SEPTEMBER 23, 2010
Horner: Ferrari is the biggest threat
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says it is the challenge of Ferrari and Fernando Alonso that could gave his team the biggest headache during the title run-in, which begins at Singapore this weekend.
Despite the fact that Mark Webber leads the championship by just eight points from McLaren's Lewis Hamilton with five races remaining, Alonso's third win of the season in Italy puts him third in the series, just 21 points behind the Australian. With a win worth 25 points under the 2010 scoring system and second place 18 points, the 2005-6 champion is right in the hunt with a Ferrari that looks competitive and - importantly - a team mate who does not appear to be in a position to take points away from him.
"I see Ferrari as the biggest threat, to be honest," Horner said in Singapore. "They have a quick car and arguably they have been the closest to us since halfway through the year.
"They had a bit of bad luck around Valencia and Silverstone, but in Hockenheim they were quick, and they were closest to us in Budapest. Spa didn't go their way but they were quick again in Monza, so arguably Ferrari is the biggest challenge.
"They are playing a slightly different game but ultimately we have to beat everybody, the constructors championship is important to us and I would rather have two guys competing for the championship than one. We will continue to support our guys as fairly and equally as we possibly can."
McLaren, meanwhile, is hopeful that new aero tweaks have improved the MP4-25's performance at higher downforce venues and are interested to see whether the latest, more stringent front wing and floor deflection tests might peg back Red Bull and/or Ferrari a little.
Red Bull's technical chief Adrian Newey, meanwhile, is confident that will not be the case. "The increased front wing load test had no impact on us at all," he said, "and I suspect that the different floor measurement will have a similar impact for teams up and down the pit lane. You may have to run a slightly higher ride height but I think it will be the same for everyone."