Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner has reiterated that the policy of not favouring one or other of his drivers will continue for the time being, following Mark Webber's maiden F1 success in Germany on Sunday.

Hailing the Australian's Nurburgring victory as an important step forward for his confidence and belief, Horner insisted that he would maintain the policy of treating Webber and team-mate Sebastian Vettel equally until one or other puts 'significant difference' between their points totals. At present, the pair are separated by just one-and-a-half points, with Vettel only preventing Webber from leap-frogging him in the standings by coming through to second place in Germany, but continue to trail early-season pacesetter Jenson Button by more than 20 points apiece.

"At the moment, we treat the drivers equally, [and] they [will] get the same support until it becomes obvious that one is in contention [for the title] or there is a significant difference between them," Horner told reporters after his team's third 1-2 finish of the season, "For the foreseeable future, they will be treated equally."

The main concern for outsiders is that, by treating the pair equally, Horner faces the possibility of them taking vital points from each other but, despite admitting that the gap to Button - and his Brawn GP team - remains wide, RBR's current form suggests that it is not unbridgeable.

"We'll just take each race as it comes, and a few more weekends like this one and Silverstone and we will catch them," he said of the 19.5-point gap between F1's two leading teams, "We have some more updates coming for Hungary and the whole team is extremely motivated."

Webber's win in Germany, meanwhile, came at a vital time for the New South Wales native, who had finished second on three occasions already this season - twice behind his young, highly-rated team-mate. Had Vettel won on home soil at the weekend, there may have been more weight behind giving him the team's full support for the second half of the season but, especially with Brawn going through a mini-slump courtesy of cool temperatures at Silverstone and the Nurburgring, Horner believes that Webber may have done himself a huge favour by being so dominant in Germany.

"There is a big difference between thinking you can win and knowing you can win," he admitted, "Mark has now crossed that hurdle. He could be the next Nigel Mansell. I remember when he (Mansell) got his first win - it had taken him a while to get going but, once he got going, he was pretty phenomenal."

Drawing further parallels with the 1992 world champion, Horner pointed to Webber's fightback from off-season adversity as an indicator of his mindset.

"I think that Mark is a great competitor," he said of the 32-year old, "His recovery [from a leg-breaking cycling accident in December] has been fantastic and he's been totally dedicated, totally committed. I think he's at the top of his game at the moment."

Be that as it may, Horner - a former racer himself - has insisted that at this early stage no contract negotiations for 2010 have yet taken place, and in an interview with German newspaper Abendzeitung, dropped hints that the man from Queanbeyan may need to make hay whilst the sun is shining.

"With the way Sebastian drives, it is logical for a team to develop its car according to his style," contended the Englishman, "and that will inevitably happen in the [2010] RB6. Fortunately, Mark has a similar style, which makes the development task substantially easier for the team."


Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register to add your comment