Red Bull’s Webber takes jab at team, Horner vows to clear the air

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Red Bull’s Mark Webber has sent a clear message with a victory at the British Grand Prix today but perhaps his most succinct message is his post-race radio comment when he said:

“Not bad for a number two,”

The team made this weekend difficult and are experiencing the fallout of favoring one driver over the other when both are clearly at the top of the championship table. Webber’s tussle with Vettel at the beginning of the race saw the younger German teammate go wide over the kerbs and acquire a punctured tire that took him out of race-winning contention. Both drivers showing no quarter and giving little room for the other.

How does Red Bull’s team boss–the man who made to decision to take Webber’s front wing for Vettel’s car– feel about Webber’s “number two” comment?

“I don’t take that comment with any malice behind it,” he added, surrounded by a throng of reporters in the team motorhome.

“If the air needs to be cleared, it will be cleared. But he’s been around long enough to know, as a sportsman, that sometimes difficult decisions have to be made.

“Mark hasn’t signed a contract as a number two driver…he knows the lengths the team has gone to, with the weight difference between the two drivers, to try and achieve parity,” He knows the lengths the team has gone to to support him.

“We have provided him with a car that has enabled him to run at the front, win grands prix and challenge for the world championship. I doubt very much that he is going to walk away from that,” declared Horner.

“And by the way,” added the Briton, as the scrum of reporters gathered up their recorders and headed for the exit. “We did win the British Grand Prix. It wasn’t that bad.”

In all reality, McLaren may very well steal the championship this year as Red Bull are beating themselves. With outbursts, discord and perceived favoritism happening, the results are that two teammates are hampering each others races and in the end, Horner’s team mentality isn’t going to work when two drivers can’t operate as a team.

Managing expectations is one thing and Horner’s desire to be a united team is noble by anyone’s measure but ultimately the rift between teammates at Red Bull has some perplexed as they would have clearly chosen Ferrari or McLaren or Mercedes GP to be the bigger hotbed of driver spats. If Red Bull lose the title this year, it will be Horner’s team mentality foisted on two drivers that are not feeling like a team right now.

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