Red Bull Q&A
The World Champions' 'dream team' look back on the season's highs and lows, the challenge of staying on top, future plans and lots more
Last Updated: 07/11/13 11:23pm
Two weeks on from securing the 2013 Drivers' Championship in India, and three days after his seventh race win in succession at the Abu Dhabi GP, Sebastian Vettel on Wednesday returned to Red Bull's Milton Keynes F1 headquarters for the first time as a four-times World Champion.
Joining the German at a special title-winning press conference were team boss Christian Horner along with design mastermind Adrian Newey and below are the best bits from the trio's media appearance...
Vettel on...his Red Bull homecoming
"I've only just arrived so I haven't seen the rest of the factory yet, but surely it's very nice to come here. Obviously after India we had the race in Abu Dhabi and I'm looking forward to actually seeing the people, have a little chat and answer questions."
Vettel on...the challenges of 2013
"I think it's always a big challenge. You start in January, February this year with the introduction of new tyres which were a big challenge for all of us. Testing wasn't as productive as we were hoping for because the conditions were poor, the tyres didn't last. So we went to Australia not really knowing how competitive we are. We knew that we had done a good step over winter because obviously it's the second year with this type of car after last year when in the beginning we struggled to understand the concept. But after that we had a strong finish to last season so we went to Australia and started off on the right foot.
"It was still a challenge throughout the season to take care of the tyres, obviously we changed them half-way through but I think the most important is that we kept understanding the tyres and tried to design the car around them to get more and more performance out of the car. Up to now we didn't stop. Obviously the last couple of races were pretty successful. An incredible run in the last seven races since the summer break so all in all, the car, the team, the whole package was always strong enough to finish on the podium, finish in the top five which made a big difference compared to our competitors."
Vettel on...his motivation
"One of the secrets for the whole team really is to be in the moment. We love motor racing, we enjoy racing and therefore I do not need any motivation when I jump in to the car," he said during a press conference alongside Christian Horner and Adrian Newey.
"I'm not thinking about what has happened before, I'm not thinking about what is going to happen in the future, I'm thinking about this race, or this practice session or this qualifying session trying to get everything out of it - and it's the same for the team.
"Obviously you have to plan the future a little bit, especially if you look at next year it's going to be completely different in many regards. But nevertheless, as long as you manage to focus on what's going on right now you will have a better future as well."
Horner on...if he could ever have envisaged Red Bull's run of success
"In reality, no. We had a dream and we had aspirations as a team, but to go on and achieve what the team has is quite phenomenal. I don't think we could ever have imagined certainly the success we've seen over the last four years and of course a key moment for us in the team was Adrian [Newey] joining us back in 2006 and building a structure and a group with the desire and determination to try and compete in with the best. It's an unbelievably strong team and when you have the right drivers, and in Sebastian, it's been a privilege to see how he's performed and grown and developed from a teenager almost in to the man that he is now."
Newey on...how he will maintain his motivation at Red Bull
"It's been an amazing ride. I guess sometimes you don't really think about that, it's more the enjoyment of working with Christian and Sebastian and all of colleagues here at Red Bull. Driving the engineering forwards, driving the team forwards. That's the bit I get up for."
Newey on...his standout 2013 moment
"I think Malaysia was the first signs of real competitiveness with the one-two. There was a bit of politics after but it was still a great result for the team. Then we kind of struggled a bit through the mid-season. Ferrari had a competitive start and then Mercedes started coming on very strong. But we pushed hard and tried to develop the car and came to Spa, the first race after the break, a bit nervous to be honest. Spa's not typically been that competitive for us so then to win at Spa and then Monza, which is normally even more of a struggle for us, are the two standout moments."
Vettel on...his standout 2013 moment
"It has to be the German Grand Prix. I've been trying very hard the last couple of years and finally succeeded. It felt great. It was a tight race, I think the Lotus was a little bit quicker than us on Sunday but we managed to stay ahead and win."
Horner on...Red Bull's title celebrations
"Sebastian was on a five-stop strategy - I think I failed at the third stop! It was quite a busy evening."
Vettel on...his next goal
"The next race. I'm not trying to look far ahead, I'm not trying to keep looking back. You should always look forward. We've had many, many great moments, very special moments, but of course I believe the biggest moment in my life is yet to come. Otherwise it would be quite sad at the age of 26 to look to the future and say the greatest moment has been already and I have nothing to look forward to."
Vettel on...what would persuade him to switch teams
"Even if I go to another team I will still have people who don't like who I am, what I do, etcetera, so it doesn't really change much in the end. At the end of the day you have to be happy with yourself and right now I can assure you I'm very happy where I am and what I do."
