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Red Bull drivers 'won't exchange gifts'

Wednesday 16th February 2011

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Red Bull drivers 'won't exchange gifts'

Red Bull drivers 'won't exchange gifts'

There will be no let-up in the battle for supremacy between Red Bull pair Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber, according to team owner Dieter Mateschitz.

The Red Bull drivers endured a tense relationship last year and things boiled over when they collided at the Turkish Grand Prix and they were again at odds at the British Grand Prix a few weeks later when Webber accused the team of favouring his German team-mate.

The duo cleared the air after the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, but that doesn't mean it will take the edge off their rivalry this year.

"Sebastian is fully motivated, and Mark nothing less," Mateschitz told Autosport. "They won't exchange gifts. Therefore I expect a similar situation to last year. And they remain both free to race. We do not change our strategy."

Reports that Webber will retire at the end of this season refuse to go away, but Mateschitz insists he's good enough to continue racing.

"Why should he? He has a body of steel, and he is mentally in perfect shape," he said. "If he does not continue with us, he will be offered a contract somewhere else. He is a top driver, at the same level as Sebastian. They both are exceptional guys, and this includes characters."

Mateschitz admits it will be tough to defend their Drivers' and Constructors' Championships this year as everyone will be out to beat them.

"For the first time we are the hunted ones and not the hunters, which is a new experience," he said. "To achieve something in F1 is easier than to maintain it. I don't want to make any forecast for 2011, as it is much too early. Every team will have different cars with updates until Bahrain."

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