Webber knows he will get equal treatment – Horner

2013 F1 season

Mark Webber, Red Bull, Jerez, 2013Christian Horner says Mark Webber will continue to receive equal treatment at Red Bull.

Last month Red Bull motorsport director Helmut Marko criticised Webber in an interview for Red Bull’s magazine. But Horner said Webber’s decision to re-sign for Red Bull last year showed Webber knew he would get fair treatment.

“Mark knows the team very well, he’s been with the team seven years,” Horner said to media in Jerez. “We re-signed Mark because we believed in Mark.”

“He had opportunities to go elsewhere, he chose to stay at Red Bull. “And he knows that he will get equal treatment and ultimately it comes down to what the guys do on the track.

“That’s the way we’ve always operated. We’ll continue to give both drivers our very best support that we can.

“There tends to fall a natural order at some point in the year but that’s all down to what happens on the circuit.

“And Mark, he drove some great races last year, Monaco and Silverstone in particular. He’s very motivated and knows that he will get absolute equal support from the team and equipment and then it’s a case of what the drivers do on track.”

Horner said the team would not let the need to prepare for the new 2014 regulations distract from their preparations for the new season.

“Our focus is very much based on 2013 at the moment,” he said. “We have a small group of people working towards 2014″.

“It’s a matter of spinning the two plates and balancing defending our titles in 2013 whilst also looking towards 2014. It’s a matter of balancing your resource accordingly at that becomes more difficult as the season progresses.”

He denied the team would be at a disadvantage in 2014 compared to rivals such as Ferrari and Mercedes who build their engine as well as their chassis.

“First of all we’re focused on this year, but I don’t think so,” he began.

“We enjoy a works relationship with Renault, we have a very close collaboration with the technical team in Viry-Chatillion and there’s an awful lot of correspondence and integration between the guys at Red Bull and Viry.”

Horner visited Ferrari at Maranello over the winter but extended his contract with Red Bull:

“For me, I joined Red Bull at the beginning and it was an absolutely logical thing to extend my relationship with the team,” he said.

“For me stability is important and we’ve had that at Red Bull for some time now. Dietrich Mateschitz gave me the opportunity within Formula One, it was almost a formality to extend my relationship with Red Bull.”

Horner added chief technical officer Adrian Newey is already on a “multi-year” contract with the team.

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44 comments on Webber knows he will get equal treatment – Horner

  1. Armchair Expert (@armchairexpert) said on 5th February 2013, 16:15

    Webber knows he got his front wing taken away to replace broken one on teammate’s car, when they were separated by only 13 points. That’s what he really knows.

    • Sviatoslav Andrushko (@) said on 5th February 2013, 19:49

      Agree. Words or thoughts mean nothing. But our actions and deeds do.

    • mnmracer (@mnmracer) said on 5th February 2013, 20:04

      Webber also knows the very first team-order as team-mates was in his favor in 2009. But of course, why look at the other 74 races they did together if you can just brainlessly keep repeating the same ill-informed mantra.

      • M Dickens (@sgt-pepper) said on 5th February 2013, 20:39

        (@armchairexpert) Beautifully said sir.

        (@mnmracer) Because of the last three years.

      • celeste (@celeste) said on 5th February 2013, 21:05

        @mnmracer

        Webber also knows the very first team-order as team-mates was in his favor in 2009

        Can you tell me more about this? I have no idea what are you talking about…

        • Drop Valencia! said on 5th February 2013, 21:48

          Horner played this card at Silverstone 2011 when Webber was told to hold position, apparently Vettel was told to hold position at Turkey 09, actually because he wasn’t going to catch Webber anyway and they were low on fuel. Team orders were also against the rules in ’09, so Horners 2011 “excuse” was effectively admitting to cheating in ’09 (but they didn’t really, that’s the kicker), the lengths they will go to…

      • F1fanNL (@) said on 5th February 2013, 22:53

        +1

        It’s only an issue when Webber is the one told to hold back.

  2. DaveF1 (@davef1) said on 5th February 2013, 16:27

    Hahaha nice one Christian, you almost had me there for a minute.

  3. Slr (@slr) said on 5th February 2013, 16:37

    Horner and Webber both know that’s not true.

  4. Stormbreak (@stormbreak) said on 5th February 2013, 16:38

    Every year it’s the same old same old. People keep denying Webber gets equal treatment. If that’s the case, why doesn’t he go to another team, when he’s clearly had the chance to do so? Is he that much of an idiot that he stays at a team where he gets subpar treatment? Or is he that desperate to stay in F1 that he would stay with a team who won’t treat him well??

    Somehow I don’t think Mark is a fool. He gets treated equally. End of.

    • Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 5th February 2013, 18:32

      He could have gone to Marussia or Caterham perhaps. That’s not really an improvement over the no 2 at Red Bull now is it?

    • Drop Valencia! said on 5th February 2013, 21:52

      Better to be a #2 at Red Bull, than anywhere else, end of.

