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Red Bull boss Christian Horner has ruled out the possibility of issuing team orders at the final race of the season.
After Sebastian Vettel won the Brazilian Grand Prix, the drivers' championship is very delicately balanced with Mark Webber eight points off leader Fernando Alonso and Vettel seven points off his team-mate. If Vettel leads Webber across the line at the final race, Alonso will only need fourth place to take the championship, but if Webber wins Red Bull will add the drivers' title to the constructors' it won in Brazil.
But despite the situation, Horner said he is relying on his drivers to make the right call and insisted he would not force Vettel to make way for Webber.
"Nobody has a crystal ball, nobody can foresee what will happen next weekend and all along we have tried to do the best to support them equally," Horner is quoted by Autosport. "And of course if they find themselves in a situation where one, because he cannot win, needs to help the other then of course I can only imagine that they will do that. But it will have to be a driver decision."
However, with animosity building up between the two drivers over the season and peaking in Brazil, there is a danger Vettel may not want to play ball.
When asked if he was sure Vettel would work to help Webber, Horner said: "Ultimately it is their decision. They both drive for the team and I know that they will both do the best that they can in that situation, should it arise, for the team. Nobody has a crystal ball and nobody can predict what will happen in a week's time. Both drivers go into the race weekend with a genuine chance of taking the world title."
When asked in the post-race press conference if he would make way for Webber, Vettel refused to answer.
"It's one week away," he said. "As a kid, I never liked it when my parents teased me for something and didn't answer my question, so now I'm in a good position to tease you, so you will see."