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Horner maintains: There will be no favouritism at Red Bull

As the tension mounts and the stakes reach their highest, Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner insists Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel will continue to receive absolutely equal support in their quest to clinch the F1 2010 crown
Despite increasing fears that Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel's fierce internecine scrap could end up costing Red Bull Racing the F1 2010 World Championship crown, Christian Horner has re-asserted that there is no question of one of the pair being asked to support the other over the remaining three races of the campaign.

Whilst Webber extended his overall advantage in the title standings courtesy of the runner-up laurels in the Japanese Grand Prix, it is Vettel who is inarguably the man in-form out of the two of them, having outpaced the Australian in each of the last two races, and the young German's sublime Suzuka success – leading home a dominant RBR one-two – enabled him to close to within just 14 points of his team-mate in the chase for glory. Should the results in Korea and Brazil next up on the calendar mirror that of last weekend, then the duo would enter the Abu Dhabi season finale absolutely level on points.

Red Bull has been rocked on several occasions this year already by the prickly issue of driver favouritism, with many believing that although the energy drinks-backed outfit would be happy if either of their two drivers lift the ultimate laurels, on the basis of what was witnessed in Istanbul and at Silverstone, they would be rather happier if that driver is Vettel.

After the Heppenheim native crashed out of the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps on the resumption from the summer break – whilst his New South Wales colleague conversely kept his head to snatch second place – it was hinted by Webber that with a 28-point margin over Vettel at that stage, the Milton Keynes-based squad might henceforth be best-served by looking to throw its weight behind one driver in an effort to stave off arch-rivals McLaren-Mercedes and Ferrari.

Team principal Horner, however, has revealed that notwithstanding the evident potential for it to all end in tears – just ask either Lewis Hamilton or Fernando Alonso to cast their minds back to 2007 – no such method will be adopted.

“It's not correct, as we've always said, for us to favour one driver over the other,” the Englishman told the BBC>. “The team will support both drivers as equally as we can.”

“It will be very, very tough, but there is a good chance for both of our drivers,” he added, speaking to redbullcontentpool.com. “It's fantastic that we have two drivers still competing in the drivers' championship, and we will give both drivers as good a chance as we can to win it.”

The first acid test as to just how strong that chance is will come in the inaugural Korean Grand Prix next weekend, with the Korea International Circuit in Yeongam County an unknown quantity for every team and driver – and one that Red Bull motorsport advisor Dr. Helmut Marko worries could expose the comparative breathlessness of the Renault V8 in the back of the Adrian Newey-designed RB6 [see separate story – click here]. Horner, however, begs to differ.

“Looking at the track layout you would have to say, with the longest straight on the calendar, that section [one] is going to be tough for us with the package that we have,” the 36-year-old conceded, “but then sectors two and three have quite a lot of corners and fast-flowing corners, so hopefully they should suit our chassis strengths more.

“With the strengths and weaknesses that we have, we should be competitive but again, you take nothing for granted. We have to do our homework and we have to keep working hard. Obviously we are very focussed on that race.”

What do you make of the Red Bull 'no favouritism' stance – should they back either Webber or Vettel at this stage of proceedings and with everything to lose, or is Horner right to keep all of his options open? Have your say in our poll right here

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB6 race winner
Sunday, Qualifying, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB6
Friday Practice 1, Mark Webber (AUS), Red Bull Racing, RB6
Sunday, Qualifying, Mark Webber (AUS), Red Bull Racing, RB6
Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB6 race winner and Mark Webber (AUS), Red Bull Racing, RB6 2nd position
Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB6 race winner and Mark Webber (AUS), Red Bull Racing, RB6 2nd position
Race, Mark Webber (AUS), Red Bull Racing, RB6 leads Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB6
Saturday, Christian Horner (GBR), Red Bull Racing, Sporting Director
Friday Practice 1, Christian Horner (GBR), Red Bull Racing, Sporting Director
Nobuharu Matsushita, ART Grand Prix, Sauber, F1 [Credit: Honda Racing]
Sebastien Ogier, Red Bull, RB7, F1 test [Credit: Red Bull Content Pool]
Singapore Grand Prix
Sebastian Vettel (GER) Ferrari SF70H
Sebastian Vettel (GER) Ferrari SF70H
Sebastian Vettel (GER) Ferrari SF70H
Sebastian Vettel (GER) Ferrari SF70H
Sebastian Vettel (GER) Ferrari SF70H
Sebastian Vettel (GER) Ferrari SF70H

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FreeJack - Unregistered

October 15, 2010 12:02 AM

If they didn't love Vettel so much at Red Bull, this would be a very different headline. Reading between the lines, you can see that they aren't putting their support entirely behind Webber because they would actually prefer to see Vettel win the championship. Chances are pretty good that Webber won't want to drive for RBR next year and Vettel will, so...makes sense to say "let them fight it out." Webber isn't Red Bull's golden child, he's had to fight every step of the way, even in his own team. That's part of why I want to see him win it all this year, other than the fact that he's just a class guy and a good ambassador for the sport.

Jeff - Unregistered

October 15, 2010 12:37 AM

So when Vettel was ahead by one point they said they had to give him the teams support because he was ahead (by just one point), but now Webber is ahead they are saying thee drivers will be treated equals.... how can it be so obvious what their choice is why they say they are evenly treated while Webber is ahead, until Vettel is ahead, then he will be the favourite because he

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