Skip to main content

Red Bull chief Horner: 'Vettel can still improve'

March 9, 2012 -- Updated 1856 GMT (0256 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Red Bull's team principal Christian Horner says world champion Sebastian Vettel is "still evolving"
  • German driver is still eager to acheive more success int he future
  • Horner also praises Vettel's teammate Mark Webber saying he will be fiercely competative this coming season

(CNN) -- Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel dominated Formula One in 2011 en route to clinching a second consecutive world title, but team principal Christian Horner has warned his rivals the German can still get better.

The 24-year-old won 11 of 19 grands prix last season to become the sport's youngest double world champion, but Horner insists Vettel is still developing ahead of the 2012 season's opening race in Australia next weekend.

"Sebastian is still evolving," Horner told CNN. "He's still so young. He's still a relatively inexperienced grand prix driver.

"He achieved so much in his short time, to have won all the races he has, a double world champion, the youngest-ever double world champion."

He's hungry for more success. He's determined to try and defend his title in the manner in which he won it, which was obviously so convincing last year
Christian Horner, Red Bull team principal

Vettel also set a record for the most pole positions in a single season last term, starting 15 races from the front of the grid.

But, despite having won 20 races over the past three seasons, Horner insisted Vettel is still eager to achieve greater success in the future -- starting with the first race.

"He's hungry for more success. He's determined to try and defend his title in the manner in which he won it, which was obviously so convincing last year."

If 2011 was a vintage year for Vettel, it was a frustrating one for his Australian teammate Mark Webber.

Armed with the same RB7 car as his all-conquering colleague, Webber's only win of the year was at the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix.

"2011 was a tough year for Mark," admitted Horner. "All credit to Mark, he kept plugging away. The biggest tonic for him was winning that final race in Brazil."

The 34-year-old is still searching for a first drivers' championship having finished third in each of the last two seasons. But Horner backed his driver and said: "He's going to be a fierce competitor this year."

After the opening race in Melbourne, the elite division of motorsport heads to Malaysia and China before the Bahrain Grand Prix -- scheduled to take place on April 22.

Civil unrest in the Gulf kingdom forced the cancellation of last year's event and there have been repeated calls for this year's race to be abandoned.

A spokesman for the Bahrain International Circuit told CNN earlier this month the grand prix will go ahead as planned and Horner said Red Bull trust the judgment of the FIA -- the sport's governing body.

"Bahrain has obviously been a topic of great debate," he said. "As a team we enter the world championship, if there's a race in Bahrain we'll be there. It's down to the FIA."

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Track the buzz of the 2014 Formula One season, race by race, with all the latest social reaction from motorsport experts.
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 1113 GMT (1913 HKT)
Too weak. Can't handle the pressure. Susie Wolff has heard it all -- but she is determined to become the first female F1 driver in 20 years.
CNN's Amanda Davies visits the headquarters of Mercedes, the dominant team in Formula One this season.
March 15, 2014 -- Updated 0108 GMT (0908 HKT)
The big winners of this Formula One season could be road drivers rather than F1 racers, according to one former world champion.
March 14, 2014 -- Updated 1730 GMT (0130 HKT)
The Williams team welcomes the biggest rule changes to Formula One cars for a generation.
March 13, 2014 -- Updated 1916 GMT (0316 HKT)
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton sums up the dawn of a new Formula One era in three juicy words -- weird, mind-blowing and challenging.
March 12, 2014 -- Updated 1216 GMT (2016 HKT)
Formula One is taking another step in its techno evolution this season, which could be more unpredictable than it has been for a long time.
February 24, 2014 -- Updated 1736 GMT (0136 HKT)
Jann Mardenborough on the similarities and differences between driving a race on a video game and driving a real F1 car.
February 22, 2014 -- Updated 1226 GMT (2026 HKT)
Russia's President Vladimir Putin watches the men's cross-country 4 x 10km relay event at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics on February 16, 2014. AFP PHOTO/ RIA-NOVOSTI/ POOL/ MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV (Photo credit should read MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/AFP/Getty Images)
How Russian president Vladimir Putin helped turn a muddy hole in the ground into a $400 million futuristic grand prix track in Sochi.
February 21, 2014 -- Updated 0013 GMT (0813 HKT)
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (R) and Formula One racing director Bernie Ecclestone talk during a ceremony of signing of an agreement to bring Formula One racing to Sochi for a Grand Prix Russia to be held in 2014, the same year the Black Sea resort hosts the Winter Olympics in Sochi on October 14, 2010. Putin, whose backing was crucial in Sochi winning the right to host the Games, is due in the city on Thursday to sign an agreement for work to begin on the construction of a new 200 million dollar circuit. AFP PHOTO/ ALEXANDER NEMENOV (Photo credit should read ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images)
Vilified by the the international community for his government's attitude on gay rights, Russian president Vladimir Putin has found an ally.
March 13, 2014 -- Updated 1613 GMT (0013 HKT)
Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel is bidding for a fifth consecutive drivers' championship in 2014.
He is Formula One's undisputed No. 1, and next season Sebastian Vettel will have proof of that fact emblazoned on his Red Bull.
December 4, 2013 -- Updated 1633 GMT (0033 HKT)
A new era of F1 looms large on the horizon in 2014, but what do the new rules mean for how we watch the sport? Get up to speed here.
October 17, 2013 -- Updated 1056 GMT (1856 HKT)
Explore our interactive of one of F1's most important and complicated pieces of kit.
ADVERTISEMENT