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Analysis: Why did Vettel ignore team orders and pass Webber?
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Posted By: James Allen  |  25 Mar 2013   |  12:32 pm GMT  |  1,195 comments

It is clear that the Malaysian Grand Prix, Sebastian Vettel’s 103rd F1 race, will prove a turning point in his career.

Vettel admitted on Sunday night in the post race press conference that he will be looked upon as the “black sheep” after he ignored team orders and passed Mark Webber in the closing stages of Sunday’s Malaysian Grand Prix, when the Australian thought the race had been called off by the Red Bull team.

Interestingly, had they finished with Webber ahead, they would now be level on 33 points in the drivers’ table. And the way Red Bull works, the driver with the highest championship position takes priority in certain situations. By virtue of having a win, Webber would be placed above Vettel in the table.

Also central to Vettel’s motive was the fact that the man he considers his main title rival, Fernando Alonso, did not score any points in Sepang and to leave the extra seven points on the table for finishing second rather than winning, was not something Vettel could contemplate, even if his team could.

Some have praised Vettel for being a “real racer” others have castigated him for violating sporting ethics. To be clear: He did not pass Webber in a racing situation, because Webber was acting on the belief that the racing was over. The situation was reversed in Silverstone two years ago when Webber was told not to pass Vettel in the closing stages, but had a go, eventually backing off. So he is not blameless in this story either.

Interestingly, yesterday the FOM TV director broadcast Mercedes’ team order instructions but not the Red Bull coded instructions. So it is not clear what was said to Vettel and when.

Normal practice in those situations is to inform the pursuing driver first, so that the situation is controlled immediately and then to inform the leading driver that he will not be attacked by his team mate.

What makes yesterday’s situation more intriguing is that Vettel was on a different tyre strategy from Webber; having made an error by pitting too early for slicks which cost him the lead to Webber, Vettel was attempting to get the win back by running a strategy which would see him on the faster (medium) tyre in the closing stages. Webber was on the hard compound which was around 0.6s per lap slower.

So Vettel was anticipating a late race challenge on Webber using faster tyres and DRS and clearly so was the Red Bull strategy team, because they oversee both cars.

But team boss Christian Horner has confirmed that once the final stops were completed, Vettel was told to follow Webber home and he disobeyed that instruction.

Webber and Horner in talks after the race (Taken at 9-30pm Malay time Sunday)


Although he is being compared with drivers like Senna and Schumacher from the past, who pushed things to the limit and beyond at times in pursuit of glory, neither driver to my knowledge disobeyed a team order. Senna and Prost fell out over violations of agreements between themselves, but not of rules imposed by the team.

So will Red Bull do anything to redress the situation?

Webber will have every reason to feel that he cannot trust the team or his team-mate. There have been previous incidents which have gone against him and made him feel like Vettel is “protected” by the management, as Webber suggested on Sunday’s podium.

However, the fact that they were willing to let Webber win Sunday’s race is interesting, given the way Webber is consistently undermined by Red Bull adviser Helmut Marko.

Equally, Bernie Ecclestone’s comments yesterday that Webber himself is protected by the loyalty of Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz, highlights the unique situation Webber finds himself in within the team.

If Red Bull does nothing, Webber’s trust will have been lost for good and that could prove toxic for this campaign, especially if this is to be his his last season in F1.

As for Vettel’s reputation among fans of the sport; this will be harder to repair. His apology after the race was the right thing to do, but still rang somewhat hollow as he already had the 25 points in the bag.

It is a watershed moment, a turning point in a career of glittering success and a crease in his public image. He has shown his colours, showed a ruthlessness and determination to win, which goes way beyond what most people imagined. On one level this makes him a more interesting character; as Ron Dennis observed admiringly of Alonso, ‘Competitive animals know no limits’.

But in calling for Webber to be moved aside midway through the race he also showed a sense of entitlement, which is not attractive.

In conclusion: we now know that Vettel has the ‘bit of the devil’, which several legendary champions have had in this sport; but he will regret the way he conducted himself in this race and it will, to some extent, taint his legacy.

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1,195 Comments
  1. knoxploration says:

    “To be clear: He did not pass Webber in a racing situation, because Webber was acting on the belief that the racing was over.”

    I am sorry, James, but this is simply not true.

    Horner has stated that he believes both engines had been turned down, ie. the equipment was equal.

    Mark was clearly aware that Sebastian was attempting a pass, and he was *very* aggressive in attempting to block that pass. (In fact, he pushed his teammate so close to the pit wall that he had to block the pitlane exit line.)

    To claim that Mark believed the racing is over is utterly nonsensical. He might have believed it was going to be the case; he in no way believed it by the time the pass was occurred, or in the moments leading up to that pass.

    “The situation was reversed in Silverstone two years ago when Webber was told not to pass Vettel in the closing stages, but had a go, eventually backing off. So he is not blameless in this story either.”

    Video footage from that race clearly shows that Mark did *not* back off. Hell, he was locking his brakes on that last lap (as easily demonstrated in multiple fan videos from the final lap on YouTube) in his desperate attempts to pass.

    Mark is no lily white angel here. He is the victim of the *exact* same behavior he himself has shown in multiple races, with the sole difference being that he never actually managed to pull off a pass.

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    1. MikeW says:

      It is easy to see that the actual fight for the overtake was done in full knowledge of the attack.

      But the build-up before that is important too. If Webber thought he was fighting, he’d be fighting all the time to get Vettel’s time beyond the 1 second DRS period, and then further.

      If he’s driving to a time, then he isn’t trying to do that… and Vettel’s advantage is gained *there*

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      1. Rr says:

        At what point was the fight called off? Presumably they were both still racing as webber came out of the pits after his final stop where they were neck and neck. And looked to me like they were both racing from that point on. I can see why the team would’ve annoyed with Vettel for ignoring orders, and webber if he has lost out in the past by following similar orders, but seemed like a fair fight on the day.

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      2. [MISTER] says:

        Great article concentrated more on how Vettel undermined Horner’s authority.

        http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/formula-1/malaysian-grand-prix-vettels-move-1784352

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      3. rad_g says:

        > At what point was the fight called off?

        It was a pre-race agreement, after final set of pitstops cars cruise home in order. Vettel disobeyed.

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      4. Rr says:

        So if Webber’s final stop had been 2.8 rather than 2.5 seconds, Vettel would have passed him as he came out of the pits and taken the victory, and Webber wouldn’t have had any complaints?

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      5. Sam says:

        Yeap, there was no guarantee that Mark would *come out in front* of Seb after the pit stop (and he didn’t). And the pushing to the pit wall ensued and Mark got ahead, thereby making him “entitled” to benefit from the team order. So, did he called out to the team twice after that to get assurance that Seb will not be allowed to race him, knowing full well that Seb had better tyres and the pace to pass him?

        To me, it’s not logical for him to have dial down when he boxed because he needed to come out ahead of Seb to get the benefit of team order. Save to conclude that they must have “multi 21” after that *pitwall move*.

        Seb said that the team order has been discussed many times before racing. With 15 laps remaining and rivals clearly out of contention for the top 2 spots, i can understand why Seb would “make his own decision”. And what he did was not cheating.

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      6. JackL says:

        +1

        It was interesting to see the contrast between Mercedes and Red Bull. When Nico said almost the same thing Vettel had when trying to get past Hamilton, Ross was clear and direct on the radio. More interesting was the fact that Ross commands such respect within the team that both drivers listened to him. Im more curious to know if this erodes Horner’s authority within the team, and what he’s going to do to restore it in the coming weeks.

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      7. Tim says:

        I am not so sure that Ross commands more respect – Nico is just easier to manage. If he had disobeyed team orders and Mercedes decide to drop him, how easily would he find another competitive drive? Where, in contrast, the teams would be fighting over Seb if RBR let him go. Seb knows his worth. He also knows he can get away with pretty much what ever he wants.

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      8. Michael says:

        Horner has to suspend him at least 1 race. He has to stamp his authority on the team. If he does nothing he will be looked on as weak and his authority will be in question.

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      9. brent says:

        You “command” fear, you earn respect. “Oh come on Seb, don’t be silly”, they don’t sound like the words of a man who is respected by the person he is addressing.

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      10. Luciano says:

        Exactly. Webber would have fought to maintain a gap if he knew the fight was on. Vettel just cruised up and mugged him.

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      11. BWLF44 says:

        +1

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      12. BayernFan says:

        um, its ridiculous how many people actually believed webber turned his engines down. I have evidence webber didn’t turn his engines down before vettel passed him. Here, http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2013/03/24/2013-malaysian-grand-prix-lap-times-fastest-laps/ , unbox all other drivers and compare their laptimes every lap and around lap 40 to 47. To turn the engine down would mean go slower by at least 1 second per lap on average at the fastest.But contrary he is right up there the difference is 2/10 of a second to 7/10 of a second, bear in mind vettel is on softs and mark on hard. AND also marks fastest lap was at lap 46, the lap that vettel overtook him, so it seems to me like he turned his engines up rather than turn it down. Pathetic article to be honest.

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      13. Bomber says:

        To be honest it’s Vettels behaviour that is pathetic.

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      14. Bradley says:

        Fresh tyres make for a faster car. Weaker engine makes for a slower car. Fresh tyres plus weaker engine make for the graph that’s there.

        Compare it to Vettel, or Hamilton – who stopped about the same time and is reported to have his engine turned down – and it fits the picture of Webber turning his engine down around the pitstop window.

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      15. Gerry mc says:

        Ridiculous argument…… Even with the engine turned down, webber would still be able to set his fastest lap of the race as he was on new tyres. Fresh grip would easily compensate for the what is a small reduction in power.

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      16. knoxploration says:

        @Bomber: Do you believe Webber’s behavior is pathetic too? If not, why not, given that he has ignored team orders multiple times in the exact same manner Vettel did?

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      17. Andrew M says:

        “To turn the engine down would mean go slower by at least 1 second per lap on average at the fastest.”

        Based on what exactly? Not to mention the fact the cars will tend to go faster anyway as fuel burns off and the track rubbers in.

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      18. Tom in adelaide says:

        Strange that the Red Bull team disagree with you.

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      19. Heath says:

        Webers quickest lap was the lap after Vettel dogged him. This gave webber the two DRS enabled zones. That’s when he got his quickest lap. Have at the speed differences down both straights when Vettel was still attacking and see if you can still say that they were on the same engine mapping!
        All F1 drivers must push the limits now and make sure he doesn’t win another’s race again.

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      20. F1 Badger says:

        Wrong on so many levels. Great article. Vetted is spoilt. Mark saved the team points by not pushing it too far. Watch the footage…if mark was racing he would have pushed wide and forced vetted to pull out. DC even commented that mark gave up the position easily. I’m a neutral and was disgusted by vettel.

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      21. Bighaydo says:

        …the fact that they were running lighter cars due to diminishing fuel loads at the end of the race would have had no bearing on this?

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      22. Stefanos says:

        So what? What was the team order?
        P.S. did you consider fuel loads in your analysis?
        P.P.S. which particular engine map where the two drivers using that would result in 1s per lap increase?

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      23. Damon says:

        The times were quicker because they both had less fuel than they had earlier in the race. 1 lap of fuel in the car is equal to 1 tenth of a second a lap. So Mark and Seb’s lap times 30 laps earlier would have been around 3 seconds slower. 20 laps earlier and they would have been 2 seconds slower than at the end

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      24. Eduardo Fuentes says:

        Sorry BayernFan I have to disagree. Lap times naturally fall as fuel levels decrease over the course of the race. Even if both engines were turned down, Webber’s lap times would still get faster as the car weight drops with lowering fuel levels.

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      25. web head says:

        To put it into some perspective Webber had brand new tyres and low fuel so of course fastest lap would be then, fastest lap times does not mean engine performance is high, need to take into account all the variables first, a link to fastest lap times is not evidence of an engine being turned down.

        Great article James.

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      26. Ollie says:

        Why wouldn’t he speed up if Vettel was on his tail? If they’ve been given orders to maintain position, then he was doing exactly that. The fact you’ve also managed to read your own evidence wrong makes me think your opinion isn’t quite valid. A difference of one between 45 and 46 isn’t much, but enough to invalidate your argument, as if Vettel made the pass on 46, then Mark’s fastest lap on lap 45 was due to the fact he was trying to stop Vettel hounding him.

