Mike Stevens | Oct 18, 2010

Christian Horner has answered "no" as to whether Red Bull will be using team orders in the three-race run to the 2010 World Championship.

Separated by 14 points, both leader Mark Webber and his young teammate Sebastian Vettel are both in the running for their first drivers' titles.

Flavio Briatore has been recently highly critical of the team's philosophy of equality, but boss Horner insists he will not be favouring Webber over Vettel.

"What else should he (Briatore) say as Mark's manager?" Horner is quoted on Friday by F1's official website. "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," added the Briton.

Horner said it is a "luxury" for Red Bull to have two competitive drivers vying for the title, but it is feared their fight could allow Fernando Alonso to pick up the pieces and his third drivers' title.

He said that it is not necessary to "dig too much into psychoanalysis to understand that if two guys are fighting for the most prestigious title in motor sport then tension is part of the game".

Horner described their Istanbul crash earlier this year as a "huge challenge", leaving a big task now so that "neither feels disadvantaged".

But both Webber and Vettel are still able to be champion, he insisted.

"I promise that the team will not interfere in the race for the title," said Horner.

(GMM)

 

No Gearbox Penalty For Hamilton In Korea

Lewis Hamilton will not be taking a five-place grid penalty in Korea next weekend, his team boss Martin Whitmarsh has confirmed.

The McLaren driver moved five places down the Suzuka grid due to an unscheduled gearbox change before qualifying, and then finished the Japanese race without third gear further denting his fading championship hopes.

It is believed a dog-ring failed in Hamilton's replaced gearbox, but Whitmarsh said in Japan that he was "confident" it could be fixed without incurring another five-place penalty for Korea.

But he also told reporters at Suzuka that the second issue would not be a problem for Korea, despite the new gearbox potentially not lasting the mandatory four races.

"We've taken the penalty for this weekend so we have a free gearbox change for the next race," said Whitmarsh.

On Friday in a team statement, the Briton moved to clarify the issue.

"Lewis will not face a second successive five-place grid penalty in Korea," Whitmarsh said.

"The gearbox regulations were framed to ensure teams weren't penalised twice for the same gearbox issue, so Lewis will go into the weekend without risk of further penalty," he added.

(GMM)

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