Horner happy with points haul
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner was happy with "a good haul of points" at Sunday's Chinese Grand Prix following a first-lap disaster.
Mark Webber and reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel came home fourth and fifth at the Shanghai International Circuit, a fine recovery given how both went backwards at the start.
Vettel was already on the back foot, lining up 11th on the grid, the first time outside the top 10 for 42 races since the 2009 Brazilian Grand Prix.
However, the 24-year-old German was slow away, dropping to 15th, while it was a similar situation for Webber, who slipped from sixth to ninth at the end of the opening lap.
That forced Red Bull to re-think their strategy, bringing Webber in after just six laps and opting for a three-stop plan, which saw the Australian drop to 21st.
As for Vettel, he remained on a two-stopper, but on severely-worn tyres in the closing stages, a potential runner-up spot on lap 50 transpired into fifth come the chequered flag six laps later.
"Ultimately from where we started, and where we were on the first lap, we faced some difficult strategic decisions," said Horner.
"We were the first to stop with Mark, which was very aggressive.
"We then stopped early with Sebastian and split the strategies at that point - Mark on a three-stop and Seb on to a two-stop and the race started to unfold.
"Our race pace was pretty strong and we got amongst the McLarens.
"Unfortunately, the front-left tyre on Seb's car took a real hammering and he didn't have anything left tyre-wise by the end of the race.
"Nonetheless, having been 15th on the first lap, fifth is still a strong result.
"Mark also went on to a long last stint, had a great scrap with Lewis, and he just lost out at the end.
"Still, it was a good haul of points."
Explaining the difficulties he faced in the dying stages, Vettel, who finds himself 17 points adrift of championship leader Lewis Hamilton, said: "I had no tyres left at the end of the race.
"Sitting in the car I was reacting with brake balance, diff (differential), everything to try and keep the tyres.
"Overall I'm pretty happy with fifth given the poor first lap. With the strategy we managed to come back.
"I think the weekend was good for us, we learned a lot and hopefully we will take these lessons on board and go in the right direction for next week (in Bahrain)."
Webber, who is currently fourth in the standings nine points behind Hamilton, was content enough with fourth for the third consecutive race.
"Fourth was not too bad," said Webber.
"It wasn't the maximum, but it's very tight between the teams at the front, so I have to be happy.
"It's good points and we leave here reasonably satisfied, but we need to keep boxing and keep improving."