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      27. ALL4IT says:

        @BayernFan Please READ! No one argues that MW turn down his engine, MW said himself he had it on as they duel and we’ve all seen they duel for a little while. the issue was what the hell SV would turn on him after SV was told multi21, @lap 46, should MW continue to duel for another 10 laps and abuse the hell out of the car and see it to death? if the team does not exist, and the RB9 were own by each of them, he probably would, we all know they don’t, MW has taken the team’s view not to take risk of gifting the Merc. 43 point if they continue the duel which we all can be sure they both capable of and risk not to take both cars home. MW was sensible enough to see the work of 500 people in the factory in risk of being destroyed in next 10 laps or(in heat of the moment that one will regret), so enough is enough, this crazy kid is taking risk 7 extra point, he has agreed prior to race and now turn his back and stab MW from behind. that’s the issue, did SV agreed or did he not. or else he wouldn’t need to say sorry. he did. killer instinct is one thing, winning in such dirty fashion is another. SV much like a Mike Tyson biting someone’s ear off, he’s a champion all right. no one can argue about that!.

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      28. Andrew says:

        Fresh tyres, low fuel, track rubbered in (after rain) etc etc. The reason people are on Webber’s side in this situation is because in the past just about everything has gone Vettel’s way. Changing front wings in Silverstone and the crash in the Turkish GP for example.

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      29. hotshoe says:

        @BayernFan your comment is the only thing that’s pathetic. As usual James, a great article.

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      30. Scheckter says:

        You do notice that after Webber pitted, he set a lap time of 100.69 seconds, right? Incidentally, this was during lap 45. On lap 46 His pace had reduced by over 2 seconds to 102.76.

        Is that what you’re looking for?

        Vettel was backed up and had to match Webber’s reduced pace to a degree. He took the time to decide whether to overtake before finally committing. On lap 46, Vettel’s pace was a flat 102 seconds; some 7/10th’s faster than his opponent.

        Vettel then increased his pace whilst Webber resigned to 2nd.

        Webber is more mature and has a contract which is coming into question by season’s end. He didn’t want to play games.

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      31. Dave says:

        Tribal allegiances run strong here with every German fan seeing no wrong and all the Aussies crying foul. Vettel’s sense of entitlement is huge, the apology clearly hollow. Perhaps Seb is the embodiment of the new generation who only play for themselves with no perception of team. Truth is the driver’s get all the spoils on the backs of hundreds of others in the team who make them look good. I can only conclude Seb is all about Seb and that doesn’t win too many friends.

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      32. Alboreto says:

        “But in calling for Webber to be moved aside midway through the race he also showed a sense of entitlement, which is not attractive.”
        Hm mayby he was not used the right words but Webber going very very slow so the mercedes closing the gap on him. after this webber lap time was nearly 2 sec faster. but it was to late
        hamilton pited und undercut vettel.and he lost a position.that could cost red bull and Vettel some poinst.vettel showed the speed of red bull and overtook Hamilton.if the rd bulls was much faster them mercedes why webber did not open a gap and have a save “multi 21”.I hope it can explaint in the strategiereport.I think what vettel want say is webber should pit if his tyre were gone. but he was just slow because he want to.But why he want to go so slow? can You answer that question Mr allen.
        sorry for the bad english.

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      33. knoxploration says:

        That quote about entitlement from James also struck me as poorly-chosen. We have heard basically every front-running driver on the grid make the exact same request at least once during their careers in F1. It is hardly unusual.

        Hell, we heard Rosberg practically author a book of such requests during the last race.

        James, do you also consider Nico to have an unattractive sense of entitlement?

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      34. Anne says:

        After his last pit stops Webber was on hard tyres. Vetter was on the medium. That´s why it was difficult for Webber to open a big gap.

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      35. Doug says:

        I’ll answer this for you easily, because Mark explained that he was driving to ‘Save the tyres’ at between 8/10’s & 8.5/10’s throughout the race.
        Red Bull knew that the tyres would be marginal and Mark was racing to a ‘delta’ (a time given by the team to help the drivers manage the tyres).

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      36. Tim says:

        I thought the tone of his voice was quite telling. Not a very attractive side of his personality that he displayed to the world.

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      37. Rod Aguirre says:

        He could not fight because he was running on the slower tyres. Vettel knew that and something makes me think that everyone else did too. I smelled a rat all along this issue.
        Webber was ambushed by Vettel and possibly also by his own team.

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      38. Ajay says:

        After reading hundreds of post on the matter. Rod Aguirre post best sums it up.

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      39. Marybeth says:

        Bob Varsha pointed out that each team is allotted only 8 engines a year. So Red Bull told the drivers to turn the engines back after the last pit stop. Webber was ahead.

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      40. TimRig says:

        I agree and disagree with many comments. My view is that the transmission to Seb (I think on lap 29) we are only half race when he was complaining about MW speed highlights that Seb tyre strategy was going to jump MW on the last pit stop. This didn’t happen and the team where stuck with their multi 21 call. My understanding is the multi 21 call was made 15 laps out of the finish which would of been before the last pit stop hence Seb trying to jump him on the last pit stop because the team wanted them to box after that sequence. MW according to the team was not suppose to come out in front of Seb. Well thats my thoughts. Either way Seb has confirmed that he is not a team player and MW is not that better. But with that and what has unfolded Seb will have a lot of searching to do i think as his already damaged reputation is only worst.

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      41. carl sakr says:

        well some people will be for some would be against but three things to observe: What Webber did to vettel on the straight line is exactly what shumacher did for Rubens still webber was not admonished. So in brief i think that michael picked up the hatred for being a success exactly where he left in 2006, and in the end it was not a race conduct or else webber should have been starting at the back of the grid mind Damon Hill. Second point if the teams are supposed to control results why are we watching a fast food race with predicted results. All of the idea started with gladiators in the arena and if the man can no longer fight the beast Formula 1 will be worth nothing.
        Third Formula 1 can not be driver friendly anymore it should be the jungle, and that line that differentiate safety from luxury should be drawn. Teams that can not afford should leave, because the jungle is supposed to be wild

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    2. alexyoong says:

      It is true- the turning of his engine down, and the taking of the slower but more durable hard tyre, put Webber at a disadvantage to Vettel. Of course he raced when Vettel was actually pulling the move. Webber seemed to back out of the dicing at turn 4, as if to say I’m following team orders, as should you. Hence his finger pointing soon after.

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      1. knoxploration says:

        I will say it again. Christian Horner has apparently told the BBC he believes Vettel’s engine was turned down too. That, if true, means that Webber’s engine being turned down is of zero importance.

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      2. Bradley says:

        Interesting that he needs to use the word ‘believe’ when the team has full telemetry available to them in real time. You’d think he should know for sure.

        But I didn’t see that interview; maybe he was saying it for certain.

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      3. Stefanos says:

        DRS

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      4. Geee says:

        He actually said he didn’t know & would have to check…watch the interview yourself on the BBC F1 page, it’s one of the first three clips.

        Regardless, I’m disappointed with Seb. His comments early on in the race had already offended me enough, regardless of what happened with team orders.

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      5. knoxploration says:

        @Bradley: I understand he suggested he’d need to check to be sure, but believed it to be the case. And yes, you’d think he’d be better-informed, especially knowing a PR disaster was coming.

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      6. Multi 21 says:

        Horner couldn’t turn the engine down from the pit wall. All that statement means is Horner gave Vettel the order. It doesn’t mean Vettel complied with it.

        Funny how Vettel couldn’t get near enough to pass Webber for the duration of the race until just after the final pit stop. Wonder why?

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      7. Bomber says:

        Knoxploration

        It was the contemptous tone and arrogance of how it was said.

        He’s too slow, get him out of the way!

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      8. knoxploration says:

        Also, the hard wasn’t actually more durable. As stated regularly in the US coverage — I don’t know what coverage you watched, so I don’t know if yours picked up on this — the Red Bull was having significant durability issues with the hard and was bizarrely managing to get the same or less life out of it.

        Mark likely chose it because he preferred other characteristics (ie. how it drove), not in this instance because it was lasting longer, because it wasn’t.

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      9. mhilgtx says:

        In fact the US broadcast did state that Mark Webber chose the harder compound for the latter part of the race. His Race Engineer asked him witch one he wanted, he said the harder of the two.

        That decision was a terrible decision but he was so much slower on the medium tire he was forced into it.

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      10. knoxploration says:

        The US broadcast didn’t state it, Mark Webber did. He clearly made his tire choice on a radio broadcast selected for inclusion by FOM, and therefore played back on the world feed. So unless it was talked over or lost to a commercial etc. by your local broadcaster, every F1 fan in every country should have heard it.

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      11. Andrew M says:

        “Also, the hard wasn’t actually more durable.”

        lol

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      12. mhilgtx says:

        Knox I think we are saying the same thing. Mark said it and if you watched the US broadcast with me you know those guys spent a good deal of time talking about the fact the harder compound was not as durable as the medium.

        They even talked about whether it was just RBR or the whole field and they agreed it was the whole field having thermal degradation issues with the primary tire.

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      13. F1 Badger says:

        Well said.

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      14. Robin says:

        I dont care about the posts.Just tell me that are u really alex yoong or is it just a fake.
        I love seb n i always will….
        What if someone screws up a time
        dont u ever??????
        Give him a break people

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    3. **Paul** says:

      Yup Mark finished 4 tenths behind Seb at Silverstone. Hardly backing off was it, he was side by side with Seb at one point if I recall. His justification was something along the lines of ‘if Alonso had failed to finish a win was on the cards, so I ignored the radio and went for it’.

      I’m so glad to see so many proper F1 fans on here aren’t blinded by the media’s failure to tell the whole truth here.

      That’s not to say Seb isn’t a ruthless driver by the way, but certain F1 sites are peddling half the story.

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      1. **Paul** says:

        Here’s a link to an article about it:
        http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/formula1/14099315

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      2. brent says:

        “Proper F1 Fans”…those that agree with you? The story is not following the employers instructions, the rest is cover or dressing.

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      3. knoxploration says:

        And Webber repeatedly didn’t follow those instructions either, except with no scandal (and in fact, praise from the public for doing so.)

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      4. **Paul** says:

        I mean those who are interested in the sport, not the casual fans who believe everything commentators say as gospel.

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      5. steen says:

        Rubbish. Telemetry confirms Vettel upped the wick. Even to the extent of setting KERS to overtake mode ie max. Webber was dialled down & then came off the juice prior to flipping the bird.

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      6. knoxploration says:

        You have access to the telemetry? Awesome. Care to share?

        Oh, you mean the on-screen stuff that FOM gives you? That’s not telemetry, and it tells you little.

        Nor, at any point, did it show for both drivers simultaneously, making any attempt at comparison totally invalid.

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      7. Optimaximal says:

        He doesn’t have access to telemetry, it’s based on the repeated team radio calls demanding that Seb hold station and turn down his KERS and engine power.

        Yes, it’s time shifted and cherry-picked for ‘THE BIG DRAMAS’ but it’s still telling some of the story.

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      8. Michael S says:

        I agree… for some reason the media LOVE Webber… We never hear any complaining when week after week Alonso walks all over Massa. However, anything close to that at Red Bull and it is WWIII from the media in behalf of Webber. Vettel knows it will be down to him and Alonso and he knows Alonso always gets team orders over his teammate.

        This is why team orders are so nasty…

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      9. [MISTER] says:

        I think you missed the part where both drivers and the team agreed who is in front after last pit is going to bring it home.

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      10. Stefanos says:

        Alonso vs Masa facts correct?

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      11. Doobs says:

        If Vettel needed help from Mark later in the season, he would have no doubt got it, make no mistake. But now..?

        Vettel has messed in his own nest here.

        Sure, Mark has made him work for wins at times – perhaps unecessarily so – but Vet gets so much preferential treatment who can blame MW for showing he’s “not bad for a no.2 driver” from time to time.

        Bad mistake from Vettel IMO, and it may come back to haunt him.

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      12. James Allen says:

        Please moderate the tone and aggression of your comments in other posts. We’ve had to waste time cleaning them up. We don’t have that time when 1,000s of comments to get through

        You’ve been warned, we will just delete comment in future

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      13. Bomber says:

        F1 used to be a sport where you got in the car and put the hammer down.

        Now it is about tyre management, fuel management, pit stop strategy which involves the whole team.

