Vettel win heralds new era

ABU DHABI - After a season of tension and sometimes bitter rivalry within his team, Red Bull boss Christian Horner on Monday warmly praised both of his drivers for their sporting behaviour after Sebastian Vettel had beaten Mark Webber to win the drivers’ world title.

By (AFP)

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Published: Wed 17 Nov 2010, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 4:52 AM

The 23-year-old German triumphed in Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to take the title in dramatic fashion as Australian Webber finished eighth, Vettel being crowned as the sport’s youngest champion.

The team chief, a cautious and methodical man whose team partied late into the night, said: “Both of them have had a tremendous year and this race endorsed all our decisions not to instruct them, not to give any team orders.

“Those guys have been awesome competitors this year. It has been done in a sporting manner on the track and it has been a tremendous year for Formula One.

“To have done it the right way, to have won it on the circuit as well. I am just delighted with the way that Sebastian drove in this race.

“The fact that we did it without team orders, the fact that at the end of the day the best guy won it — that’s the way it should be.”

Horner said he believed Vettel would have moved aside for Webber, had he been able to help Webber’s effort if he was out of contention for the title himself.“I have no doubt about that,” he added. “Seb is a team player and there was no way in the world we would ever tell him ‘you must move out the way’. That would have been down to him.

“I think it was clear in his mind if he had been in that position, I have got no doubt in my mind that he would have done that to ensure we would have got the best team result.”

He also removed all doubts about Webber’s future when he said that the 34-year-old Australian will be back for another tilt at the title with the Red Bull team next year.

He said: “Mark is a big part of our team, he is a tremendous driver and he will have another chance next year.

“He’s pushed Sebastian all the way this year — and there has been very little to choose between them at times.

“It’s see-sawed in form between the two of them. Sebastian has led the championship just once this year, but it came on Sunday — the most important time. “He can be very, very proud of what he has achieved this year.”

Red Bull’s ‘double’ of the drivers and constructors titles capped a memorable year for the Milton Keynes based team and also supplied an ethical triumph for the sport. There had been fears that two times champion Spaniard Fernando Alonso could have won the title for Ferrari who at the German Grand Prix had used team orders.

On Sunday, by using defensive tactics to cover a possible threat from Australian Webber, they ended up wrecking their own prospects as Alonso was unable to recover from an unnecessary early pit stop and finished just seventh.

It signalled that in a fresh new era led by the younger champions - Vettel having supplanted Briton Lewis Hamilton of McLaren who finished second as the youngest champion — there is a new fresh morality sweeping through the sport.

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