Horner: No change to Red Bull driver equality

Leave a comment

Christian Horner says both Red Bull drivers will continue to receive equal treatment by the team this year.

Sebastian Vettel has won the drivers’ championship for the last three years running but Horner indicated he would not receive any special status as a result:

“I expect them to push each other very hard as they have for the last few years and to do their best for the team,” he said.

“We’ll be giving both of them equal opportunity, they’ve always enjoyed that whilst they’ve raced together.”

Mark Webber is set to reach his landmark 200th race during the season and Horner praised his contribution to the team: “He obviously joined Red Bull Racing fairly early on and has contributed a great deal to the team.

“He’s won nine Grands Prix for us and all of his podiums bar one have come in a Red Bull Racing car. So it’s been great that we’ve been able to provide Mark with a car to demonstrate his talents and it’s been a relationship that’s worked well during his time with us.”

Horner expects challenges from several teams in the upcoming season: “I think there’s going to be some big opponents: Fernando Alonso in the Ferrari, Felipe Massa was fast at the end of last year.

“Jenson Button in the McLaren, Lewis [Hamilton] in his new environment at Mercedes is going to be a factor and, of course, the Lotuses are a dark horse. So it’s not just about our two guys it’s about the competitors they’re racing against as well.”

See more from Horner in the video below:

Sage Karam, Tony Kanaan fastest in Monday’s practice for Indy 500

IndyCar
Leave a comment

In the second-to-last practice session of the week, Sage Karam paced the 33 drivers qualified for Sunday’s Indianapolis 500 on Monday.

Karam had a field-best speed of 226.461 mph, followed by Tony Kanan (225.123 mph), Ryan Hunter-Reay (224.820), Charlie Kimball (224.582) and Alexander Rossi (224.507).

Sixth through 10th fastest were Will Power (224.445), Helio Castroneves (224.368), Marco Andretti (224.148) and rookie Zachary Claman Demelo (224.91) and Scott Dixon (223.966).

Power and Castroneves ran the most laps of all drivers at 120 and 118, respectively.

Two other Team Penske drivers struggled to get speed out of their cars. Defending Verizon IndyCar Series champion Josef Newgarden was 28th-fastest (221.982 mph) and Simon Pagenaud, who was the slowest (220.902 mph) of the 33 cars on-track.

Pole sitter Ed Carpenter was 14th-fastest with a best speed of 223.573 mph in a 100-lap effort.

Most drivers were in race trim or were testing things for Sunday’s Greatest Spectacle In Racing such as fuel mileage, chassis setup and more.

Rookie Matheus Leist missed most of the session with an apparent electrical problem that kept him to just 19 laps.

There was one incident of note during the 3 ½ hour session: IndyCar rookie Robert Wickens crashed coming out of Turn 2 during the first hour of practice.

Wickens appeared to skim the outside SAFER Barrier, went left and then violently turned hard back into the outside retaining wall.

MORE: Wickens wrecks during Indy 500 practice

The Honda-powered machine for the Canadian driver suffered heavy damage to the right side, particularly the right front tire and the right side of the front end.

There will be no further on-track activity for the Indy cars until Friday’s final practice to fine tune things for Sunday’s 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500.

We’ll have the full practice speed chart, as well as What Drivers Said, shortly. Please check back soon.

Follow @JerryBonkowski