        What is crucial is Webber as the leading driver had the right to pit first which he gave to Vettel to keep him ahead of Hamilton.

        vettel said thanks for that and used it to overtake him.

        Talk about repugnant behaviour.

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      14. Rishi says:

        I think the “Fake Charlie Whiting” persona on Twitter put it right in that the issue was Vettel tricking Webber rather than any “love for Webber”. If he wanted to attack Mark he should have told the team he was attacking him; that way we would have been given a fair fight. In the end he seemed to sneak up on him and attack him when it was too late for Mark to make a proactive (rather than reactive) defence of his position.

        James’s article is well-balanced and, in mentioning events like Silverstone 2011 and the different tyre strategies, demonstrates that there are two sides to every story and why Vettel may have thought it was okay for him to attack, ironically in contrast to Vettel’s own ‘apology’.

        Despite that, I do think Vettel knew exactly what he was doing on Sunday and I found the sneaky way he did it quite distasteful. Although Senna and Schumacher may not have disobeyed team orders, Alonso famously did so at McLaren (not giving Hamilton the extra quali lap in Hungary). It’s weird because in a way it is behaviour ill-fitting of a triple world champion, and yet in another way it is entirely what you’d expect from someone so successful – that they’d take a step over the boundaries of perceived acceptability.

        It will be interesting to see what comes of this because, as others have mentioned, the incident sheds a light on the balance of power in the team which has the potential to be quite uncomfortable for Christian Horner.

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      15. Toni says:

        Two times in three years is not “always”.

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      16. Wayne says:

        This is absolutely not an accurate analogy and I am suprised JA used it (unless I misunderstand something). At Silverstone there was no pre-agreement between the drivers and the team – RBR sprung those orders on WEB during the race. On Sunday, they all agreed before the race what the situation would be (they even had a code for the agreement!) and all signed up to it. VET then ignored the trust that had been placed in him by his team and his team-mate. IT’S DIFFERENT! WEB did not go into Silverstone having agreed a course of action, VET did go into Sunday’s race having agreed a course of action. He bloody-well knows it as does his entire team.

        I utterly despise all this ‘real racer’ stuff! It’s pandering excuses for someone behaving badly because they are in a position of power. These guys are human being’s first and F1 drivers second despite all the cliches, they should act like decent human beings first and foremost. What is success built on unfair advantages, conniving, cheating and stealing (i’m being general here not accusing VET of all these things) worth in retrospect – nothing at all on a moral level and very little in terms of a legacy. It’s also a horrendous example to set for children ‘win at any moral or social cost’ – who would tell thjeir children such a thing and who would excuse an F1 driver of such a thing?

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      17. deancassady says:

        You got it right, again, Wayne.

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      18. knoxploration says:

        Utter speculative nonsense. You were not in either driver briefing, you have absolutely ZERO idea what “the code” means beyond guesswork, and you are forming opinions of it all solely to back up your own preference in terms of drivers.

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      19. Greg (Aus) says:

        +1

        Spot on Wayne.

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      20. Formula Zero says:

        Good comment Wayne. I’m one one those who commented on Vettel’s behavior similar to Senna & Schumacher. One thing only common between all of them “must win at all cost”. But as James said, the other 2 never disobeyed team order, which makes Vettel’s action to a whole new level!!! I don’t think there are many fans in the world who wouldn’t like to see Webber win the championship. How popular would that be!!! On the other hand no matter how many wdc Vettel gets, he has done the biggest damage of his career already!!! Unfortunately, that makes him selfish, untrustworthy & very unpopular with F1 fans. Red Bull might find out how bad the impact has been when they find out this year’s drinks sale compare to say ”Mosnter”.

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      21. Doug says:

        Wayne…I don’t often agree with what you write…but I do here…well said!

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      22. Troy Prideaux says:

        What Wayne said.

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      23. Hudson says:

        Wayne your comment is the best I have seen thus far, and one that I agree with. The winning at all cost mentality is wrong, and this is what Vettel demonstrated here. I agree that Vettel is not exactly endeared by many neutral F1 fans because of the percieved preferential treatment he gets at RBR at the expense of Webber, but this has little to do with it. Vettel showed poor judgement in this case, and I only hope that his apology (after banking 25 points) was genuine. It leaves a sour taste in the mouth when one tries to win by unfair means, whether cheating regulations, using drugs or breaking agreements. That said, perhaps it’s time to ban team orders again?

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      24. Multi 21 says:

        You are on it 100%.

        The other thing that backs up your statement is that all through the 2010 season, Red Bull shouted at every available opportunity that they “don’t do team orders” when the media asked them if Vettel would help Webber win the title (as Webber was leading the WDC for most of the back end of the season).

        So if Red Bull publicly announce there will never be team orders enforced, then nearing the end of a race a team order is magically produced without any prior warning/agreement, why should he have complied? It was gross hypocrisy by the team.

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      25. Aditya says:

        I don’t think Multi 21 is a code for hold positions:

        RT @RussBroom “Multi-map is a pre-programmable, driver selectable feature of the MES std ECU”

        i think it means turn your engines to some setting “21”, which is probably lesser power.

        but i think silverstone 2011 was different because Webber ignored the team’s “maintain the gap” and didn’t respond to it, in which case Seb wouldn’t have been told that the race is over and it’s gonna finish the same way. Here, the leading driver WAS told that it’s over when he finds that he’s been overtaken.

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      26. Matt NZ says:

        Excellent Comment Wayne

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      27. gravelrash says:

        here here

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      28. HR says:

        I disagree with you there, Wayne. It’s highly likely RBR already had a plan in place for that situation. Would certainly have been discussed previously at a strategy briefing.

        I marvel at how when Webber ignored the team orders in Silverstone ’11 so many people applauded him and he was not sorry about it but now when Vettel does it, and apologises afterward, people are up in arms. It’s just inconsistent. Webber would have made the move stick in Silverstone ’11 if he could have.

        IMO Vettel was hot-headed at the time and charged when he saw an opportunity despite the instruction to hold position. It was only after that he knew that Mark had turned down his engine did he realise that it was not a fair fight and he apologised.

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      29. Ryco says:

        Yes, Vettel was in a position of power. If a driver is good enough, successful enough, eventually he attains to a position of power. In the second race of the season, for the sake of team points, the Red Bull team expected SV to sacrifice driver championship points to a rival. Had he complied, the race and the points would have been gifted to Webber, one of his rivals for the drivers title. Why do a large section of F1 watchers think that an F1 champion three years running, gunning for a fourth title, superor in speed and race craft to his teammate, should sit still for this? Vettel was right about the tires – his team was wrong. The drivers did not take each other out. Vettel knew it could be done and did it – because he had the power, brains, and ability. From now on Red Bull had better think twice about gifting Webber a race over Vettel under similar circumstances. Webber and his fans wanted the gift. Vettel fans, some of them at least, are glad they didn’t get it.

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      30. Señor Sjon says:

        Perhaps you missed that Webber had to give up his new front wing to Vettel. Only two were made and Vettel had damaged his in practice/qualy. Since both were running in the championship, Webber was furious he had to pass on his good wing. That’s why he didn’t obey the team order in Silverstone. He thought: “I’m already screwed once, not make it twice’

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      31. HR says:

        Uh that was Silverstone in two diff years

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      32. Ariel Zelada. says:

        All you people are complaining about Webber at Silverstone. The thing is, did Mark overtake Sebastian in the most utter, dirty way you could have thought of? He did not. All the Sebastian fans are upset because their ‘idol’ just proved who he really is.

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    4. zoomsthru says:

      I agree. With any other driver as teammate, Vettel’s actions would be terrible. In this case though, given the past history between these two, I can understand the German’s move.

      And yes, I don’t understand why people claim that Webber didn’t expect the overtake – he had two full laps of Vettel making aggressive moves behind him. It would take a rather dim mind to be taken by surprise after that.

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      1. john says:

        Webber didnt expect it because he had been told by the team that it would not happen.
        Whats so hard to understand about that?
        Vettel took it upon himself to do this.
        No wonder he was ‘surprised’.

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      2. Bomber says:

        John

        Totally agree.

        There are some posters who cannot grasp what Vettel has actually done.

        Mugged his team mate and far more importantly mugged his team.

        Next time Webber is in front and Vettel is under pressure the team are not going to bring him in before Webber.

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      3. Doobs says:

        ..Or one that had been told by his trusted team principal that he wouldn’t be attacked.

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    5. Stef says:

      I agree. As soon as Vettel made his move, Webber tried to block him, which means that they were racing.

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      1. Mike J says:

        No, Webber was just standing up for himself and the teams pre-race agreement. You stand up for your rights don’t you??

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    6. abashrawi says:

      Because Vettel decided the overtake before Webber knew of his intentions, Vettel had the initiative and the momentum. I like Vettel as a racer and I have no issues with him disobeying team orders and agreements. Had he rejects the order on the radio saying that he would race to the flag, he would have been my hero of the day. But making others think that he agrees, and then stab in the back, he became my zero of the day I’m afraid.

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      1. Aditya says:

        Spot on, mate. agree a 100%

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      2. Bomber says:

        At least that would have been more honest.

        And he wouldn’t have been given first pit stop which closed the gap.

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      3. Toni says:

        Just *PERFECT*

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    7. Dude says:

      i saw that same interview, horner said he wasn’t sure if they were on the same engine setting. he couldn’t confirm it. he stumbled on the words and looked a little awkward at that point. i call bull on that.

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    8. Rafael says:

      Completely agree with you! I’m very much looking forward to seeing how this evolves over the season.

      Also, Vettel asking the team to move Webber over doesn’t sound so much like entitlement as it does him simply being faster than Webber. Rosberg did the same thing and no one is saying that Rosberg has a sense of entitlement over Hamilton, are we?

      Also worth noting is that Rocky (that’s Vettel’s engineer, right?) responded to Vettel with “be patient”. I believe Vettel was patient and then thought it unfair that his team effectively changed their mind towards the end of the race. That goes back on (1) Rocky’s comment and (2) his entire race strategy as noted by James.

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      1. Jake says:

        You should listen again to the radio messages.
        Vettel tells the team to get Webber out of the way, Rosberg asked for permission to pass Hamilton. Completely different and explains the entitlement comment from James
        I have heard Vettel in quite a lot of interviews and can tell you his english is very good, this was not a case of poor translation on his part.

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      2. mhilgtx says:

        Respectfully but you aren’t proposing that Nico is on the same level as Hamilton or above are you? Vettel is a 3 time WDC champion I would expect him to be more forceful in his approach. Also I thought Nico sounded like a spoiled child asking mom to stop Johnny from playing with his toys. Then I thought about it and the guy is driving a car at high speeds through turns so I won’t worry about how he phrased a request. We seem to parse these radio conversation like they were a politicians speech.

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      3. Doobs says:

        “Be patient” as in don’t try to win the WDC in one race perhaps…

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      4. Optimaximal says:

        Exactly… The whole comment from Rocky was basically “Be patient, we’re not even half-distance yet!”.

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      5. Grant says:

        From memory when Vettel asked for Webber to move over, wasn’t Webber lapping quicker than Vettel? At least that was the message I heard from Vettel’s engineer and also the timing! Pretty sure on that. Vettel has lost all of my respect. when 4-5 seconds behind if you want to fight for the race, ask for that. Don’t artificially catch up to the guy that out raced you all day and then take him on a more powerful engine and better tyres after he has turned his engine down! Disgraceful.

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    9. Scuderia McLaren says:

      +1,000,000

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    10. Anil says:

      Mark didn’t push Seb to the wall; he made that ‘1 move’ and left Seb enough space to go through if he wanted. The only really bit of agressive driving he did was going into turn 2 when he shoved it up the inside of vettel.

      It’s very telling that when they got to turn 4, Mark let Seb go past him instead of doing what any other driver would have done in that situation which is just force them off the road (as Lewis did to him and Alonso in Germany ’11). Webber was playing the team game whilst Seb wasn’t.

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      1. Damon says:

        yea exactly. Mark didn’t push Seb into the wall. He made the move before Vettel had his car next to Mark’s. He could have easily gone around the outside of Mark

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    11. Andrew M says:

      “I am sorry, James, but this is simply not true.”

      Yes it is, anyone that thinks otherwise just doesn’t understand what happened, simple as that.

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      1. knoxploration says:

        Mark will have known the gap to Sebastian at regular intervals. He will have known that gap was coming down long before the one second gap was entered. He will also have been able to see in his mirrors. And we have it from Horner that both cars were on much the same engine modes.

