OCTOBER 31, 2011
Christian Horner reflects on the Indian GP
Red Bull boss Christian Horner talked to the press after the Indian GP.
Q: Sebastian seemed determined to set the fastest lap again?
A: Yes, despite the fact that we turned KERS off and the engine down, he was still setting purple sectors. He always wants to have the perfect weekend. And that was one of his best drives of the year. He was faultless.
Q: Is it just a jokey telling off about the fastest laps?
A: He said it wouldn't happen again after the last race and two weeks later here we are! But he's a sensible boy and I think he builds in a margin, but he wanted to show what he was capable of. Short of putting a cow on the circuit, there was nothing we could do to stop him.
Q: Why did Adrian Newey seem so emotional at the end?
A: He's had a remarkable year and it's probably the most successful part of his career so far. We've broken the pole record this year and now Sebastian has led more laps in a season than any other driver. That record belonged to Nigel Mansell, also in an Adrian Newey car in '92. Adrian hasn't changed much but Nigel has! And Adrian's family was in India too.
Q: Was it a bit of a risk bringing Mark Webber in quite early (at the second stops)?
A: Mark had signalled to us that he wanted to pit on that lap and the dilemma was that because his tyres were effectively finished, he was going to be overtaken, or else Fernando would come in and get the undercut. The only real chance of staying ahead was to pit him for the hards and unfortunately the out-lap performance wasn't strong enough. And, although Mark got a run on Fernando while the Ferrari was warming up its tyres, he couldn't make it stick.
Q: Did Mark hurt his tyres trying to stay with Button?
A: We were concerned he was giving them a hard time early on, then he found a rhythm that was reasonable. But then Fernando closed in and you are exposed either way.
Q: After last year and the sniping, what do you think about the Ferrari front wing?
A: It would be unsporting of me to comment!
Q: The drivers loved the track. How do you judge India?
A: I think it's been brilliant and there was strong reaction from the Indian public and fans who felt excited and privileged to have a race. Hats off to JayPee for building it, Bernie for putting it on and Vijay Mallya as well, who's had a hand in it. I think next year will be even bigger. It's a really interesting place to come to. Driving to the circuit make you feel like you're in a grand prix!