• Brazilian Grand Prix

Horner 'delighted' with driver pairing

ESPNF1 Staff
November 28, 2011 « Kobayashi praises Sauber recovery | Ferrari hoped for more - Domenicali »
Red Bull celebrated its third one-two of the season in Brazil © Sutton Images

Christian Horner praised both of his drivers after Red Bull signed off a season in which it won both championships with a one-two at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Mark Webber's victory was his first of the season, and was aided by a gearbox problem for team-mate Sebastian Vettel. Horner admitted to the BBC that he was highly impressed by Vettel's ability to still bring the car home in second place, but said that the mechanical issue should not detract from Webber's victory.

"It was a difficult race for Sebastian, the gearbox had a problem from lap five - we didn't think it would make half distance," Horner said. "He kept it alive, he short shifted, he did all the things that were needed to and it was phenomenal for him to get it to the end. But let's not take anything away from Mark Webber, he drove a phenomenal race today and fully deserves that victory.

"Mark's had a tough year but he's kept his head down, he's kept working hard at it and he has been competitive all year here. He wanted to finish the year on a high; it's a great race to win the final race of the year and he's been up against a team-mate in the form of his life. Sebastian is an awesome competitor and that has to put things slightly in to perspective. But it's been an unbelievable year for the team for all the guys and girls in Milton Keynes, without their hard work and dedication none of this would have been possible."

When asked what Webber could do to counteract Vettel's dominance next season, Horner said he expected to see a more sustained challenge in 2012 but warned that Vettel's confidence would be sky high.

"He's signed off the year in the best way. He's won the last race, he can go in to the winter, he can reflect on this year, and he's an honest guy. He'll look at his own performances and I'm sure he'll come back stronger. Sebastian's confidence; even with that gearbox problem we struggled to slow him down. We kept telling him to stop changing gear, he did that but he kept going quick. So it's a great pairing for us to have in our car and I'm delighted they're both with us next year."