        So I’m sorry, but on every level, what James says was not true. Mark was well aware he was racing for position, and his actions on track *before* the pass was made make this fact clear as day.

        If you think otherwise, you simply can’t reason for yourself.

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      2. Tim says:

        This may seem like a long shot but I am guessing you are a fan of SV – you are certainly more than a little biased in your comments and analysis of events. James Allen, on the other hand is a well respected F1 journalist, a published author and TV and radio commentator. Furthermore he is paid for his opinions on F1 – can you make similar claims?

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      3. Multi 21 says:

        I’m sure Webber DID know he had a 3 second gap to Vettel when SV pitted for the final time.

        All MW had to do was not lose that much time in the laps in-between their respective stops and he’d emerge in front where the pre-arranged order would be enacted and they’d cruise to the finish line in formation as agreed to before the race.

        If you think they were racing, then why did Webber ask for confirmation of the order from Horner 4 times while under attack from Vettel?

        Vettel pulled a move as Webber exited the pitlane (quite rightly in my opinion because they exited side by side). He attacked next lap and couldn’t pull it off. He tried again the lap after that and got ahead.

        This shows MW was defending while driving to a target time and not racing to the flag. If he knows that are racing to the flag, do you really think MW would have turned his engine down and asked the pit wall on four separate occasions for clarification?

        To all the Vettel defenders out there saying it was all fair, answer me this: Why has the team admitted there WAS an agreement made before the race? If they were free to race hard to the flag why has the team admitted that the drivers were ordered to turn their engines down?

        There are massive holes in reasoning here which some people are blind to.

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      4. Andrew says:

        Mate, you’re a little confused.

        There’s a difference between defending/racing a car that is 5 metres behind you and driving to a time in full knowledge of team instructions.

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      5. Andrew says:

        Regardless of gap or engine mode, if an instruction was given to hold station (multi 21), then Mark would not have had a care about Seb and how close he was. In fact, he probably would have welcomed him being closer as it is the close proximity that is harder on the tyres. A common site this year is cars racing with about a second between then so they are out of the “dirty air”.

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      6. Doobs says:

        Well reason this.. If you’re told your team mate won’t attack you, why would you worry however fast he was gaining? Maybe they wanted a team photo going over the line? Too hard for you mate?

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      7. Andrew M says:

        That’s just nonsense. The fact that Mark could see Seb close in his mirrors is meaningless; Lewis could see Nico pretty close in his mirrors too but surmised correctly that Nico was just following closely and not going to attack, which he didn’t. Mark surmised the same thing.

        And as far as I know, Horner never said they were running the same engine mode. He stated that both drivers had been given the order to turn it down, and when asked if both drivers had done that he said “I believe so”. That’s pretty much politician speak for at best “I’ve no idea”, and more likely “No”.

        Not to mention, why would Vettel turn his engine down to match Webber and then launch a broadside attack on him? That makes no sense whatsoever.

        That’s before we mention Mark choosing the slower, more durable tyre to make it to the end of the race, knowing he wasn’t going to come under pressure from his team mate or the Mercedes drivers.

        Oh, and of course the fact that everyone acknowledges there was a team order that Vettel disobeyed, from Webber to Horner to Marko.

        Reason that away.

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      8. Sam says:

        Exactly, Mark was hoping to be gifted the win via team order, he knew with cold tyres wiht is not as durable as the medium, he would not be able to fend off Seb if they were to race fair and square.

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    12. Allan says:

      True points.

      Webber’s pointless effort to race Vettel in Brazil last year is another example that Webbo gives as good as he gets.

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      1. F*ckYeah says:

        …”effort to race Vettel” ? Watch the start of the race, he tried to put him in the scenery, let Alonso past.

        I am sick of Webber’s constant whining about being the poor little kicked underdog with inferior equipment as a means of excusing his own failure to beat his teammate. He is not as good a driver as Seb, simple as that, almost as quick, nearly as consistent, but crucially less so. He also lacks the ability to get back through the pack when it has gone a bit wrong.

        Yes Seb misbehaved, but so has Webber, far worse 3 races ago at Interlagos.

        Likewise, Ferrari moved poor Felipe out of Alonso’s way in the first race, where was the whining about team orders ?

        Felipe has not outqualified him 4 times in a row, we are far more likely some serious entertainment from that direction soon !

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      2. knoxploration says:

        To be completely fair, whether or not Felipe was moved aside, that incident is in no way comparable.

        The issue here is not the existence of team orders; we all know they exist, and most of us know that Ferrari as a one-man team are usually the first to apply them.

        The issue is whether a direct order was ignored by a driver, whether that decision had anything to do with the complete lack of consequence when that team’s other driver repeatedly ignored team orders himself, and why the team feels itself unable to control either of its drivers (and yet still attempts to apply team orders).

        Either Red Bull needs to do away with team orders entirely — a move I’d applaud, even if it loses us the championship — or it needs to find the appropriate whip or carrot to have *both* of its drivers give its orders respect.

        It appears that currently, neither driver gies a hoot what the team thinks, and yet the team is still half-heartedly trying to tell them what to do. That situation is healthy for nobody except the F1 journos who get to fill column-inches describing the fallout.

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      3. Galapago555 says:

        “Likewise, Ferrari moved poor Felipe out of Alonso’s way in the first race, where was the whining about team orders?”

        No, they didn’t. The decision to pit later than Fernando was all down on Felipe, as he explained to the press after the race. He thought that Fernando was pitting too early, so he decided to stay a couple of laps. No team orders here.

        http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/106129

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      4. Galapago555 says:

        AND, last but not least, Ferrari never pretended to have an “equal treatment” policy. Exactly the opposite as RBR does.

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      5. [MISTER] says:

        I cannot believe you’re still doing the rounds with this. How can you say these 2 situations are comparable? Without trying to be rude, are you blind?

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      6. knoxploration says:

        @Galapago555: Two points. One, Felipe will say after the race whatever his PR person tells him to. So will basically every driver on the grid, once the PR person’s had a chance to brief them. What the drivers say means next to nothing.

        Two: If RBR “pretended” to have an equal treatment policy, we wouldn’t be debating this. They’d have cared not one iota about the pass, and Mark would’ve said nothing because he’d have known it was in the contract.

        The very fact that we are discussing it says that it isn’t a pretense. RBR has a real two-driver policy.

        However, I have read many, MANY quotes from Ferrari over the years claiming their drivers are free to race when they aren’t.

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      7. Doobs says:

        There were no Ferrari team orders in Melbourne mate. Alonso took a decision to pit early and thereby beat both Massa and Vettel.

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      8. Pete says:

        +1
        Many have overlooked this episode, did webber forget he was driving for redbull in Brazil, hum, manybe some sour grapes are rolling around since last year… Both have played up against each other, fact.. Although vettel shows familiar the trait of a multiple WDC. Maximise points at all opportunities… That’s racing lets get on with it

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      9. Brad says:

        True, but they also agreed that they “favoured” Alonso Doobs, one and the same thing to me

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      10. blacbul67 says:

        “He also lacks the ability to get back through the pack when it has gone a bit wrong”. Remind me how he claimed his first ever F1 victory in the German GP again?

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    13. MISTER says:

      Horner did not say both engines were turned down, but that he believes both cars had the same engine mode. Again, he was not sure about that, and the fact he avoided a direct answer twice, makes me think he was not telling us the truth. If he really thought both engines were on the same mode, he could’ve said that the first time he was asked the question, not try to avoid it twice.

      I believed and I am 100% sure Vettel’s engines was turned up. There’s no point trying to overtake someone with your engines turned down.

      In Webber’s defense, if he knew Vettel was gonna race him, he could’ve also get a set of Medium tyres, having pitted after Vettel. But he knew from a pre-race agreement that in a 1-2 situation, they will not race to the finish.

      And as MikeW said, if Mark would’ve known Vettel was going to race him, he could’ve tried to keep out of the DRS range.

      A trully backstab from Vettel.

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      1. knoxploration says:

        If you believe there’s no point trying to overtake somebody when they’re on the same engine map as you, then you believe there’s no point trying to overtake for 99% of the race.

        It must suck to be an F1 fan with that viewpoint.

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      2. dean cassady says:

        are you sebastian vettel’s agent?

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      3. Doobs says:

        It was a team order to hold station and cruise to the flag…

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      4. Bomber says:

        [mod] they raced upto the last pit stop which is common practice [mod]

        The issue here is trust.

        Vettel broke a pre race agreement with his team mate and then disobeyed a team order.

        At least he seems to realise what he has done

        Red Bull will be furious do they want their brand to be associated with this win at all costs stab my team mate in the back disobey my team attitude.

        I doubt it!

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      5. James Allen says:

        There is no excuse for being aggressive with other posters

        Modding your comments takes valuable time when we have 1,000s to get through

        Next time you use aggressive language we will delete the whole comment. Please observe the rules – Mod

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      6. MISTER says:

        You know very well what I tried to say. My point was nobody would try to overtake someone with the engine turned down WHILE having the option of a higher engine mode which will make his life much easier.

        I can see from all your comments that you are a RBR fan, and that is fine, but don’t try to put words in my mouth.
        Vettel is a spoiled brat who backstabbed Webber and the team. At the same time, Horner is a team boss who cannot manage his employee. In Malayasia, it was Vettel who was runing the team, not Horner.
        The difference between Ross Brawn and Christian Horner is collosal.

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      7. Rudy says:

        Forget the engine mode and who tought what. The FACT is there for everyone to see, Sebastian Vettel is a little boy pampered by good old daddy Helmut Marko and mummy Chris Horner. If I were in his shoes I’d be ashamed that someone else has to intervene on my behalf in this kind of issues. He’s a man or what? Accept the responsibility Seb, apologise to the team and be a team player.
        Hated the Schumacher days when Rubens, Eddie or Felipe had to move over because of “team orders”. Talking of which, what is the point in having 2 cars in a team? Lotus, Ferrari, Mercedes, Red Bull, provide development parts to their number 1 drivers! What’s the point on having 2 drivers. And Montezemolo wanted a 3rd car, ha ha! What for?

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      8. Optimaximal says:

        The difference is that in this situation, it’s the watershed moment when the protective mummy and daddy cannot believe that their golden child has cut their friends hair, drunk bleach and kicked the family dog all at once.

        This categorically wasn’t a team order to favour a driver, it was a team order to favour the team.

        One man put himself above the team (which is doubly galling for the team when its their work that has put that one man where he is).

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    14. Alex says:

      I have to disagree here I think. I don’t think it was an even fight at all. We saw both before and immediately after the pitstops that when running at full tilt Vettel wasn’t able to drag past Webber on the main straight even with DRS and being tucked right under the rear wing.

      Are we really supposed to believe Vettel’s engine was in the same conservation mode as Webber’s when the onboard clearly showed Vettel surging and dragging alongside Webber from much further back than he’d previously failed to do numerous times before?

      It smacks all over of Webber’s engine being turned down and Vettel’s still running hot.

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      1. knoxploration says:

        Look much earlier in the race — long before Webber’s engine was turned down — when Vettel asked for Webber to be moved over. Now rewind and watch the previous 3-4 laps.

        You will see almost exactly the same speed differential between Sebastian and Mark as we saw at the end of the race: as much as 1.3 seconds per lap.

        That clearly demonstrates that Sebastian was capable of catching Mark at the rate he did, even without his engine being turned up further.

        As for the actual pass, DRS rather makes that a foregone conclusion. Don’t like that? Moan about DRS. I’ve been doing so for years. It is unsporting and does not belong in F1. We should be reducing cars’ reliance on aero, not using completely unfair gimmicks to create artificial, boring, fake passes.

        But that’s a story for another day.

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      2. Dan says:

        Seb was not clearly faster at all, Webber was driving to a controlled time to conserve the tyres.

        Webber was faster than Vettel all the race and had earned the right to the win.

        People forget that usually this situation wouldn’t occur, because another teams car would be in amongst the battle preventing the team from controlling the race.

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      3. Doug says:

        Mark is quoted in the drivers briefing about having to drive at between 80-85% to make the tyres last…just because Seb caught him at 1.3 secs. per lap doesn’t mean that Mark couldn’t have responded had he needed to.

