F1 »

Horner: We could never have anticipated such a 'dream start'

Christian Horner tells Crash.net that whilst it has been an unexpectedly 'dream start' to F1 2011 for Red Bull Racing, the defending double world champions must 'take nothing for granted' going forwards
As he eyes a hat-trick of successive victories for his team in the British Grand Prix at Silverstone this weekend, Christian Horner has reflected that Red Bull Racing could never have anticipated enjoying such a 'dream start' to the F1 2011 World Championship campaign – but now, he stresses, 'we've got to keep that momentum carrying on', underlining that nothing can be taken for granted.

Despite the season having been billed as one of the closest and most unpredictable in recent memory, in truth, 2011 has been a Red Bull benefit right from the word 'go'. The defending double world champions have claimed every pole position to-date – on three occasions sealing a front row lockout – and Sebastian Vettel has triumphed six times from eight races. On the only two occasions on which he has failed to ascend the highest step of the podium – in China and Canada – the young German led until the very closing stages.

Quick to praise Vettel's performance – one that has lifted the 24-year-old a staggering 77 points clear of any of his adversaries in the title standings – RBR team principal Horner is similarly supportive of Mark Webber in the sister car, the Australian having struggled to match his team-mate's searing pace thus far, primarily due to difficulties in adapting his driving style to Pirelli's tyres.

“It's been a great first half of the year, but we've got to keep that momentum carrying on into the second half now,” the Englishman told Crash.net at last weekend's Goodwood Festival of Speed, where he got behind the wheel of the late Ronnie Peterson's 1971 March 711, describing it as 'a bit like something out of Wacky Races' with its 'funny front wing' and confessing that 'it was great fun...it's a great car, it's in great condition and [it was] just a privilege to drive an old F1 car like that up the hill'.

“Before the season, it's something you wouldn't believe, but to have come so close to winning all of them and to have won six out of the eight and been second in the other two is a dream start. The Ferraris and McLarens and Mercedes' have varied from race-to-race; some have been competitive at some, others have been more competitive at others. We tend to focus more on our own performance, and the most important thing is for us to keep ourselves out front.

“It's been a remarkable first eight races, but there's still a long way to go. Sebastian has built up a good lead, but we take nothing for granted. His confidence is very high and he's enjoying his driving; he's got that bit more experience and the added benefit of being the reigning world champion. He's enjoying that, and he's performing flawlessly at the moment.

“[With Mark, the problem has] mainly been the degradation on the tyre, but he's getting his head round that now and as we saw, the last race (in Valencia) was probably his strongest in terms of race pace so far this year. He's got himself into a good position now.

“We're very happy with our two drivers. Seb's under a long-term contract, and with Mark, we mutually agreed we would take it one year at a time. He's driving very, very well at the moment and we're not thinking about anybody else. At the relevant time, he and I will sit down and deal with next year.”

Looking shorter-term rather than long-term, though, Red Bull's immediate focus is upon its 'home' race at Silverstone, one that it has dominated for the past two editions, with the Northants circuit's sweeping high-speed layout traditionally suiting Adrian Newey's creations right down to the ground. The engine-mapping rule adjustment in Valencia seemed to make scant indent into the team's qualifying pace – but is Horner concerned that the greater exhaust modifications this weekend will hurt the Milton Keynes-based squad rather more..?

by Russell Atkins



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
26.06.2011- Race, Mark Webber (AUS), Red Bull Racing, RB7
26.06.2011- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7 leads Mark Webber (AUS), Red Bull Racing, RB7
26.06.2011- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7 race winner and Mark Webber (AUS), Red Bull Racing, RB7 3rd position
26.06.2011- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7 race winner, Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia 2nd position and Mark Webber (AUS), Red Bull Racing, RB7 3rd position
26.06.2011- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7 leads Mark Webber (AUS), Red Bull Racing, RB7
24.06.2011- Friday Practice 2, Mark Webber (AUS), Red Bull Racing, RB7
26.06.2011- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7 race winner
26.06.2011- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7 race winner
26.06.2011- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7 race winner
26.06.2011- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7 race winner
20.05.2011- Friday Practice 2, Christian Horner (GBR), Red Bull Racing, Sporting Director
25.06.2011- Saturday Practice, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7 and Christian Horner (GBR), Red Bull Racing, Sporting Director
11/2/2011- Christian Horner (GBR), Red Bull Racing, Sporting Director
19.02.2011- Christian Horner (GBR), Red Bull Racing, Sporting Director
19.02.2011- Christian Horner (GBR), Red Bull Racing, Sporting Director
15.04.2011- Friday Practice 1, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7 and Christian Horner (GBR), Red Bull Racing, Sporting Director
Guy Moll at the 1934 Grand Prix Automobile de Montreux   [pic credit:Agence de presse Meurisse/Bibliothèque nationale de France]
2014 FIA European F3 champion Esteban Ocon is to test with Lotus F1

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.