• 5 minutes with ... Christian Horner

In the heat of the moment

Adam Hay-Nicholls May 31, 2010
Christian Horner faces the press after the Turkish Grand Prix © Sutton Images

GP Week brings us the full transcription of Christian Horner's post-race interview in Istanbul, including how he saw the incident, whether there is a rift at Red Bull and where his team goes now.

Do you see the crash between Mark [Webber] and Sebastian [Vettel] as being Seb's fault?
No, I think the two of them are big boys. The McLaren drivers raced each other hard but gave each other room, and I didn't see two McLarens in the fence. The one thing that we always ask the drivers is that they give each other room, so it's very disappointing what happened today. It should never have happened.

Why did Mark say in the press conference that journalists needed to do some digging to find out how Seb got a run on him? Was Mark told to turn down his engine?
No. Both guys are in the same engine mode. One got a tow, it's as simple as that. They were driving into the wind, which was to the advantage of the car behind.

Do you think Mark should have moved across?
They were far too far over on the left, Sebastian had got a run and then he came across too early.

Is this a result of Mark having had such good races in Spain and Monaco, and Seb being frustrated?
It was a massively close race between ourselves and McLaren today. We managed to get ahead of them, we had a better pit-stop and a better strategy, and we were sat in first and second. The time difference was so small, and on the prime tyre Sebastian obviously felt more comfortable than Mark. He got a run on him and we all saw what happened. We gave McLaren 28 points on a plate today.

Sebastian Vettel walks back to the pits © Getty Images
Did Seb apologise to you when he came over to the pitwall to see you?
Well, he was as pissed off as Mark sounded in the press conference.

Did he apologise?
No. He hadn't seen a replay, he was frustrated. Mark was frustrated. We need to sit down with both drivers and go through it because we've got to bounce back. It's inevitable when you've got two guys fighting at the front that occasionally you're going to have incidents, but what you don't expect is to see it between team-mates.

Is this your worst day as team principal?
It's a very frustrating day for the team. We should have had a clear one-two finish.

Is this going to be an ongoing problem? Has the relationship soured?
It's something that we're going to have to manage. They're both grown ups and need to look at it objectively. We need to move on from here. What's happened has happened. We need to learn from this and not find ourselves in this position again.

Helmut Marko was saying it's Mark's fault, because Seb was two metres ahead. Is there a bit of division between the Austrians and the Brits there?
Absolutely not. Mark kept him on the dirty line and Seb came over arguably a bit too early. We could see it coming for a few laps, and the warning instruction I was giving was I don't want to see the two drivers fighting each other in that way. They've always been very good, as we saw in Malaysia and other places. They've been racing each other very closely throughout this season.

The advertising hoarding says it all © Sutton Images
How are you going to ensure there's no animosity between the drivers when we go to Canada?
We'll, sit down with both drivers, go thorough what's happened and we'll do our best to make sure it doesn't happen again. Both drivers drive for the team, no individual is bigger than the team, and while both drivers lost points today the team have lost a lot of points.

NOTE: Following further investigation, Christian informed us that Mark had indeed turned his revs down:
We now have all the facts. Mark had changed down into a fuel saving mode that cost him a little bit of performance on the straights, which also explains how Sebastian got a very clear run on him. The large mistake remains that not enough room was given, and the explanation is there on how Sebastian had managed to get into the tow. He had managed to save an extra kilogramme of fuel - as both cars start the race with the same amount of fuel. Effectively he had one more lap of the optimum engine mode, but we couldn't back him off because he was under pressure from Lewis Hamilton.