Christian Horner says that Sebastian Vettel put in one of the best drives of his career in Singapore – but he insists that it’s still too early for Red Bull to become too complacent about a fourth title for the German.
“We’ve only extended the lead by another seven points,” said Horner. “Fernando keps finishing the races, he keeps turning up on the podium. We’re 60 points ahead, we’ve extended our lead, but there are still 150 available. So we’ll keep our heads down and keep pushing.
“We’ve got ourselves into a good position, but things can change. We’ve just got to keep fighting all the way to the end of this championship. The kind of performance that Sebastian delivered today was right up there, one of his best if not his best.”
Vettel stunned the opposition with his pace in the opening laps and again after the safety car, where he opened up a huge gap.
“Obviously after the start it was a matter of trying to make the duration of that soft stint go far enough, so you’re managing the tyres, you’re managing the situation, and Sebastian is so good at that, as we’ve seen so many times. The pace car came at probably the worst possible time for us. We weren’t in a window where we could go to the end of the race, we’d recently changed tyres, and of course track position is crucial here.
“We gave Sebastian a target to say basically you’ve got 15 laps, do what you can. His pace during that period of the race was phenomenal. To build up what turned out to be 30s to Fernando that gave him a clear stop was absolutely remarkable. He was just in a class of his own round here today.”
Horner said he was not impressed by the booing that Vettel was again subjected to on the podium.
“It’s so unfair. The boy today has driven an unbelievable race, what you’ve witnessed today is something I think is probably one of the best drives I’ve seen him produce in terms of raw pace and what he’s been able to deliver. I just don’t think it’s sporting at the end of the day to see a driver who’s put in a performance like that not get the reception that he deserves.
“He says it doesn’t affect him and he doesn’t feel it but he’s a human being at the end of the day. You’ve driven your heart out and you’re getting that reaction, to me it’s not fair, and I don’t think it’s sporting I don’t think it’s right, and I don’t think he deserved it in any way. He’s got a broad set of shoulders, but like anyone, he’s got feelings.”
The only downside for Red Bull in Singapore was Mark Webber’s late retirement.
“It was tremendously unlucky with Mark. We started losing water pressure in the engine, then the water ran out and at that point you’re in the lap of the gods. The temperatures all started going sky high. We tried to get to the finish, we were keeping our fingers crossed that we’d get that final lap in. It was just a great shame and really gutting not to get Mark right up there as well. Without the problem could he have passed Kimi, I don’t know, but he would certainly have caught him.”