Red Bull put on a ‘fantastic team performance’ in Turkey this weekend as Sebastian Vettel converted his pole position into his third win of the season whilst team-mate Mark Webber completed a one-two finish for the team.
The weekend had started badly for Vettel; a heavy crash in the Friday morning practice session meant that his car was unusable for the Friday afternoon session, dramatically limiting his preparation time for Saturday’s qualifying session.
“It was a great result today – especially after I gave the team so much work on Friday,” said the reigning world champion. “I hope giving a victory back goes some way to help them forget it. Saturday morning was crucial. When I walked into the garage everyone gave me the impression that nothing is wrong and there was nothing to worry about.
“The whole team was working so hard to get the car back together and times like these are important. The team are close to me and if they are not happy or unmotivated it reflects on me and the other way round, so after being a bit down on Friday, it picked me back up.
“In the race we had a very good first stint and got a gap and you can always benefit from that cushion. At the end I did two short stints, which was the right thing to do – it was seamless today. We don't know what happens next, so we have to take it race by race. There will be days when we are beaten for definite, but we need to minimise the loss – but for today, it was a great result for the team.”
While Vettel’s journey from pole position to the top step of the podium seemed fairly untroubled, Webber had to battle hard for his second place, overtaking Ferrari‘s Fernando Alonso in the closing stages of the grand prix.
“It was good to get second place – and a relief to finish there and not third,” said Webber. “In the end it was a good fight with Fernando, you lose a bit of time when you're into each other like that, but it turned out okay and I got him back in the end.
“For the first stop, the team pitted me earlier than expected as they were worried about the undercuts coming into play. Ferrari saw the same thing and it was really a race between us two from then onwards. At that point, you make your bet that you will be having a few stops during the day.
“It was a good victory for Sebastian and Fernando drove well too – it was a great result for the team with a one two. The grip wasn't great at the start, but I will leave Istanbul happy – it was my best result of the year so far.”
Team Principal Christian Horner was delighted with the performance, and said that this result in Turkey means that the team can forget about the incident in last year’s race, where his two drivers collided and threw away a potential one-two finish.
“A fantastic team performance today,” commented Horner. “It was a very busy race with a four-stop strategy, perfect pit work and a great performance by Sebastian to take what was, in the end, a dominant win.
“Mark had a bit more on, dropping a place on the dirty side of the grid at the start, but then his recovery was excellent. He worked the tyres really hard to get past Nico Rosberg and then came under pressure from Alonso, dropped a place to him, but kept calm. We had a new set of primes for the last stint and Mark really made them work, resulting in a great passing move to achieve our first one-two of the year.
“All compliments to the team, it certainly exorcises the demons from last year and I would like to thank all our partners for their fantastic support.”