Vettel defies team orders to seize victory

2013 Malaysian Grand Prix review

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The two Red Bull RB9s, identical except for the two men holding the steering wheels, danced around the sinuous curves of the Sepang International Circuit as if they were choreographed.

But Sebastian Vettel’s audacious bid for the lead on lap 46 of the Malaysian Grand Prix was anything but stage-managed. On the Red Bull pitwall lips were bitten, heads in hands, breaths held.

Between Mark Webber and the pit wall there had been a space a few centimetres wider than an RB9. Vettel did not hesitate to seize it – and claim the inside line for the next corner.

He walked Webber to the outside of the corner but stopped short of shoving him off – this was his team mate, after all – allowing Webber to reclaim the inside line for the next corner, and the lead.

Approaching turn four Webber had Vettel on his outside and they swung into the corner together. This time it was Webber’s turn to stay his hand, declining to give Vettel the push onto the kerbs any other driver would surely have received.

That proved decisive. Vettel was on his way to victory number 27. Webber raised his middle finger at his disappearing team mate, and Red Bull’s troubles were just beginning.

Alonso out early

When Vettel took his place at the front of the grid an hour and a half earlier the two Ferraris directly behind him seemed a more pressing threat than Webber. On top of that, a late rain shower had doused the circuit, leading everyone to start on intermediate tyres.

But within minutes of the start Fernando Alonso removed himself from contention with two very un-Alonso-like mistakes. Caught out by Vettel’s caution in the second corner, the Ferrari driver nudged the back of the Red Bull, damaging his front wing which now hung from the nose of his F138 by a single pylon.

With the track drying quickly he and Ferrari gambled on staying out until they could make a pit stop for slicks while replacing the damaged wing. But he never got that far. Webber – who had made an atypically excellent start from fifth – was slipstreaming past him on the pit straight when the second pylon gave way. The wing folded under Alonso’s front wheels and he skated helplessly into a gravel trap.

Alonso had battled valiantly to keep Webber behind him on the first lap but it served only to hand Vettel a useful three-and-a-half second lead as they began lap two. However Vettel’s hasty switch to slick tyres a few laps later squandered that advantage.

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Webber takes the lead

Vettel’s stop on lap six was timed well enough for him to emerge from the pits ahead of Sergio Perez, Adrian Sutil and Romain Grosjean. But the first sector was where the track was wettest, and Vettel slipped behind all three. In the dry middle sector he quickly re-passed Grosjean and Sutil, but the damage was done.

On the next lap Vettel set the fastest middle sector time and that was Webber’s cue. He appeared in the pits, selected the hard tyres in contrast to his team mate’s mediums, and had Vettel in his mirrors after he returned to the track.

Nico Rosberg briefly held the lead before pitting, and resumed in fourth behind his team mate and the Red Bulls. Behind them Jenson Button and Nico Hulkenberg were demonstrating their usual flair for damp conditions.

In seventh place was Felipe Massa, who started second but was held up by his team mate’s wounded car in the opening corners. He then lost more time by pitting for slicks on the same lap as Vettel.

Perez was eighth but came under pressure from the two Lotuses. First Grosjean, then Kimi Raikkonen picked off the McLaren, the latter having fallen behind his team mate when he went off at turn 12.

“Mark is too slow”

Having run the opening phase of the race on wet weather tyres the drivers now essentially faced a truncated Malaysian Grand Prix in dry conditions.

But severe tyre degradation remained a major factor, especially for the Red Bulls. “Sebastian also looking after his tyres,” Simon Rennie told Webber shortly after his first pit stop. “We need to look after our tyres as well.”

Webber spent five laps less on the hard tyres than Vettel could manage on the mediums. After their second pit stops Vettel quickly arrived on Webber’s tail, hotly pursued by Hamilton.

“Mark is too slow, get him out of the way, he’s too slow,” Vettel urged on the radio. But Red Bull were not issuing orders – for now. “Be patient, only half race yet,” replied engineer Guillaume Rocquelin.

Mercedes spied an opportunity and brought Hamilton in for his third stop on lap 31. Red Bull had to respond and leader Webber had to be protected first. He and Vettel pitted on consecutive laps and while Webber retained the lead Vettel slipped to third behind Hamilton.

But Vettel’s irritation at this development proved short-lived. Hamilton had switched to the hard tyres and found them not to his liking, losing up to a second per lap to Webber. He was also short of fuel – Mercedes had begun telling him to “lift and coast” before lap 20.

On lap 39 Vettel pressed his DRS button and restored himself to second place. The stage was set for a dramatic and controversial conclusion.

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Lotus gain ground with three-stopper

Despite making his second pit stop before the four-stopping Vettel, Button was aiming to get through the race with just three visits to the pit lane. But the third of those did not go to plan – the front-right wheel was not secured properly and Button had to stop in the pit lane and be pushed back to his box before having replacement tyres fitted.

McLaren later retired his car due to the amount of wear on his front-left tyre. Perez suffered a similar problem and had to make a late pit stop for a fourth set of tyres, suggesting a three-stopper was beyond the MP4-28 on this day.

It was possible for the Lotus pair, but unlike in Australia it was not enough to keep Ferrari behind. Massa easily caught and re-passed both drivers after his last stop, while Raikkonen went off at turn 12 for a second time.

Raikkonen had spent several laps trying to find a way around Hulkenberg. He emerged from the pits right on the tail of the Sauber on lap 35 and soon after complained about his rival’s defensive driving: “Did you see what he’s been doing? He pushes me off and now he hits me.” He eventually found a way around the Sauber, who in turn demoted the hobbling Perez later in the race for eighth.

War breaks out at Red Bull

Vettel was told not to pass Webber – but did so anyway

On lap 43 Vettel dived for the pits. His in- and out-laps were blistering: despite a pit stop that was just a hundredth of a second faster than Webber’s he went from being four seconds behind his team mate to attacking him on the outside of turn one as Webber emerged from the pits.

Webber went fully defensive, repeatedly forcing Vettel to the outside and doggedly protecting his lead. Vettel received a message warning him to be “careful” – Red Bull instruct their drivers not to race each other for position after the final pit stop. Instead of Rocquelin it was Christian Horner who reminded Vettel of that on the radio: “This is silly, Seb, come on.”

Vettel wasn’t listening. Perhaps, as Horner suggested afterwards, he was thinking of how Webber could have been more co-operative when there was a world championship on the line at Interlagos last year. “Unfortunately the history goes back to Brazil and beyond that,” said Horner. “These guys race each other hard.”

Or perhaps he’d cast his mind back to Silverstone the year before, when Webber had been given a similar order to hold position and paid no heed to it. Now Vettel returned the favour, but where Webber had been unsuccessful in his attempt to pass Vettel on that occasion, it was not the case this time. Two laps later, Webber was waving goodbye to his team mate with one raised finger.

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Rosberg acquiesces

Ten seconds behind them much the same situation was being played out at Mercedes. Both drivers had been told to save fuel but Hamilton’s instructions were more frequent and more urgent.

Fortunately for Hamilton, his team mate plays by the Marquess of Queensberry Rules. Rosberg confined his attempts to pass him to repeated entreaties to Ross Brawn on the radio. A firm “negative” was the response.

“He can go a lot faster as well,” said Brawn, referring to Hamilton and seemingly contradicting the need to save fuel. Hamilton said afterwards he was “fuel saving for a long, long time” and was “unable to keep the pace of the guys in front”.

“So let’s go get the Red Bulls,” urged Rosberg, to no avail. “Understood,” replied Brawn, “but hold position.”

No smiles on the podium

As Vettel crossed the line to clinch victory Webber roared up behind him and chopped across his team mate’s bows.

There were three glum faces on the podium. Vettel deflected questions about what had happened. Webber had challenged him about the team’s ‘multi 21’ code before they took to the rostrum. Hamilton said Rosberg should have been in his place and looked like he meant every word.

Vettel’s win propelled him into the lead of the drivers’ championship but it may carry a price for his team. Afterwards his team spoke ominously of having “a lot of thoughts going through my mind in the last 15 laps”.

For Webber, this may have been the last straw.

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2013 Malaysian Grand Prix

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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298 comments on “Vettel defies team orders to seize victory”

  1. Christian Horner’s said to Sky post-race that there’s a lot of history between Seb and Mark. His point made me think about the 2011 British GP when in the closing laps of the race Webber attacked Vettel for 2nd place against team orders but without success.

    This weekend, it was Webber who was the innocent party, but in regards to obeying team-orders, neither driver can claim the high ground.

    I’ll let Webber have the last word on the issue:

    “The team radioed me about four times, asking that I maintain the gap to Seb.

    “But I wasn’t happy with that because you should never give up in F1, so I continued to push. If Fernando had retired on the last lap, we would have been battling for the lead.

    “The team was worried about Seb and me crashing because it wanted the points for the constructors’ championship. I understand that, but I wanted points for the championship too and we proved that we can race without making contact.”

    1. @frankus28 Definitely an apposite quote in the circumstances!

      1. @keithcollantine, “Webber was waving goodbye to his finger with one raised finger.”
        Surely you meant “Webber was waving goodbye to THE finger…..

      2. The situation was different because Webber was genuinely faster than Vettel in Britain, quite similar to Rosberg and Hamilton in this race.

        Now came the controversial moment of the race as the flying Webber reeled in Vettel by over a second per lap.

        Vettel had not turned down the engine, he was genuinely struggling on pace and he knew that Webber was way quicker than him.

        I was struggling, Mark was faster. And then there was the chequered flag.

        On this occassion, Webber had turned down the engine, thinking his team mate had done the same. And then his team mate goes hammer and tongs and sets 2 blistering in and out laps and closes down the gap and then fights like hell (brilliant for the audience though) and takes the lead.
        I have to agree with Webber feeling betrayed on this occasion.

        1. +1

        2. It’s only the second race of the season. In Vettel’s case I would feel betrayed if they told him to stay back, even though he might have had a shot at the victory.

          No matter how you twist and turn things, this isn’t a black and white story.

      3. If Fernando had retired on the last lap, we would have been battling for the lead.

        However, this is a valid justification from Webber which Vettel did not have this weekend.

        1. @MJ4 Fighting for a win isn’t a valid justification? In Webber’s case it was about a potential win, in Vettel’s case it was about an actual win. Both are valid justifications in my opinion.

          It’s all about likability. If Webber does it it’s okay, and he gets applauded for growing a pair. If Vettel does it, he’s a bad guy. People like Webber, I get that. He appears to be a nice guy, and I don’t think he’s faking that (unlike some other drivers). Vettel went against team orders, that’s not right, and I’m sure he’ll get a slap on the wrist for it. Do I blame him? No. Last year’s championship was decided by only 3 points, and what he did yesterday might just be the difference between winning another WDC or being the first loser. Nice guys hardly ever finish first.

          1. For me – and I’m sure Webber – the issue is whether Webber turned down his engine settings and assumed that Vettel would do the same, as per team orders. I’m no fan of team orders and would much prefer to see the drivers race, but basically Vettel was being sneaky and a bit treacherous even with their competitive and hostile back history. Even with his apology would Webber or anyone else ever trust him again on the race track? It would be stupid to. So what bases are there for race discussions and strategies in the Red Bull team if there is zero trust between drivers? And the different crews for each driver? That’s what Webber means by headaches for a lot of people.

          2. I understood Webber’s attitude (at the 2011 race) as someone not actually fighting his teammate in wheel-to-wheel battle, but as someone simply trying to keep as close as possible, just in case.

            That’s what I thought to be a valid justification to keep pushing instead of backing out. Full-out taking the battle to his team mate (like Vettel did yesterday) would have made the two situation equal, just like you suggest, but did that actually happen back then?

            I’m not a Webber fan, by the way (to me, he’s kind of a fake “rugged individual” type), although I’d still prefer him winning to Vettel.

    2. Did both Vettel and Webber have their engines turned down during the closing laps of Silverstone 2011? Or just Vettel?

      1. @oblong_cheese Looking at the quotes of both Vettel and Webber in Keith’s team report from 2011, never driver talked about disparities in engine performance.

      2. Drop Valencia!
        25th March 2013, 0:57

        in Silverstone Vettel was going as fast as possible, but to be fair RBR had comprimised his position to assist Marks. In Malaysia, Webber was not going as hard as possible he was coasting that’s where the issue lies, neither driver will be able to coast in formation now.

      3. Given that their tussle lasted a couple of laps, with Vettel making no secret of what he was trying to do, is it concievable that Mark kept his engine down all the way to the moment he was overtaken?

        Sometimes I wonder what people would be saying if it was the other way around….. Woundn’t be something along this line… Mark, a man’s man, would no longer submit to team orders and the preferrencial treatment Redbull bestows on Vettel – it would be down to who could driver faster this time. He went for it and even though Vettel did a Shumi and squeezed him against the wall in a very dangerous manner, Mark wouldn’t surrender. A few corners later Mark finally pulled the trick with a masterly move on the outside of corner 5. Vettel compounded his defeat by giving Mark the middle finger – showing what a spoiled sour loser he really is. Congratulations to Mark for showing that there is still place for strong personalities in F1 – eat that Helmut Marko.
        But not all is well in F1: Lewis was outrageously held up by his team, having to settle for 4th while Rosberg took the last place on the podium in front of him. Rosberg offered a belated appology after the race saying Lewis should have had the podium – which is odd, given the fact that he had 15+ laps to make it right during the race and decided not to do so.

        Now seriously. Having been beaten by his team mate in the 4 years they race together (with Vettle winning 3 championships in a row), Webber could consider himself lucky to have equal status in the team – expecting team orders in his favor is a little rich, or am I going crazy here?

        1. @antifia – good one.
          actually Mark was beaten 5 years in a row. Vettel outscored Mark in the Torro Rosso too.

        2. Webber *did not* make a Schumi.
          He went to his right on the straight to defend his position into Turn 1 and Vettel squeezed between him and the pit wall. That’s very different.

        3. @antifia
          COTD if it was for me.

        4. I think you have a point. As the vitriol was being aimed at Vettel after the race, I couldn’t help wondering how the media and fans would perceive it if the roles had been reversed and Webber had been the one who’d taken the race win off Vettel.

          The key for me is whether the drivers themselves agreed with the team before the race that they’d hold station after the final pit-stops – or if this order was imposed by the team during the race itself.

          If the former is true, then Vettel’s actions would seem to be a bit underhand and unsporting to me and he would deserve the criticism that’s coming his way.

          If the latter is true, I’d probably say well done Vettel for ignoring team orders!

          In any event, it brought great drama to the race and you’ve got to hand it to Vettel – that (ultimately unsuccesful) move on the pit straight was extremely brave.

