Horner: Vettel must remain focused

Red Bull boss Christian Horner has urged Sebastian Vettel to remain motivated, despite an error behind the safety car costing him victory in yesterday’s Hungarian Grand Prix.

The German driver had dominated the opening stages of the race, only to have been judged to have exceeded the maximum distance between himself and the safety car.

Consequently, this resulted in race stewards awarding the 23-year-old with a drive through penalty – dashing his hopes of 25 points and the lead in the drivers’ championship.

Despite this, Horner believes that Vettel must not let his frustrations get the better of him, and instead concentrate on the positives from the weekend.

“He’s obviously frustrated after this race, but he wears his heart on his sleeve,” Horner is quoted by Autosport as saying. “You could see on the podium he was desperately disappointed, but it’s part of a learning curve.

“There are seven races to go, he’s scored a lot of points compared to some of his rivals here, and it’s a great team result. First and third has given us great points going into the summer break.”

He added: “He can take a lot of heart from the fact he scored a lot of points and one of his main rivals in Lewis didn’t score, Jenson scored very few. We took a massive amount of McLaren in the constructors’, and it was a great team result.

“Mark [Webber] drove an absolutely outstanding race. We gave him a target, we said ‘look, you need 20 seconds’, and he went out and delivered it.

“He even found time on the radio to say he enjoyed lapping Michael. It was an awesome performance.”

The result in Hungary saw Red Bull seize the initiative in both championships – a fact which Horner believes will help the team for the remainder of the season.

“We’re now coming to tracks where engine power will play a significant role in Spa and Monza,” he said. “But it was important for us to have achieved a big result, which is what we have managed.”

Horner also moved to deny suggestions that the team had asked Vettel to hold the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso up under the safety car, revealing that a radio error had played a significant part in the German’s grave error.

“We’d had a few radio issues with Seb where it wasn’t clear if he could fully hear us or not, which is why I spoke to him a couple of times in the race.

“But he knew he had made a mistake because he immediately radioed his engineer. It was one of those things that for whatever reason caught him out.

“What would have been a relatively comfortable victory turned into a third place, but on a day when Lewis didn’t score any points and Jenson scored very few.

“So it’s a great team finish with a dominant victory and third.”