• Canadian Grand Prix

Horner praises 'phenomenal' Vettel

ESPNF1 Staff
June 13, 2011 « Button collision 'my fault entirely' - Hamilton | »
Martin Whitmarsh was celebrating victory instead of Christian Horner for only the second time this year © Sutton Images

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said that Sebastian Vettel "did a phenomenal race" despite losing out to Jenson Button on the final lap of the Canadian Grand Prix.

Vettel had led from the front for every lap of the rain-interrupted race, having to deal with no fewer than five safety car restarts throughout the afternoon. However, with Jenson Button bearing down on him on the last lap, Vettel ran wide at turn six allowing the McLaren through. Horner said that the error was a small one, especially in the context of such a chaotic race.

"It is nothing," Horner said. "Look at what happened in the five hours that that grand prix seemed to consume here. There were a lot of mistakes in really difficult conditions, and he should not be too disappointed. I think he handled it very well at the end of the race, and it was just one of those things. I think that Sebastian did a phenomenal race in massively difficult conditions. He was pretty much the only guy who did not put a wheel wrong all afternoon."

Horner said Vettel was pushing so hard in order to try and keep Button outside of the one second DRS zone, with the closing speed down the back straight leaving the leading car under threat.

"At the end of the race, Jenson was very, very quick and Seb knew, because we could see how powerful the DRS was in that zone, that he had to keep him out of the magic one second zone when they crossed that line for the last time. Jenson was in the zone so he knew he had to deliver and pushing flat out I think he just hooked the wheel slightly on the damp, locked the rear and that was the difference between winning and losing."

Horner also said the overall championship picture was a good one, with both Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso failing to score, allowing Vettel to stretch his lead to 60 points over now second-placed man Button.

"When you have led pretty much the entire grand prix, to lose it probably within two kilometres of the finish is frustrating on one hand, but on a day when neither Lewis nor Fernando scored, and on a day when so many incidents were there, at a track where we are not really supposed to be competitive at, to have come away with a P2 and a P3, in the cold light of day, is actually a pretty good team result."