    • skipgamer (@skipgamer) said on 7th February 2013, 5:43

      The way I see it, Mark knows Vettel is quicker, and understands that he is #2 at the team, which is why despite being upset at times about it in the heat of a moment, in general he acts cordially and is thankful for the opportunity he’s given. No doubt not being the best weighs heavily on him as he made very clear during 2010 saying he was considering throwing in the towel. But that doesn’t mean he can’t continue to improve, win races, stick around in case Vettel loses form or has a string of bad luck, in which case he could win a title.

      His twitter handle couldn’t be more encapsulating of his situation and personality. Showcasing Aussie grit and determination of the highest degree.

  5. Some are more equal than others.

  6. Paulocreed (@paulocreed) said on 5th February 2013, 17:23

    Horner visited Ferrari? I guess they both share the vision of the “1 rooster per hen-house”
    Can’t say I can ever picture Horner being at ferrari regardless if RB extended his contract or not. With hindsight we now know where he is.

  7. I agree with Horner’s comments: if they weren’t given equal treatment Webber would have been used to aid Vettel’s race in Monaco and probably also would’ve been forced to yield to Vettel.

    • Slr (@slr) said on 5th February 2013, 18:25

      Just because Webber wasn’t asked to let Vettel through once doesn’t mean Red Bull don’t favour Vettel. Asking Webber to let Vettel through in Monaco would have lost Red Bull the race, and Alonso would have scored more points.

      • @slr – the same applies in reverse: one team order in Silverstone and one front wing change also doesn’t mean that Red Bull outwardly favour Vettel. People are clinging to straws when they make accusations like Red Bull favour Vettel, they have after all been provided with the same machinery in each of the seasons and for the large majority of the time are allowed to race freely – who has come out on top in the four years of their partnership? Vettel.

        That is not evidene that Red Bull favour Vettel, that is evidence Vettel has beaten Webber despite them driving the same car, hence Vettel is better. For sure the exhaust solutions on the Red Bull suit Vettel’s driving style but that shows he is more adaptable as he is better able to extract performance from what is a performance-enhancing part.

        At the start of last season Webber was much more competitive relative to Vettel as he had been in 2011 and so the team let him score the points. In China for example Vettel decided to use the old exhaust because he felt he could better use it, Webber however used the newer (and faster) design and so duly beat Vettel. That is a prime example which supports Horner’s comments.

        • Slr (@slr) said on 5th February 2013, 22:13

          For sure the exhaust solutions on the Red Bull suit Vettel’s driving style but that shows he is more adaptable as he is better able to extract performance from what is a performance-enhancing part.

          I think that shows that Red Bull want to tailor make their car for Vettel as he is the better driver. It doesn’t bother me that Red Bull favour Vettel more than Webber, but I don’t like Christian Horner saying that Webber will get equal treatment, when he won’t. He has said in the past that he doesn’t want a big gun like Alonso alongside Vettel at Red Bull, which says to me that they want to build the team around Vettel and have Webber there to support his team mate. Equal treatment does not just mean equal machinery.

          • @slr – I disagree, what it shows is that Red Bull want to make their car faster. The Red Bull driver pairing is as it is because they have two strong drivers but not ones who would sabotage each other (as Alonso had done to Hamilton and Prost & Senna had done to each other) and because of this they have fulfilled their aspirations for winning constructors’ titles.

            The only reason Vettel has a no.1 status (although not one anywhere near as preferential as Alonso’s at Ferrari) is because he has simply driven better than Webber.

          • brny666 said on 6th February 2013, 11:37

            Well if the exhaust solutions on the RB only suit Vettels style and you think that other solutions could be used that make the car go just as fast but favor Webber than why are other teams adopting the exact same solutions as RB?

    • Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 5th February 2013, 19:18

      Webber would never give the race to Seb, we saw it in the last 3 years the team clearly favored Seb (and that’s their right and BTW i’m with them 100%),
      Christian is trying to convince us that they choose Webber because they believe in him and that he refused other offers because he wanted to stay with them
      The truth is that Red Bull didn’t have any choice , they have to sign Webber until 2014 when the regulations will change because he knows a lot of Red Bull’s secrets, Mark has negotiated his contract directly with Dietrich Mateschitz
      Why Red Bull would give a naughty 37 years old around 10 million a year when there is plenty of drivers who dream to be the ideal number 2 driver for half that money
      It is rumored that Red Bull extended Buemi’s contract as a reserve driver for 2013 because Ferrari wanted to sign him as a reserve also

      • F1fanNL (@) said on 5th February 2013, 23:02

        @tifoso1989

        Your tinfoil hat is screwed on too tight mate.

        Why Red Bull would give a naughty 37 years old around 10 million a year when there is plenty of drivers who dream to be the ideal number 2 driver for half that money

        You really think there are drivers, F1 drivers even, that would like to be signed on as a number 2 driver?! Every driver goes to a team confident they’ll beat their team mate. Even Massa deluded himself into thinking Ferrari would let him race Alonso.

