Red Bull

Infiniti Red Bull Racing

  • Standing -
  • Points -

Red Bull Links

Christian Horner defends Sebastian Vettel as Red Bull seek fix for World Champion

World Champion beaten by twenty seconds by new team-mate Ricciardo as his struggles with the RB10 continue in Shanghai

By Pete Gill.   Last Updated: 21/04/14 8:06am

  • Share:

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

Red Bull chief Christian Horner has defended Sebastian Vettel after the World Champion apparently refused to obey a team order during the Chinese GP.

Asked to yield position to team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, who subsequently passed the German and proceeded to beat the reigning World Champion by twenty seconds to the chequered flag, Vettel told the Red Bull pitwall "tough luck" after being informed that the Australian was running on an identical but fresher medium compound tyre.

Yet with Ricciardo then passing Vettel shortly afterwards, Horner heard nothing wrong with the exchange.

"He's going to challenge them because he's a racer and the guys want to race each other," countered Horner. "We were looking at a different strategy and then he has moved out of the way and let his team-mate through."

Opinion was divided during the race whether Vettel made an error as he ran wide in Turn One as Ricciardo went through, but the German said afterwards that had deliberately given up the position.

"There was no point holding him up further, he was quite a bit quicker," Vettel told Sky Sports F1. "At that stage we were on different strategies and once I was told that I decided to let him go."

Vettel has endured an undistinguished and troubled start to the new season. The four-times champion has been out-qualified by Ricciardo in three of the four events so far and appears to be struggling to master the RB10 under braking.

"We always want the best result for the team and Daniel finished twenty seconds up the road. More important for us is to understand why Sebastian is struggling. He's obviously not getting as much out of the car as Daniel at present," said Horner.

"We know that Sebastian is very sensitive to how a car enters a corner and at the moment he hasn't got the feel he needs."

Vettel is currently fifth in the Drivers' World Championship, 46 points behind Nico Rosberg, while Red Bull already trail runaway Constructors' Championship leaders by almost one hundred points.

"We've got to take the fight to them and we're going to give it everything. I believe we can take the championship to them but we can't concede too much more ground," declared the Red Bull chief. "We were 22kmh slower on the straights and that's where we have to improve - and hopefully there will be some steps on that for Barcelona."

Red Bull have, however, been boosted by the unexpectedly-quick performances of Ricciardo.

"He's exceeded all our expectations," added Horner. "He's so cool under pressure and he's been enormously impressive since the start of the season and his confidence is growing."

  • Share:


Chinese GP 2014

Hamilton credits crew and car

Lewis Hamilton has paid tribute to the crew of Mercedes engineers who have laid the foundations for his start to 2014.

Chinese GP analysis

Chinese GP analysis: Did Vettel cost Ricciardo a podium? And how bad were Raikkonen's troubles?

Reflecting on Shanghai

Sky Sports F1's Martin Brundle looks back on the Chinese GP and what it told us about some of the sport's leading men...


Most Popular


Testing talking points

Testing talking points

Just how far ahead are Mercedes and what sort of uphill tasks are ahead for Renault and Honda?

Team-by-team review

Team-by-team review

Analysing who looks on form, and who appears to be struggling, after the second test of pre-season.

Team-by-team review

Team-by-team review

Analysing and reviewing the first four days of 2015 winter testing for the eight teams in action at Jerez.