        The fact is that Mark was ahead after the final Pit Stop. The team had an order in place that at this point the driver’s should hold position.
        Seb chose to ignore that order and break the agreement made with his team-mate.

        What tyres/engine mode/star sign/past history etc. is irrelevant. What Seb did was plain wrong…if you can’t see that as a fact…then so are you!

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      4. Anil says:

        Mark was matching his delta times perfectly. He spoke about this during the press conference and once Seb told the team to move him out the way he upped his pace considerably.

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      5. mhilgtx says:

        Horner says they were both in the same engine map.

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      6. [MISTER] says:

        No he didnt. He said “he think” they both had same engine mode but he “needs to check”. He said all this after he tried 2 to avoid answering. To me, saying “they both had the same engine mode” is a fair and straight answer. Why would he try to avoid giving that answer?

        I hate, absolutely hate, making accusations without having clear facts, but in that interview, Horner didn’t look comfortable giving that answer. Something was not right with that!

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      7. mhilgtx says:

        @mister which interview did you watch?

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    15. John Myburgh says:

      But did Webber agree to team orders in Brazil? I don’t believe so and Vettel should not expect help if he is so great. The bigger picture is what will happen now? If I was Webber I’d race Vettel every time and I think you forget how good Webber is when he feels “done in”.. Remember “not too bad for a number two driver”.. I think Thejudge13 did a good analysis: http://thejudge13.com/2013/03/25/civil-war-or-just-a-load-of-old-bull/

      This could be the beginning of the end for RedBull and Vettel…

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      1. knoxploration says:

        It is not just Brazil. Go back to Silverstone 2011 and you will see another instance of Webber refusing to abide by team orders, and publicly stating as much after the fact in the media. (In fact, the very opposite of Vettel’s half-hearted apology; Mark clearly wasn’t contrite at all, and would’ve ignored the order again given the opportunity.)

        Also, note that we are talking about the second race of the season here. I understand why teams feel the need to try and apply team orders, but I find that decision reprehensible this early in the season. If teammates are not allowed to race the final third of a race, even in the second race of the year, we should be making the races 1/3 shorter. (Except they’d just refuse to let them race the final third of the new, shorter race, of course.)

        Team orders should not be coming into play until the dying gasp of the season. If you can’t trust your drivers not to destroy their cars and tires in a desperate attempt to pass each other, you are probably employing the wrong drivers, and should make more intelligent hiring decisions.

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      2. Persi says:

        I think this time team orders were sensible as RB clearly did not trust their drivers racing without self destructing.

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      3. dean cassady says:

        just how much time and energy, in hours, have you spent posting ‘your position’ on this controversy?

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      4. hero_was_senna says:

        I don’t see this as team orders as you are suggesting, meaning this early in the season.
        For decades now, f1 teams allow racing until the final pitstop and if the drivers have emerged from the pits in positions which they are together in the race, the team will tell them to hold position.
        Some have mentioned this as comparable to Villeneuve and Pironi. Again, back in 1982, if Ferrari were running 1 and 2, they had to back off to save the cars. Obviously reliability was nowhere near as good as now. That was why Villeneuve was so enraged after Imola, because team orders were disobeyed by Pironi. When GV was ahead, they lapped in 1.38’s. DP ahead that dropped to 1.35’s

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      5. Doobs says:

        RB were more worried their tyres wouldn’t last (and fighting each other would make it worse) rather than which driver is favoured over the other.

        RB allow their cars to fight at other times, but after the final stops, Mark was in front of Vettel, so fully expected to be allowed to take the win. Vettel double crossed him instead and broke his own teams orders.

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    16. Apostolos says:

      Some good points.

      Something that I haven’t really understood, is when did Webber turn his engine down? He got out of his last stop wheel-to-wheel with Vettel, so he must have assumed they were still in racing-on mode. When would team instructions (for after last stop) take effect?

      Tough situation in Red Bull… I understand Webber’s feeling that he is not receiving equal priority from the team. But because of this, he can barely entertain the idea of supporting Vettel if needed – and we have the squeeze in the Brazil start, the reluctance to give space in Abu Dabi (when the team had to pit Webber to let Vettel safely ahead) etc. Making Vettel think that he cannot trust his teammate either. Vicious circle that will make the rest of the season nerve-wrackign for RB bosses when the two drivers are next to each other on the track!

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      1. Alex says:

        I think the team may have asked them to hold position in response to that wheel to wheel action after the last stop. Maybe the team anticipated they might go for it again later in the race and moved to remove that risk. To an extent it didn’t work! I guess that’s the real headache for the team, that they’ve potentially lost a means of controlling risk during a race.

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      2. Moe says:

        +1 apostolos
        Webber has never willingly helped Vettel, and would be the worst example of a team player. There’s no doubt him being trounced by Vettel 4 years in a row, knowing that his team mate won 3 world titles in the same car, and that his career is near the end, obviously frustrates Webber.

        Vettel has not needed him in the past championships, and won’t need him for this one. Webber will have 3-4 races a year which he performs well, then he’ll go missing for the rest. Complain all you like about Vettel being sneaky etc he is in a different class to Webber.

        Funny thing is I can’t believe how much attention this is getting. Compare this with Alonso deliberately cheating in Singapore 2008 by getting his team mate to crash at a very opportune time and therefore win the race, and this pails in comparison. However Alonso’s a saint correct?

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    17. User007 says:

      Why? Well.. Red Bull has always stated that they, contrary to Ferrari, do not use team orders. Obviously they lied, or the whole story is made up, isn’t it? Maybe Vettel also returned the favor from Brazil 2012? We don’t know.
      Fact is: The blocking maneuver from Webber against Vettel is a maneuver that Schumacher was penalized for, very hard, and I ask myself: why has Webber not been penalized? Because Vettel did not complain? Or because the rage about Vettels “disobedience” was too big (which has not been a breach of rules, I might add)?

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      1. knoxploration says:

        That is absolutely and positively not true. Red Bull has never said they don’t employ team orders.

        They have said they don’t employ team orders to favor one driver over the other — and this instance (if an actual order was ever given, which we don’t yet know) would bear that out. This was an order for the point-leading driver *not* to pass, which is an entirely different kettle of fish to a pass being ordered to favor a driver who is mathametically close to tied to his teammate.

        Yesterday’s events are a very different situation to the one at Ferrari, where the team orders always favor one particular driver (currently, Fernando Alonso).

        Note, incidentally, that I do feel Webber’s blocking was downright dangerous. I also feel that team orders should not be being applied this early in a season, even to stop a pass being attempted and avoid risk.

        I just feel your comparison to Ferrari is completely invalid.

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      2. Multi 21 says:

        Red Bull DID say they don’t employ team orders. In 2010 when Webber was leading the WDC the Red Bull hierarchy proclaimed it to everyone as their propaganda against Ferrari who had moved Massa at Hockenheim for Alonso.

        Here’s just one example for you.

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      3. Tim says:

        @ knoxploration
        Red Bull has never said they don’t employ team orders……
        That simply not true,Dr Marko said that RBR do not use team orders in an interview immediately after the race on Sunday.
        On a different note, another poster mentioned that some of the PR companies looking after various drivers employ staff who write on these sort of forums.
        I don’t recall reading any of your posts before, certainly not the the volume we are reading on this subject. Did you slip up earlier when, in a reference to RBR, you included yourself as part of the team?
        This is an extract from your post above “Either Red Bull needs to do away with team orders entirely — a move I’d applaud, even if it loses us the championship”

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      4. Craig D says:

        I didn’t see it as the same. Webber was already holding the inside line and Vettel chose to drive through that tight gaps as opposed to being side by side and Webber shifting him across.

        Perhaps Webber squeezed him a bit but it was nothing like the Sch/Bar incident I felt.

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      5. mhilgtx says:

        That blocking maneuver was highly illegal. Weber should be penalized next race and so should Alonso for his stunt.

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      6. Andre says:

        +1, I now have watched nearly every F1 race in the last 21 years, at the end of the GP on Sunday I expected the attempt by Webber to shove Vettel into the wall to be the top story. But no, it’s Vettel bashing all the way. Only thing he did wrong was apologising for showing Webber who is boss. I’m glad when Webber hangs up his helmet, that is for sure. As for F1 journalists in the UK, most of you are not doing your expertise justice, that is for sure. It also puts all the Schumacher bashing into perspective.

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      7. knoxploration says:

        I am amazed the Alonso decision hasn’t been handed down a consequence, honestly. Just another indication that we only pay lip service to safety in F1, I suppose.

        Continuing to race with a car that badly damaged (and easily repaired) was stunningly dangerous, and the stewards should have come down on it like a ton of bricks.

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      8. Doobs says:

        Is Alonso’s car was deemed dangerous he would have been black-flagged. He wasn’t so it seems the stewards share Domenicali’s opinion rather than yours.

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      9. James Allen says:

        Black and orange flag you mean – ie come into the pits to attend to damage

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      10. mhilgtx says:

        @doobs you guys have all watched more races than I have so I am just going on what the US broadcast guys were saying.

        As soon as Alonso passed the pit entrance they immediately said the FIA would be flagging him to come in. They also said they expected the FIA to review the incident, which I took to mean there would be further penaltie or warning of some sort.

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      11. Sam says:

        Finally, someone talking sense.

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    18. andre says:

      +1

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    19. Endres says:

      Poor old Mark, drove the fastest car on planet earth for years, didn’t win a title, had his lunch stolen, by his team-mate, teacher didn’t care, tried to steal one himself, boy was to quick, poor old mark, poor old Mark.

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    20. knoxploration says:

      BTW, “block” should be “cross” the pitlane exit line. Brain hiccup. 😉

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    21. Wayne says:

      This makes no sense at all. WEB had turned his engine down and made no attempt to build a gap from which to defend his position. The only thing that is simply not true is your response.

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      1. knoxploration says:

        According to Horner, Vettel’s engine was turned down, too.

        And if you look at the previous attempt to pass earlier in the race, Vettel showed a similarly huge difference in speed to Webber in the prior laps (as much as 1.3 seconds per lap faster.)

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      2. Greg (Aus) says:

        He said he wasn’t sure, but he thought they were the same after trying to avoid providing a direct answer when first asked. Selective quoting to back your point doesn’t work when we’ve all seen the full quote from the interview.

        Incidentally, how doesn’t the team principal know the status of his cars?

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      3. Andrew M says:

        http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2013/03/24/2013-malaysian-grand-prix-lap-times-fastest-laps/

        Filter it on the two Red Bull drivers, Vettel never had that level of advantage consistently over Webber.

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      4. D@X says:

        I concur with that, if you listen to the footage between Redbull cars and pit lane, you will hear clearly Mark was not expecting it, even when it happened, the engineer came on the radio to tell Mark he was told to stay behind. So many people are basing their opinions on one side of the coin. The biggest thing here is not webber, it’s undermining the team, how does christian control the fast bull without damaging the team. Other than that..let go racing. Vettle owns redbull and it’s clear to see now..poor Mark.

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    22. Rick88 says:

      Webber *did not* push Vettel towards the pit wall. At all.
      Webber defended his position into turn one by moving to his right on the pit straight when Vettel was still getting his slipstream, and Vettel then squeezed himself between Webber and the pit wall, which is *totally* different.

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      1. knoxploration says:

        I suggest you rewatch the footage.

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      2. Rick88 says:

        I have watched it many times, which I think you didn’t.

        And why do you think *nobody* said ‘Ah, but Webber pushed Vettel against the wall! He shouldn’t complain at all!’ ?

        Because he didn’t.

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      3. Mike J says:

        You need to look at the Driving Regs esp 20.4 i think…In a straight line webber is allowed one move and is entitled to use full width of track. He only made one move. Vettel decided to take the direction on the right. He actually put two wheels over the white line (edge of track) to pass.

        Vettel could have easiely gone left where he had heaps of room and set himself up for turn 1…but he didn’t. He put himself and his car in a high risk area.

        Webber was legal on this account. That’s why nothing was said.

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      4. User007 says:

        Which is, if you watch the Schumacher-Barrichello incident once again, exactly the same that happened there. Barrichello was approaching when Schumacher startet to close the gap and he also could have backed off, but he squeezed into the narrowing gap. If you regard that as squeezing someone into the pit wall, which the stewarts seem to do, that is exactly what Webber did here.