        5. @ antifia Nicely said. Nationalism and F1 seems to go hand in hand these days. Just 7 days ago, Vettel was booed whilst on the podium in Melbourne. What did he do wrong?

    3. Webber says: “But I wasn’t happy with that because you should never give up in F1, so I continued to push.”
      Vettel says: “All I can say is that I didn’t do it deliberately.”

    4. @frankus28 Mhmm… that is definitely a good find… Webber really can’t argue can he, it just makes him a hypocrite.

      1. @dragoll

        I dunno, his team had asked him to turn the engine down and just take it to the line.

        1. @mike Are you suggesting that RBR told WEB to turn down the engine map and leave VET to overtake?

          1. WEB and VET were both told to turn down the engine map. WEB complied, VET didn’t, and used that to pass.

          2. @dragoll No, I’m suggesting that Red Bull told both drivers to turn the engine down, and Vettel took advantage.

        2. And why didn’t he turn the engine back up?

          1. @dennis I think the answer lies in when Webber said he had a lot of thinking to do. I think it’s a very complicated thing, and I think that one element to remember is that he is a human just like us.

          2. @Mike
            Excuse me, but I did not understand that answer. Are you suggesting that putting his car back up to speed is so complicated, he couldn’t figure it out during the last 10 (or what was it?) laps?
            If yes, I highly doubt that.

          3. @dennis

            I said that maybe it isn’t that simple.

      2. But Webber has always been “the bad guy” and Seb the fresh faced kid. Now Seb has given up the high ground completely in my opinion.

      3. WEB didn’t cacth VET because he rev down his engine right? I thought the question here was Webber being told to coast and VET ignoring team orders to catch and then overtake him.

        Today I think it will make the next races even more interesting once Horner cannot control those guys.

    5. I think the photo of Vettel and Newey on this page, and SV’s slimy grin gives away his true feelings about the result.

    6. In my opinion, bringing up the 2011 British GP doesn’t compare.

      All throughout the 2010 season the public were told at every occasion that “Red Bull will never do team orders.” Even Dietrich Mateschitz got involved to announce it in public. That refusal to back Webber while he was leading during the back end of the season cost him the world title and Red Bull/Vettel only escaped with the title because of Ferrari’s incompetence in the heat of battle in Abu Dhabi.

      So when Silverstone rolls around the next year and Mark is effectively given a team order without any prior warning, he was well within his rights to choose to ignore it given the history of intra-team rivalry fostered by Red Bull.

      Sepang doesn’t compare. The 1-2 situation was clearly pre-examined as a potential outcome with a the team agreeing to resulting action (Multi 21) for both drivers to perform.

      One driver chose to ignore it for his own personal glory.

      1. Great post, I think it highlights how the context of each situation in historical terms makes them quite different.

      2. @kazinho – Do we know that that Sunday’s team orders were agreed before the race? If we do not, there is no room to assume that the 2 scenarios are so different.

    7. I think the difference compared to Silverstone 2011 is that FA was leading, so MW and SV were battling for 2nd. Yesterday the battle, or not having a battle, would not have changed the results for the team. They were looking to place 1-2 either way. In 2011, as MW points out, if FA had an issue that would have changed things.

  2. Am I correct in thinking this was a more detailed report than usual Keith? If so I think it was a good call, this was a very strange race, no doubt we will be talking about it again as this season progresses.

    1. @george This year the race reports are going up later so I have more time to work on them. Glad you noticed the difference!

      1. I did, as well. Great race report!

        1. +1, the level is higher than usual, I even learned a few new words of the English language:-) Take care not to spoil us too much, so we demand this level every time.

      2. I noticed it as well, I really like them this way @keithcollantine!

      3. Yeah good effort Keith, this report definitely features more flair than usual.

    2. Yep! The race reports seem to have more emotion this time.

      You must have read some really good books over the winter Keith :)

      1. Oh, how I wish that were true!

    3. I agree, a short story more than a summary.

  3. The scene in the drivers’ room afterward was one for the ages. Webber’s eyes shooting daggers, and Vettel looking like the proverbial kid with his hand caught in the cookie jar. The glum faces on the podium were quite the sight as well. It must have been a bit embarrassing for the local dignitaries up there.

    1. The glum faces on the podium were quite the sight as well.

      When you compare that with last years podium there’s certainly a big difference.

  4. So to summarize:

    1. Alonso wasn’t prepared to concede ground to Vettel’s lead and paid the price. Very Un-Alonso like considering he’s the long game player.
    2. Massa still struggles in mixed conditions. Only consolation, I got his race position correct in the predictions!
    3. Raikkonen’s setup was terrible. All in all a poor race weekend for Lotus.
    4. Vettel may be portrayed as the villain this weekend, but both he and Webber made it a cracking race.
    5. Tough luck Jenson :/
    6. Hamilton no.1 at Merc?

    1. I think on #6, it’s a case of, the team comes first. As opposed to Lewis comes first.

      1. Well the team would have still gotten 3rd and 4th. Albeit in a different order. All of a sudden Nico must be missing Michael as his teammate!

        1. Exactly! No way on earth should we he have seen team orders in that situation. It is too early for such decisions, since the drivers have not even established themselves. For all we know Nico might be the better driver, and after the result it would have been 1-1.

          1. No, the fact that Nico accepted the team-order shows that it was right. Nico isn’t the stuff a World Champion is made of, when he accepts in that situation. Surely it is unthinkable that Senna had accepted a team-order in that situation? And why should Vettel – he is the 3 times WDC and he has beaten Webber for 5 seasons, surely RBR should prioritise getting him the maximum points if possible. When we reach the end of the season and he maybe wins over Alonso with a margin of less than 7 points the team will realise that Vettel was right. So why be ashamed over it?

    2. Massa seemed to lose his focal point when alonso went out

      1. I think he was out of podium contention even before that. Wasn’t he eighth by the end of lap 1. Really thought Alonso’s demise would see charge back.

  5. @keithcollaintine very well written article . I enjoyed reading it well balanced with details.

    I think this will be spoken for a long time to come. I was surprised that the team never reprimanded webber so severely both in brazil 2012 and Britain 2011.

    1. Although the circumstances of this race were different, in the sense that Webber’s decreased performance was by mutual choice, rather than due to an issue (KERS for Vettel, Silverstone 2011)… There is still a large element of hypocrisy on Webber’s side.

      Vettel should only get a reprimand if Webber is willing to accept one, also, for those incidents.

      Still doesn’t mean what Vettel did was right. It wasn’t the most dignified win for Vettel, that’s for sure.

  6. CanadianF1Fan
    25th March 2013, 0:44

    I think this proves there should be no team orders in F1 in regards to passing for position. Fans want to see racing, not faster drivers held on a leash. Good on Vettel for doing what he should, race to win. Those points could make the difference in the end, and Seb has repeatedly proven he’s a more capable driver, why hold him back? Not to mention the only reason Webber was in that position was Seb took a gamble early on the slicks which gave Webber the information to stay out. I don’t buy Webber wasn’t able to hold him off, Seb made his intentions to pass clear, Webber could have put the engine up, and it’s not like he just pulled over and let him pass, he was clearly out-raced.

    Rosberg should have done the same. Instead of intense competition we got a lame dramafest at the end, it looks bad on the sport and it’s not good for fans.

    1. And that explains the 4 second lead Mark had that mysteriously disappeared when Vettel exited the pits?

      1. Because Vettel set some fastest laps in clear air?

    2. Dave in NZL (now AUS)
      25th March 2013, 3:43

      It is not fair to expect teams to favour racing over points when they are rewarded for points. Two drivers entertaining the crowd makes for good viewing, but currently teams are paid on championship points and fulfilling sponsor duties.

    3. Remember the last time RBR drivers made contact? The team can’t survive, if they have their drivers taking each other out at every race, so there must be established rules for ensuring there is order at some point in the race. They were free to race until the final pit stop.
      Regarding Mercedes, it was not the drivers who chose their fuel levels, and it was understandable why Brawn would have had them hold station, seeing on driver could not respond even if he had the pace to. Had Hamilton sufficient fuel, it is likely he would have been further ahead of Rosberg.
      These decisions are not easy to accept sometimes, but they are in the teams interest, and without the teams there will be no F1.

    4. Completely agree with you, they both proved in the past that they can race without crashing into each other, so why hold them back ?
      I think the team is at fault for putting both of them in this situation, and i think Mark would have done the exact same thing, and if not he would have complained after the race for being treated like a N.2 driver, so i have no idea what he’s complaining about.
      Plus we got to see an awesome battle on track

      1. Also,it is infuriating how people ignore this, Mark DID THIS before, and with much higher stakes (Brazil 2012 comes to mind), but because he is perceived as RB’s “whipping boy” and/or “underdog”, he gets everyone’s support, an also that he could never reep any benefits from defying team orders (Silverstone 2011).
        I agree that Seb is in the wrong, but only towards the team for disobeying an order, but as far as Mark is concerned, i think he got a taste of his own medicine and has nothing to gripe about.

        1. @mnm101

          I thought people disapprove Vettel’s move not because of his move, but because both Vettel and Webber were told to slow down and coast to a 1-2. Webber did slow down but Vettel didn’t, the latter’s action allowed him to catch the former and then stand a change to get the prize. Like someone said before, it’s like firing under cease fire.

          Maybe I misunderstood the whole thing…

          1. like firing under cease fire.
            -> Great way of putting it.

    5. I agree. I find it so strange that most people who are bashing Vettel for what he did, are also saying that what Mercedes did was wrong. If what Mercedes did was wrong, then what Vettel did was, by consequence, brave and right. You can only say Vettel did wrong if you think Mercedes is right, and Rosberg acted 100% properly. In the end, it’s all taken a turn for the worse: team orders may mean that after the final pit stop round, there is no racing. Drivers agree to things beforehand and disrespect those agreements (Vettel backstabbing Webber). Drivers get backstabbed and don’t have the guts or pace to return the stabbing (Webber could have done something, instead there was a finger shown and a gap built in a couple of laps). Crews can’t make simple math of how much fuel a car needs (Hamilton), and then lie to the driver who has enough fuel (Hamilton could also go faster) so he doesn’t try to overtake. Drivers meekly obey such preposterous orders (Rosberg could have tried to overtake, I doubt Hamilton would have put that much effort in defense).

      All things considered, perhaps we should start a campaign to have one driver per team.

      1. Or, what Merc did was wrong, what Rosberg did was right, and what Vettel did was wrong.

      2. You can only say Vettel did wrong if you think Mercedes is right, and Rosberg acted 100% properly.

        Not true. It’s not as simple as that.

        RB told both drivers to turn their engines down and coast home in formation. Therefore Mark was going slowly (by F1 standards). Vettel chose to ignore that, put in some fast laps and caught Webber. This is, at the very least, unsporting, especially if Mark did not receive any indication from his team that this was happening. Suddenly, Vettel was on him, his gap gone and they are fighting. By then Webber’s concentration will have slightly dulled, too, as he was expecting a formation finish.

        If nothing else, a move such as this will sour their relationship even further. I can’t see how the team can expect either of them to obey team orders any more, which could easily cost the team many points.

    6. I’m with you.
      F1 was always political and about strategy but it was a sideshow to racing now racing became the sideshow to everything else that’s going on in F1 and I don’t like it.
      The problem as I see it is that the WCC became too important money wise. If they would distribute money equally instead of sharing it based on points then teams would be inclined to let their drivers loose and go for the WDC.

  7. I would say Webber is more at fault last season. … start of the Brazilian GP when he deliberately impeded Vettel …
    All these team order should’ve never been allowed to return … It’s becoming a joke really. I do not agree with those who say it could not be enforce… Put it into the drivers contract, allow FIA or even Bernie to approve it, punish teams vigorously …..

  8. Whether it was right or wrong for Seb to do what he did today, my jaw was on the floor watching the two Red Bulls drive side by side within inches of each other, with both drivers totally committed to fighting each other. It was great to watch.

  9. “Mark is too slow, get him out of the way, he’s too slow,” Vettel urged on the radio.

    Red Bull instruct their drivers not to race each other for position after the final pit stop. Instead of Rocquelin it was Christian Horner who reminded Vettel of that on the radio: “This is silly, Seb, come on.”

    Vettel wasn’t listening.

    Uh, so first he requests Mark to move out of his way, pointing towards team-orders in his favor. Then, when Red Bull give him a team order, he doesn’t even bother to listen.

    Amazing, isn’t it? Red Bull have paid this guy thousands of euros to support his karting career, millions to support his career in Formula junior; and have given him 3 WDC. Then, he completely ignores the first team order he receives since Turkey ’09, four years ago.

    What a hypocrite.

      1. Mark didn’t listen to quite a bit of team orders, the fact that he could never deal that much damage on Seb (taking a victory, or ruining a championship – Brazil 2012) does not absolve him

        1. Didn’t Mark went wide in Brazil not to crash into Seb?

          1. he shouldnt have been racing him and side by side with him at the turn

    1. @kingshark – I see it differently: he felt he was faster than Webber and should be allowed to pass, but his team denied him the permission to so he took it upon himself and did it anyway. I don’t agree with his radio comments, but I think the hypocritical one here is Webber – he is the first to ignore team orders yet he’s making much more of a fuss over it than Vettel ever has…

      1. @vettel1 – Correct again.

  10. I loved what Vettel did. Showed character. Showed he’s there to race and will if half a chance is presented. If anything, I was disappointed by his team’s belittling comments on the radio, “This is stupid”, “This is silly”, and yet they were the first to bash Ferrari’s team orders years back as a bad spectacle for the fans at the stands. LOL

    Also, if the drivers involved were Senna, Piquet, Mansell or Alesi, they would have had words right there in front of the camera, not caring what the world and sponsors thought, unlike the silent treatment dished by Webber, then poking his frustrations on a microphone. For a while I questioned if these were men or kids on the podium?
    The Mark’s excuse of turning down his engine was laughable. Just didn’t want to admit he couldn’t over take Seb after that.

    1. You loved it…but did Vettel have the balls to man up and say that “hey look, I defied team orders, but only because I was much quicker than mark”? No, he didn’t.. Instead, he hid behind a facade, feigning ignorance and accepting no responsibility whatsoever. This is was irks me to no end.

      1. LOL,

        Did you not see the podium interviews?

        1. I did. And I am certain at no point did Vettel acknowledge that he defied team orders. He said things along the lines of “I’m sure we are both pleased with the result for the team today”, totally sidestepping the issue at hand and brashly speaking on the behalf of Mark.

          1. Mark had his chance to speak, to be a man, to confront Seb like a man. But chose the silent treatment and the kiddy poke on the interview.

