Christian Horner says Formula One must attract more fans to keep Red Bull in the sport

Julian Harris
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F1 Grand Prix of Hungary - Qualifying
Christian Horner is entering his 13th season as Red Bull team principal (Source: Getty)

Christian Horner, principal of Red Bull Racing, has said his team could quit Formula One if the sport fails to attract more fans.

Speaking to City A.M. ahead of Red Bull’s 13th season in F1, Horner said the company "will pay a very keen watching brief to see what is going to be the future direction of the sport" following a £6.4bn takeover by Liberty Media.

Red Bull has agreed to commit to F1 until 2020, as part of a concorde agreement, but Horner said the company needs to justify its involvement thereafter.

Read more: Formula One has been left behind by other sports, says Lewis Hamilton

"We need to see audiences grow, we need to see a clearly defined digital strategy, engagement through social channels, and a broader reach, a growing fanbase – they're all key factors to Red Bull."

Horner believes Liberty can bring F1 to more viewers around the world, and wants the competition to go back to basics.

"Formula One over the last few years has in many ways embraced too much technology which has zero relevance to the fan in the grandstand," he said. "We've damaged the DNA of the sport."

He adds: "You've got to move with the times and sometimes you’ve got to step back a little bit [and say] 'OK perhaps we've gone down a wrong path here – let's bring it back to the absolute fundamental elements of what is Formula One'."

Read more: Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo: "I just get in the car and drive"

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