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      5. Rick88 says:

        Definitely not.
        The move starts in the same way, I agree; Schumacher defends Turn 1 by moving to the right whilst Barrichello is still behind him, but when the Brazilians lines himself up beside him, Schumacher then moves to the right *some more*, so that there is just enough space between Rubens and the wall.
        Webber took that line and when Vettel went alongside him did not move an inch.

        Definitely not the same.

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      6. persi says:

        It’s entirely different.

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      7. Dek says:

        Finally someone who actually took notice of the car positions at the time prior and diring the pass. Vettel risked his own neck and Mark’s any stewards in the line of fire had Vettels car taken off like we’ve seen can happen ,by squeezing where there was no room. He needs to remember that yes he has 3 titles,but Mark put as much work into the Red Bull program if not more,which i doubt Vettel realises,and that Alonso would have 2 of those 3 titles had someone else being the number 2 driver. The whole situation just reek’s of ingratitude and arrogance. Why do you think Jacques Villeneuve is such an unpopular ex-champion?

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      8. Kimi4WDC says:

        You preaching things Vettel frankly not old enough to comprehend and considering drivers a pretty isolated socially, it will take more time than for a average person to reach such level of understanding :)

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    23. Tim says:

      nicely put !!!

      Mark Webber describes his feelings in detail…

      “After the last stop obviously the team told me that the race was over, we turned the engines down and we go to the end. I want to race as well but in the end the team made the decision which we always say before the start of the race that’s probably how it’s going to be; we look after the tyres, get the car to the end. In the end Seb made his own decisions today and will have protection as usual and that’s the way it goes.”

      “Seb’s a world class driver. We’ve had a lot of history in the past and it’s been very, very fine in lots of situations, it’s a very close fight many, many times and it doesn’t take much for the battle to go in one favour. I respect Sebastian, it’s still very raw at the moment because we had a plan obviously before the race as we do for most grands prix how things would be in this certain scenario and it was … yeah … I should stop now.”

      “It’s very, very, very hard for Seb to sit there when we’ve got to bring the cars home safely. Obviously I turned my engine down, I looked after the tyres and I was completely reassured twice that we were not going to abuse the cars on each other because it was very easy for us to not get any points for the whole team. But as I say it’s very hard for everybody to know the whole scenario; there’s a lot of people who think they know the whole situation but unfortunately it’s not possible for them to understand everything.”

      “It puts a lot of heat on certain people, for sure. Inevitably it does, because unfortunately there’s no rewind button now so the scenario is a bit more challenging for certain people. It’s three weeks to the next race – we’re fortunate that we have three weeks – I will catch some waves in Australia on my board and I think this will be good medicine for me. But there was a lot of things in my mind in the last 15 laps of the grand prix to be honest so…

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    24. NickH says:

      +1. “He did not pass Webber in a racing situation”. He clearly did. Once Vettel had caught up they were both going for it. The point is that Webber had not expected him to cruise up onto his gearbox in the first place

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      1. knoxploration says:

        If Mark wasn’t being given regular updates as to the gap, I’ll eat my hat. (And if he wasn’t, his pit team were fundamentally failing to do their job.)

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    25. Simmo says:

      “Horner has stated that he believes both engines had been turned down, ie. the equipment was equal.”

      He could be lying, and he may be wrong – that is what he “believes”.

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      1. knoxploration says:

        He is better placed to know than any one of us here. I prefer facts — or as close to them as possible — to childish fanboi speculation.

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      2. Doobs says:

        And he’s got no reason to have selective beliefs… 😉

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      3. Tim says:

        I watched the interview with CH when he was being quizzed on engine settings etc. I thought his body language was unconvincing, he also chose his words carefully and tried to avoid answerring directly.

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    26. Dan says:

      You’ve missed the point.

      They have previously agreed what happens in this scenario.

      Mark did try to defend, but was on the slower tyre.

      Problem now is, next time this scenario happens, (and it will) Webber will not be so courteous and leave Vettel room to get past.

      I can envisgae that Webber will rather they both don’t finish than let Vettel get past him in the future.

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    27. Marco says:

      … When both turned down their engines. The gap was then closed by Sebastian to Mark. Not exactly a very sporting way to close the gap…

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    28. Endres says:

      I had posted this earlier, but the mod. apparently didn’t see the humour in my comments on Ferrari Monocoque. I apologize for that.

      Seems to me, there are two main arguments here.

      One: Drivers are a special breed, and among them are those who will do anything, short of intentionally injuring, to win.

      The other argument is that these men are of the highest calibre of athletes and as such should conform to our own predetermined characteristics as ultimate sportsman.

      I think, and I invite all viewpoints, we have stretched these men to far.

      Not one of us here banging away on our notebooks could ever operate an f1 car successfully; in fact I doubt we could if raised from day one to do so.

      What I’m saying is that, not only are these young boys cultivated from day one, but that they also have to possess, in addition to training, an organic predisposition to this craft.

      My assertion is this:

      How can we expect these boys to possess the life experience nessaccery to make morally sound decisions, while piloting an f1 car, in an instant?

      These kids are not demi-gods they are not even people you would want tutoring your child.

      The most successful (according to our standards) of them are the ones who win. That is the standard they hold themselves to.

      Pragmatically, I think Mark could due with saving us the histrionics, if his finger wasn’t on that mode switch as soon as he saw Sep coming I can’t believe it, and if he was coasting with that shark behind him on fresh rubber he is truly a fool.

      I don’t expect a bunch of Techno-geeks like Horner and Newey to run the squad as a football coach.

      This entire episode is the result of Bernie acquiescing to Ferrari when they presented team orders, under A-147. Which was then rescinded in order to legitimatize their upswing in fortunes, sad.

      The most poignant failure in this mentality of allowing the team to control the drivers, happened in 1982, one of the worst days in F1 occured (there have been others), when Gilles killed himself out of rage at the conduct of others interpretation of this convoluted nonsense. If you were not alive to witness this, DO NOT COMMENT ABOUT IT.

      The answer?

      No more communication with the drivers about how they should drive, their role is to provide them the best car possible to win the race.

      Drivers should be culpable for fuel needs, tires, etc. Only the stewards should have communication rights to the drivers.

      End of story.

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      1. hero_was_senna says:

        I was alive, I have read the biographies and also know Ferraris history.
        Gilles was killed at Zolder after going out to qualify on a set of used qualifying tyres.
        Pironi had been slightly quicker and without any fresh sets, he went out to prove his position.
        He had been angered by Pironi blatantly ignoring Ferraris team policy, which were when Ferrari were running first and second, they maintained those positions to the flag.
        At Imola, because of the Fisa/ Foca war, they had a small grid, shortly after half distance Ferrari found themselves at the front with Villeneuve leading. He slowed the pace down to 1m 38s per lap. Pironi overtook him and started lapping at 1m 35 per lap.
        Gilles assumed he was doing this for the crowd because of the number if cars still running.
        He would overtake, and immediately slow the pace down.
        Cars just weren’t as reliable as now.
        Pironi waited until the last lap before passing him again, thereby denying him a chance to pass again.

        In an interview with Nigel Roebuck, he made the point of this always being a team instruction. He had sat behind Jody Scheckter at Monza 1979, knowing if he passed he’d be WDC, but he maintained position praying his car would blow up but he would never take advantage.
        He also commented, that he had proved if he wanted to keep someone behind, he could.
        Jarama 1981 was mentioned as proof of this. He had kept four faster cars behind him because he used the power of his turbo engine to keep him away from over taking threats.
        Gordon Murray actually said, in a car with 25% of the downforce of a Beabham, it was the greatest drive he ever witnessed..

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      2. Doobs says:

        ..Because team orders can’t be policed.

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      3. Richard Mee says:

        Great comments and I agree wholeheartedly that team instructions mid race should not be allowed. Trouble is that due to the business side of F1 this is akin to cutting the MD out of the loop and letting the sales guys run amok! Won’t ever happen…

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      4. Craig D says:

        I do like that idea (maybe the driver would have a button signalling when they wanted to pit). It would also mean you wouldn’t allow pit boards from the teams.

        It’ll never happen though because teams love the control. The strategy teams would be largely obsolete in analysing the race real-time if info can’t be relayed to the driver. The team being helpless over steering a driver to an optimal result, and the points and money that would cost, would be tooth to accept. But it would be nice!

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    29. wiz says:

      Lets be honest here, the chances of the 7 points being a decisive factor in Webber’s championship fight are zero. We all know he’s not champion material,just a number 2 driver to collect points for the constuctor. Good enough, but not up there. Whereas the 7 points could be make or break for Vettel at the end of the season. Made the right move in my opinion, looking at the long game,and Red Bull should have backed him up.Its not so long ago that everyone on here was slating team orders, and shouting about them ruining the race. Now they’re the be all and end all!

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      1. dean cassady says:

        How do you know the seven points won’t be decisive in a Webber championship drive?
        ‘We’ definitely do NOT know that Webber won’t be in tight in the championship fight at the end.
        Is that really all this is about for you?
        There are things that separate men from boys, and Vettel is a boy.

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    30. Anne says:

      Vettel had been complaning about it for most of the race. Vettel was telling in fact screaming to the team on the radio all the time to take Webber away. He can´t do that. That´s not the propper behaviour. So it wasn´t only the team order at the end. For some reason Vettel acted insane during the race.

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      1. knoxploration says:

        @Andrew M: It’s hard to be consistently faster than somebody when you are stuck right behind them and unable to pass because they’ve got the exact same equipment you do. *rolls eyes*

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      2. knoxploration says:

        Ack delete previous sorry, bumped reply on a different post and it transferred across.

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      3. Andrew M says:

        He was never running close enough to Webber to suggest that kind of speed differential, at no point did he look close to overtaking Webber until after the final pit stops. Webber was maintaining a gap to Seb the entire race. He wasn’t even in DRS range.

        Not to mention, if the battle after the final pit stops was a “fair fight”, and Vettel had such a speed advantage the whole race, why didn’t he overtake him earlier, or at least come close?

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      4. knoxploration says:

        So was Rosberg “acting insane”? How about basically every other front-running driver out there? We’ve seen them all call for their teammate to be moved over, at some point in the past.

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      5. Anne says:

        What are you talking about? Rosberg didn´t ask Brawn to take Halmiton away. Rosberg didn´t call Hamilton stupid over the radio. One thing is to ask your team boss to let you pass your team mate and another thing is to ask your team boss to move your team mate away

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      6. Anil says:

        Rosberg: I am much faster, can you move him out the way?
        Brawn: negative

        Vettel: Move Mark out the way (not ‘Can you move mark out the way’)

        Massive difference. Nico is a team player and respects his team principal, whether he agrees with him or not.

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    31. Endres says:

      Both of them were on “Full Mode” when this maneuver took place, let’s be real here folks.

      If the gloves were off WHY did Mark not return the favour? Oh! I know why, he couldn’t, but he did manage to flip the bird to Sep at 200K. Perhaps that is the finger he should have had on the Mode switch?

      Give me a break people.

      Is this formula one or formula kids. For the love of the sport can we all shun this BS that is Team orders?

      Or perhaps we all enjoy being shafted out of 15 laps? I’m certain the Malay’s were not so greatfull their tickets were short-changed.

      These are multi-million dollar cars with multi-million dollar drivers, I want full entertainment value or I’m watchin NASCAR.

      Yah, I said it.

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      1. JTodt says:

        And how much of the multi-million dollars that the teams need to spend do you contribute?

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      2. L33t_Of_Lag says:

        Nascar? How do you find entertainment in that?

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      3. Endres says:

        No one, and I mean absolutely no one, (one more time) ABSOLUTELY no one in NASCAR would put up with team orders. And you wanna know why?

        Because every single person in NASCAR, Owners down to the guy watching from the infield on top of his “RV” would consider it Sacrilege.

        And this is the best use of the word ever.

        We EU folk don’t even get this, though we’re quick to look down on these other fans.

        I’m so sad that we’ve ended up like this.

        We have become a bunch of proper bee-hive workers all right. That’s fine, AT WORK! Not for F1, for God`s sake. Well, just fit the damn Drone ECU already and be done with it!

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      4. L33t_Of_Lag says:

        Most EU folk dont also get why cars go around in circles, but oh well :)

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    32. Mr integrity says:

      Christian Horner’s integrity severely compromised, Seb/Marko is the real boss. Mark may now rue not getting a drive elsewhere. Who knows how many times Mark held off from passing Seb over the past three years. A hollow champion exposed.

