• Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Horner lauds Vettel reaction

ESPNF1 Staff
November 14, 2011 « Teams urge Williams to sign Raikkonen | F1 cautious over three-car teams »
Sebastian Vettel joined the race engineers and Christian Horner on the pit wall © Getty Images
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Christian Horner said that Sebastian Vettel is a "sponge for information" after he stayed behind to follow the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix from the Red Bull pit wall.

Vettel's race came to an end on the first lap when a puncture caused him to spin off the track at turn two. He returned to the pits but was unable to continue, so set about trying to work out what had caused the failure. After that he joined the team on the pit wall for the duration of the race to see how the strategies panned out and learn how the race was controlled from outside the car.

Horner said that it showed Vettel's desire to understand as much as possible, and that he tried to help the team deliver the maximum result for his team-mate Mark Webber.

"I think it is part of who he is," Horner is quoted by Autosport. "He is like a sponge for information. He saw an opportunity to help his team-mate with the benefit of his experience and also an opportunity to experience what the pit wall is like, and to see how we make decisions in the race.

"He is like a sponge for that kind of thing. He is keen to understand and offer any advice and help he could. He was offering the benefit of his experience and what he would be feeling. He was interested to see how the pit wall worked, and hear how the strategies unfold."

Horner also praised Vettel's performance before his retirement, saying that his qualifying lap was "one of the best laps of his career".

"The whole team was frustrated because we were in a great position to win the race. Seb did a superb job in qualifying, one of the best laps of his career I think to nail that pole position. He had done everything right, he had done the start, made it comfortably into the lead into the first corner and it was cruel luck really to be forced to retire in the way he did.

"So of course he was disappointed, but he didn't rush to leave the circuit. He hung around to help the team and try and help his team-mate. But he is determined to finish the season on a high and I am sure we will bounce back in two weeks in Brazil."

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