Mark Webber has been assured by Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz that he won't be treated like the ugly step child this season.
There have been plenty of murmurs in recent years that Sebastian Vettel has received preferential treatment at the Milton Keynes team.
Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko has also made no secret of the fact that he is not a big fan of the Australian, saying Webber often "falls relatively easily into a downward spiral" as he has "trouble with the pressure".
However, just weeks after team principal Christian Horner promised Webber that he will get the same treatment as defending World Champion Vettel, Mateschitz also came out in support of the Formula One veteran.
"I absolutely believe that and I'm certain that it will be so," Mateschitz told Gazzetta dello Sport when asked if Webber would get a fair chance.
He added: "Mark is at the same time a strong and charismatic character and an exceptional racing driver.
"It's a fact that competition begins inside your own team. That means that the environment is tough but friendly, and that's how it's supposed to be."
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