"We are working as hard as possible to get as much performance as possible, as quickly as we can; everyone at the factory has a spring in their step at the moment, even if the pace of development required to meet this year's major regulation change has been relentless. There are a lot of unsung heroes at the factory, putting in superhuman efforts and hours to get the components on the car."
The question of team orders has been brought up a number of times although Horner has stressed that, unless one driver clearly loses his chance to clinch the title, equal opportunities will remain. "Our drivers are both at the top of their game at different stages in their career and they are pushing one another very hard," Horner continued.
"I think we've got the best driver line-up in F1 at the moment – when I saw Mark in early January, he'd forgotten to mention he'd also broken his shoulder! He couldn't put any weight on his right leg and I remember thinking 'this is going to be interesting!' In typical Aussie fashion, he carried the injury without letting on about how much pain and discomfort he was feeling; he's had great support and his physios and trainers have done a great job.
"Sebastian is undoubtedly a star in the making; he shows remarkable maturity, given his lack of experience. He is a prodigious talent who will continue to get better, the best is yet to come from him. Both men are being treated with total fairness within the team and are supplied with identical equipment."