Horner: Webber would have done the same

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Christian Horner has defended Sebastian Vettel’s overtake of Mark Webber in the Malaysian Grand Prix, claiming that the Australian driver would have made the same move had the roles been reversed.

“If Mark Webber had been in that position… we have seen him do the same. Let’s not kid ourselves that this is something unique to Sebastian,” Horner told the Daily Mail.

“He is a race driver, a fiercely competitive individual. You don’t win 27 Grands Prix and three world championships without being a very driven individual.”

Horner had previously called Vettel’s move “silly”, refusing to take the side of either driver. However, following criticism from many members of the paddock, Horner has spoken out to defend triple-champion Vettel, but he did admit that it is impossible to control his drivers on track.

“At times you do not have control of them, as much as you would like to. All you rely on is that they respect each other, the team and the equipment.”

Regardless, Horner believes that Vettel and Webber can still work together well, and repair their relationship in order to prevent Red Bull’s championship challenge being negatively affected.

“They have won three constructors’ championships for the team. As a pairing they have been one of the most successful in Formula One history.

“In three months you go from winning a double world championship in Austin and Brazil, then suddenly it is a drama and a crisis despite a one-two finish in the second grand prix.”

Horner’s comments will only fuel the rumors that Webber could be set to leave Red Bull at the end of the season, backing up his claim on the podium that Vettel has “protection.”

Marco Andretti confident that fewer tests won’t hurt Andretti Autosport

Photo: IndyCar
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A small point of debate around the 2018 aero kit has been the manufacturer test days that took place through the Fall of 2017 and into the beginning of 2018. Chiefly, the debate has centered around teams who hadn’t participated in those manufacturer test days and if they’re starting the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season at a disadvantage as a result.

Team Penske, Ed Carpenter Racing, and A.J. Foyt Racing completed test days for Chevrolet, with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and Chip Ganassi Racing doing so for Honda.

That left teams like Andretti Autosport out of the mix, with some voicing concerns as a result.

However, in a press conference during testing at ISM Raceway last weekend, Marco Andretti explained that he thinks Andretti Autosport should be able to catch up on development, citing the team’s resources – they’re the only IndyCar team with four full-time cars in their stable – and the fact that everyone is still adapting to the new kit.

“I feel like it’s early enough days that, yes, we can catch up,” Andretti said at ISM Raceway. “When there is anything new, a new car, new aero kit, at-track days are huge. We can sim all these things we want. To really get out there and confirm what we’re learning back at the shop is another thing.”

Ryan Hunter-Reay during testing at ISM Raceway. Photo: IndyCar

Andretti continued, “Yeah, I don’t think we should look at it like we’re behind the eight ball. With a four-car team, that’s where we can use it to our benefit. So far so good.”

Teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay, echoed Andretti’s sentiments, adding that while the situation is not perfect, they will need to adapt to it in order to remain competitive.

“Any time you have a new car, to put it into perspective, we’re on track three days on a road course before we get to (the season open in St. Petersburg). That’s a very short amount of time. It’s obviously not ideal, but we’re just going to lace up our boots and get on with it. That’s all you can do.”

Andretti Autosport will have one more team test, at Sebring International Raceway later on in February, before the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

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