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Formular One Red Bull issues will have improved Sebastian Vettel - Christian Horner

Sebastian Vettel's difficult final year with Red Bull will have improved the German as a driver, according to Christian Horner.

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The four-time Formula One world champion lost the title to Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton in 2014 and did not win a single race as Red Bull failed to reproduce their dominance of previous years.

Team-mate Daniel Ricciardo outperformed Vettel, winning three times in his first campaign with Red Bull.

The 27-year-old has since made the move to Ferrari to partner Kimi Raikkonen, with Daniil Kyvat coming from sister team Toro Rosso to take his place in the Red Bull garage.

And Red Bull team principal Horner feels the experiences of 2014 will stand Vettel in good stead going forward.

"I think it was a very difficult year for him - a character building year, in many respects," Horner told AUTOSPORT.

"He's had a lot of bad luck and things didn't go his way more often than not.

"On top of that, he was not happy in the car with the regulation changes from 2013 into 2014.

"He's a tremendously talented guy and I think it's the first time he's had a team-mate who has challenged him as well.

"Again, that is a different dynamic that he's had to deal with [because] he's always had team-mates covered in the past.

"It's been a difficult year, but not once has he let his chin drop or kicked the team.

"I think ultimately he'll take away a lot of valuable lessons from this year."

Despite the departure of Vettel, Horner is confident Red Bull can challenge for success with their new-look team in 2015.

"Obviously a driver of his calibre and the amount of success that we have enjoyed together; it will be a real shame to see Sebastian leave," Horner added.

"But we can be hopefully comfortable in the knowledge that Ricciardo - he is a fantastic talent and we've seen how he has performed head-to-head with Sebastian this year - with an exciting new talent in Kvyat means the future is very bright for us."

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