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Horner: “I promise the team will not interfere” in driver title race
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Horner: “I promise the team will not interfere” in driver title race
Posted By: James Allen  |  15 Oct 2010   |  10:37 am GMT  |  173 comments

Red Bull Racing boss Christian Horner has come out in the clearest possible terms about the team’s attitude to their drivers fighting for the title, saying bluntly, “I promise that the team will not interfere in the race for the title.”

Horner: Now for the big one (Darren Heath)

The tone and message are quite different from the Horner of Silverstone time, who said “Sometimes I have to take difficult decisions,” after the infamous front wing switch.

In a punchy interview on F1.com, the official F1 site, he says that the team will give both drivers an equal chance to the end. Responding to calls from Flavio Briatore, Mark Webber’s manager for the team to back him, Horner says, “My answer is a clear ‘no’. Of course, I can imagine that Flavio would prefer it if we go the Ferrari way and put our efforts behind only one driver, but that would be wrong, as both are right in the middle of the fight for the title. The only thing we expect from them is that they don’t hamper each other.”

Horner can’t resist a dig at Ferrari here, with Alonso the most likely driver to deprive Red Bull of the title. Alonso and Vettel are tied in points, 14 behind Webber with a maximum of 75 available. Lewis Hamilton is a further 14 points behind and Jenson Button 17 behind Vettel and Alonso.

Horner admits that as the pair are chasing the biggest prize in motorsport there is “tension” between them, but says that it is up to the team to make them believe they are being treated fairly. He gives a window in on the psychology of his two drivers, “Sebastian has to fight for every single point, ” he said. “But after his Japan win the pressure has eased a bit because in the end he has nothing to lose. Mark has to do a balancing act. He must not drive too defensively but on the other hand must keep his margin over his competitors.”

He also adds that he is concerned about the horsepower disadvantage the team will have against Ferrari and McLaren in Korea and Abu Dhabi. Red Bull were relatively less competitive in Spa and Monza compared to their rivals than in Suzuka, for example, but they performed well in Abu Dhabi last year, winning the race after Hamilton dropped out. But it’s worth remembering that Hamilton’s pace there owed a lot to the KERS system on the McLaren.

Red Bull has had the fastest car this season and as a team they have thrown the kitchen sink at development, working flat out day and night to make and fit new parts to the car to keep it ahead. They are in the driving seat, it’s their championship to lose. Horner is determined to ensure that they don’t.

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1

James, after reading the interview on the website, it seemed they were focussing on Sebastian alot more then Mark, could this be a way of showing where the team are actually hedging their bets?

2

He does, but I think there is so much scrutiny of them on this they have to play it straight. The most important thing is to win it.

3

It’s so annoying when people say this might be Webber’s only chance at a WDC!!! Despite the obvious fact that he will be with Red Bull next year or picked up by a front running team like Renault, Ferrari or Mercedes (minus Schumacher)

He might be 34 but are we forgetting Schumacher and Barrichello are still on the grid?

No one expected him to be where he is now. (Leading Vettel in the run home to the WDC)and now that he’s there, your all saying it won’t last.

Gotta love an underdog!!!

WEBBER 2010 WORLD CHAMPION – 26 days and counting.

4

Personally I hope Weber takes it and shuts everyone up. It is clear Vettel is RB boy of the future so I hope Weber gets it done….my guess is this is as close as he will ever get. That would make my winter off season glow with a sense of warm satisfaction… Marks too no doubt! 🙂

5

what’s all this complaining about christian horner ?

he is an employee , he will do and say what he is told if he wqants to keep his job

6

Vettel is faster then Webber, but cant over take for $hit. Webber has much better race craft, almost as good as Hamilton. Conclusion…. Vettel will win the championship if he qualifys 1st and has no issues in the race. Don’t expect him to overtake anyone without crashing. I would prefer Webber to win because hes had a lot bad luck in his career, and this season it has come together for him. Hes a quality driver whos a all rounder like Hamilton and Alonso. Vettle is not there yet but has time to improve.

7

Champion drivers being selfish and self-centered? Those are generally taken as derogatory terms.

Why has Webber been less “good timne Harry” and been described as above?

Because he as all drivers really in line for winning grands prix consistently and even the title find that it is an extremely tough job not only physically but exceptionally so mentally and emotionally.

They have to try and maintain an attitude that cannot deviate from their goal. Mark Webber realizes very well that for the first time and probably the only time in his career, this is his chance.

