Christian Horner hopes the introduction of adjustable rear wings this season will not make Formula 1 "artificial." The Red Bull Racing boss believes the new measures will improve passing but has concerns over how the strategy will play out.
"For sure it will help with overtaking and hopefully it won't be too artificial in that you'll be waiting until the last lap, wanting to be the car behind," Horner said at the AUTOSPORT International motorsports show. "I don't think it will have that effect, but it will have an effect though – there's a lot more for the driver to do now with KERS and the movable rear wing, together with all the other bits and pieces. It's going to be a fascinating challenge for drivers and the engineers, and hopefully will produce some great racing."
Horner also brushed off suspicions that Red Bull exceeded the Resource Restriction Agreement limits during 2010.
"Inevitably, when you're successful and running at the front, if people don't understand why you're quick, you must be cheating," he said. "Since the first race in Bahrain, there were accusations about ride-height controls, we then had front wings and the latest one is we've spent five times more than anybody else.
"For us it's just a demonstration that we're doing our job well and properly. It's a back-handed compliment if people are sniping, because ultimately we know that our car complies, and we've complied, with the rules and regulations."
Red Bull plans to launch its RB7 for the beginning of preseason testing at Valencia on Feb. 1.
"The car is coming along very well," Horner added. "Obviously, it's a very busy time of year and the team put in a massive effort over the Christmas break.
He also praised Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber after the pair met to put last season's tensions behind them and focus on 2011.
"The two drivers got together, not forced, of their own volition, to talk to each other and I think that was a testimony to the sporting character of both of them," Horner said. "They cleared the air and I think they are a phenomenal partnership going into 2011. They will push each other hard and hopefully we can provide them with a great car again to run at the front."
Finally, Horner voiced his desire for Formula 1's next generation of regulations in 2013 to maintain the sport's key values.
"We're not an engine manufacturer, so for Red Bull the most important thing is that Formula 1 is a sport and it must appeal to fans," he said. "Whatever engine is introduced – and the proposed engine looks interesting – it needs those key ingredients of power and sound. I don't think people want to hear low-revving, quiet engines.
"Formula 1 is about noise and speed, and I think those elements are crucial. The current engine is potentially outdated in the modern world, but it's important that the new engine fulfills the criteria that Formula 1 needs to maintain and increase its appeal to the public.
"KERS is an interesting topic. What it actually contributed in 2009 is debatable with the increase in weight. It becomes a more valid introduction to the cars in 2011, but I think the road relevance of the systems we're running is perhaps limited – which is why my preference would have been to look at something totally different with a new drive train coming in 2013, as opposed to a halfway house which we could potentially find ourselves with for 2011 and '12."