Losing one-two the only regret on Red Bull’s greatest day

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Red Bull team principal Christian Horner had much to celebrate on Sunday.

His team, still only in its ninth year of competition, won the constructors’ championship for the fourth time. And Sebastian Vettel had romped to an emphatic win which gave him a fourth consecutive drivers’ championship.

But it wasn’t quite the perfect result for the team. With over half the race gone they looked on course for a one-two finish when Mark Webber hit trouble.

“The most disappointing thing today was obviously the failure on Mark’s car when we were set for a one-two finish,” said Horner. “We had a sudden alternator failure, but sometimes that’s racing.”

“It was just desperately disappointing to happen while we were on course to achieve a one-two finish.”

Red Bull had a series of alternator failures last year which caused several retirements and cost Sebastian Vettel a likely win in the European Grand Prix. Since then the team has changed its supplier for the part.

“Obviously I’m pretty disappointed with today’s race, but there is not much I can do, the alternator went wrong with very short notice so we had to stop straight away,” said Webber.

“It’s tough because we did a lot of things right this weekend, but I’ve got a smile on my face as I could not have done any more.”

Webber added his congratulations to Vettel and the rest of the team: “Well done to Seb on his championship and also to all the team; to get a fourth title is amazing.”

“It’s been a great job by the whole team to achieve the title four years on the trot and it has once again set itself as the benchmark for the others.”

Ferrari signs Callum Ilott to young driver academy

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Ferrari has confirmed the signing of rising British racer Callum Ilott to its prestigious driver academy ahead of the 2018 season.

Ilott, 18, is a former member of Red Bull’s junior program, and has spent the last three years racing in the FIA European Formula 3 series, taking eight race wins.

After finishing the 2017 season fourth in the championship with Prema Powerteam, Ilott has now linked up with the Ferrari Driver Academy in the next step of his racing career, becoming its first British member.

“Ferrari Driver Academy is pleased to announce that British driver Callum Ilott is the latest promising young driver to be selected for its development program,” an announcement from Ferrari reads.

“18 years old, Ilott joins the FDA in his third season in car racing, having just finished the FIA F3 European Championship. He comes with a strong pedigree in international Formula 3 racing, having made the jump directly from karting as reigning European Champion.

“Ilott joins Charles Leclerc, Antonio Fuoco, Guan Yu Zhou, Giuliano Alesi, Marcus Armstrong and Enzo Fittipaldi in the programme, which supports talented young drivers on their career path in motorsport.”

Besides its existing roster, the Ferrari Driver Academy also played a part in the careers of Sergio Perez, Lance Stroll and the late Jules Bianchi.