  8. plutoniumhunter (@plutoniumhunter) said on 5th February 2013, 18:13

    Equal to number two treatment. Vettel is still first among equals.

  9. Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 5th February 2013, 18:29

    Equal treatment to who? To the lunch lady perhaps, but clearly not to Vettel. Not since Silverstone.

    Webber re-signed because he has nowhere else to go. He never was a top driver and he is in the fastest car. How is he going to do better? Even if treated as a No 2 driver.

  10. Nick.UK (@) said on 5th February 2013, 18:53

    You have to wonder why Horner even felt the need to comment on the way Red Bull treat their drivers. The issue of equality has never been more irrelevant. It’s day one of testing and Sebastian hasn’t ever driven the car yet. Why bring the issue up at all? All it does is bring the view back into the forefront that Mark is, potentially, a number two driver on every level but contractual. The effect of statements like this are also massively counterproductive and to make it right after Mark climbs out the car for the first time just bolsters its potential impact. It puts the whole thing back on Mark’s mind too, right after he’ll have spent the winter getting focused for the new season…

    The only way this statement could have been worse timed was if it was done over team radio to Mark while he was on his inlap for the day! You might have had success Mr Horner, but you do come out with some stupid stuff from time to time!

    • Mark is, potentially, a number two driver on every level but contractual.

      Potentially? Mark is the number 2 driver at Red Bull. His own ability, relative to that of his teammate, is what makes it so. In the four years they have been together he has been comprehensibly outclassed by Vettel in every possible metric – wins, points, poles, podiums, you name it. The only way he can possibly change that is to zip his lip and win the 2013 WDC. Deliver results, and respect and status follows. Publicly grumbling and moaning about your employer generally ends with a layoff notice.

      • Nick.UK (@) said on 5th February 2013, 19:34

        Publicly grumbling and moaning about your employer generally ends with a layoff notice.

        That would be relevant if Mark had done that, he hasn’t. This is Horner making unecessary comments that just plain didn’t need to be made.

        • Horner making unecessary comments

          I have not seen the full exchange, but I would be very surprised if Horner was not simply responding to a reporters question. If he threw those remarks out there all on his own, then I agree they were unnecessary.

          On a different thread somebody is blasting Button for “whining about the tyres” when he was merely answering a reporters question. A lot of criticism of drivers and other team members seems to follow this pattern.

  11. Lauri (@f1lauri) said on 5th February 2013, 19:01

    Lets not forget that in 2012 there were couple of races when Mark was faster than Seb. But small things that matter in the end. If Vettel has few small advantages from the team over the year, it makes all the diffence. And he usually is faster than Mark.

    Lets imagine 3rd race of the year. Seb is pos 1 and Mark is pos 2 1sec behind. “Mark, hold the position, we need this position”. But if Seb would be pos 2 behind Mark, he might not get the call from the team. Lets hope I’m wrong and we have good inter-team battle this year like we did get from many other teams last year (Lotus, McLaren, Marussia, FI etc)!

  12. I was a little surprised RB signed Webber for 2013, to be honest. Not because of his ability – he’s a fine number two driver – but because of his rather bitter and truculent attitude, and his belief that he’s a better driver than he actually is.

  13. Klon (@klon) said on 5th February 2013, 20:10

    You don’t need to discriminate against someone who’s clearly worse. As other users here have pointed out, Vettel has decisively outperformed Webber ever since the second half of 2010 at the very least. Most likely Vettel would even do that if they were to give Webber preferential treatment. In the end, claims about Webber being a #2 by choice, not by results, are either sad attempts to bring Vettel into disrepute or the attempt at creating a bleeding-hearts story to deal with the fact that Webber choked his best, and presumably only, championship opportunity. If Webber would be good enough to beat Vettel, he would have done so – and he has, on a few given tracks – but he cannot.

    • mnmracer (@mnmracer) said on 5th February 2013, 22:45

      Vettel was on an entirely different level the second half of the year, while Webber himself admitted the upgrades suited him better. Mark’s a good driver, Vettel’s just better. There’s no shame in losing to a great driver.

  14. latvian said on 5th February 2013, 21:54

    http://ow.ly/i/1tv7H Webbers car! wondering i they offered him a Vettel edition? :D

  15. Hallard (@hallard) said on 5th February 2013, 22:24

    Every time Horner speaks I feel like he is insulting my intelligence. Whether it’s ‘Our front wing isn’t flexing, we just run a lot of rake.’ or ‘Webber has always received equal treatment to Vettel, and always will’ or any number of his other statements to the media, it just smacks of so much arrogance, as if nobody has been following F1 at all for the last 4 years. I find his blatant denial of reality to be insufferable. It’s a shame though, because I could see myself cheering for Red Bull if it weren’t for Horner and Marko…

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