Horner: It's all about the team
Red Bull's domination of Formula One is down to much more than the amazing individual talents of Sebastian Vettel and chief designer Adrian Newey, according to team principal Christian Horner.
With four successive drivers' and constructors' titles sewn up following Vettel's victory in India last time out, many people have been quick to praise the German's achievements, while Newey has also been justifiably portrayed as the mastermind behind Red Bull's seemingly unstoppable car.
But Horner believes it is the workings of the entire Milton Keynes-based team that has been the cornerstone of their surge to the top of Formula One.
"I think that Sebastian has really hit a purple patch of form and he is certainly driving better than I have ever seen him," Horner said. "But you're looking at a team of more than 600 through the design and operation of the car and you have got to have total trust in all aspects.
"The team has total trust in Sebastian and I think he has total trust in the team, whether that be a strategy that involves him stopping on lap two or the pit stops that the boys perform.
"It has to be total embodiment of a driver immersed in a team and at that point contracts are irrelevant and things are all down to relationships."
And while Horner enthused about the impact of Newey, the team principal was also quick to point out that Newey is just the tip of a technical iceberg which runs deep into the factory.
"It is not just about Adrian, it is about the team of engineers that work with him and support him without which none of it would be possible, something Adrian is always the first to recognise as well," he said.
"The technical team has in many ways been built around him to embrace how he works and how he operates - he is quite unique in his functions.
"He would describe himself as a dinosaur because he still draws with pencil on a drawing board, and that is probably the only drawing board that exists in Formula One."
With both titles now wrapped up Horner has insisted the team will try to end the season in a similarly all-conquering way to the previous races, but admitted focus back at base can now shift to 2014.
"All the track time you have you can learn and we will try and learn as much as we can with whatever is relevant to the RB10 from the RB9," he said.
"Obviously it is a very busy time in the factory at the moment but in many respects it [winning the titles] now enables focus to be 100 per cent on the RB10 for next year."
Red Bull's dominance continued on Friday with a one-two finish in the second practice session at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi.
Vettel again led the way with Mark Webber, who departs both the team and the sport at the end of the season, securing another Red Bull lockout.
The champion had finished third in the first practice session but set the quickest time in the second, clocking one minute 41.335 seconds.
As soon as the majority of the field switched to run the soft compound tyre the Red Bull drivers flexed their muscles, with Webber topping the timesheets momentarily before ending the session 0.155secs adrift of Vettel.
Lotus' Romain Grosjean had outpaced the Red Bulls in the earlier session but his luck ran out when he suffered a brake disc failure shortly after switching on to the option tyre and he was down in 12th place.
The Frenchman's team-mate Kimi Raikkonen caused a stir when he did not arrive at the circuit on Thursday but he was in the car as normal for the two practice sessions and looked dangerous as the 2012 winner finished the second session in fourth.
Mercedes overhauled Ferrari in second place in the constructors' championship following a strong showing in India, and they looked quicker than their Italian counterparts throughout Friday practice.
Lewis Hamilton guided his Mercedes to third in the second session, while team-mate Nico Rosberg managed fifth as both Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa were eighth and 10th for Ferrari.
McLaren, who have struggled to mix it with the front-running teams for much of the season, also looked to have the measure of Ferrari as Sergio Perez went sixth fastest and Jenson Button was just one place further back.
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