Red Bull Racing says it will consider before the Brazilian Grand Prix whether it now needs to impose team tactics between its drivers, amid pressure on it to throw all its weight behind Mark Webber.
Coming off a disastrous Korean Grand Prix, which saw both Webber and teammate Sebastian Vettel retire from the race, the outfit's troubles let Ferrari's Fernando Alonso move to the head of the championship standings. With Vettel now 25 points adrift of Alonso, and 14 off Webber, Red Bull Racing could run the risk of handing the title to Ferrari if its drivers take points off each other. If Vettel heads home a Red Bull Racing 1-2 in the final two races of the season, Alonso would still win the championship if he finished third in both races.
Although Red Bull Racing does not want to move Vettel into playing a supporting role for Webber just yet, team principal Christian Horner said after the Korean Grand Prix that the team may need to work out the benefits and pitfalls of using tactics from the Interlagos event.
When asked if the squad would consider swapping positions between its drivers in Brazil to give Webber a bigger haul, Horner said, "I haven't had time to look at all the mathematics and scenarios, but it is something that we will look at pretty closely between now and Brazil. Obviously, the objective for both of them is to be ahead of Fernando and Lewis, as we achieved in qualifying in Korea."
Despite opening up the prospect of a tactical approach to Brazil, Horner said it was too early to make Webber its number one driver.
"As you saw in this grand prix, the championship leader changed between three different drivers at three different points of the race, and we gifted Fernando Alonso 25 points, which is obviously frustrating.
"This championship will go to the last lap in Abu Dhabi I believe. Mark retains P2 in the championship and Sebastian has now dropped to fourth, but there is still only a race win between Sebastian in fourth and Alonso in the lead. And how many times have we seen this year the championship to and fro? So it is impossible to predict what will happen in Brazil and Abu Dhabi."
Despite the disappointment of its Korean GP, Horner says his team will regroup strongly for Brazil, where Webber won last year.
"Sometimes motor racing can be cruel," he said. "We saw the highs of it two weeks ago in Japan and we have seen the lows of it here and, as a team, we win together and we lose together. We will fight back strongly in Brazil."