It is far better to honorably describe top drivers as doing what is in their own rational self-interest and to win requires extreme effort.

Would you call a swimmer during the Olympics seeking to claim as many gold medals in the same way as “selfish and self-centered”? No. They are viewed as determined and focused.

Well, the WDC for the top drivers like Webber is a NINE month Olympic journey.

8

Well done, could not agree more.

9

Thank you!

10

Based on Mark’s comments earlier in the season of; “I just want to be treated equally”, then Horner’s comments should be seen as resonable.

Webber is flint hard. He gives no quarter and expects no quarter to be given. If he wins the Championship, then he will have won it against all odds, without any favoritism being given to him, and the victory will be all the more sweeter to savor. Go Webber!!

11
Thomas in Australia

For some reason I think Mark is going to DNF in Korea and we will see Vettel leading the WDC heading to Brazil.

Just a hunch.

12

That’s not a hunch it’s a wild guess. The narrative for the season can only be gleaned AFTER it unfolds

13

..Let me get this straight. Most of you here want Webber to be taken by the hand by RBR and force Vettel to help him win the title, while Vettel can easily win it too and in fact is driving much better than Webber the last 4 races?

Just wow…

Imagine Vettel being 14 points ahead and if people started saying Webber should help him…you all would go against your own argument you now use for Webber.

Obviously most of you don’t give a damn about the ‘sport’ aspect of this…sport. And yes, it seems it is mainly the native English speaking ones. I don’t see this kind of stuff on a German site for instance.

Webber wants the title? He should start driving like a champion and claim it, earn it.

Crazy suggestion, I know.

I personally think none of the 3 (Webber, Vettel, Alonso) deserve the title this year. And Hamilton and Button don’t either.

Yes it was a fairly exciting season, but they all drove so inconsitent. There hasn’t been any exceptional drive that deserves any of them to be crowned champion. Hamilton came close deserving it, then threw it all away the last few races like only an amateur would.

I do not care anymore which wins, it will be laughable to me personally.

Roll on 2011.

14

I think your looking at it from the wrong angle mate. This season has been good not because all the drivers have been so inconsistent, but because so many drivers are at the top of their game, it’s been difficult for one driver to dominate. We all remember how boring it was under Schumacher domination. This season is a breath of fresh air as a result of that.

15

Wow. I’m amazed you’re still watching.

16

Let alone posting lengthy comments about the decline of F1. Oh the apathy of it all!!!

17

James,

Could you please run a poll to see who most people want to win the title? Would be very interesting – being an Aussie it would be a dream come true for me to see Mark take it out – top bloke too!

18

On El Shish comment. We have seen it before from hot-blooded Alonso but I really do not think it will be the same case with Webber. Tho the situation quite smells like it:)

But time will tell best!

19

As the season wore on, I’ve found it more and more difficult to trust Christian Horner and Red Bull (Helmut Marko, specifically). CH loves to speak of equality and condemn team orders, but clearly his and the team’s actions speaks otherwise (shifting the blame to Mark and cuddling Seb after Turkey, or putting the blame on both to spare the German. And continually trying to justify the wing swap in Silverstone for days and days after).

Although I’ve lost some faith in him, I think Webber is still the favorite. But I get this feeling he will be screwed in little ways that will have big consequences.

20

I’d like to think Lewis Hamilton still has a chance at F1 drivers title but given recent spate of bad finishes / crashes – is left with near impossible task to make up 28 points.

21

James,

What do you read in Webber’s absence from the team celebrations after Japan?

As the season has progressed (from Silverstone onwards really), it almost appears that Webber has taken on a very single-minded, me-against-the-world approach whereas Vettel has seemed to garner the support of the whole team.

I have a strange feeling that Webber is just waiting until season’s end before letting rip with his thoughts. He certainly seems to be a bit changed from the fun lover we saw earlier in the season.

Horner’s comments can interpreted in a variety of ways but nobody can escape the fact that Vettel is Red Bull’s future and it’s not in their interests to compromise their relationship with him in order to support Webber, regardless of his success. Even if Webber were to win the championship this year, that situation won’t change next year.

Do you think it’s possible he might walk away?

22

Mark in a Mercedes for 2011. When Schumacher wakes up one morning and decides his sick of being beaten and having his legacy tainted.

23

I think that’s unlikely. Why walk away from a winning car? How many of those do you get in a career?

