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Horner praises 'awesome' Vettel

ESPNF1 Staff
May 30, 2011 « Perez released from hospital | »

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has called Sebastian Vettel's back-to-back wins "the best two drives of his career".

Vettel won the Spanish Grand Prix after withstanding pressure from Lewis Hamilton for the majority of the race, and then followed that up with victory in Monaco seven days later. The latter was all the more impressive as he held off Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button on heavily worn tyres for 10 laps before a late red flag allowed him to change tyres and cruise home, and Horner was full of praise for the championship leader.

"It was a world champion's performance," Horner said. "To soak up the pressure from Fernando and Jenson like he did, it was an awesome performance from him. What he did in Barcelona, which seems an awful long time ago now, and what he delivered in Monaco, has been absolutely fantastic.

"But he's made another step this year, and as a driver and a person he's just developed tremendously well, and that's coming through in his performances in the car. Over the last seven days I would say he has produced the two best drives of his career."

Horner admitted that Vettel was in a good position having won five of the first six races, but said that the way he has had to grind out the last two wins proves that the competition is tough.

"Sebastian is seven points off a maximum score after six rounds, and that's a phenomenal start to the year," added Horner. "He's got a healthy lead, but the points with the new system are quite deceptive because 58 points under the old system is just over 20. It's just over two race wins. For sure he's got himself into a great position, but as we've seen over the last two weeks, he's been pushed all the way by different competitors.

"Jenson was very quick, as was Lewis, Fernando here and in Turkey, so you can't take anything for granted. Of course, we've made the results stick this year, which has been tremendously satisfying for the team. But there's an awfully long way to go in this championship and things can happen very, very quickly."

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