several options for the 2009 F1 Team Principal of the Year award, and I think no one would deny that it should go to Ross Brawn. The man took an ailing team and turned it around, plus dragged it through the worst winter ever and risked his name on the project.

However, if I was in charge of the award, I wouldn't give it to Brawn. I would give it to Christian Horner... and not just because of his jiggly foot.

I was really, really impressed with Red Bull this year, and I think a lot of that has to do with Horner's management. The team started with a few disadvantages, namely one driver without fully healed leg bones, and a couple of cars missing vital double diffuser parts. Through the entire diffuser argument, Horner was adament but polite. He thought they were right, but wasn't put off when they were wrong. They brought the new part to the car and continued to get on with the job.

Despite the fact we're all starting to wonder about Vettel's overtaking abilities, Horner clearly had faith in his young driver and gave him every opportunity to shine - which he did. He picked up four wins to Webber's two.

Towards the end of the season, and under pressure to pick one driver over the other, Horner wouldn't. It's hard to say whether this cost him a proper shot at the championship, as I'm not really convinced they would have had a chance against the epic Brawn lead anyway. Still, if his aim was to be completely impartial, I think Horner achieved that with great aplomb.

He has a straight-forward way of dealing with everyone, his team, his drivers and the media. You could tell he wasn't that impressed that Mark had kept quiet about his broken collar bone, but he would never have turned against him in a public way. It's not easy to hold your own when you're a relatively new team against particularly old hands in the paddock, but Horner does it, and I think he does it well.