- Brazilian Grand Prix
'It couldn't have been more stressful' - Horner
Christian Horner said he could not have had a more stressful race than the Brazilian Grand Prix after Sebastian Vettel became a triple world champion in dramatic style at Interlagos.
Vettel was tipped into a spin on the first lap and dropped to the back of the field with damage to the rear of his car. He then survived rain showers, four pit stops and bits falling off his car to finish sixth overall, which was enough to give him the title by three points from his closest rival Fernando Alonso.
"This is by far the biggest achievement as a team we have ever had," Horner said after the race. "We were restrained last week [when we won the constructors' in the USA] because we knew the job was only half done and it's been a tough week but everybody has kept their focus and held their nerve. With what we were faced with today, the race could not have been more stressful.
"I'm sure several of us hit V-max on the pit wall today, but it's not just about today, it's about a season as a whole with 20 races, the way this championship has ebbed and flowed and we fought our way back in to it. Sebastian in particular never gave up and at times was the quickest car on the circuit. He really wanted this championship, showed great determination and it doesn't ever get any easier.
"I have to congratulate Fernando Alonso who has driven fantastically this year; he's been a formidable opponent. He's pushed us all the way and at one stage it looked like we were out of the championship. But we fought back and delivered what we needed to at the end here in what couldn't have been a more mixed and stressful race."
Horner said Vettel's car had suffered some fairly significant damage in the first corner clash but that his driver managed to battle on regardless.
"The first lap we got turned around at turn four and thankfully the rest of the field managed to miss him, but it did quite a lot of damage to the floor and the exhaust on the left-hand side," he explained. "Then he got himself going again and his pace in the damp was unbelievable and he started fighting his way back through the field and just kept pushing to get himself back in there.
"Then the rain came so we went on to inters and then the rain stopped so we went back on to the harder tyre. I think as the circuit dried out it became more obvious that the problems that he had were affecting the balance of the car and then we needed to change tyres because basically there was no way he could get to the end on that set. So we pitted and by this point we'd lost radio and couldn't hear him anymore. We put him on the soft tyre and hoped it would get him to the end and then the rain started to increase significantly, we couldn't hear what he was saying, but he came back in and we weren't ready for him. Then it was a question of closing it out until that final lap."