24

I am convinced mark will be driving a red car next season James! 🙂

Have lotus now confirmed both drivers by the way? I still think heikki might end up at Renault.

25

I agree. The only situation that seems remotely possible is if MW moves to Ferrari to finish his career. Massa will probably be moved out if he has bad results over the next three races, and Briatiore seems to be making all the right noises re Ferrari.

I think driving for Ferrari is something all drivers consider the pinnacle of motor sport – example Fisi last year giving up a drive with a seriously competitive Force India with a dog of a Ferrari. And the general mood and attitude at RBR seems to suggest that he will get as much of a chance at the WDC at Ferrari as in RBR. If he does win the WDC this year, the likelihood of a move for MW increases in my opinion. Nothing to prove and an opportunity to drive for Ferrari – may be too much to resist.

26

“I think driving for Ferrari is something all drivers consider the pinnacle of motor sport.”

Drivers are not so infatuated with Ferrari as you may think. Sure, Ferrari can afford to waste huge amounts more money to outbid other teams for the better drivers considering they receive more money per WCC point than other teams which some might call that an F1 subsidy to Ferrari!

27

webber needs to start attacking now

as vettel looks like putting a run together now

alonso is very prost like just sneaking around in the background waiting for any problems and then he will pounce

adelaide 86 and interlagos 07 are in my mind when thinking how this yrs title could turn out

28

I really think that it has come to this that the race is determined in the qualy. Specialy on a track were RBR cars are superior.

Also I agree what said before about Alonso and how Massa was order to step back. But guys lets face it Alonso has it what it takes to win this and Massa does not. Plain and simple. You can not determine the championship by one Race result but you can be predictable and see who needs the points more. At this point the so called teamorders were correct.

But in RBR there is not a situation similar to Ferrari. In RBR the driver are tied. One thing is for sertain that Mark must step up his game or he will not winn this. 1st he must take the qualys and then he must dodge the childish impulsivness of Vettel.

29

I would love to hear Christian Horner’s explanations if Webber ends up losing the championship to Alonso by less than 7 points.

They could have allowed Mark to win the race in Japan and build a cushion, but they decided against it. Quite a gamble.

BTW I have been watching F1 for 20+ years and I still fail to see anything wrong with Ferrari’s strategy in Hockenheim.

30

I think it is amazing that none of the other engine manufacturers are whining about parity with the low weight, low centre of gravity, more fuel efficient and easier to package Renault engine. If the Renault unit really is that bad why did Adrian Newey shift the Ferrari engine contract over to Torro Rosso?

If I was Renault, I wouldn’t be that impressed with all the complaining. Horner is making out that RB are leading the championships despite Renault rather than in partnership with them!

31

Not to be skeptical of the team’s motivations or anything (Lol! yeah right) but I’ll be taking bets on what type of “mechanical issue” Webber will suffer from in the last 3 races.

My top 4 contenders:

1. Gearbox change resulting in a grid penalty.

2. Pit stop blunder, or odd strategy call that results in Webber finishing behind Vettel

3. Strange engine Gremlin that will affect his car for only a short period at a crucial moment

4. Engine failure/Terminal car failure at the final round, but only in the event that there is no mathematical chance of Alonso taking the title even if Vettel then crashed out or blew up or something.

I’m watching you carefully Red Bull!!!!!

32

Don’t think for a minute that looney one-eyed lawyer isn’t thinking this stuff up right now!

33

Those words from Horner just about sums it up,

” As long as they don,t hamper each other”,does this mean if one driver is quicker and behind “team orders” or Team Spirit” come to play?

34
Prasanna Madhavan

Dear James

Off topic. I have been playing the F12010 game by codemaster. The game has really blown me away. Every detail of track and car has been taken into account . The game is still very difficult to play . I would like a review from you .

35

I have been playing the game for a little while. The in thing I really dislike is the ai on the other drivers.

I worked my way up to 10th place then my teammate jarno smashed into me, spun me round and I got penalised for causing a crash 🙂

Other than that it’s graphics are great.

36

The AI has never been perfect in any of the F1 games.

Did you have to take a grid penalty for the next race?

37

Nope. When I get cleared out I tend to lose my temper smash into someone at high speed then restart from the grid 🙂

There are a couple of occasions where I have absolutely nailed pole position then the other drivers seem able to drive round the outside at about 100 mph round a hairpin lol 🙂

38

Button’s car runs out of fuel quite often…

39

If you’re playing as Massa, do the team come on the radio and ask you to let Alonso through?