            Don’t care. He’s a three time world champion, he shouldn’t be told half way through the race to stop racing.

          2. They both were told to slow down. Not just Vettel.

        2. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
          25th March 2013, 2:14

          @ivano Just because he is a three time world champion does not mean he is excused of certain rules. Championships don’t matter in those situations, it’s not a fast pass ticket like Disneyland or something, it means nothing.
          He was told to stop racing because the team said so for their constructors points which is a perfectly valid reason to demand no racing between the two of them. The needs of many should outweigh the individual.
          Stop trying to justify his terrible actions on the premise that “he’s a racer and there to win”. Well no way! They are all there to win but that doesn’t excuse his selfish behaviour! The term ‘racer’ doesn’t even mean anything anyway, aren’t they all racers anyway?

          1. And yet most of the F1 world bashes Ferrari and Massa for their No2 status when defending constructor points.

            And yes, he’s there to win, he’s entitled to have No1 status at Redbull, he’s earned it, and I feel it’s Redbull that shouldn’t tell a 3 times world champion to hold his position half way through the race. Ron Dennis would have never told Senna to cover for constructor positions.

          2. jsw11984 (@jarred-walmsley)
            25th March 2013, 9:02

            I’m sorry but lap 44/56, is not halfway through the race, I personally dislike team orders BUT if they are issued then I expect the drivers to respect them. As for Mercedes, I have no issue with Nico’s first message, thats fine saying, “I am faster do I have permission to overtake” which is in stark contrasts to Vettels “get him out of my way”, one’s polite and respectful and one is arrogant and cocky.

            I lost a lot of respect for Vettel for disobeying orders and denying Mark a well deserved win.

        3. @ivano: you are right Vettel is above all the ** of team orders, true champion. Takes the lead then apologizes. lol.

      2. No particular siding, but if RB pit wall did not ask Webber to turn down his engine, I don’t see why Webber should.

        And even if Webber did turn down his engine, does a third party other than himself actually know that his engine was being turned down?

        Its like, a woman having menses, and you met her in public. She started screaming at shouting at you. You won’t know what happened that caused that till she tell you that that is the time of the month.

        Another thing to note is that, Vettel weaved at the finish line. If he knew that Webber had turned down his engine and he overtake what it deems as a “slower” car, I think he will just cross the line and feel bad for his team mate.

        However, his actions showed likewise. Webber posed a challenge to him at Lap 44/45. The battle was close, Vettel thought that he had made a promising overtake and is proud of it. Therefore, he weaved in delight till he crossed the line and realised that there are many things he is unaware about.

        Human behaviour can tell if he is blatantly lying or really ignorant to things around them.

    2. Yeah, he showed character. A miserable character, but a character nonetheless.

      1. Just because he’s a racer and there to win, and not stop racing half way through the race?

        Just because he had the balls to tell management, no?

        Nope, he showed character that he’s his own man, a three time world champion that shouldn’t be told to not go for the win.

        1. You’re twisting the facts. He demanded that his team get his team-mate out of the way. If you’re “your own man”, you don’t ask your team to play favorites.

          1. Never denied or twisted he said that. I like it he did, and feel he’s earned the right to say that as he’s three time WDC.

            And I’m not a Seb fan. Far from it. But I like what did today. Actually reminded me of the old days, Senna and Mansell that just went for it, and management let them.

          2. Oh, yes, you twisted his meaning. He didn’t say “I will not be held back”. He didn’t say “no” to his management. He said get the guy in front of me out of my way. As I’ve said, if you’re “your own man”, if you have the balls, you don’t ask someone else to remove an obstacle for you. That’s at best childish and at worst cowardly.

          3. Ma Giuseppe, where did I twist? I stated my view, like you have yours.

            And yes, by over taking Webber, he did say no to management. And well done to him. It took balls to that on TV, and also for telling Mark to get out of the way. I loved it.

          4. Alright, you didn’t twist anything. Still, I have to say you have a strange way of judging what takes balls. :)

            I mean, one guy has balls because he asked for a problem to be solved for him. Another guy doesn’t have balls because he didn’t react aggressively enough on the podium. To be fair, I probably would have reacted a lot more aggressively than Webber did; however I’m not sure if that would’ve made me a “bigger man” or anything like that.

            This discussion about balls reminds of a funny quote: “Why do people say grow some balls? Balls are weak and sensitive. If you wanna be tough, grow a vagina. Those things can take a pounding.” :))

          5. Double standards there?

            When Alonso is the rival of Vettel for the WDC, no one bashed Alonso for asking Massa to move over.

            Seriously. What has the F1 community becoming? Applying double standard just to play down Vettel success?

            I would say, British media propaganda has indeed made quite a big influence worldwide on Formula 1. Always bashing the German races, Vettel, Schumacher and Rosberg (When team orders were given for Rosberg to hold position and Hamilton received no bashing after).

        2. He didn’t tell management “no.” He left Webber with a turned-down car and passed him. He knew Webber’s engine mapping because he was told to do the same.

        3. @ivano

          Own man? He still needs the team, he’s not Usain Bolt.

          I think what he did was wrong because both drivers were told to slow down and the situation was not similar with Nico and Lewis who had more fuel to save than Nico and, I think, should let him pass. However, Lewis words of praise to Nico standing on the podium were nice to hear, on the other hand Seb waved his car crossing the line and showed us his world famous finger after all that…

        4. @ivano

          Just because he’s a racer and there to win, and not stop racing half way through the race?

          Lap 44 isn’t half way through the race, catching and passing your team mate because they’ve been told to turn down their engine and stop pushing isn’t racing.

          Just because he had the balls to tell management, no?

          He didn’t have the balls to tell the management no, he claimed not to have heard/understood the message from the team – which is a cowardly excuse, at best.

          Nope, he showed character that he’s his own man, a three time world champion that shouldn’t be told to not go for the win.

          The character he showed was the character of a petulant, arrogant and selfish young boy who puts his own interests above the interests of the team that have invested millions of pounds into helping him develop his talent and have given him the opportunity to become a three times champion.

          1. Totally with Ivano here. As with the conflict between Alonso and Hamilton, a conflict like this can’t be controlled by any team. The team who has the designers and resources to build an F1 racer capable of winning races also needs a driver line up, which has the will power and ability to put everything else than winning lower in the prioritising list. RBR pays Vettel to do that, so why do they try to control this urge to win and thus embarrass themselves, Vettel and Webber? Vettel has of course earned his right to be lead driver in that team, so I think it is unfair of RBR to try to order him to hold back for Webber. At Ferrari Massa would have been told to step back for Alsonso, and rightly so. Vettel and Alonso is in my view still the best bets for a WDC for 2013 and RBR should maximize Vettels points from race no 1. I think the most embarrassing part of it is that Vettel even working hard in the car on the race track has a more clear instinct for what is right than Newey and Horner on the pitwall, who let their fear of a collision and a double DNF cloud their minds.

    3. @ivano Silly post. How was Mark’s excuse laughable? Are you a stranger to logic? Because otherwise you’d understand that turning your engine down does hurt your performance. Much character he showed, overtaking someone who turned his engine down by team agreement which Seb didn’t protest beforehand, just when it didn’t suit him. So yes, SV showed character. Childish, pathetic character

      1. Okay… LOL

        Well, did the lap times show it hurt his performance? Regardless, don’t care what you think of me, or of Seb, eventhough I’m not a fan of his, he did something that real drivers use to do, that of against in telling him to not race. The same thing that was expected of Ferrari and Massa in Germany 2010. ;) Yet, Massa then got bashed for obeying team orders, here Seb doesn’t obey them but gets bashed?

        1. Well team orders were illegal back then weren’t they.

        2. @ivano real drivers used to do?…yeah sure, those same real drivers where also capable of amazing team mate camaraderie. see 1991 japanese grand prix when senna gifted victory to his team mate berger..

          1. @me262

            see 1991 japanese grand prix when senna gifted victory to his team mate berger..

            How about Brazil 2011? And was Japan 1991 the second race of the season?

  11. Today, many a people lost respect for Seb Vettel. Not many liked him to begin with, but today they are all justified in their feelings towards him. An act of cowardice is what he committed. The only fair thing for Red Bull to do is to issue a severe punishment, but we all know Vettel will just get a slap on the wrist and Mark a couple of hundred grands to soothe the situation.

    Vettel not only disobeyed team orders, but he demanded for one in his favour earlier on. He not only sneaked past his team mate who was running on limited engine revs, but he also feigned ignorance at the issuance and importance of the team orders. He not only doesn’t own up manly that he went against the team’s wishes, but he further issues an apology that is as fake as one could get.

    Whatever it is Seb, today you were at fault. 100%. Too bad if it were Mark you will be throwing out your toys, crying in front of the media, instigating Dr Marko to do something for you and demanding the team to take action against Mark.

    1. And so Seb should throw his toys. He’s three times world champion, and Mark isn’t. ;)
      And nah, he’s not at fault. He’s paid to race just like the 90% of F1 fans demand the Ferrari drivers to do.

      Also, this whole limited Revs story is really getting weak, as Mark was still pushing lap times to build a safety gap from the Mercs.

      1. @ivano Your argument is weak. The Mercs were very slow, because of Hamilton’s lack of fuel and their own pathetic team orders. The fact MW was faster than them does not in any way prove that MW didn’t turn his engine down

      2. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
        25th March 2013, 2:15

        He’s also paid by his team to obey team orders and do what they say. They are not paying him to overtake his team mate when he was clearly ordered not to.

      3. it shocks me how people think that it takes more than a lap to change the engine mode, mark knew he had a tussle on for long enough to get the car into beast mode. its the click of a dial. plus if rosberg passed hamilton he would have been all over the red bulls

    2. Today, many a people lost respect for Seb Vettel. Not many liked him to begin with, but today they are all justified in their feelings towards him.

      @himmatsj You obviously don’t count the country of Germany. Where many there follow their countryman, much like many in this forum gravitate to Hamilton.

      Please do not mistake your own opinion for everyone’s opinion.

    3. Today, many a people lost respect for Seb Vettel. Not many liked him to begin with, but today they are all justified in their feelings towards him. An act of cowardice is what he committed.

      I was never one of his fans, but I did used to respect him. What he said over the radio reminded me of a spoiled brat that expects his parents to “fix” things for him and throws hissy fits if they don’t immediately do so.

      1. How is that any diffirent to the posted hissy fits here against him?

        1. @ivano How about the fact that none of us a public figures that people might hold as a role model?

          1. I disagree, plenty of adults and kids here that look at each other’s views, and as proven by witchhunts for example, you don’t have to be a public figure to obtain an auidance, especially on the internet.

        2. The difference is that he did over the radio during a Formula 1 race watched by tens or hundreds of millions of people. The difference is that he’s a three times world champion, so you’d expect that he doesn’t need his team’s help to overtake his team-mate. The difference is that he’s Sportsman of the Year 2012, a title which would lead people to think his fairness and respect towards his fellow competitors is of the highest standard.

          You know, there are some minor differences.

          1. Fairness of sportmanship in a sport that consumes billions of Dollars and as much resources and manpower to make cars go in a circle, all while every week on the Unicef site, thousands more kids around the world have died of famine. He’s already racing in a selfish trade for millionaires that provides the masses a bit of Sunday entertainment before Monday morning’s shift. But I guess fairness towards fellow racers is more important?

            Look, I get why people are defending Webber, but I don’t care, Seb said no to his management today, and for me, that was awesome. So refreshing that a driver didn’t budge down to the above law. At the end if Massa back in 2010 defended his position from Alonso, Massa would have been a hero for the F1 community, otherwise Alfonso and Ferrari wouldn’t had been bashed then… which brings me to this, I’m sure not every F1 site and it’s fans have been hypocrtical today, but most have, and so what, I actually like all this chatter, even most of you who don’t like my view, I’ve enjoyed this as it shows passion, the same passion Seb showed earlier. And that for me is great and all that matters. :)

          2. Yes, of course, if you don’t like the explanations as to why it’s “any different”, you can just ignore or rationalize them.

            Also, I don’t speak for other commenters here, but I’m not defending Webber. I’m accusing a triple world champion (who also happens to be “Sportsman of the Year”) of behaving like child with entitlement issues. That’s putting it lightly. I’d rather say he behaved like a ****.

          3. Yes, of course, if you don’t like the explanations as to why it’s “any different”, you can just ignore or rationalize them.

            Also, I don’t speak for other commenters here, but I’m not defending Webber. I’m accusing a triple world champion (who also happens to be “Sportsman of the Year”) of behaving like child with entitlement issues. That’s putting it lightly. I’d rather say he behaved like a d…… I’ll let other fill in the letter; it appears the filter won’t even let me use asterisks :))

          4. @guiseppe Fairness of sportsmanship is something the naive audience tries to believe in, but in top sports it doesn’t exist. No one reaches that level without the ability to be utterly selfish despite the negative consequences for other people. Look at any other sport – true sportsmanship doesn’t exist at top level. Only if the athlete are no longer being threatened or the chance of victory is lost, then they are sometimes able to show something You would translate into sportsmanship. Exactly the ability to behave like a spoiled child, when he don’t get what he wants (including a racecar which is performing top of its class) is perhaps what is parting a WDC from a midfield driver. These guys are competitive beyond our dreams and they don’t take no for an answer – OK, Rosberg did, but he is not a WDC is he?

    4. Rob (@potsie9000)
      25th March 2013, 2:29

      Whatever it is Seb, today you were at fault. 100%. Too bad if it were Mark you will be throwing out your toys, crying in front of the media, instigating Dr Marko to do something for you and demanding the team to take action against Mark.

      I agree with himmatsj. One thing that I did note in Ted Kravitz’ ‘notebook’ summary of the race on Sky Sports was that Ted said that he had ‘lost respect for Seb’ due to his actions. It has seemed to me that Ted gets on well with Seb, so I found that a telling comment.

  12. I agree with kingshark that Vettel appears such a hypocrite. Vettel seems to suggest that he didn’t deliberately overtake Mark in his interview, but it didn’t look exactly accidental on the TV! We may never know whether Mark had the car (and engine power) to really defend, but Vettel certainly gives a good impression of the arrogant kid who doesn’t care about anybody or anything except winning. Shades of Schumacher anyone? I’d dock his salary for 3 races if my name was Dietrich.

