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Christian Horner Q&A: An unbelievable drive from Vettel 22 May 2011

Christian Horner (GBR) Red Bull Racing Team Principal.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, Spanish Grand Prix, Preparations, Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, 19 May 2011 Red Bull Racing celebrate a victory for Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, Spanish Grand Prix, Race, Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, 22 May 2011 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing on the podium. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, Spanish Grand Prix, Race, Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, 22 May 2011 Race winner Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB7 leads second placed Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4/26 at the end of the race.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, Spanish Grand Prix, Race, Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, 22 May 2011

Although Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel doesn’t have a full set of victories from the races run so far this season, his success in Spain on Sunday means he has claimed four wins from the opening five events. Red Bull team principal Christian Horner reviews the Barcelona event and looks ahead to the Monaco round...

Q: Christian, the team’s won four out of five races. Can it get any better?
Christian Horner:
Yes - we could have won five out of five. It’s not a complete result today because we didn’t have Mark (Webber) up there on the podium as well. His day was compromised by Fernando (Alonso), as Ferrari were covering us. In the end we had to dummy them to get Mark ahead. So Mark’s result was the only thing lacking today. It was a fantastic performance from Sebastian. He really made our strategy work. He had to be aggressive on the undercut because he had to pass Jenson (Button) and Felipe (Massa) and one other car as well. So it was an unbelievable drive from him.

Q: What were your thoughts at the start when you saw your two drivers almost touching and Fernando Alonso jumping ahead into the lead?
CH:
It is always a nervous moment when you see both your cars so close together, but I trust the guys. What happened with Fernando was completely unexpected. We expected Lewis to do it, but in the end Fernando got the benefit of the tow. He had a very good start and that changed the dynamics of the race, as he didn’t have great pace and he was holding us up. So we had to change the strategy to find a way to navigate our way past him, something that we managed with Seb reasonably easily. It was a game of chess with Ferrari and in the end we managed to sell them a dummy and get Mark past.

Q: Were you surprised by the pace of the McLaren?
CH:
No, because these tyres are so sensitive. There is only one thing that’s consistent - we’ve been at the front. That is tremendously rewarding and in the end it’s the only thing that matters.

Q: Can you say something about your tyre strategy?
CH:
We started on the options, but at the start it was not clear that we would pit four times. We had to be very flexible, and at one stage we were even considering five stops. We pitted very early and probably that was what really made our result today.

Q: Next weekend we will be in Monaco. Webber won there last year, so it obviously suits Red Bull very well. What are your expectations?
CH:
Monaco is a totally different challenge and the weather forecast is not really great at the moment, so hopefully that will change. But in the end we have been to five different tracks so far and we’ve been competitive at all of them, so I don’t see a reason why that should not continue next week.

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