Sebastian Vettel

Red Bull

  • NationalityGER
  • Standing 5th
  • Points 167

Season info

Last race

8th

  • United Arab Emirates 23/11/2014
  • Abu Dhabi

Best finish

1st

( x39 )

Sebastian Vettel Links

Christian Horner says Sebastian Vettel's Abu Dhabi drive proves he is a racer

Red Bull chief lavishes praise on the World Champion

By James Galloway.   Last Updated: 04/11/12 9:39pm

  • Share:

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

Christian Horner believes Sebastian Vettel's "unbelievable" performance in the Abu Dhabi GP should have finally silenced the critics who suggest the German isn't a great racer.

After being excluded from Saturday's qualifying results for fuelling irregularities with his RB8 at the end of Q3, Horner had admitted to Sky Sports F1 prior to the race that Vettel was likely to face an uphill battle to even score points on Sunday given he was starting from the pitlane and the Yas Marina circuit hadn't been considered a great venue for overtaking.

However, during the course of a thrilling 55 laps, Vettel turned those expectations spectacularly on their head. The World Champion, through a combination of some incisive overtaking moves, timely safety cars and some undoubted good fortune, surged to third position at the chequered flag.

With his title rival Fernando Alonso finishing only one position higher in second place, it meant the Spaniard only took three points out of Vettel's title lead, meaning his advantage is ten points heading to the penultimate race in Austin.

Asked by Sky Sports F1 how highly he rated his star driver's performance, Horner said: "Unbelievable. To start in the pit lane, but not only that, he had to change wing - I think he had some damage on the first lap when he touched a Williams - and then behind the safety car there was more damage done to the wing.

"So to have to change that, to go to the back of the field again, and come all the way through...he just drove an unbelievable race tonight."

Vettel has been dogged by accusations over recent seasons that he lacks the kind of wheel-to-wheel racing instincts of some of his rivals but Horner believes the way the 25-year-old clawed his way back to the podium on Sunday firmly puts those theories to bed.

"Hats off to him today," Horner added. "That's one of the best drives I've seen him produce and any doubters that said he can't race, he's definitely proved them very wrong today."

Horner praised the team's response to the grid demotion as a whole and revealed that Vettel had actually told him in the hours before the race that he fancied his chances of making the podium.

"I think the team responded as they needed to after yesterday. We made set-up changes overnight, we started from the pit lane and we raced hard throughout the race," he added.

"Sebastian said when I went into his room and saw him earlier, he was playing some drums, and he said see you on the podium later. I thought he was just joking but he was determined he was going to be there and he made it happen today."

The Red Bull chief also admitted that the pit wall had toyed with the idea of not stopping Vettel for the second time when he had track position over Alonso but in the end realised the tyres wouldn't quite hold on.

Asked by Damon Hill if they could have squeezed out the required 42 laps on the soft tyre, Horner replied: "I don't think we could. We looked at it and we were thinking about it and it was very tempting.

"Sebastian was sort of challenging us on it as well but from the wear rates we had seen the tyres coming off the car already, we thought we're going to be ten laps shy with them.

"As soon as we passed Grosjean and were into a clear fourth place we thought, okay, 15 or 18 laps to go, get a new set of options on, we'll close down the gap to Jenson anyway.

"So we took that stop, we got ahead of Grosjean, and then the pace car came out and it took longer than I thought it might have done to get past Jenson. But it's not easy to overtake round here."

  • Share:

Related

Abu Dhabi GP 2012

Jenson Button: Not a fan of MP4-27

JB: MP4-27 my worst McLaren

Jenson Button has described McLaren's MP4-27 as the worst car he has driven during his time with the British team.

From pitlane to podium

Lucky? From pitlane to podium - the full story of Sebastian Vettel's Abu Dhabi GP

Was World Champ Sebastian Vettel lucky to finish third in Abu Dhabi? Judge for yourself as we review the Red Bull driver's topsy-turvy day...

Kimi Raikkonen: Didn't take too kindly to being pestered

'Don't call me, I'll call you'

Kimi Raikkonen has politely warned his Lotus team that it "won't be the last time" he delivers a rebuke over the radio.

Related Profiles

Poll

Most Popular

Features

2015 driver numbers

2015 driver numbers

The numbers the 18 confirmed drivers will be racing with when the 2015 F1 season gets underway.

Vettel tests Ferrari

Vettel tests Ferrari

Check out the pictures from Sebastian Vettel's first appearance for Ferrari in a 2012 car at Fiorano.

2014 driver review

2014 driver review

From Lewis Hamilton to Andre Lotterer, every driver's year reviewed and rated from the 2014 season.