Vettel on...the importance of parting as team-mates with Webber on good terms
"I think we always shared respect, especially on the track. Obviously when we've been fighting each other I don't think it's been lacking respect, each one of us respected the other guy inside the car and his abilities. As team-mates for the last five years we've got to know each other very, very well - meaning that I know his strengths and maybe the corners where I have a little bit of an advantage, and visa-versa.
"It has always been very, very close, maybe closer than what people remember. So I appreciated that and therefore I have enormous respect. You've got to be honest as well; we didn't have the best relationship on a personal level if you look back, but in the end of the day we were very, very successful for the team as well winning four constructors' in a row. So we've made sure together that we've scored enough points for the team."
Vettel on...if he's looking forward to more challenges with Red Bull
"Certainly for next year I think that's the biggest project that is coming up with new regulations and new engine etcetera - there's a lot of work to do. Also you have to say that within five years things do change, even if you are in the same team. People come and some people leave unfortunately, but that's reality. So there's always plenty of new challenges, as I said next year with the new regulations, but also if you look back at the last four years to first be part of the process and then develop a car around the double diffuser that wasn't supposed to be developed around it for the first year.
"For the second year to really discover the power of putting the exhaust in the right place and make use for that. Then we obviously lost that for 2012 and came back since then and for next year it's a new challenge. So basically you can be sure that we are very, very busy and there's a reason why we have so many people working here. Over the last four years we've increasing run out of parking spaces because we just keep growing!"
Horner on...if Red Bull are now part of F1's establishment
"Firstly the opposition that we go up against they don't give you any opportunity to relax or back off because when you think of Ferrari, or McLaren or Mercedes-Benz, they are great teams with a lot of talented people. In this sport there is no room for any complacency. You don't get to sit on your laurels, you've got to keep looking forwards and not backwards."
Vettel on...whether he would be tempted to have Alonso or Hamilton as a team-mate
"Generally a driver always tries to be with the best team. I think if you look back through Formula 1 history and it's always been the best drivers winning races and championships with the best teams. I'm very happy where I am, I'm with one of the best teams and as I said before in the end I think it's about you and whether you're happy with who you are if you look at yourself in the mirror. Currently I am racing for Red Bull Racing and I'm not thinking about going anywhere else. It's not my job to sign up certain people.
"Next year Daniel [Ricciardo] is coming in. It's difficult to judge right now but I'm sure he will do a good job and he will try very, very hard to give me a hard time."
Newey on...how much Red Bull are reliant on Renault producing the goods in 2014.
"Certainly the regulations change are engine dominated and it's not at all clear at the moment whether one of the three manufacturers we have next year come up with the best product from a performance point of view and also reliability, which could be quite a concern at the start of the season."
Vettel and Horner on...if their continuing success produces apathy from the general public
SV: "For sure there is an element, people tend to call it domination. I don't like the word domination because it makes things sound easy and I think if we look back every single race it was very, very hard work. We've got great results, obviously the wins, but great results to finish on the podium when probably we shouldn't have. It's a long season and you need to make sure you always want to get to your 100%. If you are completely honest you can't do that all the time but I think you can get very, very close."
CH: "I think it's very easy for people to become complacent and expect that a Red Bull victory is almost pre-described - but that isn't the case. Every race that we go to is a challenge and I think the satisfaction about this year is seeing how the team has continued to develop, continued to improve, across all areas. Whether that be strategy, whether that be pitstops, whether it be the development that Adrian's team have been bringing to the car at each grand prix.
"Beyond that there's been the progress that Sebastian's made and seeing him raise the bar yet again. The level at which he's driven this year has been absolutely magnificent. It's been phenomenal what he's managed to achieve: to have won 11 grands prix with two races still to go, the consistency and accuracy with which he's driven, it's been a pleasure to see and a pleasure to be part of. It's great to see that being appreciated as well now."
"I'm not here to blow smoke up his a***, but he's done a very good job! I don't think he's the typical leader if you think about the leader of a big company with the boss sitting somewhere in the fancy office high above everybody else and behaving like an idiot. He's a very humble guy, the team respects that. The guys always talk to him because he's always available. Obviously he himself has a racing background, has raced himself, so he has been on the other side of well. He has to deal with much more politics than we can imagine so sometimes you wonder why you don't decide one or another way, things take time. It's complicated, obviously there is a lot of people working here and many sorts of problems you have to deal with and then he always finds the best compromise that suits everyone. But he makes no compromises when it comes to the performance of the car."
Horner on...whether he could succeed Bernie Ecclestone
"Looking at the health that Bernie's in, he's going to outlive all of us! I have no interest in the role that he performs, my focus is in running a team and I think actually to replace Bernie would be impossible, certainly with one person. I'm very happy with what I do here; I'm focused and committed to this team."