Q & A with Christian Horner

Q: This is Red Bull Racing's first pole position. How does it feel?

Q & A with Christian Horner

Christian Horner: Brilliant. A fantastic team effort, not only pole position but third on the grid with Mark Webber as well. It is a combination of a lot of hard work, both here and in Milton Keynes. The hours and commitment that have gone in from every member of the team has been outstanding.

But it is only a Saturday, and it's on the race day that you get points. But it is the best possible place to be starting the race from.

Sebastian did a stunning job. It was an aggressive plan that he executed brilliantly and we had a lot of confidence in him. His lap in Q2, when everybody is on low fuel and going for it, was stunning.

Q: What was the problem he had in qualifying?

CH: We were taking some precautions with some issues that we saw this morning.

Q: The driveshaft?

CH: Yes. The driveshaft boot. So, we are just taking some precautions and we knew the car was quick, Sebastian was extremely confident in it. We adopted an aggressive strategy to qualifying. We had one run on the hard tyre in Q1, one run in Q2 and one run in Q3 - and he did brilliantly.

Q: How confident were you coming here that Red Bull Racing would show its legs?

CH: The first couple of races have been frustrating. In Melbourne we were set for a brilliant result, we were only three seconds behind Jenson Button throughout the race in Melbourne. Had it not been for the safety car and then the incident with Robert Kubica we would have had a great result there.

In Malaysia we were set for at least a podium with Mark, and the weather intervened. We've known through winter testing and what we've seen in the races so far that we've got a good car that is not fully optimised under the now clear regulations. We know we have a lot more to come.

Q: Some team bosses, especially Renault's Flavio Briatore, say that the non-diffuser cars have no chance of getting on terms with the 'diffuser gang'. What do you say?

CH: I think that the Brawn GP is still ultimately the quickest car. But saying that, Sebastian's Q2 performance was stunning, and Mark's for that matter. We think we are very close to them, but there is an advantage from the diffusers.

You've seen Renault's quantum leap with them bolting on their diffuser this weekend, so for sure there is performance to be gained. Adrian and his team are working hard on our own interpretation of it but it has to be integrated. It is not just a bolt on component - it has to be fully integrated into the car.

Q: Is there a danger that by adding something that can bring you three or four tenths, that you lose more through the modifications needed to the back of your car?

CH: I don't think so. It is pretty much bolt on lap time, but you have obviously got to balance it with everything else - and package it. That is where the time, effort and money gets used.

Q: What effect has had Sebastian had arriving at this team?

CH: He has obviously been a member of the Red Bull family for some time now, so he has been well known to the team. His enthusiasm and commitment has really lifted the team, and he is bringing the best out of Mark as well.

They are pushing each other massively hard. They are driving the wheels off what is a very good car, and it is really a very positive atmosphere inside the team - and I think all the foundations that we have put in place over the past few years are starting to come to fruition.

Q: What are your feelings for the race?

CH: We are in the best place to start the race, and manage it. It is going to be a tyre dictated race here, and we need to manage our tyre strategy carefully. We think we have a good plan. We have had good pace in free practice on the longer runs, so we think we are in good shape.

Q: Is there a feeling inside the team that Red Bull could be on the verge of a truly great season once you get your double-decked diffuser on?

CH: I think Adrian has demonstrated previously that when there has been a big regulation change, he has been at his most creative. He has come up with a fantastic car, together with his fantastic team, and the decision to go late with the car was a risk but it was a calculated risk that worked well for us.

Had it not been for the uncertainty over the double diffusers you can wonder where we would be. Take those diffuser cars out of the equation and then we are looking very strong.

So, the positive aspect is we have that to look forward to, but we have to bring it to the car as quickly and as timely as possible, and without compromising other aspects of a car that is obviously very quick.

Q: So getting points on the board are now vital?

CH: We need to come away from this weekend with some points, and really get into the championship here. We were unlucky in Melbourne, we were unlucky in Malaysia, so hopefully China will be a bit kinder to us.

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