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Mateschitz: Vettel and Webber can race freely to the end of the season

Dietrich Mateschitz (AUT) CEO and Founder of Red Bull. Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Budapest, Hungary, Saturday 4 August 2007. BEST IMAGE
Dietrich Mateschitz

Billionaire team owner Dietrich Mateschitz has confirmed reports Red Bull’s drivers will no longer be subjected to team orders in 2013.

The Austrian energy drinks tycoon was reportedly so enraged by the Multi-21 affair that, during a phone call with Mercedes’ Niki Lauda, he suggested pulling Red Bull out of Formula 1 is even an option.

Dr Helmut Marko has since rubbished that rumour, suggesting Lauda got the gist of Mateschitz’s comments wrong before they were leaked.

But it does appear true that Mateschitz ordered that team orders be no longer deployed by the Christian Horner-led team.

Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel battle during the Malaysian GP
Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel battle during the Malaysian GP

The 68-year-old confirmed: “Vettel and Webber can race freely to the end of the season.

“The motto is ‘Go ahead of me if you can’,” he told Krone newspaper.

Finally, Mateschitz said it is possible Webber will stay with Red Bull beyond 2013, amid talk the Australian may have been offered a Le Mans seat with Porsche.

“It all depends on Webber himself,” he insisted. “How fast he is and what other offers he has.”