Red Bull has reacted to some of the reports that have emerged following the Malaysian Grand Prix by highlighting the successful record of Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel – despite the sometime fractious relationship between the pair.
The duo were involved in controversy in Malaysia after Vettel ignored team order and overtook Webber for the lead of the race, with the Australian left furious at the defending champion afterwards.
Former Renault boss Flavio Briatore went as far as to say that he didn't expect the pair to remain team-mates for 2014
as a result of the incident, but Red Bull insists that such talk is nothing more than speculation and that it wasn't the time to be discussing next year.
"We are two races into the current season and it's far too early to be talking about 2014," the team said in a statement to the BBC
. "Mark and Seb have driven together since 2009 and the pairing has achieved 35 wins, 80 podiums, 13 one-two finishes and six Formula 1 world championships.
"This successful period includes some spells of intense on-track rivalry between the two drivers, which began in Turkey 2010 and has seen both drivers ignoring team orders at different times. The team has managed the situation each time in its own way behind closed doors.
"It's pure speculation that Mark will not drive with the team in 2014. Mark's contract has been renewed for the last few years on an annual basis - he has continually chosen to drive for the team each year and the team has similarly wanted to continue working with him, as he is an excellent driver and a competitive racer."
The defending champions also made light of Briatore's comments that the issue that developed in Malaysia was partly down to weak leadership within the team, with the Italian having also criticised the fact that Christian Horner didn't appear on the podium afterwards.
“It is one person's opinion that the team principal must go to the podium for the team's first win of the year,” the team continued. "Christian has not previously always attended the first win podium and Lotus also did not send their team principal to the podium in Australia - so this is irrelevant.
"A 'weak' team principal would be unable to steer a team to three consecutive world championships and oversee and manage the extensive teamwork that goes into this achievement - while managing two talented racers.
"This feat has only ever been achieved by four teams in the entire history of the sport."