    1. It is very obvious that Dietrich Mateschitz sided Vettel as his #1 driver.

      1. I’m not sure DM has ever been quite as one eyed for Vettel as Marko.

    2. Vettel’s emotions before and after he came out of the car appeared SO different.
      While crossing the finish line he zigged and zagged on the final straight like Alonso did in the past.
      I assume it was a clear sign he was really happy.
      Then in the pre-podium waiting room while speaking to Newey he was serious but quite calm and a few seconds later he put on a stone face he has kept for podium and on the podium public interview.
      If Newey satisfaction appearing in the linked picture ( is true, I guess who’s actualing directing the team, Horner or Newey? Or are they playing just the good cop/bad cop game in Vettel’s favor???
      Anyway the interview over the podium was ridiculous, Vettel’s race conduct was publicly discussed in front of the fans and his defense seemed really silly…

  13. I’ve been giving some thought to why Webber didn’t try to retake the place.

    As pointed out by @keithcollantine above, team orders are nothing new at Red Bull, and Webber has been outspoken and occasionally defiant of the team’s wishes in the past. The question remains then, why does this situation feel so different to ones that went before it, at Brazil, Silverstone, “front wing gate” and most infamously to Hockenheim 2010? I think the key is in the attitudes and body language of all the players at Red Bull. This is different, and for reasons they know a lot more about than we do. They know this is a much bigger deal, and they know that regardless of public attitudes to team orders, or favouritism, or anything else, that this was a major, major screw up. Worse than the one in Turkey.

    One of the things we tend to overlook in our demands of F1 drivers is that they’re human. Because they do such frankly incredible things in such incredible machinery, at incredible speeds, and with incredible precision, sometimes we get surprised at their mistakes and misjudgements (unless we happen to think that driver is crap and doesn’t belong in the car, of course, in which case the mistake is entirely expected). Mark had the race under control a lot of the time, and while he was pressured by Seb before, he was able to respond and either keep him behind, or absorb the pressure. When Seb asked for team orders to let him through, Webber pulled out a gap straight away to prove a point. Why didn’t he fight back after lap 44? I think it’s possible he could have done so. But he didn’t, he dropped back, and he let Seb go. He said he had “a lot going through my mind” after that lap. I’m not surprised.

    There’s no doubt that in previous situations, Red Bull have enforced team orders to help Vettel. Webber was outspoken but for the most part stuck to them. Towards the end of 2010, he said that as he was ahead in the championship, Vettel should be his wingman, just like the team stated publicly over the front wing affair “in a similar situation, we will direct the benefit towards the championship leader”. That didn’t happen. The front wing explanation seemed like a disingenuous excuse made up after the fact, once the team saw the public reaction to it. I don’t doubt personally that that’s exactly what it was. I think that during 2011 particularly, Webber would have been told multiple times some variation on “multi 21”. Through those last laps, Webber would have gone through all those times.

    When we talk about team orders, we tend as fans to concentrate on the effects it has on the drivers, those public icons of our attraction, and the ones we bestow our loyalty onto. We want racers to race, we want no holds barred action, and we don’t like the dead hand of a team principal determining the outcome of a race from a seat in front of an excel sheet of race forecasts. However, team orders have an effect on the whole team. If you tell Driver A to hold station, you’re telling the whole of Driver A’s side of the garage to hold station. You’re telling all the hundreds of members of the team who put their efforts into designing, building, testing, and running the cars “We’ve made a decision, this is what’s best for all of us as a whole”. Those people aren’t drivers. They’re competitive as hell, but ultimately they work in teams. They understand, in fact their whole dna rests, on the idea that sometimes what you individually would like isn’t what’s best for the team. You work for the team first and yourself second. Once that order comes down, Driver A has a decision to make to comply with it. If he does, his side of the garage have to accept that all their hard work is going to be effectively taken away. The two sets of engineers compete, don’t forget. That’s galling. If he doesn’t, then there’s a whole team of strategy guys, or maybe just a single individual, who came up with a decision to say “this is the best result for the team”, and they are being told “screw what you think, I’m doing my own thing”. So in order for team orders to be viable, everyone has to buy into the idea – drivers, team members, engineers. They need to be confident that when the decision comes down “We’re doing X”, then the decision has come down without favour or prejudice. That it’s simply the best thing for the team. “Just Business”, as Stringer Bell would say.

    Vettel’s actions today look like they have fundamentally broken that. Nobody on a driver’s side of the garage wants to hear an order “You’re taking one for the team”, but they will do it if they have to, and if they believe that it’s better for the team. Webber’s team will have heard that a lot. Today, they got the message “It’s your turn today guys. The other guy is taking one for the team”. Only he didn’t. He screwed them over. And that means that not just Webber, but all those guys that work for him, all day, every day, now know something: They will always get screwed over. Their efforts are not worthwhile. They are not valued. If they toe the company line, they get nothing. If they break the company line, they get nothing but pain, because the other side of the garage is backed by political power that’s effectively unimaginable. Power that overrides the Team Principal. I can’t think how utterly toxic that must be for those people. And I guarantee that whatever happens between Seb and Mark, there are a lot of hardworking, dedicated people that Red Bull rely on to be a winning team, who are no longer on board. Fixing that is a bigger job. If Webber leaves, there are other drivers. It took years to build up a winning team from the Jaguar group who function well as a unit, pull together, and don’t make mistakes. That’s why you hear drivers thanking their engineers. Breaking the morale and cohesion of that team up because of a selfish move by a driver who will take team orders when they benefit him, and ignore them when they don’t, is a massive thing to fix.

    I think the red mist came down, Vettel wanted to win, and he assumed that Webber fundamentally wasn’t as fast as him on this occassion (just as he did earlier in the race, before Webber whipped out half a second on him). I think Vettel wasn’t lying when he said he didn’t realise he’d made a mistake. He clearly didn’t think so, and he also didn’t think so when he started talking to Adrian Newey. Once he started to talk to Adrian, I think you could see the realisation dawn on his face. By the time Mark walked in, he was worried. By the time he got to the podium, he was clearly under no illusions what he’d done. Because he didn’t break Webber’s trust today, he broke the trust of a whole team of guys that work for Webber. And a whole team of guys that work for the team. And he undermined Christian Horner’s authority. Red Bull have a lot of things to fix, regardless of what Webber decides to do.

    As to Webber, I don’t know what he’ll do. Honestly, I hope he leaves the team, and gives us a defiant speech laying on the line why. Because that’s what, as a fan, I like to see Webber do; be honest, be hard, be a strong guy. Who knows.

    1. Webber missed his chance to be strong when getting out of the car today. He chose the silent treatment and the little poke with his podium interview. Showed no balls, didn’t even look Seb in the eyes. If it was a Senna or an Alesi, Seb might have been running for his life.

      1. Losing your temper isn’t always showing balls. Sometimes it takes bigger balls to be quiet.

        1. There’s a diffirence between losing a temper to comforting the matter in the eye at the moment.

          1. @ivano – please stop talking nonsense and go and watch high school musical already

        2. I think that the way Webber handled himself yesterday was exactly that @hairs

          Sometimes it takes bigger balls to be quiet

          And he also knows that this is the best way to get as much out of it as possible, to be part of the team there, not part of the problem.

        3. Exactly, you cannot get the better of your opponent if you cannot control yourself first.

      2. @ivano Because real men respond with agression and tantrums? Mark showed a lot of self control for the public, but behind closed doors (where it belongs) he’ll hit the roof and as always, tell it like it is. Mark knew having a public cry about it wouldn’t change or achieve anything, so why do it. He dealt with the situation perfectly.

        1. Agreed, nicely put. I was gonna post a reply, but thought better of having a post full of asterix’s. Been getting fed up all day of people having a go at Mark over it all.

        2. Well I disagree. I feel if Mark felt he was right, he should have told Seb right there, like real drivers use to, unless Senna and co was before your time, or you forgot, you’d understand, and Seb demostrated he’s a real racer, where winning is all that matters.

          And yeah, aggression in this competitive world gets people far, and not eaten. ;)

          1. I’m pretty sure along with millions of other viewers that he told Seb exactly what he thought!

          2. he should have told Seb right there, like real drivers use to

            didn’t he just do that then? the “multi 21” remark, and on the podium he let there be no mistake whatsoever about what he felt about the situation.
            Throwing punches is not the only way to show you are angry, and all of us saw Webber control his anger to be at least civil.

        3. He told Seb, and the team, and the public, in very clear terms, in front of the full TV audience, what he thought. Throwing his helmet at him, or a fist, or having an incoherent rant would only have served to diminish his point, and him as a man.

          Seb knew how badly he was in the wrong. He realised it too late, but he knows. “Winning is all that matters”. What happens if the guys on Webber’s side of the garage decide, next race out, that they’ll dawdle while doing Vettel’s pitstop, to give Webber an advantage? How well will the “real racer” be able to go racing with no wheels?

      3. How dare he not punch Vettel to the ground like a man!

        1. Now we’re talking. ;)

      4. Webber is too much of a professional to do something drastic in front of the media.

      5. jsw11984 (@jarred-walmsley)
        25th March 2013, 9:09

        The thing is, public displays of anger and aggression aren’t Mark’s style, he’d rather deal with it in his own way. And he made his anger very clear in his comments, just because he didn’t confront Vettel in front of millions of TV viewers. I think maybe you don’t quite understand the Australasian way of doing things. We do things and sort issues in our own way, and that’s the way Mark dealt with it on the podium, behind closed doors I have no doubt it was a different story entirely.

    2. I really enjoyed reading that. You’ve framed this controversy in a different light, and while we never will know exactly what went through the minds of Vettel, Webber and Horner today I wouldn’t be surprised if you were close to the truth.

      Webber’s autobiography is going to be a must read!

      1. I can’t wait for that. In a way I kinda want him to retire sooner now so he can write it, although that’s somewhat selfish of me!

    3. My thoughts exactly, only much more elegantly expressed, thanks for taking the time to write that. I was really taken aback by the mixture of anger and disbelief that emerged from the Red Bull team immediately after the race, despite their obvious need for restraint in front of the cameras. Newey looked incredibly angry and disappointed. I think you’ve described exactly why it was such a huge letdown. Apart for Marko apparently, he seemed just fine about it to be honest.

    4. I love the Pope
      25th March 2013, 2:23

      Good! I hope he does quit! He is not a championship driver and he complains far too much. Bring in Buemi, who I bet would do just as well if not better.

    5. You have conveyed exactly what I wanted to in brilliant words . COTD. Shame on vettel

    6. @hairs Awesome comment, easily the best I’ve read since the race, though it might be too long for COTD.

    7. That was good to read. Should have it’s own opinion article!

    8. You know what would really screw up Red Bull? if Webber decided to leave immediately in the next few races, I’m having a hard time trying to think of a driver who could not only be fast, but also impervious to all this political mess they have in the team.

      1. Buemi would help Webber pack his things.

    9. Great post this.

    10. Good post. But with your post in mind – it was a major screw up at the pit wall. Webber lost 4s in 2 laps and it would have been their responsibility to make sure they don’t cross paths at the pit exit. And not rely on Vettel’s ability to restrain himself, which he showed countless times with fastest lap times at the end of a GP, he doesn’t posses.

      About Mark I can only say that he suffers from a severe case of Barrichello syndrome.

    11. Very good post @hairs, I saw the same transition from Seb from happy race winner, to getting to understand all was not well, to being worried.

      I think the moment we all saw Marko, and then heard him being very worried talking about things getting out of control it was clear that this does change a lot, and it could well be the start of what breaks the bonds between Red Bull and Vettel (it could also mean having to look for a Horner replacement, after all who can work with a team principal who is not in control, does not command the respect from their drivers?). I had expected Marko to just brush it aside, but you could see how he was rearranging his thoughts around a whole new situation.

      1. On the topic a mr. Joe Sawart mentioned this

        If a driver is allowed to call the shots then the team management loses all of its authority. Christian Horner said that Vettel had done the wrong thing, but said that he could see no point in calling up the German and ordering him to give back the place. One team boss I spoke to after the race said that if Vettel had been his driver, he would have called him into the pits just to make the point that it is the team, rather than the driver, who calls the shots.

        And I really can see a Ross Brawn, but also a Frank Williams, Franz Tost, a John Booth, or even an Eric Boellier (and definitely a Jean Todt and a Ron Dennis) doing that if its a matter of his authority being questioned by their driver. Its not a coincidence that drivers ignoring team orders in this way have rarely had a long and happy life with that team after ignoring them.

        1. @bascb Totally disagree. If a team principal would do that to one of the sports top 3 drivers, then he would not get a signature from that class of driver again. The problem of RBR management is exactly that they fail on leadership – they don’t realize that they demand something of a star-employee, which he has big problems with delivering. If a leader misjudges his employees ability to perform according to given instructions, then who is to blame – the employee or the leader? RB pitwall should have confined their fear of a loss of points and have let their drivers fight it out without any teamorders. Star performers in any kind of work, needs special treatment and special leadership. Racedrivers of this class isn’t just regular workers, who will click their heels together and say “Yes Sir!” If not motivated they will go their own way.

          1. If a team principal would do that to one of the sports top 3 drivers, then he would not get a signature from that class of driver again

            That is just full nonsense, @palle. If he is the team principle of a team with a good car, every driver will consider going there. And even more so when they see he is serious business.
            You forget that the top drivers will never even consider that they would not be the ones benefiting from team orders, so they will want a team boss who keeps order and makes the team run well.

      2. @bascb That was the defining moment for me too. We all expected Webber to be ****** off, and we expected Horner to waffle. But Marko has never been shy about speaking his mind or disabusing the notion that he has power in the team.

        He actually looked nervous. If Webber’s side of the garage is mutinous, that spells trouble every weekend. That means pitstops aren’t a fluid ballet.

        This is grassroots trouble, and I doubt Marko has many friends within the grassroots of the team. His politics hold no sway there.

    12. @ Hairs – Fantastic post.

    13. @hairs Brilliant post. I particularly like your focus on the implications for the people on Mark Webber’s “side of the garage” instead of just the driver himself. Very astute observations.

    14. You get my nomination for COTD, hairs. This is what I have been saying, too, but worded much better than I could ever manage.

    15. Thanks for all the positive comments. Looking back over it, I never actually addressed why Webber may not have gone back at Vettel! Just as well there’s no edit post function, or it might end up twice as long.

      I do think that for all the headlines about this incident, whether or not team orders are allowed, what the effect on the two drivers and Horner is, Red Bull are in serious trouble here. Webber has a lot of friends within the team, having stuck with them in the good and bad days, and loyalty counts for a lot. The “who did what when” to and fro is relevant certainly, but for Vettel to defy Horner at the second race of the season I think pits the team into much deeper waters than it would have towards the end. It poisons the team dynamic at such an early stage that the resentment is going to simmer on.

