Horner: We have yet to see the best of Vettel
28 November, 2012
Nov.28 (Reuters) Sebastian Vettel will only get better and better as a driver. So predicts Red Bull team principal Christian Horner after witnessing the German becoming the youngest triple Formula One world champion, in the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday.
Horner, who also said that McLaren would be weakened by Briton Lewis Hamilton’s departure to Mercedes, was full of praise for Vettel as the Red Bull team arrived home to their Milton Keynes base in England on Tuesday.
“I think as his experience grows, he is continuing to grow as a person. We’ve yet to see the best of him,” Horner told reporters of a 25-year-old he describes as “amongst the greats”.
The ominous warning to Red Bull’s rivals came after the team clinched the driver and constructor world titles for the third year in a row.
Vettel showed immense composure at Interlagos, finding himself at the back of the field and facing backwards after an early crash before fighting his way up to sixth to beat Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso to the title by three points.
Car designer Adrian Newey was again integral to Red Bull’s success, however, and Horner hailed a technical genius who almost all the other teams would love to have.
“The team is working fantastically well, we have some great members of the team with great technical leadership from Adrian Newey, but it has to flow through the whole organisation and I think what we have achieved with sustained success is quite phenomenal,” Horner told Sky Sports.
“F1 at the moment is going through a halcyon period.”
Mercedes finished in fifth spot after another disappointing season for the much-hyped Germans, who waved goodbye to retiring seven-time champion Michael Schumacher after three years of abject failure since his comeback.
While Mercedes crave a man like Newey to try to substantially boost their performance, Horner thinks 2008 world champion Hamilton’s arrival behind the wheel will at least give them some more zip.
“I think McLaren is a weaker team without Lewis,” the Briton said. “I think McLaren would admit that.
“Whichever team had taken Lewis, he would be an asset. I’m sure he will naturally add performance to Mercedes next year.”
Subbed by AJN.