mai 24, 2024

Sky Sports F1 Podcast: Ted Kravitz and David Croft rank team bosses for 2023 Formula 1 season

6 min read

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David Croft pays homage to Williams team principal James Vowles’ achievements at the team in such a short time.

David Croft pays homage to Williams team principal James Vowles’ achievements at the team in such a short time.

Ted Kravitz and David Croft have ranked the 2023 Formula 1 team bosses in a special episode of the Sky Sports F1 Podcast.

In a year Red Bull totally dominated with 21 wins from 22 races, it’s hard to argue against Christian Horner being the team principal of the year.

But it’s less certain where the other team bosses rank after Mercedes, Ferrari, McLaren and Aston Martin were all Red Bull’s closest challengers at different points of the season.

Ted and Crofty join Matt Baker to go through each team, scoring the leadership, technical performance, management and media or sponsorship duties this year.

Listen to the full episode to find out where each team principal ended up, including Mercedes’ Toto Wolff.

But for now, here is the combined top three Ted, Crofty and Matt came up with:

3) James Vowles, Williams

Sky Sports F1’s David Croft:

« My overall marks might not reflect this, but he’s my team boss of the year, without a doubt. If you look at the time that he had before he took up the role, you’re talking a matter of three months maximum. That is not a lot of time to put into operation any sort of plan where you hit the ground running and get instant results.

« He didn’t take up the reins until the start of February officially, so had no real influence whatsoever on the car at the start, but it became quickly apparent to me, watching during testing, that he was introducing simple tweaks and changes to the way Williams went racing that would make them better right from the start.

Sky F1's Martin Brundle and Naomi Schiff give their awards for the 2023 season and look ahead to what could happen next year.

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Sky F1’s Martin Brundle and Naomi Schiff give their awards for the 2023 season and look ahead to what could happen next year.

Sky F1’s Martin Brundle and Naomi Schiff give their awards for the 2023 season and look ahead to what could happen next year.

« Things that would have been run of the mill behind the scenes at Mercedes for a race team, he was now bringing to Williams to say, ‘look, I know you do it this way, try doing it this way’.

« Behind the scenes, he was also putting into preparation and operation, long-term planning for the future, identifying where he needed key members of technical staff. »

2) Andrea Stella, McLaren

Sky Sports F1’s Ted Kravitz:

« When he was racing director of McLaren, all he needed to know were the 300 people or so in his group. When he took over as team principal, he needed to get to know the other 800 people that make up McLaren.

« He is not an extravagant, flamboyant figure. He has done that with respect and admiration and kept everybody together at what could have been, after the early season disappointments from McLaren, a very fractious and potentially spiralling time.

Ted Kravitz and David Croft give plenty of praise for former Ferrari driver and present McLaren team principal Andrea Stella.

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Ted Kravitz and David Croft give plenty of praise for former Ferrari driver and present McLaren team principal Andrea Stella.

Ted Kravitz and David Croft give plenty of praise for former Ferrari driver and present McLaren team principal Andrea Stella.

« But he’s done a great job on the HR and that McLaren for large parts of the season was the second fastest car in Formula 1, arguably the only car that worried Max Verstappen in the hands of maybe Lando Norris or Oscar Piastri.

« Technical, once they got going, is very good. Leadership, I have actually got Stella a little bit further down because it was his first year and he is a quiet man, softly spoken.

« Media and sponsorship, I’ve got Stella second, because while he’s very good with the media, he will always answer questions, there is that Zak Brown above him who deals with the sponsorship, so it is a slightly sort of split team principal. »

McLaren boss Zak Brown is hoping for a strong start to the new season as they aim to narrow the gap on the Red Bulls in 2024.

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McLaren boss Zak Brown is hoping for a strong start to the new season as they aim to narrow the gap on the Red Bulls in 2024.

McLaren boss Zak Brown is hoping for a strong start to the new season as they aim to narrow the gap on the Red Bulls in 2024.

1) Christian Horner, Red Bull

Sky Sports F1’s David Croft:

« It was the standout car and Christian Horner is not designing that car but he is enabling the design team, the aero team, the chassis team and the engine team to run their business with management, but not micromanagement, empowering and enabling people to do their jobs. You have to give them a 10 out of 10 because they have won everything at a canter.

« Leadership, overall direction of the team… once upon a time, and not that long ago, we were all sat here going Red Bull are gonna have trouble, aren’t they? They haven’t got an engine for the future. Who’s gonna power it? Who’s gonna power their engine? What are they gonna do?

On the F1 2023 Season Review show, Christian Horner hailed Red Bull's incredible year and believes three-time world champion Max Verstappen is among the greatest drivers ever in the sport.

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On the F1 2023 Season Review show, Christian Horner hailed Red Bull’s incredible year and believes three-time world champion Max Verstappen is among the greatest drivers ever in the sport.

On the F1 2023 Season Review show, Christian Horner hailed Red Bull’s incredible year and believes three-time world champion Max Verstappen is among the greatest drivers ever in the sport.

« Look at the way Christian Horner saw a long-term vision for Honda and then for their own powertrain, so they are now a works team and a works team with their own engine.

« That will continue, even when Ford come in 2026. He’s brought Ford back into Formula 1 and that happened this year as well.

« I’ve seen Christian, the way he interacts with the partners and the sponsors, and he’s an inspiring figure. The way he interacts with the crew at the track and back at the factory and he’s a guy that you can go and talk to whoever you are.

« You can go and have a chat with Christian Horner. He talks to the media as if we are all old friends and quite frankly we are because we have known him for forever and he’s a racer.

After Max Verstappen's record-breaking 2023, here's a look at his top five greatest F1 wins.

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After Max Verstappen’s record-breaking 2023, here’s a look at his top five greatest F1 wins.

After Max Verstappen’s record-breaking 2023, here’s a look at his top five greatest F1 wins.

« Whatever people from the outside think about Christian Horner, and I know he kind of divides opinion sometimes and probably Abu Dhabi 2021 is part and parcel of that, but there is no better team principal for the team that is Red Bull than Christian Horner. The two fit absolutely perfectly.

« He has turned them from what was a bit of a, half decent outfit in Milton Keynes to world leaders. He should be applauded for that. I don’t think he always gets everything right, he probably still has problems behind the scenes, but he is absolutely the right person for Red Bull. »

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