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Title still a four-way battle - Horner

ESPN Staff
July 8, 2013 « Helmets likely to become mandatory in pit lane | New tyres will be the key to title success - Ferrari »
Sebastian Vettel now has a 34-point lead in the championship © Getty Images
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Red Bull team principal Christian Horner insists Sebastian Vettel and his team are still in a four-way battle for the championship with Ferrari, Lotus and Mercedes.

Vettel extended his lead at the top of the drivers' championship to 34 points on Sunday with victory at the German Grand Prix, while Red Bull moved 67 points clear of second-place Mercedes in the constructors'. Had Vettel not suffered a gearbox problem at the British Grand Prix he would have won the last three races in a row, but Horner insists the team would not become complacent.

"It's still very much a four-way battle and you can't discount anybody," he said. "We're effectively at the halfway point of the year and there's still an awful long way to go. Anything can change, but to have won four grands prix in the first half of the year is satisfying but it doesn't guarantee anything. From weekend to weekend we see different teams with different levels of competitiveness and I'm sure that will continue during the next few events."

Horner said Vettel's win in Germany went some way to making up for the gearbox failure last weekend at Silverstone.

"For us in some ways it made up for the disappointment of Silverstone, having got so close to winning the British Grand Prix; to address that a week later at Sebastian's home race was a great result."

Horner also praised the new rear tyres Pirelli brought to the German Grand Prix, saying a less marginal tyre in terms of degradation still provided good racing.

"As we said early this year, perhaps we'd gone too far with the tyres and that meant drivers had to underdrive the car," he said. "In the race today the drivers were pushing, as they were in Montreal, and I think those kinds of races are exciting. It's nip and tuck between the drivers and they're fighting sector to sector. It was a close and tough battle today which shows that tyres don't need to be so high in degradation to provide good racing. That's what we saw today."

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