Horner shrugs off Alonso comments

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has dismissed Fernando Alonso's comments, saying that 'talk is cheap'.

Motorsports news: Christian Horner

Fernando Alonso declared himself "100 per cent confident" he will win this year's Formula One world title on Saturday after qualifying four places behind Sebastian Vettel for the Indian Grand Prix.

Ferrari star Alonso at least elevated himself on to the podium by finishing runner-up to Vettel, who scored his fourth consecutive victory to achieve the feat for the first time in one season.

Vettel has also led the last 204 laps in succession since inheriting the lead in last month's race in Singapore due to a gearbox failure on Lewis Hamilton's McLaren.

With three races remaining the gap is 13 points between the two title protagonists, and Alonso remains confident he can overhaul the 24-year-old German, despite all the momentum being with Vettel.

But Horner said: "At the end of the day talk is cheap. We can all prophesy, but it's down to what you do on the track.

"Our focus now is already on this weekend's race in Abu Dhabi, to extract the most out of the car, drivers, strategy and reliability that we can.

"From now on, it's going to be a question of having three perfect weekends."

Horner can at least appreciate Alonso's dogged determination and the way he has over-achieved in a car that has rarely been the quickest.

"Fernando is a quality driver, Ferrari are a quality team, and they are doing a strong job," said Horner.

"He's remarkably consistent and we're going to have to perform at our very best if we are going to maintain our lead ahead of him.

"We've worked very hard to get into this position and there's a real determination within the team to carry this momentum into the final three races."

What Horner does not have an answer for, though, is exactly just how Red Bull and Vettel have taken the championship by the scruff of the neck recently.

A season that started with seven different winners of the opening seven races could conceivably culminate in one man winning the last seven.

Asked as to why Vettel had suddenly become so dominant, Horner said: "That's a very good question. The honest answer is - we have no idea.

"As I say, we've worked hard and we've tried hard to understand the issues because the changes in the regulations last winter had a significant effect, particularly on ourselves.

"We've just got our heads down and tried hard to get performance to the car. There hasn't been any silver bullet.

"It's been a pure case of working to understand these tyres and the regulation changes, and the team's done a super job in achieving that."

With two titles already under his belt over the last two years, it is highly unlikely Vettel will get ahead of himself over the run in.

Horner certainly believes there is a maturity about Vettel that will ensure the sudden rush of success will not go to his head.

Horner said: "He's a grounded lad, he's got his feet on the ground.

"He's an easy guy to work with, fiercely determined, and very focused on taking it one race at time, on his job and how he's performing and he's always striving to do better.

"So we don't really have to keep his feet on the ground because he's an inner discipline that does that.

"He knows that when he's driving for the team and representing the team, we expect the very best of him, which he gives."

From a team perspective, there is no resting on any laurels either, even though Red Bull can clinch their third consecutive constructors' crown in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

"What has been achieved lately has been remarkable considering we turned up in Singapore with Sebastian having won only one race," said Horner.

"But he's hit a purple patch of form at exactly the right time in the championship, and for us it's vital to keep that momentum running.

"We've got ourselves into a great position in the constructors', but the drivers' championship is still completely open.

"With 75 points available from three races it's going to be crucial for us to make sure we have perfect weekends.

"We certainly can't afford to be complacent because Fernando Alonso keeps turning up."



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