Red Bull Racing does not favour either of its drivers over the other, Dr. Helmut Marko has insisted – as the team's former driver and 13-time grand prix-winner David Coulthard claimed the contentious collision between Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber in the Turkish Grand Prix ironically resulted in 'excellent marketing'.
Marko came under fire in the wake of the infamous Istanbul incident – in which Vettel appeared to turn into the side of Webber's car as the RBR team-mates duelled over the lead midway into the race, thereby committing what is arguably the sport's greatest cardinal sin – by opining that the Australian should have let the German past [see separate story – click here
], at odds with the overwhelming paddock view that it was the Heppenheim native who had been at fault.
A week on, however, and following clear-the-air talks between the pair, the Austrian motorsport advisor has mellowed his stance somewhat, adamant that there will be no change in approach from the energy drinks-backed outfit in the light of what happened in Turkey.
“The accident is over,” the former grand prix racer told Italian website 422race.com
. “We had the meeting on Thursday and everything is over and solved, also for the drivers. It will change nothing in our policy for the next few races. The two drivers can still battle freely, but they always have to let each other through – that was the conclusion. We don't favour anyone. Clearly, we have two drivers who have the same rights.”
Marko was rather pessimistic, by contrast, when asked about Red Bull's likely prospects for the forthcoming Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal, a race at which he confirmed that the eagerly-awaited F-Duct will not
make its appearance on the Adrian Newey-designed RB6 – and around a circuit where it is anticipated the Renault-powered challenger might find itself a touch breathless.
“It will be difficult, as well as Valencia, because the straights are pretty long, so we have to see,” the 67-year-old mused. “The most important thing is finishing and scoring as many points as possible.”
Coulthard, meanwhile, took a different view on the contretemps
, contending that despite the loss of points towards its world championship challenge and the wave of public criticism of the team's management that characterised the Istanbul fall-out, there was at least one positive to emerge from the situation – though the Scot perhaps unsurprisingly refused to apportion any blame.
“From the marketing side, it was excellent,” the BBC F1
commentator reflected of the headline-grabbing clash, speaking to Kleine Zeitung
. “The whole world is now writing about Red Bull. Telling a driver that he should slow down is like giving a child an ice-cream and forbidding him to lick it. Everyone wants to assert their interests – and this is rarely good.”