• Red Bull

Horner tips Vettel to take fight to Ricciardo

ESPN Staff
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Red Bull boss Christian Horner is expecting Sebastian Vettel to find his form in the remaining races of the season and take the fight to team-mate Daniel Ricciardo.

After notching up his fourth successive drivers' title last year, Vettel has struggled to adapt to the new regulations and has been out-qualified and out-raced by Ricciardo. At the Italian Grand Prix last weekend, Vettel showed improved form but was still beaten by his team-mate on a different strategy.

However, Horner believes Monza marked a turning point for Vettel and is expecting him to be much closer to Ricciardo for the remaining six races.

"It's been a difficult year for Seb, but that has not been of his own making," Horner said. "Daniel's driven incredibly well. All credit should be given to Daniel for the way he has driven this year, so it's going to be a fascinating final third of the year to see how it all pans out.

"Sebastian seemed reasonably happy with the car in qualifying and the early stages of the race [at Monza], so it was nothing to do with a lack of pace, it was how the two strategies worked out."

Even though Ricciardo has an outside chance of taking the title if the two Mercedes drivers clash on track, Horner said Vettel is free to race him.

"We let the drivers race, we trust them and they race hard and wheel-to-wheel really fairly. The points difference between Daniel and the two Mercedes is enormous, so it doesn't make sense for us to interfere with the two drivers racing. It's down to what they do on track."

Horner is hoping this weekend's Singapore Grand Prix will play to the strengths of the Red Bull more than recent races in Belgium and Italy.

"Hopefully in Singapore there's a few more corners and few less straights! We are looking forward to going back to Singapore and it's a track that we always go well at. But there's no guarantees in this business, we expect Mercedes to be incredibly quick there, we expect Williams to be a factor because they have been throughout the summer. It's going to be as tight as ever, but hopefully we will be closer to the ultimate pace than we were in Monza."

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