Vettel DNF a "killer blow" for F1 fans, says Horner

Sebastian Vettel’s retirement from the Japanese Grand Prix is a ‘killer blow’ to fans hoping for a thrilling end to the Formula 1 title battle, reckons Red Bull boss Christian Horner.

Vettel DNF a "killer blow" for F1 fans, says Horner
 Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W08, Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13, Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB13, Esteban Ocon, Sahara Force India F1 VJM10, the rest of the field at the start
 Max Verstappen, Red Bull, second place, Race winner Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1, on the podium
Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing Team Principal and Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H
 Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W08, Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13, Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB13, Esteban Ocon, Sahara Force India F1 VJM10, the rest of the field at the start
Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing Team Principal
 Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H

Although Vettel and Ferrari have vowed to keep fighting for the championship until the final race of the season, the 59-points advantage that Lewis Hamilton has opened up means he is now a clear favourite.

For Vettel’s former boss Horner, the German’s retirement from the Japanese GP is bad news for both the driver and F1’s followers as it means the fight for glory is all but over.

“They’ve obviously had some bad luck,” said Horner about Ferrari’s situation. “But I feel especially sorry for Sebastian because it’s a killer blow for his championship and, really, for the fans.

“It looks like we’re not going to have the exciting run-in that in the summer break it looked like it would be.”

The way that Ferrari’s title challenge has fallen apart over the last three races is likely to add pressure to the team’s management, as it will have to explain just why things went wrong.

Horner said it was hard to predict exactly what would happen at Ferrari in its effort to respond to its dramas.

“I think it’s very difficult to judge from the outside,” he said. “Formula 1 is a technical sport, cars are very complex, things go wrong – we’ve seen that with our own power unit this year.

“Different teams deal it with it different ways, I guess… it’s not for me to judge how Ferrari will react.”

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