Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has dismissed claims the Milton Keynes-based team is running any sort of illegal traction control.
After Sebastian Vettel dominated in Singapore two weeks ago, it raised a number of eye-brows, with F1 veteran Giancarlo Minardi
voicing concern in a column published on the official Minardi website. In it he wrote how he was puzzled by Vettel's utter supremacy at the Marina Bay Street circuit, adding that sound of Vettel's engine 'was similar to the sound made by the engine when the traction control system got into action in the past seasons'.
Horner, however, told the media on Thursday, ahead of this weekend's Korean Grand Prix, the latest round in the F1 2013 World Championship, that any team evening considering running traction control would be 'pretty stupid'.
“It's complete rubbish. We're running traction control through the ECUs which are supplied by McLaren and approved by the FIA? They fully comply with the rules, it's a standard unit which all the teams use, and any suggestion of traction control is either mischievous on behalf of the others or wishful thinking,” he said according to Sky Sports F1
“These things are so tightly controlled that it is impossible. You'd be pretty stupid to run traction control.
“I can't imagine any team in the pitlane would even entertain it.”
“The problem is that Sebastian's performance was so dominant that it has inevitably prompted the question of 'how was this possible?'. Other teams will be looking inwardly and the easiest conclusion to come to is 'they must be cheating'. But in Singapore, Sebastian drove an incredible race, got the maximum out of the car and was, as a driver, at his peak form,” Horner added, by way of an explanation for the German's speed.
“What you witnessed was a driver totally at the top of his game and completely in harmony with his car - nothing more, nothing less.”
Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso meanwhile has said he doesn't think there is anything illegal about the Red Bull RB9.
“They are using something different compared to other teams but something that is completely OK because it's passed all the tests on Saturdays and Sundays,” explained the Spaniard. “It's up to us to do a better job.”
Lewis Hamilton, however, took a different tact in the pre-event press conference and stoked the debate: “They have a lot more in the bag than we get to see [most of the time], so it's just cruising, generally. I think in the race on the restart everyone's pushing flat out so there should be no reason why they should be able to pull away that much quicker. If you look at their on-boards, he's on the power, full throttle at least twenty metres before everyone else which is a huge advantage,” stated the Mercedes pilot.
“There's nothing we can really do [about that], we're always asking for rear downforce, always want to be able to get on the power sooner.
"But the last time I was able to put the pedal down that quick was 2007 when we had traction control, so it's a lot different,” he concluded mischievously.