Red Bull boss Christian Horner believes Sebastian Vettel's drive in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was one of the best of his career.
Vettel battled back from a pitlane start and two collisions that damaged his front wing to finish a brilliant third – and lose just three points to main title rival Fernando Alonso. Horner conceded that he had never expected such a recovery from Vettel, and he was left in no doubt about who deserved the full credit for the performance.
"I think it was one of the best [races] of his career," said Horner. "I think he really went for it and to go from the pitlane to the podium, it was phenomenal."
He added: "Yesterday, leaving the track when we were faced with starting from the pitlane because we knew we wanted to change some things, then I really thought if we could sneak into the top 10 because it is not easy to overtake around here, then maybe we could get an eighth or a ninth. But I went to see Seb before the race and he said, 'I will see you on the podium.' He was absolutely convinced going into the race that he could get a great result."
Although in the middle phase of the race it had appeared a possibility that Vettel would try to finish the race on his first set of soft tires, having started on the mediums, Horner said that it made no sense to gamble on there not being late wear problems.
"We were debating it, and he was challenging us, but those tres would have had to do 40-something laps," he said. "We could see from the first set that wear was an issue and we did not want to get to a point that he ran out of tires. So as soon as he was clear of [Romain] Grosjean it made sense to pit him, and then we felt we could chase down Alonso and [Jenson] Button."