Sebastian Vettel should not be too disappointed with the last-lap error that cost him victory in the Canadian Grand Prix, says his team boss Christian Horner.
The Red Bull Racing driver had looked on course to deliver his sixth win of the campaign in Montreal but, under pressure from a hard-charging Jenson Button, he made a mistake on the final lap and slid wide – handing the win to his McLaren rival.
Although Vettel himself was greatly disappointed at having thrown away the victory, Horner says that he has no complaints about his young German's driving, and praised his brilliance in the tricky conditions.
"It is nothing," said Horner about the Vettel error. "Look at what happened in the five hours that this grand prix seemed to consume here. There were a lot of mistakes in really difficult conditions, and he should not be too disappointed.
"I think he handled it very well at the end of the race, and it was just one of those things. I think that Sebastian did a phenomenal race in massively difficult conditions. He was pretty much the only guy who did not put a wheel wrong all afternoon."
Horner reckons that Vettel was pushing so hard on the final lap because he did not want Button within one second of him at the DRS activation zone, because it would have been almost impossible for him to be able to successfully defend from his rival there.
"At the end of the race, Jenson was very, very quick and Seb knew, because we could see how powerful the DRS was in that zone, that he had to keep him out of the magic one second zone when they crossed that line for the last time.
"Jenson was in the zone so [Vettel] knew he had to deliver, and pushing flat-out I think he just hooked the wheel slightly on the damp, locked the rear and that was the difference between winning and losing.
"When you have led pretty much the entire grand prix, to lose it probably within two kilometers of the finish is frustrating on one hand, but on a day when neither Lewis [Hamilton] nor Fernando [Alonso] scored, and on a day when so many incidents where there, at a track where we are not really supposed to be competitive at, to have come away with a P2 and a P3, in the cold light of day, is actually a pretty good team result."
Horner also said he had no regrets about the FIA choosing to restart the race after it was red-flagged when Vettel was in the lead, even though it being abandoned then would have made his team the winner.
"Arguably, if the race had been stopped after half-distance he would have only gotten 12.5 points, but instead he got 18. So, if you can pull any positives out of it that has to be it."