Christian Horner Q&A: The Red Bull boss reflects on a dominant season
Brit praises Mark Webber's mental strength and reveals RB10 on schedule
By William Esler
Last Updated: 26/11/13 5:02pm
Nine wins in a row - how is that possible? All the others look like extras?
Christian Horner: "Personally I put it down to the Pirelli test we did in August (laughs). But no, joking aside I think it is a combination of an awful lot of hard work, an unbelievable performance from Sebastian - he has driven with such consistency, such accuracy, such speed - what he has achieved this year is quite outstanding and it has been an unbelievable year for him, the team and it was fantastic for Mark to sign off his F1 career with a really very strong drive. I said to him before the podium 'are you sure you want to retire because your move on Lewis around the outside into turn five or wherever it was massively impressive,' and it is great for him to sign off whilst he is at the top of his game."
That speaks for Red Bull, but what about the others, because the others look so poor.
CH: "We can only focus on ourselves. We have some very good opponents, there are some very clever people in the other teams, but I think what we have achieved this year as a team - you know we have worked closer, harder, more effectively than any year - and we are always looking inwardly. Adrian and the technical team have done a brilliant job, all the departments, all the support, all the unsung heroes that you don't get to see or hear about have all gone that extra yard and that is what has enabled us to achieve this kind of result."
It is impossible to beat the feeling of this run of form isn't it? That is why Seb is always so keen to tell the boys to enjoy this moment.
CH: "I don't think he can quite believe what he has achieved - I mean nine consecutive grand prix victories in one season, to be the only driver since I think July to win a grand prix and we are now in November is really quite outstanding. And I think the manner in which he has won as well has been so dominant that we have really seen him come of age this year. I said it before that he will continue to improve and we are yet to see the best of him and I think we are just starting to see that now."
When Lewis won in Hungary, you perhaps expected a bigger challenge from him and developed the car further than you would have. Has that had any impact on next year?
CH: "I think that of course we have been pushing the boundaries and Adrian is never famous for starting next year's car early and you know that is exactly the same case for the RB10. But thankfully we managed to secure this championship reasonably early which has enabled all the focus to go onto the RB10, whilst obviously Ferrari and Mercedes have been battling each other for the runners-up position."
How resilient did Mark need to be to take on Sebastian for five years?
CH: "I think you need to be a pretty tough character because people underestimate I think how good Sebastian is. Mark is a very, very fine racing driver and of course it is hugely difficult for any sportsman but he has brushed himself down, got himself motivated, sometimes in a manner that might be uncomfortable for the team to deal with, but that has worked for him and he has got the absolute best out of himself."