Q & A with Christian Horner

Red Bull Racing's world championship hopes took a dent in Korea, but its drivers Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber outqualified points leader Fernando Alonso in Brazil

Q & A with Christian Horner

However the continuing fall-out from Webber's suggestion that Vettel had the 'emotional backing' of the team was one of the main topics when RBR boss Christian Horner met the media after qualifying at Interlagos.

Q. Last year in poor weather we saw with Sebastian Vettel how there is ample opportunity to get it wrong. So are you pleased with second and third on the grid for the Brazilian Grand Prix?

Christian Horner: I am very satisfied with qualifying, because there was all the opportunity for it to go very wrong. We navigated our way through the two sessions without any problems at all, and into Q3 with a very difficult call with the crossover. And particularly in our position, when you know you have a quick car, you know you have everything to lose and nothing to gain. So ultimately to come out of qualifying with P2 and P3, with our main opponents behind us, is a very, very good team result.

Q. Pace wise it has been quite an encouraging weekend hasn't it?

CH: In the dry we have been competitive all weekend. So it bodes well for a dry race. Nico Hulkenberg did a great job in qualifying, and congratulations to him and Williams, and it will be interesting to see what his pace is like in the dry. On dry form he is out of position.

Q. How much of a worry is it for you gunning for a championship when you have a wild card like that at the front of the grid?

CH: It is the same for all of them, isn't it? The start will be important and then the strategy for both of our guys is head down and then try and make sure we are ahead of our opponents.

Q. What will be the message for your two guys, as they are fighting for a championship so cannot afford to get tangled up with him?

CH: They are just going to have to deal with it as best as they can. But it is the same for Lewis [Hamilton] and the same for Fernando [Alonso]. So it is not a unique challenge for our guys.

Q. How has this weekend been for you to manage, as there was a lot of controversy about Mark Webber's comments and headlines talking about 'civil war' inside Red Bull Racing?

CH: There are a few things that were said on Thursday that were unfortunate. But, there is so much at stake for both of the drivers that it is understandable that emotions were sometimes running high. The most important thing is to do your talking on the track and that is what we are determined to do this weekend.

Q. Do you see some similarities between the situation you found this weekend and what happened at Silverstone?

CH: It was a little bit leftfield. But Mark is a great competitor and he sometimes feeds off controversy. The most important thing as a team is that we have not managed to get into the position we are by working as a bunch of individuals. We work as a team - which means we win as a team and lose as a team - and Mark has been an important part of that. He has been part of the team for four years now, and this is Red Bull's sixth season in F1 now.

So, he knows the kind of support that he has had and enjoyed from not just the team but from Austria, and from Dietrich Mateshitz, during the last four years. So I am sure he will deliver in the next two races.

I have every confidence in both him and Sebastian that they will deliver. It is very important for us with the constructors' situation. We have got ourselves into a good position if we have a good result here, and both of them are still contenders in the drivers' championship going into the race.

Q. How important is it for you to deal with the off-track tensions so they don't boil over into the garage and out onto the circuit?

CH: The unfortunate thing with anything like this is that no matter what the intent of a throwaway line or a comment, it is always the question of how it can be perceived. There is a tremendous team spirit within this team that spreads way beyond what you see trackside.

Of course it is disappointing for every team member when they see negative things written about what they perceive to be their team, even if it may not be focused directly at them. I think the team recognises that we have got two great drivers, we have two competitive drivers, and we have done our best to give them all the support we can. It has not been inconvenient either one of them being quick and it is a headache that I am sure a lot of teams would be quite envious of having up and down the pit lane.

Q. But is it a headache you are willing to take on again for next year and the future? Won't the frustrations Mark feels this year still be there in 2011?

CH: I think first of all we have to clearly understand what those frustrations are, because it is not at all evident to us. The support that Mark has had, not just this year but for the four years he has been with the team - I cannot believe that there have been any better supported drivers in the pit lane than our drivers. It is even down to the most simple of things like the amount of media days, sponsor days and everything else they have to do. They both have absolutely awesome support from the whole of the group.

Q. Is your commitment for Mark for next year, and Dietrich's comment too, as strong today as it was before this weekend?

CH: Absolutely. Absolutely. Without a shadow of a doubt. Mark is driving in the form of his career. We have provided him with a great car. Before he joined the team he had one podium to his name, and now he is a multiple grand prix winner and a world championship contender. I cannot believe that he would be better off anywhere in the pit lane, so I very much hope he will finish his career with Red Bull.

Q. Do you have a sense that he is thinking about what he wants to do for next year?

CH: No. I think he is totally focused on here. Mark, as we all know over the years, can be a bit outspoken and sometimes he shoots from the hip. Unfortunately Thursday was one of those occasions but if that motivates him to achieve then great. The last time he did it he produced a very dominant performance at Silverstone, so let's see what he can do here.

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