• Italian Grand Prix

Horner enjoys 'phenomenal' win

ESPNF1 Staff
September 12, 2011 « McLaren was fastest - Whitmarsh | »
Christian Horner praised Sebastian Vettel's "dominant performance" © Sutton Images
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Christian Horner says that Sebastian Vettel's victory in the Italian Grand Prix was "phenomenal".

Vettel qualified on pole position and won from Jenson Button by 9.5s on a circuit that was not expected to suit the Red Bull RB7, which revels in medium and high-speed corners. With Vettel having run a shorter top gear in order to try and keep clear of the rest of the field early in the race, Fernando Alonso's stunning start and a safety car period left him vulnerable, but Vettel's pass on the leading Ferrari at the restart was crucial in setting up victory.

"A phenomenal race," Horner said. "To win in Monza is a dream come true and it was a really dominant performance by Sebastian. We had great pit work, strong strategy and Seb made a really brave overtaking move to retake the lead from Fernando after the safety car. Thereafter it was a very controlled and well executed race."

Horner also said he felt that Red Bull had the pace for a two-car podium finish if Mark Webber had not crashed out with a broken front wing.

"Unfortunately Mark's race came to a premature end after contact with Felipe Massa. The front wing was tucked under the car on the approach to Parabolica, when Mark was trying to get back to the pits as quickly as possible. It prevented him from being on the podium today, but I'm sure he will bounce back in Singapore."

Winning at one of Red Bull's weaker circuits was even more satisfying for Horner, who dedicated the victory to a team member who had died in the week preceding the race.

"It was a great day for the team and a phenomenal result at a circuit which, on paper, wasn't our best. Very sadly, we lost a team member earlier in the week, Erin Pezzella, a young lady who has been with the team for four years. She lost a very brave fight against cancer and we would like to dedicate this result in her memory today."