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Briatore: Red Bull pair have to split
26 March 2013
Flavio Briatore has said he feels Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel won't be able to remain alongside each other in the Red Bull line-up for the 2014 F1 season.
The Italian, who has long been involved in the management of Webber's career, was speaking following the controversy that emerged at Sepang, where Webber was overtaken by team-mate Vettel despite a call from the team for the pair to hold position.
The move angered Webber who was clearly unhappy at the finish and has led to speculation about his future within the team.
The Australian is out of contract at the end of the season, when his current rolling one-year agreement comes to a conclusion, and Briatore said he didn't expect both drivers to be there next year as any trust between them had now gone.
"That's for sure,” he was quoted as telling RAI Radio
when asked if he expected Webber or Vettel to move on. “Last year, already, there were problems. Their car is very competitive so drivers want to stay there, but [Sepang] was proof that no one is in charge at Red Bull. Vettel is the boss there. You can't have a team manager also doing the driving.
“I think there's no relationship anymore. Vettel says he will help Mark, but Mark doesn't need any help. He should have won the race, and it's possible that Vettel will win every other race.
"I don't think this relationship can be fixed. They are two professionals, they will win races and so on, but it's unthinkable that Mark may help Vettel in the future and I don't think Vettel will help Mark. We'll have two enemies inside a single team.”
Briatore also pulled no punches with his views on how the situation had been handled by Red Bull.
"If there was a manager with balls, he would have had them switch positions again," the former Renault boss said. "The problem is that there are two people [Christian Horner and Adrian Newey] with different ideas on the pit wall, with Helmut behind them doing the talking with Mateschitz, so you understand they are all scared."