Red Bull's Horner accuses McLaren of gamesmanship

April 6, 2011 - 0:0

McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton has been critical of the whole Red Bull operation in recent weeks, describing them as “drinks manufacturers” rather than a historic racing outfit. He also named Fernando Alonso as the man he sees as his chief rival, rather than Red Bull’s world champion, Sebastian Vettel.

But Horner said on Monday that such jibes are a natural consequence of success. He also hinted that Hamilton might have been rattled by Red Bull’s recent dominance, with Vettel having notched up three consecutive wins in Brazil and Abu Dhabi at the end of last season, as well as in Melbourne 10 days ago.
“When you’re at the top you’re always going to be shot at,” said Horner, who was speaking at Silverstone during a tour of the new Pit and Paddock Complex. “Sebastian is the youngest ever world champion — a mantle which he took away from Lewis. Both of them are hugely talented drivers, and inevitably there will be a bit of gamesmanship between the drivers and also between the teams.
“It’s just part of this business and when you’re running at the front it’s inevitable that attention will be focused on you, whether it be on your front wings or anything else. It’s a distraction tactic which we find quite flattering.”
Horner also played down suggestions, made most recently by his own adviser Helmut Marko, that Hamilton is on Red Bull’s wanted list as a partner for Vettel once Mark Webber’s stint at the team comes to an end.
“It’s difficult to see how you could have two drivers of Lewis’s and Seb’s calibre under one roof because there tends to be fireworks, as we saw with Fernando and Lewis,” he said.
“Seb and Mark are at different stages of their career, and they complement each other. You’ve got an 11-year age gap between them, and in life experience that is pretty valuable. In Lewis and Seb you’ve got two drivers who are within a year or two, still in the early stages of their careers.”
Horner declared himself impressed by the new £27 million Silverstone development, which is due to be unveiled next month.
Nicknamed “The Wing”, the complex has replaced the tired 1980s facilities of the Jimmy Brown Centre. And as Horner put it on Monday, “It takes a lot to impress Bernie Ecclestone, but I think he will be very pleased with what he has seen here”.
Equipped with a distinctive “Blade” roof, the new building was designed by the same architecture practice — Populous — who came up with the main stadium for the 2012 Olympics.
(Source: Telegraph)
caption : Verbal jousting: Red Bull team director Christian Horner believes McLaren's jibes are a natural consequence of success. Photo: GETTY IMAGES