Horner: Don’t expect Vettel to repeat Singapore pace

2 Comments

Christian Horner may have called Sebastian Vettel’s dominance of the Singapore Grand Prix “one of his best” performances in Formula One, but the Red Bull team principal has said that he is not expecting a repeat of this form at the Korean Grand Prix next weekend.

The German driver won the race by over thirty seconds, lapping over two seconds per lap quicker than the rest of the field in places. However, speaking to Autosport, Horner said that he is not expecting a similar display.

“There were times last weekend when Sebastian was two seconds quicker than the rest of the field, but I think it was due to unique circumstances,” Horner said. “It was a circuit he was completely on top of and the setup of the car was working well. It was man and machine working at the top of their game.”

Despite boasting good records at both circuits, Horner believes that Vettel will be in for a stiffer challenge at the next two races in Korea and Japan.

“The next challenges we have in Korea and Japan are quite a bit different in characteristics. I’m hopeful that we can be strong at those venues, but we can’t take anything for granted as Mercedes have been strong at different points of the year and Alonso keeps turning up. He’s always there.”

Vettel has won the last two races in Korea and three of the last four Japanese Grands Prix, making him an early favorite to win both events. Having won the last three races in 2013, the German driver will be hoping to seal a fourth world championship as early as possible by winning the next two events.

Marco Andretti confident that fewer tests won’t hurt Andretti Autosport

Photo: IndyCar
Leave a comment

A small point of debate around the 2018 aero kit has been the manufacturer test days that took place through the Fall of 2017 and into the beginning of 2018. Chiefly, the debate has centered around teams who hadn’t participated in those manufacturer test days and if they’re starting the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season at a disadvantage as a result.

Team Penske, Ed Carpenter Racing, and A.J. Foyt Racing completed test days for Chevrolet, with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and Chip Ganassi Racing doing so for Honda.

That left teams like Andretti Autosport out of the mix, with some voicing concerns as a result.

However, in a press conference during testing at ISM Raceway last weekend, Marco Andretti explained that he thinks Andretti Autosport should be able to catch up on development, citing the team’s resources – they’re the only IndyCar team with four full-time cars in their stable – and the fact that everyone is still adapting to the new kit.

“I feel like it’s early enough days that, yes, we can catch up,” Andretti said at ISM Raceway. “When there is anything new, a new car, new aero kit, at-track days are huge. We can sim all these things we want. To really get out there and confirm what we’re learning back at the shop is another thing.”

Ryan Hunter-Reay during testing at ISM Raceway. Photo: IndyCar

Andretti continued, “Yeah, I don’t think we should look at it like we’re behind the eight ball. With a four-car team, that’s where we can use it to our benefit. So far so good.”

Teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay, echoed Andretti’s sentiments, adding that while the situation is not perfect, they will need to adapt to it in order to remain competitive.

“Any time you have a new car, to put it into perspective, we’re on track three days on a road course before we get to (the season open in St. Petersburg). That’s a very short amount of time. It’s obviously not ideal, but we’re just going to lace up our boots and get on with it. That’s all you can do.”

Andretti Autosport will have one more team test, at Sebring International Raceway later on in February, before the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

Follow@KyleMLavigne