40

Do you have to take your hand off the controller to operate the F-Duct? 😛

41

I’m sure Webber can do this on his merits as a driver, but I can see grid placings having a big effect. Imagine something like Webber and Alonso in the front row, Vettel and Hamilton on the second – especially if it’s down to the last race – what a run into the Senna S!

42

Whatever CH says.

MARK FOR WDC!!!

43

He should have added, “….again.”

44

I am interested to see if RBR apply different strategy between both drivers in the next three races. Whatever the outcome, it will stir up some controversy for sure.

45

Also to add.

When Alonso was favoured by the team, all hell broke loose, fronted by English speaking fans.

‘Massa can technically still win! Oh this is cheating! Ferrari holding the hand of Alonso!”

Now the same English speaking fans want Webber to be favoured while Vettel can win the title still, easily looking at his performance and momentum.

Nay, Webber should start driving like a champion, instead of a scared mouse like the last 4 races. And you guys should just support, letting the best man win. Bu there is the problem…you Webber fans know who the better man is and do not like the answer 😉

46

Kal, any fool can drive a car FAST. People do it on my local highway. Just don’t put your foot on the brake and you are FAST. Button knows all too well how Vettel doesn’t put his foot on the brake in time to stop a collision with him. Driving is not all about being FAST. In my view it is about having a holistic approach. That is why Webber, Button and Kubica are better drivers than Hamilton or Vettel. H and V are all or nothing drivers, which is fine until they take other drivers out. Jean Alessi was the same, brilliantly fast, but not a great driver. One could disparagingly say they are not intelligent drivers. I hope this doesn’t diminish you obvious love affair with Vettel.

47

Would a “scared mouse” risk a collision (which occured) to try to defend against being overtaken (in Singapore)? Are you saying finishing in “formation” at a track where evenly matched cars couldn’t overtake is a “scared mouse” (where he finished 0.05 of a second behind in quali?). Realistic Webber fans know that in raw pace, they are pretty evenly matched, with Vettel possible just slightly ahead. But in racecraft, that Webber, probably due to his extra experience, more than evens that up. But biased Vettel fans can’t acknowledge that; rather they’d like to use terms like “scared mouse” which don’t come close to explaining the reality.

48

Who are these “English speaking fans”?

49

Thank you for a reasoned and clear contribution. I have to agree that the vehemently pro-British, or anti-foreigner, tone of some of the posts is very tiresome and, in my view, has no place in this forum. It is sometimes difficult to be objective when the British media reflect and fuel these sentiments. For what it’s worth I believe that Vettel is an astonishing talent & remember remarking after his maiden Torro Rosso win to mark this well, it is the first win of many for a future multiple World Champion. Like all great Champions he is selfish and self-centered but I fear his all-round ability does not yet justify centering a team’s efforts on him – it’s only a matter of time. I have always looked on F1 as a team sport and have no problems with a No.1 & No.2 driver. The nuances, team dynamics, technical expertise, strategy, politics, marketing and sheer will to win is what makes this sport such a joy. There will always be differences of opinion among fans and participants and long may it continue without descending to name calling and false nationalism.

50

There is no doubt seb has the pace. He actually comes across well in my opinion and he’s still young.

The whole helmut marko debate and silverstone probably frustrated a lot of f1 fans.

Best of luck to redbull, as what they have achieved in the last three years is excellent for f1.

Adding another top line team the fray has just added to the brilliance in this sport. That man newey is pretty decent as well isn’t he.

Having about 6-8 drivers in and around wins is excellent.

51

We’re at a much later stage of the season now so team orders are more expected. I don’t think anyone is surprised that Ferrari are favouring Alonso it was more the timing and manner of the team orders that irritated people.

As far as Red Bull are concerned, I believe they made noises about favouring the driver who was ahead on points earlier in the season when Vettel was in front of Webber (with regards to new parts) and in my opinion they would be making those same sort of noises now regarding team orders if Vettel was leading the championship.

I hardly think Webber has been driving like a mouse; he set the fastest lap at Suzuka, finishing second and made the overtakes required for his strategy to work in Singapore, defending robustly from Hamilton in the process.

And I think it’s fairly depressing and boring if you try to reduce reasoned debate down to racism or xenophobia.

52

You try to lump all “English fans” into a homogenous group. Do you feel the same about Italians all taking a one sided view about their much beloved Ferrari? So why pick on English fans becuase they do not suppport your non English team?

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