      Total votes:
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    33. Nirupam says:

      The whole F1 world is going a bit overboard with this. Vettel made a pass on Webber and that’s the end of it. Vetterl was obviously going for glory and wanted to win. They both are fantastic drivers.Personally the guy who has a better chance of winning the championship is Vettel cause he is won it 3 time in a row. Even though it is too early too say.

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    34. victor says:

      when vettal made his last stop he was 3.5 secs behind mark then mark pitted the lap after had mark not turn down his engine vettel could not close that 3.5 sec gap in one lap ,so basically mark was in cruise mode while vettel was on the attack ,vettel knew mark had back off because the team said to back off and bring home the cars as they are so he use that to his advantage that is why people are talking about vettels character

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    35. Matt says:

      I realize that team orders have always been part of the sport. I would love to see Pirelli come up with a more stable series of tire compounds, the teams to have enough fuel to actually race, and let the racers race each other fair and square. If we have these contrived events through this season the sport will suffer.

      Let the boys fight it out.

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    36. KK says:

      I completely agree mate!

      This is the rationale that’s missing from most fans and even shockingly from most media people including past racers. Had the situation been reversed, then Webber will be the hero or had it been Lewis, Kimi or Fernando who had tried that maneuver, then no way they would have received the flat that Vettel’s receiving. And why is that? Probably because he’s the youngest triple world champion and people just hate him for winning. How convenient!!!

      I don’t know why Vettel apologised, maybe it was a PR stunt by the team but nevertheless, his apology is hollow and pointless, so why bother? He should have stood up and said,
      “guys, my eyes lit up when I saw another car side by side on the pit straight and it’s very very difficult for me to lift because I am a racing driver, we all are”

      I’m sure that’s what he was thinking when he put one past Webber. Great drive Seb but the apology was a PR disaster.

      And Mark, how can he show double standards like this? Does he think our memories are short lived like that of most of the media people?

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    37. A. N. Other says:

      The astute Mr. James Allen correctly noted :

      “To be clear: He did not pass Webber in a racing situation, because Webber was acting on the belief that the racing was over.”

      And then Knoxpoloration replied :

      “I am sorry, James, but this is simply not true.”

      Knoxploration, You don’t know what you are talking about. Vettel was told to remain behind Webber and that is what Webber expected would be done. Vettel took advantage of this to pass Webber when Webber was expecting no such behavior.

      Seriously, Knoxploration, nearly every one of the comments you make is off the mark.[mod] In any case, your comments are the laughing stock of this forum and everyone but you knows this.

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      1. Tom says:

        Actually, his comments are in my opinion completely ON the mark! They are one of the most unbiased and well explained comments on this forum.
        For your information, I was laughing a lot with your comment, so…

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    38. Jake says:

      It is very simple, there is no need for telemetry engine settings lap sector times etc. If the team tell you that you are no longer racing each other then that means it is not a race situation, period.
      What Mark new or did not know or what engines settings he had do not change the fact that Seb passed Mark in breach of the teams instructions.

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      1. Endres says:

        You should be an on-track legal council, preferably somewhere down near the end of the back straight….

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      2. Jake says:

        Is that your counter argument?
        OK if you want to get legal. Seb entered into an agreement with Mark and deliberately broke the agreement. In legal terms that is breach of contract. FYI a contract does not have to be written in order for it to be binding.
        Now if you would kindly front the ticket and air fare I will be more than happy to sit at the end of the back straight.

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      3. Endres says:

        Just curious.

        Would Mark be within his legal rights to file suit for said breach of contract? Perhaps he could take the FIA to small claims court? Does the Hague take on these cases?

        But seriously, I enjoyed your response, had a chuckle, good on ya.

        Tickets are in the mail (you have it writing).

        Cheers!

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    39. Lindsay says:

      The engines aren’t controlled remotely from the pits, that’s against the rules. The drivers set engine mappings themselves on advice from the pit wall.

      So the fact Vettel’s engine was “turned down” is immaterial; he can just as easily turn it back up.

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    40. Darryll Gooch says:

      The drivers actions are not the real issue – the problem is the way Horner dealt with the situation. Irrespective of what was agreed ahead of the race, he lost control and now has a very difficult situation to manage.
      He must ban SV for 1x race to reinstate his authority within the team, failure to do so will demonstrate that he does not have the respect of his drivers and will result in a potentially disastrous 2013 season.

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    41. PJ says:

      The racing was obviously over otherwise the controversy wouldn’t have arisen in the first place. I don’t know why you want to defend Vettel. His disdain and arrogance was clearly heard with the tone in his voice when he said to the team Webber should move over. Hes all smiles when things go his way otherwise he’s disgraceful. For my mind he’s only a champion in f1, not a champion in general. Webber has had to endure the worst possible fate of all, losing 3 championships to younger guy in the same car. But still he does the right thing, doesn’t give up and continues to behave in a professional manner.

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    42. Dean says:

      Perhaps what we should accept is that Mark was 4 seconds ahead of Vettel before the last pit stops. The differential in terms of pace between the two dry tyres could not have explained how quickly Vettel caught Mark. Clearly Mark knew what was to occur after the last stop. Vettel was second to Mark in speed throughout the race and would not have been in the position to ignore team orders and abuse Mark’s trust if Mark had not slowed.

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    43. Tim Rear says:

      Hi James,

      Found this and thought it would give you and your readers a giggle.

      http://i1354.photobucket.com/albums/q682/Jordan_DeYoung/BGN3u1GCUAAnmW2_zps0a690d67.jpg

      Love your work !

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    44. Ahmed says:

      Brilliant unbiased piece of journalism, from an Australian newspaper.

      Vettel “whose 27 wins and 38 pole positions…If his distinctions were mechanically enhanced, then why has Webber won only nine grands prix with the same machinery?”

      “Senna once defended his audacity by claiming: “We are competing to win, and if you no longer go for a gap that exists, you are no longer a racing driver.” Then, the world of F1 genuflected. Now, the same people label Vettel as brattish because he displays the same characteristics.”

      http://www.smh.com.au/sport/motorsport/vettel-shows-his-true-nature-hunterracer-20130328-2gvj1.html

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    45. JohnSmith says:

      [mod], it was obvious that both drivers were battling each other and everyone else for the lead and the race. Webber built a comfortable lead and the team rightly told their drivers to hold position for 2 reasons:

      a) Both Team cars finish the race 1 & 2 gaining maximum points.

      b) If the Team says nothing, both drivers are going to end up fight each other for the lead and there is the potential for both cars to be taken out of the race from this battle.

      Of course Webber, after being told to hold position and cruise home, is going to fight for the lead when he sees his team mate closing in to try and take it from him. Which is why he tried to block him. What racer wouldn’t.

      It is any wonder Webber continues to feel like he gets the short end of the stick.

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    46. Dino says:

      Come on you guys and gals …get real. Why did the Red Bull team replace Webber’s soft compound tires with hokey pucks and kept Vettel on soft compound??? Do you suppose it could be because the “Team” actually wanted Vettel to win the race!!!

      Total votes:
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  2. Richard says:

    What a daft question! There is only one reason why Vettel ignored team orders and that is simply because he wanted to win at all costs. Beyond that I think some of the blame can be laid at Christian Horners door. – He is too weak and not authorative enough so I expect Vettel realises he can get away with it in the long run. If there was any honour in that team they would suspend him for one race as John Watson says, and that would act as a deterent for the future.

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    1. Luke Smith says:

      Well said.

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    2. bruno menilli says:

      There is no real need to suspend Vettel, just make him move over the next time he is properly leading a race from Webber, to that Webber gets the points and the win he should have got in Sepang.

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      1. knoxploration says:

        Somebody clearly has a short memory.

        See USGP 2002 for fan response to that kind of move.

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      2. bruno menilli says:

        Hi – were team orders allowed at that time ?

        Also to a lesser extent we are discussing the ‘team’ aspect of this and not what the fans thought.

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      3. bruno menilli says:

        Not sure if this has been duplicated ?

        Were team orders allowed then ? and really aren’t we talking about the ‘team’ aspect of this and not the fan response ?

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      4. Richard says:

        Well Horner had the opportunity to do that in Sepang but didn’t, and I doubt it will happen in the future. I also doubt they will suspend Vettel because it would harm their championship challenge. On top of that I’m not sure Webber would accept it.

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      5. bruno menilli says:

        You’re right but that was before Vettal became all [fake] contrite and may now be disposed to do what he is told ?
        I agree about not suspending him but something has to be done.

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    3. Wayne says:

      I agree, and the difference between drivers’ reaction to Brawn and Horner could not be more stark. ROS debated and then did as he was told by a very commanding and ‘in charge’ sounding Brawn. VET ignored his team boss who sounded more like he was pleading with his employee rather than issuing instructions.

      VET obviously has no respect for his team boss in the way that ROS does for Brawn. Brawn came out of Sunday looking like a strong manager and a man in charge, Horner came out of the situation looking ineffective and incompetent.

      Total votes:
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      1. Formula Zero says:

        Enjoying your comments Wayne. Horner doesn’t seem to have much control, does he? Brawn on the other hand looks, sounds & behaves like a natural leader. Shame he doesn’t have the winning car. Oh hang, he won 8 already!!!

        About Vettel now, it’s all about him winning, getting the fastest lap, pole position & bizzare car names. I don’t think he gives a damn about what anyone says. Remember when he ran at the back of Webber’s car in British GP? He also made a rude gesture straight after as it was Mark’s fault. And to make things worse, Horner & the whole Red Bull team did nothing!!! So, Webber is spot on about Vettel being protected. Thanks to Newy they have a winning car. otherwise we wouldn’t care much about it.

        Total votes:
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      2. victor says:

        i am a lewis fan i think he is the best driver in the field but when lewis was told to save fuel nico was 1.5 secs behind at that point brawn should have made lewis move over and let nico hunt down the bulls because it was clear they were catching them ,nico would have at least got vettel , when nico ask to be let by it was too late then about five laps had past i think brawn missed a good opportunity

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      3. Stefanos says:

        Too many layers of leadership at RBR

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      4. Anne says:

        Victor I read an interview with Brawn in Autosport. He addressed your point. He said both cars were having fuel problems. So for him it was pointless to let Nico overtake Hamilton because Nico was not going anywhere. Nico didn´t have fuel to fight RB

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    4. Joe Papp says:

      Agreed. Whatever his qualities as head of a team, Horner is not man enough to reclaim the authority he’s defaulted to Vettel.

      Total votes:
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    5. TJS says:

      I would combine your points to say that Vettel ignored team orders because he knew he could get away with it. Many successful people in life view rules not as things to follow but as things to analyse to find which rules do not NEED to be followed. Through this process they identify opportunities for their own personal advantage.

      Another element is that RBR are a team that engage in deception to such an extent that their #1 driver assumes that he can say on the podium after the fact that “we need to talk internally” and that that will be the end of the situation publicly. I would say that this is a cultural problem at RBR that has led to Vettel’s sense of entitlement.

      Just look at the contrast between RBR and Mercedes, in real time! Mercedes being very clear about the situation and not resorting to “multi 21” codes to hide what is going on.

      Lastly, to say “the way Red Bull works, the driver with the highest championship position takes priority in certain situations” is surely a joke. Again, this is an extension of the deceptive image RBR present, that they are a team that fairly allows their drivers to race. Much of the 2010 season contradicts this image. The truth is that the way RBR works is they support Vettel unconditionally, regardless of points standings. They could have called Vettel into the pits after he took the lead to apply sporting fairness to the situation and iterate that RBR are calling the shots (as one team boss has claimed he would have done) but chose instead to leave Malaysia with Vettel in the lead of the WDC. Priorities shown.

      Total votes:
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      1. Richard says:

        Certainly there are people that consider rules don’t necessarily apply to them as there are those that consider themselves above the law.
        Usually however there are consequences for breaking either and it is this area where RBR fall down as without order within a team you have nothing. Undoubtably they consider Vettel to have the most mileage in view of his age and achievements within the team. As it happens the effect on the teams actual standing in the championship is zero, but I suspect the atmosphere is fractious to say the least. Horner could have solved it immediately by giving Vettel instructions to give the place back and maintain position. He would not have liked it, but he would have learned something from it.

