Horner: Late homecoming shouldnt affect Red Bull 22 Apr 2010
With the dust cloud over Europe from the Icelandic volcano disrupting flights, the Formula One fraternity has endured a difficult trek home following Sundays Chinese Grand Prix. Red Bull team principal Christian Horner describes his five-stage journey back to the UK and discuses whether the disruption will affect the teams preparations for next months Spanish race
Q: Christian, how did you get back to the UK after Sundays Chinese Grand Prix?
Christian Horner: It was a five-stop strategy. Mark Webber and I left the hotel in Shanghai at 0430 hours on Sunday morning. We got a flight from Shanghai to Dubai on Monday, then went from Dubai to Rome, arriving 2030 hours local time. We got a flight from the other Rome airport to Nice, had a night there, then got a flight early on Tuesday morning to Glasgow. I think we were one of the first aeroplanes to go over British airspace. We landed in Glasgow at 1205 hours on Tuesday, only to find out that Mark had forgotten his passport! After enjoying some local hospitality, we managed to get a helicopter transfer from Glasgow to Oxfordshire and arrived in Oxfordshire at 1600 hours on Tuesday.
Q: And how did Sebastian Vettel get home?
CH: He was lucky and managed to get a lift with Bernie Ecclestone (CEO of the Formula One Group), who I understand went to Istanbul. Sebastian got another flight from there to Nice and drove home from there - so he got home before all of us early on Tuesday morning. Predictably Bernie beat all of us back. I phoned him from Glasgow, very proud that wed landed on British soil, only for him to say that hed already been in the office for three hours!
Q: And what about the teams return journey?
CH: The majority of the team stuck together. We managed to get them on a direct flight today (Thursday), which arrives in the UK later this afternoon. The cars and freight will also arrive back today, probably beating the team home by an hour or two.
Q: What impact, if any, will the delayed return of the team and freight have on preparations for the Spanish Grand Prix?
CH: Thankfully, the way the calendar is, with the extra week between the Chinese and Spanish Grand Prix, it has a very limited impact. Theres still over a week to turn the cars around and a lot of the components for the next race are produced here in the factory. The factory hasnt been affected - obviously the turnaround components are a little bit out of sync now coming back two or three days late, but with the additional week, were confident it wont cause us any major issues.