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Horner paints picture of Red Bull harmony

ESPNF1 Staff
July 13, 2010 « Ecclestone doubts Schumacher will stay in 2011 | »

Red Bull boss Christian Horner has moved to play down the divisions in his team and claims his drivers have made up after a post-race party.

Even though photographers captured Mark Webber unable to smile as he sternly shook his team-mate Sebastian Vettel's hand at Silverstone, Horner said the team then decamped to his nearby house in Oxfordshire on Sunday evening for a night of singing. Mere hours after Niki Lauda described the atmosphere at Red Bull as "poisonous", Horner insisted that, with both the drivers on stage alongside himself and Adrian Newey, they sang a karaoke version of the 1970s classic American Pie.

But while Webber wanted a round of "decent chats" with Horner on Monday, the team principal said he will not sit down with the British Grand Prix winner until later this week. Allaying the suspicion of bias within the media, though, Horner insisted points leader Webber is not the No. 2 driver.

"There is no desire because of Sebastian nationality, age or looks to give preference to one car or the other," Horner told British newspapers. "It is about winning grands prix, challenging for and winning championships. There has never been any pressure from Red Bull to favour one driver over the other. I didn't have a conversation with Helmut [Marko, Red Bull's motorsport adviser and Vettel's mentor] or anyone from Red Bull regarding the decision to give Sebastian the wing. It was purely a technical decision, which I discussed with Adrian [Newey]. My one regret is that I didn't have time to discuss the issue with Mark personally prior to qualifying as I'm sure that would have given him a more balanced understanding."

"If there were a recurrence at the next race then the component would go to Mark's car on the same basis, of championship position. I can understand the degree of Mark's frustration. The change happened so close to qualifying and I didn't have the chance to explain the rationale as I would have wished.

"Mark is fully aware that the team has done everything possible to help him. His chassis, for example, is lighter than Sebastian's because he is that little bit heavier. There was a new floor that on this occasion went to his side of the garage."

He also rubbished reports that Webber's mechanics taunted Vettel's side of the garage by waving the old front wing at them as the team packed up the garage.

"It's ridiculous," he said. "Our mechanics are completely for each other, irrelevant of the car crew. I believe this is behind us. If there was any ill-feeling, it is resolved and we move on as a team which has won five races, more than anyone else, this season."

Meanwhile, McLaren driver Jenson Button is hoping the disharmony at Red Bull will play to his team's advantage.

"People take the mick out of how well Lewis and I get on but it works well with our team and it means the guys back in the factory are not worrying about us and how we are with each other," said Button. "They can focus on making our car quicker."

Lewis Hamilton seems to have taken Webber's side, commenting on the wing scenario: "If that was me? ... Jeez."