Red Bull team boss Christian Horner struggled to watch Sebastian Vettel's closing laps during Korean Gran Prix victory

 

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner admitted there were moments when he was almost too scared to watch after Sebastian Vettel overcame tyre degradation concerns to win in South Korea and take over the lead of the World Championship.

Tyre management had been the watchwords among teams and drivers over the course of the weekend, but Red Bull appeared in little danger with Vettel and team-mate Mark Webber running at the head of the field.

But during the closing stages Vettel's race engineer Guillaume 'Rocky' Rocquelin could be heard over the radio demanding his driver ease off in certain sections of the track in order to lessen the strain, particularly on his right front tyre.

Vettel's desire to set the fastest lap during a race is well known, and that left Horner even more concerned that the German's desire to push for a quick lap could wring the last bit of life from his Pirelli rubber.

Horner said: "It was quite a long final stint, it was 22 or 23 laps, which we knew would be right on the limit.

"So it was about making sure we did not punish the tyres too much and making sure we had enough to get to the finish.

"That is why I said to Rocky 'make sure you are all over Sebastian because we don't need any fastest laps and then have Mark trying respond one lap from the end'.

"Knowing how much we had stretched the tyres was a concern, other teams must have had the same issue, and then every time the TV was bringing up a slow-motion replay of bits of an inner edge flying off (the tyre).

"I decided I could not look at those any more from about half distance, I focused on the data instead."

Vettel managed to make it to the flag without incident, and went six points clear of Fernando Alonso at the top of the standings as he looks to become just the third driver to win three consecutive titles.

Despite Red Bull's supreme performances in Japan and Korea, Horner insists nothing is being taken for granted.

He said: "There is a long way to go, Sebastian is six points in the lead with four to go but his main opponent was only one place away from him on the podium, so we are not thinking about championships yet."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living