      The problem for Vettel is that he hasn’t outgrown the original source of his power (Helmut Marko) completely yet. The three championships and the fantastic results cement his position as the fastest driver in the squad, certainly. But having a political figure like Marko in the middle of a racing team isn’t healthy. It’s a diametrically opposed philosophy. While Vettel may have been able to use that backing in the big-picture wars, if it comes down to feet on the ground, he’s possibly in trouble. Marko has no power and influence among the engineers. He can’t fix anything and it’s unlikely that a divisive figure like that is capable of brokering a settlement even if he wanted to. If Horner can’t get control of his driver, then his influence among the lower ranks wanes. Marko’s interfering already means that he’s considered a partial lap dog to some people outside the team, but we can’t tell what his standing is inside it.

      The fact remains this is a team sport. Vettel can tell himself he’s number 1, the fastest man on earth, the team’s only hope of a championship if he likes. Without someone to boot up his car, give him a strategy, analyse his data, change his tyres, fuel him up…. he’s nothing more than a kid on a tricycle out there.

      We like to focus on drivers. Let’s see anybody’s favourite driver win a race if the front jack man decides to lean on his elbows and not jack the car up. I’m not suggesting the mechanics would do that, but it’s an example of how very precarious a driver’s position is. Without a good team on board, they’re going nowhere.

  14. Scott Baxter
    25th March 2013, 1:56

    I’m just a poor yank stuck in NASCAR hell trying to savor some F1 salvation, and will say this as a neophyte: Vettel was wrong in every respect today and deserves to chew the carpet publicly. Webber as evidenced in the article has done the exact same thing himself, so he is not without sin also. Vettel needs to say this to Weber AND RBR mgmt: “After today we race and team orders be damned. From this day forward I will pass whoever I can pass within the bounds of safety and professional conduct. If that is not acceptable please release me from my contract forthwith so that I may race.”. There is no negotiation, there is no discussion. RBR either accepts or releases Vettel. THAT will ensure an appropriate level of drama.

  15. As fun as it was to watch Mark and Seb fight it out on track, I can understand why the team gave them orders. However, I feel that some changes need to made so that we don’t have anymore of this “coasting” junk in races. I want to see drivers pushing their cars to the limit on EVERY lap of the race. If every driver is pushing to the limits, but for one reason or another they slower than their team mate, then yes, I think they should be ordered to move over, but if they are both doing a good pace, let them race. I tune in to watch a race to the finish, not a coast to the finish..

  16. There has been so much debate around this, but giving this much thought and reading through everyone’s comments, the problem stems from the following core issue:

    Team Goal & Priority:
    Team > Driver A > Driver B
    Each team wants to win the Constructors Championship, first and foremost… In many cases the WDC is their secondary goal, and is considered easier to attain if you have the best car in the field, so they focus on the Team.

    The problem is that Red Bull haven’t clearly defined Driver A and Driver B and have the model below:
    Team > (Driver A = Driver B)

    As such the drivers then bicker amongst themselves and inevitably take each other out of the race, thereby impacting on Primary Goal of scoring points for the Team! So RBR in response to Turkey those many years ago decided to implement a situation where
    Team > Driver A = Driver B until a set lap, at which Driver A & B had to hold station.

    This clearly hasn’t worked either… RBR in their search for keeping everyone happy, has divided their drivers and the entire F1 community.

    On the other foot, everyone feels better about the situation at Mercedes where Ross Brawn was clearly and concisely telling Nico to hold back, despite the bickering coming back from Nico. Because regardless of what Nico has thought, Merc clearly put a line in the sand:
    MERC > HAM > ROS

    I think Martin Brundle was right in commenting last night that to lure Hamilton, Mercedes needed to make him #1 driver in the contract and that played out yesterday. The bad thing that Merc has done in all of that, is played this over open air channel for the world to hear and not really telling Nico where he really stands in the team.

    I just think RBR have created this situation and poorly managed their drivers expectations. I remember reading last year, or the year before that Mark was happier with RBR because they allowed the drivers to compete for the championship until it was clear that one of them couldn’t attain the WDC… Again, if this was the chats they had with Mark and they haven’t followed through, then shame on RBR…

    1. The problem is that Red Bull haven’t clearly defined Driver A and Driver B and have the model below:
      Team > (Driver A = Driver B)

      I don’t think that’s the case at all. I think that publicly, Red Bull have claimed that is the case. Internally, they may have told both sides of the garage that they’ve got equal chances to win. But I don’t think there’s any doubt that in Red Bull, there’s an A driver and a B driver.

      1. @hairs If RBR have Driver A > Driver B, then why did WEB feel so strongly that he got the raw end of the deal?

        1. @dragoll because no doubt red bull told them internally either that it wasn’t the case, or that the rules were fluid. In that situation, do you call your boss a liar?

    2. Dave in NZL (now AUS)
      25th March 2013, 3:53

      Surely their structure looks more like this:

      RB’s interest > RBR

      No other team has such a prominent sponsor’s man (HMarco) in their garage, fighting their corner. When Mark said, on the podium, that Seb was protected he was referring to HMarco’s power and influence over the team.

    3. @dragoll Maybe Nico has been instructed that Lewis is no 1 driver, but when he caught up with Lewis, Nico believed that he would be able to take the fight to the Red Bull’s if he was allowed to pass Lewis. And to fight the Red Bulls and maybe take some points of them would benefit Mercedes and thus also Lewis over the course of the season. But as he wasn’t allowed and time went by, the chance of catching up with the Red Bulls faded away (if it had ever been possible for him at all), and Brawn was right in saying that they couldn’t gain anything in front and that they had no threat from the rear. So I don’t think the episode can be used to conclude that Nico has not been instructed that Lewis is no 1 driver (if that is the actual case).

  17. What I don’t understand is why Webber didn’t turn up the engine when VET was doing his fast inlap and outlap. It was crazy that VET could catch up 4 seconds in 2 laps. As soon as VET announced to the team that he would be coming in while at the same time increasing his pace significantly, Webber’s race engineer should have realised what was going on, and told WEB to turn up the engine again and increase his pace.

    The other thing that I have not seen answered is that VET and WEB appear to have agreed that they could fight up to the last stop. Wasn’t that what VET was doing? He was side-by-side with WEB at the last stop, so it seems like VET was (just) within the self-imposed riles. Maybe WEB did not think VET could make up the 4 second deficit, and did not turn up the engine because it didn’t seem necessary!

    1. Finally some good questions.

    2. Good point. Seb was surely within the team instructions to challenge when Mark left the pits, but attacking after that, down the straight at the start of the next lap, is the actual issue regarding breaking team rules and agreements. Mark lost a lot of time during that stop – did his guys miscalculate the gap to Seb and not believe he would be challenging Mark upon release?

    3. I think Webber (and team) honestly trusted his team mate to follow the team plan. Webber had already been told to turn down the engine well before the final pit stop (and followed directions). Vettel making up 4-5+ seconds in a couple of laps indicates he didn’t follow the same direction.

      It wasn’t until Vettel almost caused an accident trying to overtake Webber as he came out of the pit lane that Web would have realised one party wasn’t playing by the agreed rules. I thought, watching the race, Webber finally decided Vettel wasn’t going to quit and if Webber didn’t bow out and let him go, both of them were going to end up with blown tires, or smeared against a wall, and the team would get nothing at all.

      Of course, even though Vettel broke the agreement, team orders still stood. Webber would have been just as guilty if he’d chased Vettel down and tried to retake the lead. I think the fact that even Vettel, on the #1 podium, looked like he’d eaten sour grapes, speaks to the fact that even he knows he was in the wrong and finally understood it wasn’t a fair race.

    4. @mike-dee

      why Webber didn’t turn up the engine when VET was doing his fast inlap and outlap

      What makes you sure he didn’t?

      1. Because he lost 4 seconds?

      2. He probably did, but remember mark was on the hard tyres. He probably chose these because he was of the understanding that if he came out of the last stop ahead, he had won and therefore the hard, more durable tyres, were a better bet to get him to the finish line without dropping off the cliff. That was why there would have been a difference in speed. I assume….

    5. The team order is for drivers to hold position after the final pitstops. It would make no sense to start coasting before the final pitstops, as you are unsure whether you will retain your position at the end of the stops. What happens if the Red Bull crew did a McLaren and stuffed the pitstop up. The time he threw away conserving tyres/fuel/engine could’ve cost him a position.

      After the final pit stop, they were 1 and 2 on track. That’s when they are told to hold positions.
      Also, in this situation, it was up to the team to tell Vettel to not attempt to pass Webber, rather than tell Webber to speed up. Telling both drivers to hold positions and go into conservation mode, and then telling Webber to speed up to cover Vettel, while telling Vettel that it’s ok to challenge his teammate is contradicting what was said to both drivers only a few minutes earlier.

      The thing they were trying to avoid was both drivers entering into a contest that would chew up their tyres, or result in one or both crashing out. Telling Webber to retake the place then doesn’t make sense, the damage was done, no point risking another crash.

      1. @davids

        After the final pit stop, they were 1 and 2 on track.

        Not really, they were side-by-side and continued fighting for 2 laps.

    6. @mike-dee no one starts coasting before the last stop with only 4s ahead of the teammate and 8s ahead of the 3rd. the 4 seconds were Mark’s screw up.

    7. Holding positions after the final pit stop has been part of F1 for years, even during the period when “team orders that interfere with the race result” were supposedly banned. Even in the non-race of Indianapolis 2005, Barrichello and Schumacher had a great scrap at their final pit stops, which ended up with them going side-by-side into turn one and Rubens taking to the grass, because they knew that whoever was ahead at that point would be allowed to cruise to victory.

      Monaco 2007 is another one that springs to mind, where Hamilton was publicly unhappy that he was not allowed to challenge Alonso for the win. The pit stops are the big variables in most straightforward races, and once they’re out of the way, it makes sense for a dominant team to cool off and just collect maximum points. That’s why the order for Red Bull to hold station can’t have been a surprise to Vettel, which makes his excuse that he didn’t understand the order very, very difficult to believe.

      1. Holding positions after the final pit stop has been part of F1 for years

        Yes, even if the fans in general do not like it much, and there might be a lot of drivers who are not all to fond of that, its pretty much an accepted practice in the sport.

        To me that is what makes this a big issue, because its clear that Vettel not only does not respect his teammate enough to not go for the win in such circumstances, he also failed to really understand the difference between going for another fastest lap even when his engineer, or even Horner, tells him not to and blatantly going against the teams intentions in this case. That will make it really tough to get over this one inside the team.

  18. One more puzzle – why did VET come in so early for his first stop? OK, his lap time was going up slightly, but he had a 3 or 4 second lead – why not wait for someone else to move first? Seemed very illogical.

    Oh, and I just noticed that I got some predictions right: I predicted VET for pole, VET for win and WEB for second. Unfortunately can’t remember the rest of my predictions! I think I had HAM in the top 5 as well

    1. If you managed to catch the pre podium drivers room comments, he went against the team’s call. You could hear him arguing it with Newey, and being told he made the wrong call.

  19. vettel is a legend…

    1. True ture!!! :)

      1. gotta love his rebellious nature!! with his all out commitment and those fastest laps. A true racer. reading some of the post on this forum…oh..boy.. everyone needs to calm down and just enjoy the next race..

    2. Vettel made it a race. F1 should realize that when money (no matter how much) comes before entertaining the customers (race fans) It is a slippery slope to oblivion. Team members racing, should be rewarded. Both Red Bull and Mercedes should be ashamed for trying to spoil a great race. F1 needs to think about this. I do not want to watch cars going around a track in order.

  20. The topic of team orders will never go away, no matter what the rules are. Everyone knows the first opponent in a race are your team mates as that’s who you will be first compared too. So no matter what the rules are with team orders there is always going to be inter team battles.

    Its blatantly obvious that Seb was told to not over take Mark, but its also blatantly obvious Seb knows he is the number 1 driver and the team would prefer him to win every race as Mark isn’t any where near as consistent through out the year, Marko would have also said to Seb as long as you are winning there is no wrong you can do.

    If the team felt that strongly about letting Mark win they would of said over the radio something along the lines of “you have broken team orders, return the original position”. Obviously it would have sounded ridiculousness and would never of actually happened although for us spectators it looks just as dumb knowing Vettel took the position whilst mark was leading with his Engine turned down and preserving tires.

    Its just all very unprofessional and a bad way to end a great race. Vettel proved last night he will win at all cost and that’s what he will continue you to do as all WDC would do.

  21. I Love the Pope
    25th March 2013, 2:56


    The only difference was that Mark was not good enough to overtake Seb.

    Simple as that.

  22. Great summary, @keithcollantine . This race had a lot of inner workings going on that were displayed in outward appearances that the teams probably wish had stayed below the public radar. The podium looked more like a wake than a winners circle.

    To be fair, Webber and Vettel do have a history on both sides that is sometimes acrimonious. Vettel wants to be number one, Webber wants to be treated as an equal, both want to race to win at all times. The latter is no less than what any team should desire in a race driver. This isn’t over as long as they remain teammates. Neither one is a saint. One thing to their credit, they do have superior race craft to be able to race wheel to wheel without taking each other out, most of the time.

    Team goals and driver goals are not always one in the same. Especially when you have strong willed personalities that do not wish to bend. This is the double edged sword that is the human competitive spirit. How does one switch this spirit off or on upon demand and remain competitive? It is easier for some than others. It is a thin line between driving in anger and professional courtesy.

    I don’t have a huge problem with what any of these drivers did today. They are competitors reacting under the pressure of the moment, not dissecting their every move afterwards from the armchair with copious amounts of time to choose their directions. They act and react with or without later regrets and recriminations. Maybe they are not always honorable decisions, that could be their legacy one way or the other. Personally, I’m more of a Jim Clark fan than a Michael Schumacher fan, but that’s just me. Both drove with the highest level of talent and were fierce competitors though with different styles and comportment.

    Some history was made today by multiple drivers and teams. Time will tell, along with future events as they unfold, how much the impact of today matters tomorrow. Stay tuned.

  23. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    25th March 2013, 3:01

    Great article – I’ve watched the race, read countless posts and articles, and I still wasn’t aware that Hamilton had to conserve fuel since lap 20 which explains his slower pace. I’m in the US and we didn’t know about the fuel issue at all until the Rosberg/Brawn conversations.

    So essentially Hamilton’s whole race was about saving fuel and rubber – for such an extravagant sport, I find it ironic that an entire race would focus more on the economic side of things than racing. Is it time for Bernie to admit that the US sequester has impacted F1?:-)

  24. Vettel wasn’t listening. Perhaps, as Horner suggested afterwards, he was thinking of how Webber could have been more co-operative when there was a world championship on the line at Interlagos last year.

