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Exclusive Christian Horner Q&A: Red Bull will be back in Singapore 13 Sep 2009

Christian Horner (GBR) Red Bull Racing Team Principal.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monza, Italy, Friday, 11 September 2009 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB5.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Race, Monza, Italy, Sunday, 13 September 2009 Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB5 retired at the start of the race.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Race, Monza, Italy, Sunday, 13 September 2009 (L to R): Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing with team mate Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing and Christian Horner (GBR) Red Bull Racing Team Principal.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Preparations, Monza, Italy, Thursday, 10 September 2009 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB5.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Monza, Italy, Saturday, 12 September 2009

It was not the best of weekends for Red Bull. Mark Webber was ruled out after a collision on the first lap, while Sebastian Vettel will take home just a single point. It’s not exactly what the title hopefuls were looking for. However, Christian Horner, Red Bull’s team principal, is still feeling in fighting form…

Q: Christian, could Sunday’s race mean the end of Red Bull’s championship dreams?
Christian Horner:
Well, it’s never over until it’s over, but today’s race has made it a big mountain to climb in the remaining races.

Q: Can you sum up the race for us? Why did it go so differently to what you’d planned?
CH:
Unfortunately we knew from qualifying that our pace here was not very good. Mark was tipped out by a BMW Sauber on the first lap, which meant his first retirement of the year. Sebastian lost a lot of time behind Kubica early on and, with the additional laps that Heidfeld had, he was able to jump him at the first stop. We were actually lucky to get one point today and it is very clear that this track has exposed some of our weaknesses.

Q: Were you surprised that Kubica stayed out for quite a long time, despite having something obviously broken on his car?
CH:
Normally if you see a black and orange flag you come in immediately and I am a bit surprised that he stayed out as long as he did.

Q: In hindsight was it strategically wise to put the only new engine left for Sebastian for the remainder of the season into his car this weekend, when you look at the result?
CH:
Well, we don’t have so many to choose from. I think we did the right thing with the engine and obviously we tried to look after it as much as we can, because we still have another four races. We only can hope that we don’t have any further failures.

Q: Speaking about the four remaining races, at least three of them will very likely be very hot races. How do you see your chances?
CH:
There are a couple of tracks that suit our car and the last three tracks haven’t been good for us. I hope that when we go back to lower-downforce circuits with faster corners then we will be able to raise our game again.

Q: What are your plans for your fight back?
CH:
We will attack every race weekend and we will not give up until it is over!

Q: Two non-KERS cars finished on the podium. KERS obviously was not the crucial thing today, but what was in your opinion?
CH:
A Mercedes engine… I think that KERS is a major advantage at the start but we saw that the one-stop strategy worked very well for the Brawns today. And they had a very quick car all weekend long and the drivers did a very good job today.

Q: So you are looking for a Mercedes engine for next year?
CH:
Not necessarily. But it is obviously an engine that is working very well for the three teams that run it for the moment.

Q: How will you cheer up your drivers? Neither can be all that happy…
CH:
Ah, they won’t give up. It obviously was a difficult weekend for them, especially when you think that Sebastian won here last year. Be sure that both will fight back in Singapore with all their might!