Sebastian Vettel will find it tough to repeat this season's record-breaking performance, says Red Bull boss Horner
Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel set records galore en route to scorching the Buddh International Circuit to win the inaugural Indian Grand Prix on Sunday. He had already become Formula One's youngest double world champion long before he stepped foot on Indian soil.
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner. Pic/Getty Images
Then, on Saturday he clinched his 13th pole position in 17 races this season when he topped the qualifying times. He is on course to breaking Briton Nigel Mansell's record of 14 poles in 1992. It was also a record for Red Bull having clinched an incredible 16 poles this season, with two races yet to go. Then, on Sunday the 24-year-old German won his 21st GP and also his 11th of the season that has seen him matching his idol and former seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher's 2002 season record.
In the course of the Indian GP, Vettel not only set the fastest lap, he also surpassed Mansell's 1992 record for most laps led in a season, and became the first driver in history to lead 700 laps in a single year. He can now further equal Schumacher's 2004 season record of 13 wins if he goes on to win in Abu Dhabi and Brazil next.
Suprisingly though, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner, having had enough of the numbers, believes it will be difficult for his top man to repeat his success next year.
Winning seems to be becoming a habit for Red Bull Racing. How do you cope with so much success?
Red Bull Racing has joined some of the greatest teams in F1 and now we are determined to build on that. We want to prove that we can remain in that elite group and seek out even greater success.
Were there any special preparations for the team, drivers and technicians considering this was the inaugural GP, and that the climate would be hot and humid?
The team had been practising on simulators, and since this is a new track we were expecting challenges but that's what brings the excitement to F1 racing. The weather factor was important but this team has raced in warmer conditions in Abu Dhabi and Singapore. Daniel Ricciardo (junior driver) and Neel Jani (show car driver) both had wonderful experiences in Delhi and Khardung La respectively before the Indian GP. So, we were excited to give the fans an experience of the RB7s on track.
At the start of the season, did you believe one of your drivers would seal the title this early?
It's the culmination of a lot of hard work and team work and Sebastian can be very proud of what he has achieved. Sebastian has driven magnificently this year and thoroughly deserves this championship victory, which he has dominated since the first race in Melbourne.
Red Bull's second title is proof of the team's sheer dominance in F1. And this could lead to monotony for spectators which is not good for any sport. Are you worried the FIA could ring in some rule changes to end this Red Bull domination?
Well, rule changes bring in challenges but every season starts from zero, so every team is practically on the same level. We will still continue to attack every weekend with our eyes set on victory.
Do you believe Vettel can surpass his idol Michael Schumacher's record of seven F1 world titles?
It will be hard for Sebastian to improve on what he has done this season and that is the challenge.
But knowing him, he is never satisfied and will always be looking to improve. The passion and discipline that he has is what makes him such a great driver.