Q & A with Christian Horner
|By Jonathan Noble||Tuesday, September 15th 2009, 10:50 GMT|
Q. Were you expecting more from the Italian Grand Prix when you came here, or was it always going to be a struggle?
Christian Horner: We knew perhaps it was going to be one of our weaker tracks, but I think it was our least competitive performance of the year - which has exposed some of our weaknesses.
Q.Giancarlo Fisichella expressed some disappointment about Sebastian Vettel's defensive driving in the early stages of the race. What did you think?
CH: I thought it was firm but fair, ultimately.
Q. And you feelings on the Robert Kubica/Mark Webber incident?
CH: I haven't seen a full replay of it. It looked like it was pretty snarled up down there, and it looked like he tagged Mark into a spin - and we dropped quite a bit of time behind him in the race with a damaged front wing – so it was a bit of a double-sucker punch really.
Q. Championship wise it was obviously a very bad weekend. How do you rate your chances now? Is it going to take a miracle to get you back in it?
CH: It is never over until the maths don't permit it. We will keep pushing but we need quite a bit of good fortune in the remaining four races – more so in the Constructors' Championship than the drivers' where it is more open. Certainly it was a big score and dominant performance by Brawn GP today.
Q. Do you feel you should have closed up the points gap to Brawn much more in the earlier races to have kept in there – that you didn't make the most of your opportunities?
CH: This season, when you reflect on it, there have been so many different elements to it – whether it is with the double diffusers, development and different cars coming into contention at different times. Who would have predicted four or five races ago that the Force India would have been so competitive. So really, it has been swings and roundabouts and it is going to be fascinating to see how the final five races pan out.
Q. How do you feel these races will favour the two teams?
CH: Singapore is a bumpy street circuit so it will be interesting to see how we get on there, as we have got an upgrade coming for Singapore. Suzuka is a bit more Silverstone-esque so theoretically we should be strong there. Brazil there are some fast corners, and who knows in Abu Dhabi. We should not be as exposed as we were here.
Q. Do you keep pushing with development on this car now until the end of the season – especially after we saw how McLaren and Ferrari suffered this year as a result of pushing hard until the end of 2008?
CH: Yes. It is not a completely new set of regulations for next year, so there is relevance to next year anyway in continuing that development. We will keep pushing right until the end of the year.
Q. Even if you finish second in the championship, it is still a great result for the team isn't it?
CH: To be in this position with over 100 points on the board, three race wins so far, it is a great team performance and demonstrates how far the team has come. But it is disappointing to only get today what was a lucky eighth place today. But, we know the reasons why and we have had to generate the lap time and top speed by adopting a different strategy to others, and that ultimately has hurt us.