Red Bull supremo Dietrich Mateschitz has offered his thoughts on the Silverstone ‘Wing-Gate’ affair, describing it as “much too dramatised”, while adding that neither Mark Webber nor Sebastian Vettel will be favoured ahead of the other driver while the championship remains open.
The Austrian billionaire was at pains to insist to Kleine Zeitung newspaper that, despite perceptions to the contrary, the Vettel is not the team’s preferred choice to win its maiden Drivers’ Championship title.
“Once again I say: we do not have a number one and a number two. Both drivers have cars with exactly the same specification. The problem with the new wing at Silverstone was the first exception,” he told the paper.
“Of course, the situation was not pleasant for Mark, but this was a little problem made into a large one.”
Admitting that the team management “was not diplomatic and perhaps not correct”, he also balanced this with a criticism of Mark Webber’s “number-two driver” radio comment, describing it as “unnecessary”.
“But, on the other side, Mark did nothing wrong.
“We will not make them be quiet. Everyone can tell the truth; that is one of the highest virtues of Red Bull. There are no factions, although it is obvious that the two sides have their own driver firstly at heart.
“We have two drivers going for the world championship. Actually, it’s a luxurious problem that many teams would like to have.”
The 66-year-old remains bullish about the team’s prospects at clinching both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ titles in 2010.
“If you ask me today who will be champion, I would say ‘one of our drivers’,” he said. “But the pits must not interfere, because then the problems really begin.”
Mateschitz added that appointing a lead and a subservient driver countered his “philosophy of racing”.
“Our drivers know that they first have the beat the other,” he added. “I have no preference; as champion each of the two would be equally great to me.”
However, he acknowledged that seasons past have sometimes featured team-mates who fought down to the wire for the title, only to hand the championship to a rival driver – 1986 and 2008 were two such examples,” he concluded.
[Original image via The Cahier Archive]