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RBR drivers still free to race in 2011

Red Bull Racing will continue to allow Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber to race each other wheel-to-wheel next season, despite the FIA giving the green light to the return of team orders in 2011

The reigning world champion team faced some difficult moments this season when it refused to designate one of its drivers as a number one. It also endured the nightmare scenario of seeing Vettel and Webber collide at the Turkish Grand Prix.

But despite the hard lessons it learned in 2010, and the fact that team orders can now be used once again, team principal Christian Horner has made it clear that Red Bull's policy will remain unchanged.

"I don't think it changes anything for us," Horner told AUTOSPORT about the team orders rule change that was confirmed by the FIA last week. "We will go into next year giving both drivers the same support as we always have.

"The important thing for us is that it is what they do on the track. We gave both drivers the very best we could this year and that is the way we will go into next year."

Reflecting on the season, after collecting the Formula 1 constructors' trophy at the FIA Gala Awards ceremony in Monaco last weekend, Horner said there were no regrets about how his outfit had handled the flash points of the campaign.

"It is Formula 1. It is a sport," he said. "You can always learn, and whether that is as a team or whether it is as drivers, you are always learning.

"We have not been here that long, but we have come an awfully long way in a very short space of time and the challenge obviously now is to build on the success and go into the next year as the reigning world champions. It will be a very special feeling to turn up in Bahrain with number one on the car and be at the top of the pitlane."

Red Bull Racing's stance on not using team orders is in contrast to the view taken by Ferrari, whose team principal Stefano Domenicali welcomed the move that would free his outfit up to openly favour one driver.

"Finally, we have said goodbye to this pointless hypocrisy," Domenicali said during an event at the Bologna Motor Show. "For us, Formula 1 is a team sport and we have always maintained that viewpoint and it should be treated as such."

Horner also insisted that there were no lingering problems between the outfit and Webber - despite expressing his disappointment that the Australian did not inform his bosses about a shoulder injury he picked up towards the end of the campaign.

When asked how things were between the team and driver, Horner said: "Fine. Mark and I have known each other for a long time and it is important for him to take some time out this winter and come back stronger - and heal fully. I am sure he will come back even stronger in 2011."

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