‘Phenomenal’ was the word that Christian Horner chose to describe what it meant for Red Bull to secure a second successive constructors’ title today with first and third places at the Korean Grand Prix.
The Red Bull team principal watched from the pit wall today as Sebastian Vettel, who himself was crowned champion last weekend in Japan, took victory in the second race at this Yeongam circuit. Mark Webber came home in third place.
“Phenomenal,” said Horner, reacting to today’s result. “Phenomenal for the team, phenomenal for every single member of the Red Bull Racing / Red Bull Technology Group and for everyone working for Red Bull.
“I'm sure today was a special day for Mr. Mateschitz to see his team defend the Constructors' World Championship, having retained the Drivers' last week. It absolutely makes up for last year and our disappointment here and it was a fantastic race in the end.
“Sebastian did everything right – he had a good start, made a bold move up the inside into Turn four and then controlled the race. It was a World Champion's drive. All credit must go to Mark Webber as well who tried everything to pass Lewis who in fairness defended very well and despite being considerably quicker, we couldn't get into the right place entering the DRS zone to make it a one-two.
“However, to retain the Constructors' with a one-three finish is very special for the team. It's a day that every single team member and all the people associated with the team should be very proud of. I'd like to say a special thank you to Red Bull, our engine suppliers Renault and to all of our partners that have enabled us to achieve this fantastic result.”
Vettel was obvious very pleased to help his team towards the championship – and to pick up his tenth victory of the season.
“Fantastic; a very nice day today and very special for the team,” said the 24-year-old. “Winning the Constructors' means a lot. It was a phenomenal race, we had so much pace and it was so much fun out there.
“I knew overtaking Lewis near the start would be difficult and I nearly went off under braking, but he was very fair and it was important for us to get track position. Then I wasn't too comfortable to be honest, there was a lot of head wind and it was difficult to get away. I could see the car behind getting bigger in the mirrors and it was tough to break the tow, but we did it.
“It's nice to win the Championship today with a fastest lap – it's no points, but it's nice to have. It's difficult for everyone to imagine what winning the Championship means for the factory. It's a boost and not just for those here at the track – it's much more than that. There is so much going on behind the scenes, every day of the year. It's down to the whole team to build two competitive cars and we push it to the limits on track.
“It was a lot of pressure off the shoulders today when I crossed the line. People now expect us to take it easy, but we are here to win and do our best. We had a chance to win today and we took it.”
Webber thinks that he could have made it a Red Bull one-two today, had he not made his second stop of the race on exactly the same lap as Lewis Hamilton, who prevented him from taking second.
“The battle with Lewis was pretty intense,” said Webber. “I was frustrated that we followed him out of the pit lane, so I risked quite a bit to try and pass him on the out lap, before he got settled in. It's not easy to pass a driver of Lewis' calibre. I tried some moves and it was a good battle as our cars had weaknesses and strengths in different areas of the lap, so trying to get the move done wasn’t particularly easy. I enjoyed it, but I would have liked to have got that extra position, which I think performance-wise we deserved, but McLaren did a good job and Lewis drove well.
“There were loads of positives today, it was a good start for me and I got a good result. For the team to get the Constructors' is an incredible effort – when you have two back-to-back Constructors' World Championships, it's phenomenal. For the team, for everyone in Milton Keynes designing and building the car, for everyone in Viry at Renault building the engine which has been 100% reliable so far this year and for everyone in Fuschl in Austria, it’s been a great year. I'm sure there will be some headaches tonight.”