    Its remarkable to me that, as far as I’m aware, not a single F1 reporter ever asked Webber about that. In fact this mention by Keith is the only time I’ve seen it even mentioned at all, anywhere – out side of comment sections. It’s remarkable because Webbers actions were so unprecedented. Not only did he not assist his championship chasing teammate, he seemed positively eager to trip him up. And he behaved much the same way in Abu Dhabi, where again he seemed indifferent to Alonso’s position but determined to keep one driver – his teammate – behind him. Everybody knows all this yet it never gets mentioned. Is there some journalistic code of silence at work?

    If Webber had not tried his best to help Alonso to the WDC last year, Vettel may well have followed team orders in Sepang. You reap what you sow.

    Horner and the RB brass knew this history, and opted to renew Webbers contract. So Horner and the other brass deserve much of the blame for the resulting problems. They should have reined in Webber last year when he seemed to think he was part of Team Ferrari. Failing that they should have not renewed his contract. The current problems are the result of weak man management and poor decision making over a long period of time. One or both drivers will get some sort of punishment, but this was a management failure first and foremost.

    1. I Love the Pope
      25th March 2013, 3:27

      This is spot-on!!!

    2. @jonsan – Actually it was Mateschitz siding with Webber. There were talks with Lewis to join Vettel this year but Webber got a new contract and Lewis opted for Plan B.

    3. @jonsan
      Webber helping Alonso in brazil 2012 and Abudhabi 2010? That’s the wierdest thing I’ve ever heard..

      I admit Webber did race vettel pretty hard in brazil.. but to suggest that it was to help Alonso is little too much…

      1. Webber and Alonso are both managed by F. Briatore.

        Briatore stated that Webber was the only one helping Alonzo in Brasil:

        Vettel shouldn’t have apologized, i assume he is a bit surprised that the team was ******.

      2. Abu Dhabi 2012, not 2010. RB had to pit Mark to get Vettel past him.

        to suggest that it was to help Alonso is little too much…

        It was to hurt Vettel – but of course doing one meant doing the other.

    4. yeeeaahhhh, I’m pretty sure Webber was trying to win the title for himself in Abu Dhabi 2010…

    5. @Jon Sandor – I might quote this one in future discussions.. excellent point! And very much respect Keith for mentioning it in this article as well.

      I guess the major reason for why no-one asked Webber these questions is because he’s the underdog and everyone takes pity on him. They see him as someone who’s unfairly treated as the No 2 driver despite the fact he only has himself to blame for this (total failure at Abu Dhabi 2010). That and the fact that Vettel still managed to win the WDC 2012 in the end pushed this aside. I think if there were actual repercussions for Webbers actions (such as Vettel losing a race or the Championship) we would hear much more about it. The fact that Vettel is a better racer then Webber and made the move stick (and defended the exact opposite at Silverstone 2011) didn’t make this possible until now though.

      What I find remarkable is that Vettel, apparently with the whole world including his team-mate throwing everything they got at him, still manages to beat Webber and win world titles. Then he does a mistake due to his drive and eagerness (and god forbid gives Mark Webber some of his own medicine) and everyone crucifies him. I just can’t it in me to hate him after all that… everyone is actually forcing me to root for him.

  25. it was either david hobbs or steve matchette that also referenced the marquess of queensbury rules – a double dip of sporting history there. what’s it going to be for the next race, pistols at dawn?

  26. Moving on from RB’s management problems, their race decision making at Sepang was bizarre. I cannot recall the last time I saw a dry race in which all the leading drivers were told to maintain their positions for the last 15 or so laps. I’m not sure this has ever happened before in the history of F1.

    I support the general idea of team orders, but its a tool to be used sparingly in critical situations. The mere fact that your drivers are running 1 and 2 (or 2 and 3, or 3 and 4, etc) in the middle of the second race of the season is not sufficient cause for ‘maintain your position’ orders.

    All this applies to Mercedes as well. Keeping Rosberg behind Hamilton was an abomination against racing. Perhaps the rules on team orders can be fine tuned to reduce this misuse of them – something like “team orders are only allowed in the last six laps of the last six races of the season”.

    Every time a driver tries to pass his teammate there is a potential for trouble. It does not follow that teams should order their drivers to maintain their order on the grid for the duration of the race.

  27. Red Bull wanted a fast kid so they hang on to him for awhile. And that’s what they got. I’ve never been thrilled with him cause he still acts like, well, a kid.

    But I just read (forget which site) and apology that killed. It wasn’t the short blurbs he first let out. They must have let him know the weight of what he had done, and in his apology he apologized up and down and left and right and to everybody and everything he effected. It was one of the most sincere apology’s I’ve ever seen. I think he knows what he did now. And for the first time, I respect him. And I think he is growing up. At this point, I am writing everything else off as just being a kid.

    That apology was from a man.

    1. I think he knows what he did now.

      He did the same thing as Webber at Silverstone. Remind me, which groveling apologies did Webber offer for his sins?

      1. All I said was, that I no longer disrespect him. He manned up in that apology, and my statement had nothing at all to do with Mark.

        1. That’s not any sort of answer. Why are you not demanding that Mark Webber offer a similar apology for his similar crime in order to regain your respect?

          1. I never demanded one from Vettel lol Wow have another beer.

    2. I found it.

      It really caught me me off guard cause of how much he apologizes. Just seem really sincere to me. So I am taking it at face value. Although not a good win Seb, congrats. You owe Mark one.

      1. Like talking to a wall.

        1. Pardon me?

    3. I think his apology after admitting that he heard the team orders and chose to ignore them sounded more authentic than his first round of apologies:

      “I put myself above a team decision, which was wrong. I didn’t mean to and I apologise,” he said.

      “I’m not happy I’ve won, I made a mistake and if I could undo it I would. It’s not easy right now and I owe apologies to Mark and the team.”

      “I would love to come up with a nice excuse as to why I did it, but I can’t,” he added. “I can understand Mark’s frustration and the team not being happy with what I did today.

    4. petebaldwin (@)
      25th March 2013, 14:56

      It’s just words – I genuainly belive that given the same situation, Vettel would atleast consider doing the same again.

      I mentioned it on another thread but he gained 7 points from that move – being 7 points worse off in his previous seasons would have resulted in him missing out to Alonso in 2010 AND 2012. F1 is too close to be nice – Schumacher never was.

      1. +1 You don’t get 3 x WDC by being a nice guy on track.

  28. Dave in NZL (now AUS)
    25th March 2013, 3:57

    I just don’t like the image that was portrayed – that F1 strategy is all about being ahead at lap 40, not at the end of the GP.

    What stops a team, say late 2012’s RBR, getting Vettel on the faster tyre up to 2/3 distance, then swapping on to the slower tyre and asking Mark to defend him – even if Mark’s strategy is faster over the race distance? Same could be said of any pairing where team orders protect a driver in the lead after the last stop.

  29. What this site needs is a Poll, on the burning question “Were Red Bull right to order Vettel not to pass Webber?”

    Then we can compare the results of that poll to this one, to much merriment and laughter.

    1. This would be excellent and hope Keith can make it happen.

      Although you shouldnt’ve have mentioned the other Poll, so if your idea ever materialised, you could’ve posted it in the comments section afterwards for some laughter!

  30. Regardless of the past, Seb’s pass on Mark was wrong. However, I know of no one who has followed Vettel’s career for whom his action was surprise. I don’t think it even crossed his mind until *afterward*. Some people don’t play well with others. Same’s true with drivers. I think in this way, Web and Fernando were cut from the same cloth. I can’t imagine wanting either for a teammate.

    Vettel gets lots of complaints when he treats Mark unfairly (like today). However, Alonso is applauded for “making the team his own” by the pundits for not-so-different behavior. That always rubs me the wrong way, too.

    The net result is that my respect for Mark Webber grows. There were no hidden feelings, but he handled it with the grace of a first rate sportsman. Well, accept for that finger. But, hey, in the heat of battle, right? :-)

    1. The fact he’s a massive hypocrite leaves a bad taste in my mouth though.. It appears he’s just not good enough to be Vettels teammate, but thinks he is and when things don’t go his way he has tantrums how he’s treated unfairly.

      How much I would’ve loved to see Hamilton in his place this season though.. *sigh*

  31. I didn’t see the 2011 race but I think the principle difference, from what I’ve read, is it was a fair fight between drivers. In this case, Webber had been reassured TWICE that Vettel wouldn’t be challenging the lead, both drivers had apparently agreed not to race each other if they had the 1-2 already won and Webber had tuned down the car on team orders. The tires are also different this year and Vettel knew that they would have been destroyed in a couple of laps of battling, opening up opportunities for other teams to overtake and for RBR to lose the 1-2. That’s if they didn’t collide or run off first. He was relying on Webber to be a good guy, put the team first and accept a second place finish rather than battle for 12 laps or whatever they had left. Pace clearly wasn’t an issue, Webber had already demonstrated he was in control by pulling away at 1/2 second a lap moments after Vettel demanded the team order Webber out of the way for being ‘too slow’.

  32. I keep wondering if Seb also was on low revs/turned down engine.
    If so he was just still way faster than Webber and I remember he was told to hold back his hunger cause ‘It’s a long race Seb, take it easy’ at the first stints.
    That does justify everything to me. The faster guy feeling held up and just going for it, without risking anything.
    Seb drove off quite nicely after the pass (engine still turned down?!) and had everything in total control.

    For Webber it’s an absolute punch in the face ofcourse, I know that.
    With respectful driving he now is again one step further away from ‘being the no. 1 driver’, he knows it as well as Seb. He can feel the championship already slipping away.

    I think Webber should’ve turned up his engine and defended that place – if that could have saved his place and face.
    He knows by now what a hard time Vettel will give him during the year for the championship – he should have known having Vettel as a teammate is no walk in the park. He should have stood up and take this opportunity with both hands, all the revs in the world and all the rubber on his tires to prevent this sort of loss of face.
    He must feel extremely lost – stabbed in the back by his team, his teammate but most of all, himself.

    When I saw it all happen during the race, I thought to myself “OMG, F1 Fanatic server-overloads!”.
    I just love this drama – at least we have something to talk about during the wait for China :)

    1. Could we possibly know that Webber had tuned his engine mapping back to higher performance after being hunted by Vettel or not? (but still they’re already in DRS zone.)
      Or could we possibly know that Vettel knew that Webber would’ve followed the team order to tuned down engine mapping so he could win the position without tuning his own engine?

      Sorry for so many questions I doubt, but I guess we would never know the answers.

      I do love this drama, too. Though I’m sad to see Rosberg had to yield the podium with a chance he could fight for and Brawn saying: ‘He(Hamilton) can go a lot faster as well.’.
      Moreover, it’s Rosberg who won the 1st win for Mercede GP last year…

  33. Everyone is being so harsh on Vettel because of his move. And so was I.
    I thought, “how can I driver ignore his own team and risk losing 43 constructor points?”

    But then I though. If Massa had done a similar thing, ignored team orders and passed Alonso, everybody here would be saying that he finally grew some balls, and that’s the Massa we want to see, Ferrari got what they deserved and bla bla bla.

    I think, most people just don’t like the idea that vettel might win a fourth consecutive WDC and so are looking for excuses to hate on him. I understand that, because I also do not want another boring year of Vettel’s domination. However, we should look at the facts and put ourselves, and other drivers in Vettel’s position and consider what we would have done.

    – Senna is now considered an F1 God for standing up and fighting for his own space regardless of the team mate.
    – Barrichello on the other hand, is remembered and the guy who should have stood up for himself and done what he wanted at Ferrari.

    I am not a fan of Vettel, but I think we should look at the facts, look at F1’s history and put ourselves in his position before “killing” him.

    1. It is to short of a time to look at this events in a full perspective. I think you are already looking too far and not realizing that Sebastian Vettel himself admitted he did wrong. He did not stood up to his actions. He apologized too quickly and in my opinion his words were not sincere.

      1. And this was his only mistake I think. Better say nothing then admit you did wrong. I’m just picturing Alonso in Vettels situation. He would laugh at the whole thing and think to himself (and tell the team) if you don’t get Massa out of the way I will force myself through. But then again Ferrari would just yawn at this situation since they would know exactly what to do. They are masters when it comes to having a clear number one driver. How many WDC does a guy have to win to be considered that at RBR I wonder? I guess three in succession are not enough..

    2. No one is killing him, I think it’s pretty natural to expect a man with his amount of experience and Three World Titles to have more insight. On the other side, Michael had to get a break in order to become a better human being.

      Personally my emotions of watching and listening to Vettel after the race were ones of when I watched Cat Woman with Halley Berry.

  34. I believe Seb will amend this situation somehow in a race. On the other hand I was secretly waiting for some sort of televised confrontation, not for long though, I rather preferred and applaud Mark’s podium statement. Concise, clear and to the point. This podium has to be one with the least smiles I have seen in a while.

  35. Simply, Vettel is not a team player. They were going to be 1, 2 as a team but obviously not good enough if you are in it for yourself only. Besides what he did could have jeapordised not only Webbers car but possibly others. He is a dangerous driver, good but dangerous. Turning off the radio should be a breach of safety rules. In a horse race this is called a ‘protest 2nd vs 1st. Protest upheld.

    1. I have to disagree with the dangerous thing. VET and WEB have raced each other quite often, and with one exception it always went well. I think a pass on your team mate is less risky than a pass on any other driver.

    2. If anything it was Webber who was dangerous. He almost ran Vettel into the wall and I actually expected some panalty after that. It was a carbon copy of what Schumacher did on Barichello few years back. Can’t believe Vettel made that one stick as well….

  36. I have mixed feelings about what happened, and all in all this race is one I prefer to forget. To me, it showed the worst side of F1, showed how it is moving towards a spectacle, an entertainment show more than a sport, pure racing.
    I don’t blame Vettel for ignoring orders. I still remember the Williams crew showing the sign “JONE REUT”, demanding Carlos Reutemann to hive his leading position to Alan Jones in Jacarepaguá. Reutemann ignored it and went to win the race. The environment was never again the same at Williams, Jones was champion and Reutemann ended his career. I respect a driver that ignores an order to do this, as such orders are deeply against the core, basic principle of racing.
    Rosberg yesterday decided to follow the team order, and I felt bad that he did it. I am sure he would have been able to overtake Hamilton. And after crossing the lane, he said on the radio: “Remember this”. But it was already too late.
    BUT was Vettel did was really, really low, because Webber followed the order to keep pace and reduce the engine map, being assured that Vettel would do the same. But Vettel didn’t, and took advantage of a teammate in inferior conditions. IF the team order was “keep pace” only, I can understand that Mark maybe would be able to defend his position and put some fight (maybe to win, maybe to be overtaken) in equal conditions, but as it happen, it was a fight between two drivers in different strength. It was like punching a drunk. And that was disgusting.
    To complete the scenario, his reaction after the race was just unacceptable. To me, it was a very, very sad day for Formula 1.
    After many years living in France I learned the subtle meanings of the word “panache”. It is very difficult to translate, but panache is what refrains a Formula 1 racer with an engine problem to crash against a competitor to be a champion, or to take advantage of a competitor in inferior conditions, or to let your teammate to crash against the wall so you can win a race. There is no enough money in the world to buy panache. It doesn’t matter how many world titles and pole positions Vettel has or will have, he should feel ashamed.
    Ok, sorry for this, rant over.

