Horner: three stops was Vettels only chance of victory 07 Jun 2009
Red Bull left Istanbul Park with 14 points, consolidating their strong second place in the constructors standings. Team principal Christian Horner was delighted with their two-three result. A win for Sebastian Vettel would have been better, but Horner insists they gave it their best shot, with the Germans three-stop strategy the only realistic way of challenging Brawn for the win
Q: Christian, it was an excellent team result, but you probably had more in mind than second and third. How would you sum up this race?
Christian Horner: Yes, it was a great team result finishing second and third. We knew that it would be very difficult to beat the Brawns today and Jenson was phenomenally fast. The only real chance that we had to beat them was a three-stop strategy for Sebastian, but that relied on Sebastian staying ahead of Jenson, which unfortunately did not materialize due to his small mistake on the first lap that made him fall behind - and it also relied on him passing Jenson again, which he did not quite manage. Mark (Webber) drove a fantastic race without a single mistake and combination of the time loss on the first lap and the time loss behind Jenson was the difference between second and third today.
Q: Was the three-stop strategy the right decision? Was it really the only chance you saw to win the race?
CH: Yes, absolutely. Otherwise on lap 15 we would have conceded the race.
Q: Sebastian said after the race that he thought that after the first short stint the team would change him to a two-stop strategy - which you did not. Was that a mistake?
CH: We discussed with him before the race about staying on the three-stop, but that relied on having to overtake Jenson - and unfortunately we did not manage that today.
Q: Did the different strategy for Sebastian and Mark in the end not support Marks race?
CH: No, Marks middle stint was very impressive. He was the quicker car in the middle stint - thats why he emerged ahead of Sebastian. So the mistake on the first lap and the time that he lost behind Jenson and Marks very fast middle stint switched things around.
Q: Did you hold your breath when you saw Sebastians mistake on lap one?
CH: Well, it made things immediately a lot harder. It was the right thing to do to put some kind of competition to Brawn today - unfortunately they were too fast.
Q: When the race unfolded in the way it did was there ever a thought of team orders?
CH: No team orders. Both drivers had new engines and very hot temperatures so the last few laps they turned the revs down a little bit, as Jenson did. Sebastian wanted to have a go for fastest lap - he tried but missed it by one tenth.