Christian Horner says he has little doubt Sebastian Vettel can carry his championship challenging form through into the second-half of the season, warning Mercedes he gets stronger the more pressure he feels.

Vettel clinched four consecutive world titles under Horner’s Red Bull Racing team between 2010 and 2013, the German triumphing during seasons that were both competitively fought or won dominantlty.

Indeed, Horner says he would have faith that Vettel would deliver under the toughest circumstances during the closing stages of the year, a trait he believes will serve him well if he comes up against Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas in the fight for the 2017 F1 title.

“Sebastian, he’s a very focused individual. He handled pressure extremely well. It was almost the more pressure that came on, the better he would respond to it. Particularly when you got to the business end of the championship, he was remarkably strong in his head and his approach.

“Generally when you got to the flyaway races, you knew if you were with a sniff of having a crack at the championship that he’d deliver from his side. His approach, his application, his attention to detail, his work ethic were all things that enabled him to deliver those four consecutive titles.

“Two of them in 2010 and 2012 went to the wire, 12 in particular. He’d won one race by the time we’d left Europe, I think it was in Valencia, and then he won four on the bounce as soon as we went to Singapore onwards.”

Horner, meanwhile, says Red Bull’s target for the second half of the year is to ‘out-score’ Ferrari and get amongst the top three more regularly.

“From a championship point of view, I think the gap between us and Mercedes and Ferrari is too big to haul back. But I think I would like to at least outscore Ferrari in the second half of the year.

“If we can get into a situation to challenge for podiums and the higher places on the podium a couple of races between now and the end of the year, that is a realistic and I think an aggressive target for us.”

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