  37. There is something fundamentally wrong with F1. The headline could also read – “Scandal in F1. Driver wins by overtaking opponent”
    I get why they issue team orders but for me as a fan WDC has priority and WCC is a nice to have. Pirelli makes it already hard for them to race but if teams are ending races with show-runs after half the distance then it would be better to move on and find something else to watch.

  38. I was thinking. What if Multi 21 wasn’t “hold position?”

    Here’s my reasoning:
    – Vettel is not dumb. He’s quite a smart cookie.
    – The fact that Vettel used “misunderstood” as an excuse means that “Multi 21” could be something that is misunderstood.

    I wonder if Multi 21, or whatever their pre-agreed plan was before the race, was basically to “tone the engine down and manage the tyres” – as opposed to “holding station.”

    Webber perhaps understood it as, “if both cars are managing tyres and engines, then we won’t race each other.”
    Vettel perhaps understood it as, “tone the engine down, and manage the tyres.”

    I do not believe that Vettel is dumb enough to misunderstand “hold position” – nor do I think he is dumb enough to think that people will accept that he misunderstood “hold position.”

    1. If Vettel had really toned the engine down, those laps wouldnt be as blistering as they were

      1. @rahul1810 Don’t forget that throughout the race Vettel was better on saving tyres – look how he made his mediums last longer than Webber’s hards in their 2nd stint. So his tyres could be in better shape, AND he was on the quicker tyre. I don’t buy that that pace wasn’t possible.

  39. The best question from the media came from Brazil imao.

    (Livio Oricchio – O Estado de Sao Paulo) A question to all drivers. What do you think the fans of Formula One will think when they hear or they read that the winner is saying “I’m sorry to win, the second should be here” and the third says “I’m sorry to be here my team-mate that is fourth should be here”?

    1. LOL
      Livio has been covering F1 for decades and is the guy who opened the can of worms with the Piquet Jr. crash affair (I believe -but I can’t prove it- that Piquet Sr. told him; anyway, he got the story first). I can even miss a session or qualy, but never miss reading Livio’s comments and blog.

  40. vuelve kowalsky
    25th March 2013, 8:25

    Most of the fans seem to forget one important fact. This race was manipulated by the teams, and only got a good fight because vettel didn’t obey team orders. The teams didn’t do anything against the regulations, but the fact that now team orders are allowed, doens’t mean we have to like them.
    Thanks vettel for being a racing driver. I hope you get your 4th title this year, even if i would choose some other driver to go to dinner with.

  41. it is infuriating how people ignore this, Mark DID THIS before, and with much higher stakes (Brazil 2012 comes to mind), but because he is perceived as RB’s “whipping boy” and/or “underdog”, he gets everyone’s support, an also that he could never reep any benefits from defying team orders (Silverstone 2011).
    I agree that Seb was at fault, but only towards the team for disobeying an order, but as far as Mark is concerned, i think he got a taste of his own medicine and has nothing to complain about.

    1. vuelve kowalsky
      25th March 2013, 10:49

      agree. he is a more likeable character, and the fans judge him mildley. The fact is that vettel is the better driver, with the killer instinct. Alonso will have to be at his very best to stop this all time great.

  42. That was an interesting race.. My thoughts on the race..

    1. Why is Mark webber so offended ? Vettel looked the faster of the two for most of the race and he overtook Webber on the track( I know the team had asked him not to).. But I am wondering what if webber was the one behind.. he might probably have done the same thing ( There are ample eveidences from the past that Mark is not someone who obeys team orders)… In any case if he felt cheated why dint he fight back or even agressively pushed vettel off the track when they were fighting for positions? Either he dint have the pace to fight back or dint have the guts to stand up for himself..and in both cases he deserved what he got… I am no Vettel fan , infact I dislike him..but I have to say except the apology he made (he must have been luaghing inside thinking about the 25 points).. I find nothing wrong with what he did…

    2. What is wrong with Massa? Just when we thought he is back to his best… he messes up again( I know he finished 5th but had he not messed up his start and the first stint he would’ve been on the podium behind the bulls) .. Good that Alonso retired .. otherwise People might be complaining there was some sort of conspiracy against massa by Ferrari and Alonso..

    3. It’s pretty evident that who is number 1 at Mercedes, isnt it? ( I’ve no problems though, Hamilton is the faster and better driver IMO) .. And he was candid enough to admit that Nico deserved the podium more than him… I never used to like Lewis.. but since he left Mclaren, I kind of started liking this guy.. and Now I know it was mclaren i disliked not Lewis..

    only disappointing thing was Alonso’s retirement … I think he would’ve been in the mix, if he dint damage his FW… and on top of that Vettel bagged max points which could be crucial come end of the season.. Hope Alonso and ferrari will be strong in China and Bahrain..

  43. So they’v been telling their number one driver, three time and current world champion, to hold second place with ~15 odd laps to go, expecting an ego driven type A personality to obey and sit still behind the wheel.

    As this seems to be acceptable to the majority of people, I propose a new F1 rule:

    ‘after 80 % of the race, no more overtaking allowed’

    Or even better:

    ‘All races will permanently be shortened by 20%, saving fuel, tires and time’

  44. I believe that unless Red Bull deal with this, then Vettel is proving he is bigger than the team….not a good combination..Even Adrian Newey looked upsert at Vettels behaviour and Newey may decide its time( for one of them) to move on…
    Its not finished yet!!!

    1. (@jop452)
      Hopefully Newey…then wait for Vettel to magically stop winning WDC’s.

  45. In my opinion both Mercedes and Red Bull were wrong to order their drivers to hold position, this is racing and the drivers should be free to race for position. If one driver has to turn down their engine because he has used too much fuel or gained an advantage from being under fuelled, then his team mate shouldn’t be penalised. These are world class drivers and should be trusted to battle fairly with each other.

    The difference I think between the way the Red Bull and Mercedes drivers handled the team orders is significant, and boils down to respect. Rosberg was clearly unhappy with the team orders and voiced his dissatisfaction, however he respected his team mate enough to stay behind (a position I don’t think he should have been put in). Vettel on the other hand, while understandably wanting to race and upset by the team orders, showed that he has little respect for Webber.

    1. @puffy – it just shows the difference between the psychology of a 3 x WDC and a driver who will probably never become a WDC. If not sooner then at the end of the season Red Bull management will understand what their stupid team-order did and why Vettel was right in disregarding it. If he had been 7 points lower in the standings the last 3 years he would only have been 1 x WDC. More often management should let the experts do their job, without interfering because they are nervous or don’t trust their employees despite a long history of success. Sometimes we have seen team mates battling so hard that we have wondered why the team didn’t issue a team order to end the battle, but this situation perfectly illustrates why it isn’t a good idea. Don’t issue orders which are to hard to obey – You weaken your own authority and the relationship between all involved. And as Rosberg commented “This will be remembered!” he will drive with “unfinished baggage” which can cause problems later because he clearly didn’t agree with the team order.

  46. What Vettel did, points to betrayal to the team and to Webber. Why do teams tell the drivers to tone their engines down during closing stages when they see they are 1-2? Its because they don’t see anybody as a potential threat and decide that its best to save the engine. They feel that completing the race is a mere formality now of crunching down laps. And so when Webber trusted his team and turned down the engine, he trusted Vettel to do the same, which obviously Vettel didnt seeing the blistering laps that he had just pulled, including a fastest lap. Webber said he spent the last 15 laps with a lot going on in his head, and that is understandable, cos he had not lost but had been betrayed.

    I would be surprised if Webber helped Vettel even a little bit in his championship battle.

    Vettel says he regrets the incident. I hope that if he does end up winning the championship, difference between him and Webber is less than the 16 points (8 that he stole from Webber, and the 8 that Webber had stolen from him). If I were interviewing him then, I would ask him to express his regret then. Would be surprised of he was man enough like Hamilton to say that Webber should br the one holding the championship and not me.

    1. @rahul1810 not gonna happen. Webber suffers from a massive case of Barrichello syndrome. He thinks he’s equally gifted like his teammate because he has occasionally the upper hand.
      Webber with the exception of 2010 came never even close to be a runner up in what was definitely one of the strongest cars on the grid for the past 4 years.

      1. I just hope this incident fires him up.

        1. @rahul1810 I hope so too, and that in return we see some great racing. But over the years I’ve given up on him. 2010 South Korea is probably still hunting him and you could see it this weekend that somewhere along the way he gave up being a racer.

          1. There were heaps of other incidents which should’ve done this, such as the wing affair. The fact is that he’s just not good enough. He had a massive chance in 2010 and blew it. Massa accepted being a number two at Ferrari and so should Webber, but I don’t see that happening.

            RBR should just figure out what they want. If they want equality in drivers, get someone like Hamilton to be Vettels teammate. Otherwise have a clear Number 1 and Number 2 driver.. a number 2 driver that accepts their position! Simple as that..

  47. Aside from the Webber and Vettel action I thought Nico Rosberg drove a really good race. He could “go” with Lewis Hamilton. They were both posting very quick lap times in the middle stint of the grand prix, going punch by punch if you like. Really encouraging for Mercedes that both their drivers were quick yesterday, especially Nico to keep proving himself.

  48. Afterwards his team mate spoke ominously …

  49. A interesting new article from the BBC sport page “Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel should be suspended – John Watson”:

    1. Did Red Bull suspended Webber after Silverstone?

      1. There was no need to, there were no specific multi 21 orders given over the radio twice just as we saw in Sepang. Mark backed off and obeyed the team.
        Totally different situation mate.

        1. @howard

          Mark backed off and obeyed the team.

          No he didn’t:

          Webber ignored Red Bull’s order not to pass Vettel

    2. watson says :”I know that if other drivers in other teams disobeyed a team order they would be suspended or even fired.”
      like which drivers….. Hamilton or Alonso?(didn’t they do similar things in the past?)
      If redbull wants to throw away two titles then Watsons sugguestion is the most guarantied way. I’m not supporting Vettels decision, but this wouldn’t make things better in RB.

    3. I like Berger’s comment it shows how smart that guy is. After all he was Senna’s teammate and still managed to maintain a friendship with him.

      1. Red Bull should suspend Christian Horner one race for causing the problem with an untimely team order to safeguard the double victory. Previously Seb has notoriously defied team orders just to get a fastest lap at the end of a race and Webber has not been good at listening to team orders in the past either.
        When Horner says to Vettel on the radio “This is silly!”, then he is absolutely right – the team order was silly. If anything they should have issued a team order to Webber to yield – that would have made more sense, considering the probability of how close the WDC battle will be this year and who of their 2 drivers has the best shot at it in the end.

  50. and I totally agree :-)

    go Alonso and Hamilton !

    1. Hahaha.. the RBR dominance is so strong grasping at staws is all there is left.. I love it! :D

      Anyone else think this when reading Watsons suggestion lol?

  51. In my view it was a wrong decision for both redbull and mercedes not to let the quicker drivers overtake their team mates. Specially when they trailing them half the race distance. That’s why both complained in the radio multiple times. Vettel was since lap 25 half a second behind Webber not trying at this stage only because his engineer Rocky told him to stay back since it was too early and he would have a chance later – implying a different strategy that would give him the lead back. Since this didn’t happen until the last pit he was taken things to his hand.
    If this was right or wrong its another mater, but the result was a fair fight between him and Webber who tried to stay ahead giving everything he had.
    The pass Vettel managed in corner 4 was something that Webber didn’t expected since its a very unusual place to overtake. I think, Webber hit the brakes there too hard and lost his momentum and then tried to keep a wider line approaching turn 5 for preventing Vettel taking the inside line into turn 6 ( as he tried to do the lap before).
    Another incident that was very crucial was when Webber exited the pits and came side by side with Vettel into turn 1. He was too quick with cold tyres and lost the rear for a fraction forcing him to open his line. Vettel luckily for the RedBull team quickly reacted and opened also his line leaving Webber take the lead at that point. If they collided at that point i think nobody would talk now about Vettel disobeying team orders but for Webber making a mistake and taking his team mate out of the race.
    In mercedes i really don’t understand why they don’t let Rosberg pass since he was clearly much quicker. With the two bulls fighting each other in the front maybe he was able to close the gap and why not fighting also for the win. This was really unfair for him, since he is the guy (together with shumi) who’s responsible for the development of this car. He had a lot of patience these 3 year with sumi, who he clearly didn’t want to give a hard time specially the last year.

  52. soundscape (@)
    25th March 2013, 11:05

    @keithcollantine Looks like Webber’s rethinking his seat, at least according to the Sydney Morning Herald:

  53. With all of this judgmental, pot calling kettle black belittling of Seb. it has completely slipped my mind (and all of my fellow true racing fans) to congratulate the Vet on matching the great Sir Jackie Stewart’s 27 race wins. We are witnessing a true legend in the making, a driver that future generation will eulogise about and seek to emulate.

    Vet, I salute you. *Standing butt naked in my back garden saluting*

    1. I can’t believe you think this guy is a legend…

      1. I Love the Pope
        25th March 2013, 12:21

        Sour grapes.

        Seb is the best driver on the grid.

        1. You mean just like vettels face on the podium after Hungary 2010

          I’m sure you meant the best driver on the grid after Alonso & Hamilton

          1. Doesn’t the fact that you would claim that a triple champion only deserved 1 title in the other thread, using the most ridiculous excuses, plus what you’ve said here, qualify as “sour grapes”?

            I agree with “I Love The Pope”

      2. That’s like not believing that 1+1=2

      3. Don’t worry Lucas.. one day you will believe it too ;)

  54. Having been given one-year contracts only for the last three years. Can we (reasonably) assume that Webber is in his final year at Red Bull? If so. Just picture the scenario when we get to Brazil and Vettel needs points to keep the title chase open and stop Alonso grabbing his crown. Would Webbo obey any radio orders and let him past? No way.
    The antics of Sepang could come back and bite Red Bull hard on the a##e later this season.

