Q & A with Christian Horner

Despite leading comfortably for most of the race, the Red Bull team left Bahrain disappointed after Sebastian Vettel lost what he thought was a sure win

Q & A with Christian Horner

Nonetheless, team boss Christian Horner was delighted to confirm the pace of the car in any circumstances.

The Red Bull boss gave his views on the season opener and AUTOSPORT was there.

Q. In the early stages of the race it seemed as though everything was under control...

Christian Horner: Up until lap 33, everything was in control until Sebastian had a massive loss of power. On the option tyres he delivered beautifully and built up a comfortable lead that enabled us to react to Ferrari, which we did. Then on the prime tyres Fernando had a go at him, gave him a push, but he was able to react without any problem at all. Then he was very much controlling the race.

The most impressive thing of all was how he adjusted to drive the car over those last few laps. To hold Rosberg off - he was mighty in that middle sector because he was so exposed on the straights. Damage limitation, but reassuring to know that we have got the pace - but obviously very disappointing to lose what was very likely a victory.

Q. What is your summary of Mark Webber's race?

CH: Frustrating. Unfortunately he got boxed in at the first corner, dropped a position and then with the format of the race the way it was, he couldn't overtake, couldn't really pit because he would then drop out straight into traffic, and when he got into clear air he didn't have any tyres left. So then he had to pit - and you are back to where you started. So, it was frustrating.

I pushed quite hard for two pitstops to be mandatory over the winter, and it would be a great shame if all the races for the fans are one-stop like they were.

Q. Fernando Alonso said after the race that he had a little bit in pocket and was saving himself for a late push against Sebastian. Did you feel in control at the front?

CH: Look at his lap times with a lot less power! It shows what he had in the tank. I don't think he had any issues. I think Fernando had a bit of a go at him, Sebastian immediately reacted. Obviously it is a little bit of a trip into the unknown with the tyres here, and we were as soft on the tyres as any team. We had absolutely no issues and felt Sebastian was in a great place to control the race.

Q. We have some answers about the performance of the various cars - you and Ferrari seem a bit ahead, with McLaren right behind you. What's the overall feeling on the weekend?

CH: I think we can take a lot of positives. We have had the fastest car in all conditions, in qualifying, the soft tyre in the beginning of the race and the hard tyre in the second half of the race. But a frustrating issue has cost us a certain victory. But the upside is that the performance is clearly there.

Q. With heavy cars at the beginning of the race it seems it is impossible to overtake now. Is qualifying pace vital?

CH: Qualifying is going to be crucial - and this is one of the tracks that you can overtake at. So, it is going to be vitally important at future races.

Q. Do you think the spectacle was a bit of a letdown?

CH: I think the problem is, with the way the format of the races are, is that you are in danger of one-stop races at all events. I think we should consider whether we do two mandatory stops. It seems ridiculous that the guys train like hell for one stop.

Q. So does FOTA have some work to do?

CH: We've only had one snapshot, so perhaps we should review it after the first three or four races. Everybody thought I didn't want it because of tyre degradation, but I think we have shown today that tyre degradation isn't a problem for Red Bull.

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