x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 January 2018

Red Bull drivers will toe the line

Christian Horner, the Red Bull-Racing team principal, insists both of his drivers will continue to receive equal treatment in the wake of their Turkish Grand Prix shunt.

Bernie Ecclestone, the Formula One chief, left, speaks to Christian Horner following the conclusion of the Turkey GP last week.
Bernie Ecclestone, the Formula One chief, left, speaks to Christian Horner following the conclusion of the Turkey GP last week.

Christian Horner, the Red Bull-Racing team principal, insists both of his drivers will continue to receive equal treatment in the wake of their Turkish Grand Prix shunt. Horner is adamant No 1 status will not be given to either Sebastian Vettel or Mark Webber, allowing them to continue to race one another and battle for the Formula One title.

The Red Bull chief has spoken with both drivers following the lap-40 accident between them which resulted in Vettel retiring and Webber requiring a new front wing, costing the team a one-two finish. Horner will sit down with both drivers again to clear the air ahead of the next race in Canada on June 13. "Both drivers, as has always been the case, will continue to be given equal treatment," confirmed Horner.

"The Turkish Grand Prix has been a costly lesson for both of them and we are confident this situation won't happen again. "I have spoken with both drivers, who are both disappointed with what happened. "They recognise that they represent the team and so are not only disappointed for their own loss, but the loss of points for the team who put in so much hard work before the race. "But we're a very strong team and we will sit down and discuss this openly with the drivers in order to learn from what has happened and avoid a situation like this arising again.

"One of the strengths of Red Bull-Racing is the team spirit here, which has contributed to the performance that we have achieved so far this season. The drivers are both intelligent individuals and this issue will be resolved prior to the Canadian Grand Prix." Horner is to also have a private word with Vettel regarding his "crazy" gesture towards Webber after he stepped out of his wrecked car, twirling his right index finger around his head.

"The adrenalin was flowing and obviously there's a great deal of frustration when you've just crashed out of a race," added Horner. "It will be discussed and I am certain that the air will be cleared before Canada." Although the majority of the blame appeared to be laid at Webber's door after the race, even though it was Vettel who turned into the Australian, Horner admits certain opinions have been revised.

Dr Helmut Marko, Red Bull's motor sport adviser and right-hand man to Dietrich Mateschitz, the team owner, was particularly vocal against Webber after the race. "Ultimately we win as a team and we lose as a team and on Sunday we lost as a team as a result of our two drivers having an incident," said Horner. "Having looked at all the information it's clear it was a racing accident that shouldn't have happened between two teammates. "After looking at all the facts that weren't available immediately after the race, Dr Marko also fully shares this view." * PA