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Horner: Vettel "worn out"

NEWS STORY
13/08/2014

Christian Horner has leapt to the defence of Sebastian Vettel claiming that, amongst other things, the German is worn out.

While the world-champion, like many, has been blown away by the domination of Mercedes this year, he has also lost out in the in-team battle with new teammate Daniel Ricciardo.

From the outset the popular Australian has clearly been unfazed by Vettel, and whilst the German has clearly struggled with the 2014-spec machines Ricciardo has simply kept his head down and got on with it. A number of sensational performances, that have drawn praise from the likes of Fernando Alonso, have left the Australian third in the championship - 43 points ahead of Vettel - and with two wins.

However, Horner has leapt to Vettel's defence, telling Germany's Auto Bild Motorsport that whilst the battles of recent years may have left him drained, and he is still adapting to the 2014 cars, the German should not be written off.

"It is a combination of several things," said Horner. "First, when you have fought for the title for five years, it does wear you out a little bit, but that is not the fundamental problem.

"The way Sebastian brought out those extra tenths from the car in recent years was quite unique," he continued. "He is very sensitive to the behaviour of the car, especially when braking."

"The driveability was really bad, so Seb could not look after the tyres in the way that he always has done. The German used to "drive a bit like a ballerina, dancing on the throttle and the brakes," added Horner, a style the German found impossible with the 2014-spec cars at the start of the season, but which he is now slowly coming to terms with.

"His pace in Hungary showed he is getting the feeling for the car back again," said Horner. "And we can't forget how many mechanical problems Sebastian has had, many of them just little things that have disrupted his flow. So he has had less time to adapt his driving style."

Despite being 174 point adrift of Mercedes, Horner insists Red Bull has done well this season.

"Compared to the theoretical handicap we have, what we have actually achieved in the first half of the year is remarkable," he said. "To have won two races, had front row starts, podiums, is a remarkable achievement, all things considered. Obviously, it's not where we are used to being, but the team has shown real character to dig in and fight back."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Steve W, 15/08/2014 11:56

"Is this the same as Gardening Leave, only he hasn't actually left?"

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2. Posted by gturner38, 15/08/2014 0:07

"I guess we can assume Vettel will retire at the end of the year since the only time I recall a driver going from fighting for the championship to being "worn out" over one off season was Mika Hakkinen. Since everybody is working hard in F1, why isn't Ricciardo more worn out from fighting to get to Red Bull Racing than Vettel is from being able to relatively easily win last year's world championship?"

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3. Posted by ClarkwasGod, 14/08/2014 14:39

"Horner really needs to think before he speaks - did he not realise his comments, sincere though they might be, would be open to derision?"

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4. Posted by Spindoctor, 14/08/2014 9:14

"It's a bit difficult to comment without an excess of sarcasm. I don't recall any other F1 driver or his apologists claiming "tiredness" (what an irony!) as a reason for being thrashed by their team mate.

If anyone were to be "drained" by the past few seasons I'd expect it to be Alonso, Hamilton et al exhausted by the effort of trying to compete with Vettel whilst driving palpably inferior cars. Young Mr Vettel needs to stop whingeing, and start driving.

As is reported in the article, he seems to be improving: doubtless by analysing Ricciardo's data, much as Rosberg has learnt from studying Hamilton's. It will be instructive to see if Vettel can become as competitive with Mercedes, Williams etc. as Ricciardo. If he does, will Daniel's car suddenly develop the "reliability" problems that ruined much of Mark Webber's time at Red Bull?
"

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5. Posted by Paul C, 13/08/2014 20:04

"Red Bull & Ferrari need to switch second drivers. Daniel would flog even more than Alonso out of the Ferrari and Kimi might need a few extra cans of Red Bull to get fired up for F1. Vettel just needs a teammate who will push him just a little. Otherwise, DTM & NASCAR are calling. "

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6. Posted by FormerF1Fan, 13/08/2014 16:17

"Well, if the German is worn out from the past few years, then the Spaniard should be more so. In previous years we've seen the Red Bull going round corners as if on rails with very little steering wheel movement, whereas in the Ferrari it was the opposite. I don't buy this. The basic problem is that Vettel won his championships in the best car and with his teammate nobbled. Now that this is not the case, he's showing the true state of his talent. As they say, it's easy to screw well if God gave you a big dick."

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7. Posted by Toe_Dragon, 13/08/2014 15:25

"Worn out? After one dismal season? Gimme a break. Probably freaked out is more like it. I mean, He just finishes putting the nails in Webbers coffin and then Aussie sends him Race-Zilla.... Lol!"

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