The owner of Red Bull Racing, Dietrich Mateschitz, has denied allegations of favouritism within the team, insisting Australia’s Mark Webber and Germany’s Sebastian Vettel are equal.
Suggestions of preferential treatment were raised after a controversial decision at the British Grand Prix.
The Red Bull garage decided to remove an upgraded front wing from the car of the Australian and hand it to Vettel after he damaged his own wing in free practice.
“This philosophy is not in keeping with my understanding of racing,” Mateschitz told German newspaper Kleine Zeitung when asked if Red Bull has a number one driver.
“You cannot just programme a champion. Our two drivers know that a) they have to beat each other, and b) they still need each other to take away as many points as possible from the competition.”
Speculation has been rife that an intense rivalry exists between the two Red Bull drivers after a collision at the Turkish Grand Prix.
Vettel tried to duck up the inside of the Australian on the 41st lap only for the cars to collide. Vettel was forced out of the race and waved his finger at Webber who dropped back to third.
Mateschitz maintains he was not consulted on the decision at Silverstone and said: “The pits must not interfere, because then the problems begin in earnest.”
Webber and Vettel have a chance to resume hostilities at the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim this weekend with Vettel racing in front of his home crowd.