SEPTEMBER 27, 2011
Horner: we want to finish it off in style
Post-Singapore, Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner was left contemplating a drivers' championship table that requires Sebastian Vettel to claim just one more point to ensure back-to-back titles. Despite that, he says, the team wants to win in style at Suzuka next time out.
Q: Was the Singapore victory as easy as it looked?
You're always looking for what could trip you up. The race seemed to go on and on and on. I was surprised there wasn't so more Safety Cars.
Q: Was it simply a case of managing Sebastian's pace advantage?
Seb was on the right side of grid, made a cleaner getaway and his first lap lead was phenomenal. All options opened up to him. We were looking at using the option tyre again in the second stint because he was happy, but decided to cover the others in case of Safety Cars. Again he had phenomenal pace, at one point the lead was up to 27s. He was happy to go to the end on the prime tyre and we would have done that had it not been for the others all stopping. We wanted to ensure that in event of another Safety Car, he was on right tyre. In the last few laps we just gave the car as easy a time as we could in among back markers racing each other aggressively.
Q: Was that a nervous time?
You are nervous about going through traffic and Jenson was pushing on, but there were no real issues and Seb knew what the gap was. He had them covered. He now only needs one more point for the championship but it's not over until it's done.
We'd have to try hard not to achieve it but we'd like to finish it off in style.
Q: Why did Mark Webber have another bad start?
If you look at the left side of the grid - Mark, Lewis and Massa, all dropped quite a bit of time. Mark did nothing wrong in the race and I think his recovery was excellent. He passed Fernando twice and Ferrari looked like they were getting themselves in a bit of tyre trouble, which is why we didn't look for an aggressive undercut.
Q: Turn 10 is not the place you would expect Mark to pass Fernando?
He made a couple of great passing moves on a track that is not among his favourites.
Q: Was the Lotus pit stop a heart-stopping moment?
Heikki came in behind us, then tried to outlaunch us and was mighty close to driving straight into the side of Sebastian.
Q: What is it about Singapore that suits Sebastian?
I don't know. There's a lot of corners and Seb really enjoys it. There's lots of stop-start 90-degree stuff that seems to suit him, but Mark has also been strong on other street circuits. Seb was a class act all weekend, with phenomenal pace.
Q: Is it satisfying to win in Singapore having lost out so narrowly in 2010?
It's great. We felt we should have won last year and came here determined to put that right. It's rapidly becoming one of the stand-out events on the calendar.