Horner’s ‘Odds’ bite back in Italy

Red Bull boss Christian Horner had a tough weekend at Monza. Sebastian Vettel, running 2nd in the driver’s championship, experienced a DNF after another alternator failure. The team could see the issue coming and had even radioed Mark Webber, Vettel’s teammate, that Sebastian may be stopping so be ready for it as the Australian was on the tail of Vettel’s RB8 car.

What is more difficult is that Horner had foreshadowed the DNF that Ferrar’s Fernando Alonso experienced at the belgian Grand Prix saying that his luck would have to run out at some point and that the odds were against him. That sword cuts both ways in Formula One and Horner was on the receiving end this weekend:

“In the race we were definitely more competitive,” he told Sky Sports F1’s Ted Kravitz.

“This is our weakest circuit: we know we are not quick on the straights here, it exposes our weakness. But we’ve got races and venues coming up that hopefully we can be strong at.

“We’ll keep pushing. We’re still leading the Constructors’ Championship and both drivers still in the Drivers’ Championship but we can’t afford to DNFs like today.”

The issue is this is the second alternator issue that Vettel has been bitten by and Horner is urging Renault to take a long look at the situation and to resolve it with haste and efficacy.

“We have had two race-stopping failures: one that cost us a certain victory and today one that cost us a sensible amount of points. It is extremely costly and something that needs to be rectified for the remaining eight races.

“I think there was another issue on another car with the same component during the weekend, so it is very disappointing. But we need to work with Renault to understand it and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

While the odds can play against Alonso in holding off the rest of the field and securing his third driver’s title, those same odds can play against anyone on the grid. What we saw in Italy was a bumpy circuit and some serious issue for Alonso as he experienced a sway bar breakage during qualifying that placed him 10th on the grid. Even the team’s grey matter guru, Pay Fry, says that the team had way too many issues this weekend. Question is, could McLaren and Lewis Hamilton be sitting in the pound seats? One could have made that argument as the reliability of the teams car has been relatively good this season but today’s on-track retirement of Jenson Button even has fans scratching their heads as to who will be able to take the fight to Alonso and who will stave off the DNF’s in order to do so.


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