    1. Just picture the scenario when we get to Brazil and Vettel needs points to keep the title chase open and stop Alonso grabbing his crown.

      Like Brazil 2012?

    2. @Steven Smith.

      That is a very good point. Sebastien Vettel made a calculated decision at Sepang to pass Mark Webber despite being told not to by his team. Last year’s championship was decided by three points, so the extra seven Vettel hauled in will certainly be helpfull. Vettel is already thinking about the championship, despite the season only being two grands prix old.
      Fernando Alonso would, in my opinion, have been a serious threat at Sepang had he not retired on lap two. As Felipe Massa has proved also, the Ferrari has good pace and plenty of straight line speed. With Alonso being the biggest threat last year in a poor Ferrari, you can safely bet that this year he will be an even bigger threat to Red Bull and Vettel. Then there is Mercedes not too far behind.
      However, by behaving in such a ruthless manner, Vettel has left himself somewhat vunerable. He has proven to his own team in no uncertain terms that he believes he has the right to do what he chooses. He has proven that he has not got any problems when it concerns angering his team mate, Mark Webber, a man who can very much factor this year in the championship.
      The biggest fear at Milton Keynes is that this acidic atmosphere between the drivers may fester, and if allowed to go unchecked, may bring down Red Bull’s season with it. This is exactly what happened between Alonso and Hamilton at McLaren when they had a fast car, and due to bad management and decision making, contributed towards almost a complete meltdown within the team.
      Red Bull need to sort this out before China. Its no good letting Webber go off to Australia to stew all by himself. That isn’t going to solve anything. John Watson had a point in that if Red Bull are seriously as upset as they claim, then Vettel should be benched for the Chinese Grands Prix. He should be made to realize that nobody is bigger than the team. I can’t see this happening, but it would certainly put down a marker to any other driver thinking about breaking team orders.
      The reality is, in my opinion, is that Red Bull won’t do anything! Horner, who has been made to look stupid and powerless in all of this, will do exactly what he is told. Vettel will go unpunished, and Webber will be expected just to carry on regardless.
      I wonder though that, if by Brazil, Webber knows his time at Red Bull is done, how he would react to a pass from Vettel? If the German is fighting for the championship and has everything on the line, how tempting would it be for Mark just to stuff him in the wall? I can imagine the response from Helmut Marko, but a Shakespeare said, ‘revenge is a dish best served cold’.

    3. Just picture the scenario when we get to Brazil and Vettel needs points to keep the title chase open and stop Alonso grabbing his crown. Would Webbo obey any radio orders and let him past?

      He didn’t last year, dd he?

      Reading some of the comments on F1 fan sites leaves me wondering how many F1 fans ever actually watch the races. The quality of the written commentary on the races is often appalling (present company excepted) so people who get their news and views on F1 from reading say, the BBC can be excused for having a very skewed notion of what goes on.

      1. Jon has a good way of stealing words out of my mouth. I have read countless comments on (mostly English sites) screaming how Vettel better watch himself now, that Webber has every excuse to just ignore him when he needs him the most come years end. LOL.. when has Webber EVER actually done that.. Brazil 2012, when Vettel needed him most he pushed him to the side and took the lead.. instead of covering his teammates back and keeping a barrier between him and the rest of the pack. And he even admitted it!! Now picture Massa doing that to Alonso. Webber is a horrible teammate.. and a huge hypocrite..

        1. I think you mean vettel is a horrible team mate as webber on numerous occasions has done the right thing by vettel and the team and when the shoes on the other foot vettel cries like a little girl

          Just look at his face on the podium of Hungary 2010 and also blaming webber hitting into him at turkey 2010

          Also you do know vettel was asking the team to make webber move over half way through the race in which webber responded by pulling away from him

          If he was so quick why didn’t he just pass him

          He had no problem later when webber wasn’t expecting it

          Shows what kind of team mate vettel is

          1. Neither of them is an innocent, but the huge difference is that Vettel is a 3 time world champ and Webber blew his chance in 2010. Vettel never had an opportunity to play the number two driver (because he’s a better racer IMO), but if he did, I bet he would never be as backstabbing as Webber was in Brazil 2012.

  55. @keithcollantine – great write up. Looks like this season will be another interesting one. Competition is getting fierce already and Alonso with a non-characteristic DNF and another great qualifying effort by Massa.

    I sure hope the “strategies” of the teams will allow for racing to happen but I can’t help but feel that if nothing happens to Vettel for a blatant choice of putting himself above the team that if things go bad it will be reflected bad on himself for such a selfish decision. It will make it or break it if he loses support, although I doubt it will happen, from the team. I don’t know if he was in another car if he could be as dominant. I hope he isn’t getting too full of himself. I just can’t help but start resenting someone so selfish, but yet I’m a Senna fan and I’m sure he did the same sometimes.

    And it’s only the second race of the season!!!! Things are going to be fun and get wild!!!!

  56. jimscreechy (@)
    25th March 2013, 17:11

    Meh, I think this has really been blown out of proportion. WE have seen this happen many times in the past and no one made such an almighty hoo-hah about it. I remember 2011 Hamilton leading Button. Lewis’ engineer comes over the radio and says “turn your engine down Lewis and bring the car home” to which lewis replies “if I turn my engine down is Jenson going to pass me?” his engineer replies “No, he will not pass you” two seconds later lewis turns down his engine and Jenson pounces and passes him. the only difference is that lewis, having none of that, promptly turns his engine back up and passes Button in the next two corners. I think Mark should have done the same as Lewis then there would have been no comeback if he defened to the last. His mistake was making Seb run away with the win.

    1. @jimscreechy – I completely forgot about that.. What a great exchange that was.. I’m actually laughing right now thinking what Hamilton must’ve thought when he saw Button passing him.. but like a true WDC he actually faught back.. a quality Webber seems to be sorely missing.

  57. Two issues with what happened yesterday:

    The first is the safety issue. What if Sebastian, in his quest to overpass Mark, caused an accident resulting in injury, or worse. What then? If team protocol dictates employee(s) must do a certain thing in a given scenario, then the employee(s) must comply. Not circumvent management policy. What he did was both dangerous and juvenile.
    The second issue is that Sebastian needs to man up. Plain and simple! He would look a lot better today if he were honest. It’s plain for all to see that he did not want to be second in the Championship. And although he would still be in hot water with the team, and to a lesser extent, public opinion, he would have at least not had as severe a backlash as he now faces. The remarks from team principal suggest he is not being truthful.

  58. FINALLY a great article for the race, and something balanced coming from the British Media… thank you Keith for your logical and fair view.

    Personally, I fail to see Seb as the spoiled brat when in 2012, he’s fighting for the WC and Webber (who’s out of the competition) does not stand down as RBR asked and Horner pointed out… Now that Seb fights clean and wins: he’s the child! Hypocritical at best.

    IF RBR have drivers working together for the team, then in the SAME race Webber should have picked up the pace when he was told to by his engineer as not to destroy Seb’s tyres and race and bring more pressure on him with Lewis closing in. He did not pick up the pace, he wanted to win and he used the tactics Coulthard pointed out; fine, wiley ol’ fox that Webbo… but when Seb wants to win back, he’s attacked for it. AMAZING LOGIC. So Webber expects to get away because a race to him (or to anybody) is up to the last stop.

    RBR badly managed this one and I don’t see why Seb apologized except for the team staff to feel that he was sorry for endangering the cars: Webber please accept you’re not as fast as your team-mate, who you never helped, never wanted to help, never acknowledged his talent and it’s eating you alive.

    I believe if RBR don’t come back in support of both their drivers, EQUALLY – Seb should leave next year, then we’ll see how Webber can lead, attack and get 4th places for a whole season.

  59. Not my pic but I found is hilarious – Vettel’s face lol:

  60. Formula One has lost its way. I do not believe it is possible for anyone to sincerely say they believed they have watched true racing of late. The Malaysian Grand Prix was yet another classic example of why we need to re-introduce the team orders ban. I thought it was a mistake to get rid of the rule and I thought it was a disingenuous and erroneous and straw man argument by critic who said you could not police the rule anyway.

    With the Alonso/Massa debacle, Formula One should have gone further and limited radio messages and issued a heavy fine and race ban to the infringing Ferrari team. But because it was Ferrari, and they threw their toys out the cot, everyone trembles in their boots and refuses to be critical because they want access. The media and critics bow and courtesy to much to Ferrari. Ferrari have become to big for their boots with their veto and hissy fits and it is time Bernie teaches them a lesson. We have seen plenty good racing from non factory teams who seem able to compete just as well e.g. Red Bull, McLaren just to name only two. And don’t start with the money argument as we need to bring down costs anyway. Had it been another team who ignored the rules as Ferrari did, we would have seen something rather different. Think back to the massive McLaren fine for example.

    Frankly I appreciate Webber’s anger and frustration but I also think Vettel was correct to do what he did. We the fans and viewers want to see genuine racing and not manufactured faux racing as is all too often the case.

    The Rosberg/Hamilton “hold your position” nonsense train was also disgusting. I feel deeply for Nico. Even Lewis was embarrassed and said Nico deserved the position. Formula One needs to grow a pair and stand up for the fans…

  61. I like how everyone is going about how vettel needed the 7 points as it might make the difference by brazil

    What might be the difference is when webber is battling vettel for the lead and takes the lead in brazil a track he has won twice and goes well in and in the last race of the season and his career and with alonso trailing a lap down in third and then alonso wins championship by 6 points

    I’m sure the difference then will be how vettel dogged his team mate in Malaysia 2013

    Now that would be real funny

  62. We will probably never know the full details and what was discussed in Red Bull as a team before and during the race. But what we do know is that we’ve never seen this blow up so big before, even with all the other skirmishes between Mark and Seb in the past. Just listen to the radio messages and the post-race interviews with Marko and Horner, and Newey’s expression in the pre-podium drivers’ room. This is something we have not seen before. It really feels like the TEAM thinks that Seb screwed the entire team over by doing his own thing, and hence noone is happy about it afterwards. Horner should be severely ****** with Seb for totally undermining his authority, and I imagine he is ******. He is usually a fairly restrained guy who measures his words well, but even that didn’t stop him from telling Seb how “silly” it was over open radio (probably stopped himself from saying “grow the **** up, kid”). That is the message that people should understand here, not whether Seb should do this or that, whether it was fair or not, whether it was payback or not…..

  63. You’re right

    Triple world champions run into other cars twice in a season webber turkey and button belgium 2010

    Miss the safety car 10 spaces between drivers Hungary 2010 and hit foam boards off the track whilst behind Ricciardo and safety car abu dhabi 2012

    Not to mention running up the back of webber Japan 2007

    I should make a YouTube video of vettels finest moments

  64. The fact of the matter is this:
    Had Webber overtaken Vettel and disobeyed a team order, everyone would have been praising him at being a true racer, etc… but because it’s Vettel, people are moaning about it, and lest we not forget what webber did at Silverstone in 2011; he tried to attack Vettel and defied a team order but was unsuccessful at getting past him.
    By that measure, Webber shouldn’t be annoyed at Sebastian; I see it as Webber getting a taste of his own medicine.
    I am a Vettel fan, and therefore slightly biased, but this post is from a mostly cold and calculating perspective, looking at cold, hard facts only.
    By no means am I saying what Vettel did was right, and it is clear he regrets it as well, but in the cold light of day, but it worked.

  65. I am on a number of F1 forums & have been amazedby the rubbish which Seb has had to put up with & the sheer vitriol posted on other sites have incensed me.
    As far as I am concerned the only mistake Seb made was in apologising.

    I used to like Mark & admire him, especially the way he handled his crash Le Mans. His drives in the Minardi’s & Williams, & what I thought was his straight talking attitude but the mind & political games he played on the weekend have put me right off him. He has done it before but I accepted this as one driver trying to get the upper hand on another.
    It’s the 2 faced double standards he uses & the slinking off with his phone turned off to consider his future which I find particularly galling. This is nothing more than a strop to get his own way & make Seb look as bad he can.

    At Silverstone Mark tried his level best but could not pull off What Seb did in Sepang
    Mark is no saint and would have done exactly the same as Seb did and he would be hailed as an anti team order macho man & had this to say.
    “I am not fine with it. No. That’s the answer to that,” the Australian said when asked if he understood the team’s decision.
    “If Fernando retires on the last lap we are battling for the victory so I was fine until the end. Of course I ignored the team as I want to try and get another place. Seb was doing his best and I was doing my best.
    “I don’t want to crash with anyone, but that was it. I tried to do my best with the amount of conversation I had. One-way conversation obviously as I wasn’t talking too much back.
    “There was a lot of traffic coming to me, but I was still trying to do my best to pass the guy in front.”

    The only reason he was close to Seb was that they had a jack problem on his last pitstop which let Nando through.

    The general concensus on the forums at the time was

    ‘Good on you’, ‘Screw Red Bull team orders’ and ‘Go Aussie Grit!’
    It’s pretty hilarious to see how different it is when reversed

    The difference is Seb doesn’t throw a fit when Mark ignores team orders. … rs/2789516 … rs/2789516

    In Brazil where Felipe was doing all he could to help Nando, Mark made absolutely certain that Seb didn’t get by on the first corner but more than that he forced him back into the traffic where he had the incident that almost ruined his championship.
    Worse than that he allowed Felipe shepherd him high on the first corner so Nando could slip by both of them. Even his own manager said he was he was the one giving Nando the most assistance. Admittedly, before the race he said he was going to drive his own race & try to win it but that is not what he did.

    There is no evidence that Seb led his team to believe that he was going to obey the order and then didn’t, thereby surprising Mark with some sort of trap. What has been said is that Seb behaved as though he hadn’t heard the order or had misunderstood it. It has definitely not been said or implied that Seb acknowledged the order for what it was and then ignored it.

    I was discussing the race with my daughter as we watched it & when the team brought Seb in too early for slicks allowing Mark track position & then when Seb was catching him he was told to maintain the 3 second gap my daughter said, I think Mark’s friend Dietrich wants to arrange a title for Mark before he retires.
    This is them man who when asked by Bernie refused to have lewis at the team because he did’t want Mark to lose his seat & who only last week said Seb can leave any time he wants.

    The only mistake Seb made last weekend was apologising but I suppose this forced by the team, he should just have said this.
    I am not fine with it. No. That’s the answer to that,” when asked if he understood the team’s decision.

    As an aside, When Jenson pulled the same thing on Lewis in Turkey the only thing we heard was how great it was that team mates could race without taking each other out.

    I apologise if I have offended anybody, I just don’t like double standards.

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