Christian Horner and Adrian Newey have been praised as 'exemplary professionals' who 'did a fine job' in delicate circumstances to handle the frequently prickly relationship between Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber in F1 2010, argues former world champion Nigel Mansell.
With unquestionably the fastest car in the field at its disposal, Red Bull Racing was one of only two teams to have both of its drivers involved in the title fight – and the only one to have both still in contention in the Abu Dhabi finale last month.
Accusations of favouritism towards Vettel led to a number of instances during the campaign when the atmosphere was somewhat strained to say the least – but despite finding themselves on the receiving end of public censure for the events of Istanbul, Silverstone and even Interlagos, Mansell reckons the energy drinks-backed outfit's team principal Horner and chief technical officer Newey deserve the utmost praise for their management this year.
“Rivalry can get difficult and intriguing at times, but what I must say is that Adrian Newey and Christian Horner did a fine job,” the 1992 title-winner is quoted as having said by the Press Association
, with experience of his own of turbulent intra-team relations from his time spent alongside Nelson Piquet at Williams in the mid-1980s.
“They showed that they are exemplary professionals by dealing with the difficult issues that came up during the season. Some people are ill-advised in their careers, but on the whole Red Bull did the most amazing job.”
Meanwhile, the Englishman has predicted 'another titanic battle' for glory and 'fewer mistakes' from the sport's front-runners next year – as well as an earnest fightback from McLaren-Mercedes' two world champions and countrymen Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button, after the British pair wound up respectively third and fifth in the 2010 drivers' standings.
“McLaren will come back stronger,” the 31-time grand prix-winner opined. “Both Jenson and Lewis are already world champions, and they are both hungry and young. They are with one of the best teams in the business and they have an incredible powerplant behind them with Mercedes.
“There wasn't a team that didn't make mistakes this year, [but] teams and drivers will have learned the lessons from 2010 when they start next year. There will be fewer mistakes, and hopefully there will be another titanic battle for the championship.”