Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Christian Horner: I have not lost control at Red Bull

Christian Horner says he has not lost control at Red Bull; the McLarens are still not showing improvement; Fernando Alonso is surprisingly trailing his teammate, Felipe Massa, after two practices.

SHANGHAI // Christian Horner, the Red Bull team principal, denies he has lost his authority as a result of the Malaysia team-orders furore, or that the world champion Sebastian Vettel effectively runs the team.

Horner has been in damage-control mode since Vettel ignored team orders and overtook teammate Mark Webber at the Malaysian Grand Prix, then exacerbated that on Thursday by saying he would do the same again.

"Has my leadership been undermined? I don't think so," he said, asking and answering his own questions, adding that Vettel "knows he can't operate without the team and does not put himself above the team or think he runs the team for one moment".

Vettel said Thursday that the Malaysia overtaking move was partly in revenge for past instances when he perceived Webber had done the wrong thing by him and the team.

Horner said on Friday this was "business as usual" between the drivers, who had been rivals more than colleagues.

"There never has been too much love lost between the two of them," Horner said. "It's something that has been apparent for four or five years, and something we have managed."


More woes at McLaren

The mood in the down pit lane at the McLaren garage was simply "frustrated" after the team's expected improvement at Shanghai did not occur.

Both Jenson Button and teammate Sergio Perez have had disappointing performances in practice, with Button stating the obvious: the car's problems have not been solved.

Button said the upgrades brought to China were "perhaps not as big a step forward as we'd expected; the issues with the car are still there." He added: "I don't think we'll be fighting at the front this weekend."

The three-week break since the Malaysia race raised hopes that the team could fix the teething problems with its redesigned car.


Massa leads second practice

At no time throughout Fernando Alonso's 200-race Formula One career has the double world champion been out-qualified by a teammate for five successive races.

But teammate Felipe Massa, who just under a year ago appeared to be on his way out of F1 after a miserable start to last season, has every chance of doing just that on Saturday.

Massa beat Alonso over one lap in the final two races of last season and repeated the feat for the opening two grands prix of this campaign.

The Brazilan led the second practice at Shanghai in his Ferrari, with Alonso third quick but only .415-seconds behind.



twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Glenn Maxwell's knock that followed ensured Brendon McCullum's knock went in vain after his explosive half-century took Chennai Super Kings past the 200-mark. Ravindranath K / The National

All is well with Punjab as Maxwell and Miller seal win against Chennai

The Australian missed out on a century but his 95 runs, along with Miller's unbeaten half-century, ensured Kings XI scaled a mighty peak of a target in a hot first game of Abu Dhabi's double-header.

 Sunderland manager Gus Poyet protests during the Premier League match against Crystal Palace at The Stadium of Light in Sunderland, northeast England, on March 15, 2014. Ian MacNicol / AFP

Sunderland going out of Premier League with a grumble

Northeast club have underwhelmed during seven-year stay in the top flight

 Hamburg players leave the field after the match against Borussia Moenchengladbach on March 30, 2014. AFP

Hamburg the dinosaur’s time may be up in Bundesliga

Ever-present for 51 years in the German top-flight, Hamburg face the prospect of relegation, writes Ian Hawkey.

 At 105 kg, Gabrielle Garcia has dominated the world circuit and loves many things about being in Abu Dhabi. Ravindranath K / The National

Garcia seeks fresh challenge in MMA after her jiu-jitsu domination

Brazilian prides being a lioness in the sport but feels she can shed 25kg weight to pursue her MMA debut aspirations.

 England's Jonathan Trott hits out during the ICC Champions Trophy semi final match against South Africa at The Oval cricket ground, London June 19, 2013. REUTERS/Philip Brown

England’s Jonathan Trott sidelined with stress-related illness again

Jonathan Trott is to take a second break from professional cricket because of his stress-related illness as England and Wales Cricket Board and Warwickshire confirmed he will stop playing with immediate effect.

 Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho looks on during the Premier League match between Swansea City and Chelsea at the Liberty Stadium on April 13, 2014 in Swansea, Wales. Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

‘That’s why we are a top club’ says Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech

Jose Mourinho’s men will temporarily claim the Premier League top spot if they beat Sunderland, leaving them in control of their own destiny in the title race ahead of a crucial trip to face Liverpool at Anfield on April 27.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National