No 'gift win' for Mark Webber in Brazil swansong: Red Bull
Four-time champion Sebastian Vettel is seeking to extend his own record run of eight consecutive victories to nine and is hardly likely to be charitable to a man who has been a near-perfect team-mate and "kept him honest" for the last five years.
Retirement-bound Australian Mark Webber will be given no favours by Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel in this weekend's Brazilian Grand Prix, the last of his Formula One career.
That was the message for Webber and his fans from team chief Christian Horner ahead of what promises to be a spectacular season finale at the Interlagos circuit.
With all the major titles settled, the leading teams and drivers will be expected to attack throughout without any team orders -- on one of the most dramatic circuits in the world.
Most neutrals would love to see Webber secure his 10th victory in his 215th and final outing as an F1 driver, including many members of the Red Bull team, but according to Horner he is going to have to earn it the hard way.
Four-time champion Vettel is seeking to extend his own record run of eight consecutive victories to nine and is hardly likely to be charitable to a man who has been a near-perfect team-mate and "kept him honest" for the last five years.
Horner said: "It would be great to see him win his final race -- what a way to sign out -- but Sebastian is going to be going for that record as well.
"As usual it will be a straight fight between the pair of them. Mark would not want to be gifted a win."
Although Red Bull have wrapped up both championships and helped Vettel become the first man to win eight straight races, Horner says that is not enough.
"You only have to look in the eyes of every single member of the team to see the motivation and desire that still exists," he said.
"Even though we won the championship in India we have been pushing flat out.
"And, as I have always said, we will continue to do so until the chequered flag in Brazil next weekend. Our target now is to try to get Mark the third place in the drivers' championship and see out the season in style."
To many, that might include showing a human side to a team that runs like a machine, notably because of the way in which Vettel 'stole' victory from Webber in the Malaysian Grand Prix in March.
But Vettel's misdemeanour that day, in ignoring team orders to follow Webber home, has mostly been forgotten and it is a deeply-rooted part of Red Bull's ethos to give all for victory at all times.
"There is nobody lacking motivation or being complacent in any way," added Horner, confirming that nobody at Red Bull will ease off, or feel at all guilty about their sustained success.
"It is not down to us to help the others to succeed," he said. "Our focus is very much on ourselves. We don't feel in any way bad about the fact that we have done a lot of winning.
"We compete in a championship to the same regulations as all the others... We do the best job that we can and then we measure ourselves against our opponents every couple of weeks."
He added: "In sport, whether it is Roger Federer, or Ferrari, or Williams or McLaren, you get phases of sportsmen and teams being dominant.
"At some point that does come to an end. Then you have to regroup and you have to go again. Sebastian is right.
"It is important to savour moments like now because that is our 46th win and it is easy to become complacent and you have to appreciate every single moment."
As well as Webber's last ever F1 race, it will also be Felipe Massa's last in a red Ferrari, after seven years of racing for the Scuderia, where he will be replaced next year by Kimi Raikkonen.
Massa will race for Williams next year, with Pastor Maldonado finding himself without a seat for 2014.