F1 » 4 November 2011
Team Vettel: The architects of genius
In a very crude manner it's about how not to make things a problem. For example when bad things happen, like in Korea last year when Seb's engine blew up while he was leading in the final stages, that situation is all about holding your head up. And we'd rehearsed exactly that kind of situation, which helped him deal with it so well. I think our age gap helps there. I'm 41, he's 24 and we're able to work very well together.
I always try to be calm for Seb, this is very important. I think to be a good race engineer you have to be as confident and as even-tempered as you can. If the highs are too high and the lows are too low, then it can become difficult.
“There's only so much you can control,” is a phrase that's important to us, but generally an understanding of that – having an ability to rationalise things – only comes with age. Seb has that at a very young age.
It helps that we talk a lot. What you see at a race track is generally the putting into place of everything we've discussed by phone and email since the last race.
Christian 'The Boss Horner
Red Bull Racing team principal
The real thing I suppose I do and that we as a team do, is ensure that we get the best out of Sebastian both as a sportsman and as an athlete. That means ensuring that he has the materials and equipment to do the job.
The time demands on drivers are significant, between track, factory, commercial and media pressures, so ensuring that his time is managed and organised in a way that allows him to perform at his prime and at his best is obviously very important.
With all the demands that are placed on F1 drivers, it's important to ensure that they have the right preparation and the right people around them, and what happens trackside is a relatively small part of the operation.
It's extremely important that the dynamics of people working together are right, and that they have complete confidence, trust and faith in each other. It's broader than just personnel management. You have to look strategically and think about how you approach a season. You know there will be challenges. That's what makes the sport interesting. And you have to work with your drivers, and the whole team, to get through these challenges.
Although I used to race, I'm not qualified to criticise Sebastian's driving. But if I see something that I think might be of interest, then obviously I'll talk to him. We also often talk about different strategies and race plans. The drivers don't have as much information available to them as team management does, so sometimes your job can be a matter of managing expectations. At Silverstone this year, our drivers were battling and setting fastest laps. But fastest laps don't score championship points.
Sebastian doesn't have a manager in the 'sports agent' sense and that allows us to have a great one-to-one relationship. If there's an issue, we talk about it. It's great because we have total trust in each other. That's very important for him and very important for me, and it makes any issue relatively easy to deal with.
Giorgio 'The Educator' Ascanelli
Technical Director, Scuderia Toro Rosso
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