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Horner: Webber, Vettel facing biggest challenge.

Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner has said that he does not expect either Mark Webber's injury or Sebastian Vettel's switch to a new team to hold them back in 2009.

Indeed, Horner admits that he is secretly hoping that the new RBR pairing will push each to new heights - and the new RB5 to the top of the podium - after unveiling the team's 2009 contender at Jerez on Monday.

Speaking to the assembled media as part of the low-key launch, Horner revealed that he expects his two drivers to provide each other with a challenge that will see both raise their game, and insisted that there would be no favouring one or other as Red Bull Racing attempted to close the gap between its current midfield place and the established frontrunners such as McLaren and Ferrari.

"I think they will push each other very hard and, ultimately, bring the best out of each other," Horner commented, "It's going to be fascinating to see how that unfolds.

"Mark has always managed to get on top of his team-mate throughout his career, but Sebastian is going to have a bigger challenge than he has had to date too. Hopefully they will bring the best out of each other."

Despite Webber still not appearing either steady or comfortable on his feet as he attempted to unveil the RB5 without the aid of crutches as he continues his rehabilitation from a broken leg, Horner expects the Aussie to remain a force, even if he is ranged against possibly the strongest team-mate he has faced in his eight-year F1 career.

"I don't think there are many drivers to rival Mark over a single lap," he said, "Obviously, he's got a bit of a challenge on at the moment, but I think it is going to be swings and roundabouts [between the two drivers] during the course of the year.

Webber confirmed that he was still on course to make his return to the cockpit this weekend, after enduring cryogenic treatment in his bid to be fit for his home race, in Melbourne, next month.

"It's still a bit tender," he said of the injury, which he sustained after being knocked from his road bike in the closing stages of the Pure Tasmania Challenge adventure race in November, "We're focusing on Melbourne and we'll see how we go here, how it feels to drive. I've raced with fractures before, and we've still got another four tests after this."


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel with the Red Bull Racing RB5-Renault at its launch in the Jerez pit-lane   [pic credit: Red Bull Racing]
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H and Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12 leads Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
27.11.2016 - Race,Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H  leads Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34 and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12 leads Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H

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