Horner: Vettel better than ever
Christian Horner believes Sebastian Vettel is in the form of his life after the German won the Korean Grand Prix.
Vettel's dominant win in the Korean Grand Prix, the 25th of his career and third in a row, saw him take over at the head of the drivers' championship for the first time since May and he now leads Ferrari's Fernando Alonso by six points with four races to go.
The battle Vettel and Red Bull have faced this season has been in stark contract to 2011, when Vettel romped to the title, taking 11 wins as Red Bull simply crushed the opposition.
With some of the difficulties Vettel has faced in 2012 - at one point he was some 40 points adrift of Alonso - there have been those who questioned whether the 25-year-old has the ability to fight tooth and nail when under pressure from his rivals.
Team boss Horner believes the lessons Vettel learned during his turbulent run to his first world crown in 2010 have benefited his driver, with the evidence being seen in his commanding performances in Japan and Korea.
But he expects Ferrari and Alonso to take the title battle all the way to the final race in Brazil.
Horner said: "He has continued to mature and he has gained experience over the last couple of years.
"He is driving better than ever. He went through tough times in 2010 on the way to that title and I think all the experiences he has gone through stand him in good stead.
"But none of us are take anything for granted. We are only ahead of Fernando by six points, he was next to Sebastian on the podium in third position and I am sure this title will go all the way down to the wire.
"We are going to need to extract the most out of every weekend.
"It's important in these remaining four races we build on this momentum
"We have hit a purple patch of form at the right time but it is important we maintain that.
"There is still a long way to go, there are different types of venue coming up, but the satisfying thing is we have been quick in all conditions, be it over a single lap or in the race."
Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali acknowledged it will be tough to beat Red Bull on their current form, but has vowed the Prancing Horse will do everything in their power to help Alonso to a third title of his own.
"For us the objective is to deliver to Fernando the best car we have," he said.
"Firstly, in terms the reliability, secondly, in making sure that we have the right choice in terms of the package and, third, to make sure we bring developments to the next race that will take a step in the right direction as the Red Bull we have seen at the last two races has been very, very strong.
"But the championship is very long and it will be a tough sporting challenge and a fight up until the end, that is for sure."
Vettel's team-mate Mark Webber finished second in Korea to allow Red Bull to claim the first one-two finish of a year that started in such unpredictable fashion, yet appears to be heading for a familiar ending.
The Australian is 63 points adrift of his team-mate with a maximum of 100 left on offer, but Horner was adamant Webber will not be asked to play a subservient role as long as he has a chance of taking the title himself.
He said: "Sebastian has moved into the lead but Mark still has a chance of winning this championship and it would be wrong to impose team orders while Mark still mathematically has a chance of winning.
"They demonstrated they race each other fairly and that's all we ask at the moment."