Red Bull: We can be stronger in 2012
|By Jonathan Noble||Friday, September 23rd 2011, 11:47 GMT|
Red Bull Racing may be on the verge of more title success in Singapore this weekend, but team principal Christian Horner has warned its rivals that he thinks the outfit can do even better next year.
With Sebastian Vettel able to secure his second world championship on the streets of Marina Bay, Horner believes that his whole outfit has proved itself to be strong in all areas this year - which means it can target further success in 2012.
"The thing that has been extremely pleasing so far this year is we have delivered in all areas," Horner told AUTOSPORT.
"When we've not had the quickest car we've still won because operationally we've been strong, and when we have had the quickest car we've capitalised on that and made it pay.
"So to have won eight of the 13 races and the consistency with which we've achieved that, from Monaco to Monza, has been phenomenal.
"The team learned a lot of lessons from last year, and has grown stronger as a unit, in strength in depth, at trackside, back at the factory, including the drivers.
"The lessons we've learned this year will apply next year. We're a strong unit, and as we gain experience and with continuity, we'll continue to build on that."
Although much of the focus this weekend is on whether or not Vettel can win the championship here, Horner insists that his team is approaching the Singapore GP as it has every other race.
"Sebastian's in good shape. He's had a good preparation for this race. Both drivers came in reasonably late to keep on the night- shift time zone. But for us we are going about this race like any other this year, we'll attack the weekend and try and ensure we maximise the performance over the course of it.
"You've seen the last two races. We haven't gone into a cruise-and -collect mode. We've attacked the two grands prix that historically have been very tough for us. Monza was a phenomenal result for the whole team, and it would be great to go one better here.
"Mathematically Sebastian is in great shape in the championship, but nothing is done, and we take absolutely nothing for granted. We're just focused on extracting the best out of the cars and out of the weekend."
Horner has also praised the step forward that Vettel has made this year, as he delivered a level of consistency that he found so difficult to produce in 2011.
"He's been the stand-out driver, he's won eight grands prix, second in four of them and fourth in the other, and he's had 10 poles," explained Horner. "It's a phenomenal run of results, and one that as a team, and Seb himself, are keen to build on in the remaining six events.
"He has completely proved his detractors wrong. He's continued to evolve and to grow. Last year he had a lot of bad luck at different stages. If you think of the three failures he had in Australia, Bahrain and Korea, they cost him significantly.
"Last year he learned a lot, and he has just grown, as an individual with experience, his confidence is high and he has complete belief in the team around him.
"He is also delivering at a phenomenally high level, and the consistency with which he does that is quite remarkable."