Q & A with Christian Horner

Q. Disappointed about the result in Singapore?

Q & A with Christian Horner

Christian Horner: We are disappointed to have come away with a fourth place. Unfortunately our race started to go wrong yesterday with the red flag in qualifying, because Sebastian was on a stunning lap and should have had the pole pretty easily. The strategy that we had elected was very aggressive to attack the race. Unfortunately starting from the dirty side of the grid he ended up dropping a place - both him and Mark dropped a place - to Rosberg and Fernando.

And then the incident Mark had with Fernando was a racing incident. Fernando ran wide over the kerb as well, almost reminiscing of Kimi Raikkonen at Spa. I felt that the penalty given to Mark was harsh following that incident. Then obviously Sebastian's race was effectively over with the drive-through. And despite missing half the rear diffuser his laptimes were remarkable and he was extremely quick. It was a good recovery to finish fourth.

Q. Were there any warnings before Mark's failure?

CH: Well, we could see the temperatures were going high. We thought there might be some debris in the brake duct. The chief engineer checked the brake disc. We stopped him two laps early to have a good look. Visually it looked okay, the duct was cleared, then rejoined the race and we could then see the temperature continue to go significantly high and literally we made the call to retire him. Unfortunately it looks like the brake had a suspected failure into turn 1.

Q. Why did Sebastian speed in the pitlane?

CH: I'm not quite sure. We need to look at the data to understand that one. I haven't seen the data to know whether it was on the way in or the way out.

Q. When a team boss says that it usually means it was a driver error...

CH: I don't know all the facts yet, so it's difficult to tell. Usually, theoretically, it's either on the way in or the way out, so we need to see all the facts.

Q. Do you think the championship is gone?

CH: Theoretically we need to win every race with Jenson DNFing in most of them. In reality it's a mountain to climb, but mathematically there's still a chance so we are going to attack the three remaining weekends and try to win all three. We had great pace here on a track which theoretically shouldn't have suited the car really well and both drivers had very, very strong pace. We are looking forward to Japan in less than a week.

Q. Who would you put your money on if the championship was down to the two Brawn drivers?

CH: It's impossible to predict. This championship has had so many ups and down at the moment, who knows? On that basis I wouldn't write off Sebastian just yet.

Q. Is Suzuka a candidate for a Red Bull one-two?

CH This season it's impossible to make any predictions. We are happy with the upgrades that we've introduced here and we'll go to Suzuka.. The weather forecast is a bit ropey. Hopefully it's a track that should suit us.

Q. When you look back the season, is it frustrating that you have had so many missed chances?

CH: When you reflect on the season as a whole there's been opportunities that have been lost, but we've had a great season. We've had 12 podiums so far, we've had three wins, we've had four poles. We have scored 109 points so far and the car has consistently been the best chassis throughout all the circuits that we've been to.

Obviously there was the controversy with the double diffuser at the beginning of the season, and we had to redesign a lot of the rear end of the car. But I think the team has done brilliant job this year, I really do. The team can be proud of what it has achieved this season and there's still three races to go, which is the opportunity for three potential race wins.

Q. Have you learned from what happened this season?

CH: Absolutely. Today we had a car that was probably quick enough to win the race, but luck hasn't been with us at times. I think both our drivers have driven extremely well. Sebastian continues to get better and better, the team is working cohesively extremely well. We've introduced a good upgrade here, and I think we can hold our heads high going into Japan.

If you had said 12 months ago that we'd be sitting at this stage of the championship I don't think anybody would have believed you. For us we are going to just focus on the remaining three races, as we did this weekend, and it could quite easily had paid off.

Q. With Mark now out of the title hunt, does that change your approach for the drivers going into Japan?

CH: We haven't spoken with the drivers yet. Obviously Mark has had a great championship challenge this year and it has come to an end in unfortunate circumstances here, but he's a big team player and he'll do the best job he can for the team.

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Horner hails 'great' season for Red Bull
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