MONTE CARLO, May 30, 2011 (AFP) - Champions Red Bull refused to be drawn into any premature discussion of when they will win this year's Formula One world titles following Sebastian Vettel's triumph in Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix and commanding 58-points lead in the championship.
Vettel has won five of the opening six races this season and finished second in his one 'blip' in China. But team chief Christian Horner rejected all talk of triumphs and titles and continued to stress the hard work that lies ahead in the wake of the 23-year-old German's latest lucky win.
He said: "Sebastian is seven points off a maximum score after six rounds and that is a phenomenal start to the year. "But every race has been exciting. This will go down as one of the Monaco thrillers, and he made his own luck here. "But Jenson Button was very quick, Lewis Hamilton was very quick last week, and Fernando Alonso was strong here again. We cannot take anything for granted. "We have made the results stick this year which has been tremendously satisfying for the team.
"Even with a difficult race in Monaco we managed to win the race with huge pressure from behind, but there is an awfully long way to go in this championship and things can change very, very quickly." He also warned against being deceived by the margin of Vettel's advantage ahead of Hamilton in the title race.
"The new points system is quite deceptive," he said. "In the old system it is just over 20 points so that is just over two race
wins. Things can change very, very quickly. He has got himself into a great position, but as we have seen he has been pushed all the way."
Horner's view is not shared by many, including two-times world champion Spaniard Fernando Alonso of Ferrari, who effectively declared Vettel champion-elect after this fifth win this season. Alonso, who finished second, said: "I think we saw in the last couple of years that if you win five or six Grands Prix you've nearly won the championship. So if you win five of the first six, you are in a very good position.
"There's only one occasion that this has happened, a couple of years ago with Jenson, and we know Jenson's result.
"He was champion. OK, maybe it is not over yet, but look at the statistics. Even if we win three races, we need him not to score at all." Alonso's Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali said the scarlet scuderia had to keep believing they can turn the tide despite Vettel's 74-points advantage over Alonso.
"For sure it is a big gap no doubt, but you know how quickly you turn around things," said Domenicali. "It is not easy no doubt, but if we have a good result in the next couple of races then something may also happen to them, so if you stay concentrated and you put a little bit of pressure on, then we will see." str/ak