Horner surprised by Red Bull speed

Sun Sep 22, 2013 1:45pm EDT
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By John O'Brien

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said even he was surprised by the sheer pace of championship leader Sebastian Vettel's car as the German cruised to victory in Singapore on Sunday.

Vettel dominated practice, qualifying and ultimately Sunday's grand prix to stretch his advantage to 60 points over Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, cruising home by more than 30 seconds despite being slowed by a safety car period midway through the race.

"His pace advantage was so significant." Horner told reporters. "Of course you have the advantage of running in clear air but we saw from Friday, the car was very quick here and we only really unleashed him in the window after the safety car and told him we needed to build again.

"But none of us expected him to hit (a lead of) 30 seconds within 15 laps. I think that's a combination of him having confidence in a car we have made progress with."

Horner paid tribute to lead designer Adrian Newey and his ability to juggle the responsibility of working on next year's car, when a raft of technical changes are being introduced, and maintaining the dominance of this year's vehicle.

Adrian and his team are doing an incredible job of balancing between the current development and the 2014 challenges," Horner added.

"High downforce circuits had not been our strong point earlier in the year and I think its testimony to the technical team and the hours that have gone in to come to a maximum downforce track and be right on the pace."

UNLUCKY WEBBER   Continued...

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner (L) stands on the podium with Red Bull Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany after Vettel won the Singapore F1 Grand Prix at the Marina Bay street circuit in Singapore September 22, 2013. REUTERS/Edgar Su