Sebastian Vettel dismissed talk that he is the favored driver at Red Bull Racing, despite the team's initial support of him in his clash with Mark Webber in Turkey.
The manner in which Red Bull Racing allowed Vettel to challenge race leader Webber in the race and then swiftly backed him after their collision – even though he turned right into the Australian – prompted anger from fans and the media who suggested it was proof that the squad preferred Vettel.
However, after a clear-the-air session at Red Bull Racing's Milton Keynes factory last Thursday, Vettel made it clear in an interview with Britain's BBC network that he thinks both himself and Webber have exactly the same chances to win.
When asked to comment on the view that he was the de facto number one at the team, Vettel said: "I don't think [so], and also we have been discussing internally obviously, there is neither driver, Mark nor myself, being favored in any way. We go out and try to find out who is the better one, like it should be."
He added: "We know we have exactly the same chances. There are a lot of races to come and a lot of things to happen – the most important thing to happen is to keep looking forward."
Vettel said he was eager for himself and the team to move on from the Turkish Grand Prix controversy – but insisted there would be no desperation to prove a point in the next race in Montreal.
"You could see I wasn't very happy about what happened, but as I said we have to move on," he said. "I am looking forward to Canada and there is no reason to be desperate and say now we have to prove it.
"We are doing a very good job Saturdays, Sundays we need to work on it and get the results in. [But] we have a strong car and try and achieve our maximum."
Vettel confirmed for the first time that he had indeed turned right into Webber's path – but said he had done so because he believed he had the right to as the car in front.
"There is not too much to explain. It all happened fairly quickly," he said about the accident. "I got a very good run out of the corner leading on to the back straight, got a big tow. Then I was going on the inside. I had already passed Mark and then obviously tried to come slowly back to the right. At that time I was the leading car, so usually then the leader dictates when to go. All of a sudden we made contact and that was the end of the race for me."
When asked if he would drive in the same way in the future if circumstances repeated themselves, he said: "It's always the question – you never know what is going to happen.
"You do at the time what you think is right, and in that case you would do it again because you thought it was right. No matter how is the outcome, you will always learn something."