Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says that Red Bull Racing's priority is to never find itself in a situation again where it has to hand new parts to just one of its drivers, after revealing how close the team came to not running the new front wing that stirred up such controversy at the British Grand Prix.
As the team bids to move on from the media storm cause by Mark Webber's anger at seeing a new front wing handed to teammate Sebastian Vettel at Silverstone, Horner says the biggest push by the team now is to ensure it has enough parts to satisfy both drivers.
The front wing design at the center of the Silverstone issue will be back on the cars at Hockenheim – and Horner said he hoped the team had enough to keep it on both machines all weekend.
"The front wing is back this weekend," he said. "The plan is to run it this weekend and both drivers will have it tomorrow. Hopefully, we will have enough to support both of them throughout the whole weekend."
When asked to confirm how many wings the team had, or whether it was just two, he said: "We've got a little bit more than that."
Horner clarified that if the team has to make a call on a single part in Hockenheim it will be given to Webber this time, because he is ahead of Vettel in the championship.
"If the component fails through no reason of the driver – and let's not forget that it wasn't because Sebastian had smashed the wing, it was a component that failed – then the same rules will apply," he said. "But we will work very hard to hopefully not be in that unenviable situation again."
Horner also cast fresh light on the circumstances that led to the team giving the wing to Vettel, as he moved to dismiss any talk that the squad made a premeditated plan to take if off Webber's car after practice. Instead, he revealed the team feared that Webber's wing was damaged too and had removed it from the Australian's car as a precaution, getting his RB6 ready to run with the old wing instead. It was only when tests carried out at the track revealed that damage to the wing was only to the paint rather than the structure itself that the discussions started about which of the two drivers should have the wing.
"After P3, both wings were deemed to have damage to them. Sebastian's wing was definitely un-runable and there was a suspected issue on Mark's wing after P3. So both cars were prepared with the previous front wing for qualifying," explained Horner. "Half an hour before the qualifying session, it turned out that the wing that had run on Mark's car, the defect was not a material defect and the component was absolutely safe for purpose and Adrian [Newey, chief designer] was happy that we should run it. Therefore, with only one component, we had to decide pretty quickly as to which side of the garage it should go. Both Adrian and I felt that the criteria of championship position was based on what they had done on track, and it seemed to be the fairest. That will be criteria that, should we find ourselves in the same position at any of the remaining races, we will use in the same circumstances."
He added: "Up until half an hour before qualifying, both cars were set up with the previous front wings. It was a very last-minute OK that was given to the one component – so it wasn't that the one wing was taken off Mark's car and put onto Sebastian's car. It was a question that neither wing was going to be available up until half an hour before qualifying – and then a decision had to be made that, once one of the components was deemed to be runable, a decision had to be made about which side of the garage is should go to."