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    6. MJSib says:

      If Vettel isn’t suspended as John Watson suggests, then Vettel will undoubtedly be the team boss. It would show that he can do what he wants without fear of reprisal from Christian Horner or anyone else within the team

      Total votes:
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      1. LG says:

        And was Webber banned for one race after Silverstone 2011? He may not have successfully overtaken but he tried damn hard 4-5 x…same paintbrush no??? what punishment did webber get? A talking behind closed doors????

        Total votes:
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      2. Mike J says:

        completely different scenario. different year, different positions and different pre race agreements.

        I know seb is a great driver but he has said he made a mistake..he has apologised…Why cannot people just accept this.

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    7. Sebee says:

      Conspiracy Theory #30

      RBR (3XWDC Vettel and 3XWCC Horner) set up the “Gentlemen, turn down your engines” scenario, in case they ever needed to move Vettel in front of Webber.

      They knew Webber would never move over for Vettel, and especially this early on in the season, and ESPECIALLY not for the win. And so, turn down your engines and Vettel in fact turns up the engine and makes the pass. So long and thanks for all the fish.

      Sure, Vettel has to deal with the storm after, and Horner puts it all on Bad Boy Vettel. But end of the day, the result that is best for the team is achieved.

      Bonus in the Theory? Turns a rather avarage GP into an exciting story line.

      Second Bonus? Red Bull Racing (a marketing effort for Red Bull drinks) is on cover of every newspaper and news sports report around the world.

      Is there a problem? One of the best and soundest theories yet! All the Red Bull esposure around the world may net Vettel a bonus!

      Total votes:
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      1. Sebee says:

        …oh yes, and please remember F1 fans. Red Bull Racing drivers are not sponsored by same Red Bull.

        Sebastain Vettel – Red Bull

        Mark Webber – Red Bull Sugar Free (as in no “love”)

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      2. Wayne says:

        Considering they would usually expect VET to be in front of WEB, this is not beyond the bounds of possibility. Usually it would work in VET’s favour.

        Total votes:
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      3. PW Rocket S says:

        Exactly! This is why Lewis brags about “equal treatment” at Mercedes. He knows he always beats Britney to the final pit stop… Same for Vettel. I am not a fan of either RBR drivers in terms of sportsmanship. If I were Horner I would tell Webber to be no. 1 driver at Torro Rosso or stop playing dumb.

        Total votes:
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      4. Andrew says:

        Exactly what I have been thinking for a number of years now. RB maximise their investment through the maximisation of the ensuing drama that may (or may not, depending on how much conspiracy you believe to be there) be fabricated or at least enhanced – maximum media coverage everytime a drama unfolds – BRILLIANT

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      5. dean cassady says:

        good one!

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      6. Craig D says:

        The Red Bull top brass must be pretty good actors then judging by their reaction.

        I can see the theory but in this case I really don’t think that is what was intended at all. Webber had won through after the final pitstops. Vettel had the faster car/tyre at that stage but they didn’t want to risk anything (a la Ross Brawn), and the pre-race agreement was in place also. Vettel broke it and I think that’s all there is to it.

        Publicity for Red Bull is certainly high but Vettel undermining his bosses likely won’t please Mateschitz too much. But maybe all news is good news?!

        Total votes:
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    8. PaoloC says:

      I think it’s really unlikely that RBR will suspend SV. I suppose they will come up with a fine or some similar kind of warning.

      There is another interesting aspect that is quite neglected, if SV is suspended someone else will get to race a RBR (Buemi?) and show the car pace in the hand of a different driver (been SV & MW the only benchmark for almost a lustrum).

      Total votes:
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      1. Bruno Menilli says:

        Red Bull won’t do anything that will lose the team Championship points.

        They should just make Vettel move over the next time he’s in the lead of a 1-2 finish.

        That way Webber gets his win and points and Vettal loses his, and learns a lesson.

        Total votes:
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  3. James says:

    Vettel was faster all weekend and his race was severely compromised by not being allowed to pass Webber mid race.

    Leaving 7 points on the table was not an option considering last years title went to the wire and a 3 point difference.

    Webber was very vocal in 2011 about ignoring ‘4 or 5’ calls from Horner to back off and insisted at the time he disagreed with team orders.

    The reaction to an identical situation today is hard to see as anything other than crass hypocrisy.

    Total votes:
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    1. Phill says:

      If Vettel was faster than why was he behind Webber, haha, what a stupid comment! Like in the race after Seb complained, Mark went and put half a second on him in one sector.
      It is clear who you support!

      Total votes:
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      1. James says:

        He was behind Webber because he was told ‘3 second gap Sebastian, save the tyres’.

        Once Vettel closed up on Webber and asked to be let through, Webber was given the hurry up – ‘we need 41s Mark’.

        Total votes:
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      2. Veteran says:

        DRS on backmarker…

        Total votes:
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      3. Phill says:

        On Sector 2? Whoops.

        Total votes:
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      4. Josh says:

        +1

        Total votes:
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      5. Kevin says:

        +1

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      6. knoxploration says:

        He was behind Webber because of a poor strategy call (which it seems was likely Vettel’s own fault, but that still doesn’t mean Webber was faster on track; he quite clearly wasn’t, as Vettel had caught him up by as much as 1.3 seconds per lap before the call to pass was made and denied.)

        The only reason Webber was ahead was because Vettel made his first pitstop 1-2 laps two early, and Webber was able to use Vettel’s poor call to delay his own (when the team came on the radio and frantically yelled at him not to come in, making it clear that he too had been going to do so a lap too early.)

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      7. Hiten says:

        +1 knoxploration

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      8. Dan says:

        Vettel was not quicker than Webber, he had to pit early in the 1st round of stops, because he had chewed up his tyre more than Webber.

        Webber got his speed spot on and got the calls right and was entitled to the win.

        Vettel was lucky, they could have crashed or could have chewed up the tyres and had to pit. But luckily everything was ok.

        The only way the trust can be regained, is to give Mark the win back, if the situation arises. If not, I fear this could be like 2007, where Alonso cost Hamilton the title, because he was totally unwilling to play the team game.

        Total votes:
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      9. Stefanos says:

        So he made the wrong call and cheated to get away with it.

        Total votes:
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      10. James says:

        He was behind Webber because he was told to sit 3 seconds behind him and preserve his tyres. He asked for permission to challenge and was told to ‘be patient, its only half race distance’.

        Webber was then given the hurry up – ‘we need 41’s Mark’ whilst Vetel settled back into tyre preservation.

        The fact Vettel set the fastest RB lap of the race whilst tucked up in Webbers dirty air shows how much pace he had in hand.

        Total votes:
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      11. Hiten says:

        Good point James. This makes me realize that Vettel was promised by team that he can challenge for race win in later part of race and he should keep calm for now as they were only half way through it. So it is team that actually messed up the yesterdays situation by committing one thing in beginning and doing completely opposite later. Who wants to end up second after starting pole if he still has good amount of tyres left in the end with 15 Laps remaining??

        Total votes:
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      12. Dan says:

        You seem a little confused there.

        Vettel couldn’t pass Webber, that’s why he moaned about him being slower. Trust me, he’d of passed him, if he could.

        Vettel chewed his tyres up quicker than Mark, making it his own fault he was second.

        Vettel was so in the wrong.

        Total votes:
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      13. Phill says:

        Haha, great one for making half of that up. Mark been told he needs to hit a time, so was Lewis, so was every other driver, so that means, according to your logic, every driver was too slow.

        It was racing, and ultimately, whilst both drivers were racing, Mark was in front. That is it. The one in front was the fastest. In the end, they were told to call it quits, Mark did, Seb didn’t. Simples.

        Total votes:
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    2. A.Green says:

      Why didn’t Vettel overtook Mark when he was allowed to? Two DRS zones and Vettle still could not overtake Mark after 42 laps when the final pits stop came(Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but the agreement is that they hold position after the last pit stop). Vettle only was able to pass Webber when he had the advantage of Webber having to turn his FC down.

      Total votes:
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      1. JB says:

        Vettel was on a different tyre compared to Webber. Which is why Webber was faster before the pitstop. Vettel knew that and decided to just stay close. Took the chance to overtake when he saw the advantage.

        I praise Vettel as he had the balls to put up a great fight against Webber.

        Total votes:
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      2. Richard says:

        Quite right after the last pit stop the race was over between them, and because Webber was driving to a lap time was why it allowed Vettel to approach. Webber should have asked his engineer to allow him to maintain an effective gap to Vettel to maintain the lead, but as it was it allowed Vettel to close in and make the pass. Very poor sportsmanship from Vettel, but many of his countrymen are so afflicted

        Total votes:
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      3. Persi says:

        Agree with you, Vettel is Schumacher’s true heir.

        Total votes:
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      4. Cem says:

        It is simple,

        On second stint (first mediums), he was two laps down on his tires and he already lost 5 seconds to Webber due to the bad decision by his engineer. On third stint, he was on used Mediums. On fourth stint, he was on hard tires which Red Bull does not like. On last stint he was on faster brand new tires. This is a strategy team decided to put him on to make him faster on last stint.

        He actually catched him on third stint but not allowed to pass Webber even when he was almost being attacked by Hamilton.

        I think Vettel finally fed-up with the equal drivers claim from team when clearly he is the fastest driver. He knew every point counts when his most important opponent is out. I think Red Bull needs to admit that they have a special talent on their hand and Webber needs to accept it.

        Webber claims that he never got to chance to prove himself against Vettel. If this is a true claim, he should have at least three good offers waiting for him from other teams. However we all know he is going to retire as soon as he leaves Red Bull. Webber is a fast race driver, but he is not an exceptional driver like Vettel, Hamilton or Alonso.

        On last note, Alonso will not have this issue ever since he will be always allowed to pass his team mate. It is just a good team management.

        Total votes:
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      5. H says:

        I’m sorry if your going to write things about a driver please get their name correct…. its Vettel not Vettle, and if you watched Christians interview you would have seen him say they both had engines at the same level only difference Vettel had different tyres and knows what it takes to win

        Total votes:
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      6. A.Green says:

        What is your point they had an agreement, stick to the facts and discussion at hand. Please explain why you believe VETTEL can break agreements as he wishes, that to me is a far worse offence then mis typing Vettle’s name… Vettle, Vellet, Tellev, Letle…..

        Total votes:
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    3. wakie81 says:

      Was it identical? Did they have a pre race agreement that after the last pit stop they wouldn’t race? Was one drivers engine turned down?
      What Webber did in 2011 wasn’t correct and he copped it off the team but it was in no means identical.

      Total votes:
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      1. James says:

        To quote:
        “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 Formula 1, 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.”

        Reversed roles, and vastly reversed opinion from Mr Webber.

        Total votes:
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      2. Wayne says:

        This. It was not even close to being identical, it wasn’t even similar.

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    4. Scott says:

      What rubbish. Webber was managing his tyres and when told of a target lap time he was faster than Vettel. The only reason Vettel got close to Webber was because he got the preferential final stop (which has gone largely unnoticed) and a lap on fresh rubber. Webber lost four seconds on that lap.

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    5. Phil says:

      His race was compromised by making the call to switch to slicks at the wrong time.

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    6. Anil says:

      You clearly didn’t listen to the comments made in the press conference by Mark. He said that both he and Vettel were told to drive at 8 tenths below what the car could do. Mark wasn’t slower than Seb, he was doing lap times identical to what he was supposed to be doing (go check the live timings). As soon as Seb complaing he lapped 1s faster than he did in the previous lap to show he was just coasting.

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    7. kent says:

      vettel not be allowed to pass mid race? seems I remember Webber’s engineer telling Mark to step it up, he did start to circulate quicker and that’s why Vettel couldn’t pass. Vettel sounded like a petulant brat at that point-

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    8. Rich C says:

      “Leaving 7 points on the table was not an option considering last years title went to the wire and a 3 point difference”

      The most arrogant assumption of all!!

      Why would he think *he should have those points instead of Webber??

      Because he feels *entitled to them??

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    9. Troy Prideaux says:

      Vettel was not faster all weekend – that’s rubbish! IIRC Webber was fastest in free practice 1 and definitely faster in *the dry* qually session 2. Vettel conceded himself that he was genuinely concerned at that point about Qually3, but then the rains came.

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    10. Darryll Gooch says:

      Rubbish…MW turned his engine down

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  4. Oli says:

    I’ve really enjoyed the last 24 hours. Lots of good articles and debate about the what was right and what was wrong.

    I am interested in why the Red Bull team radio wasn’t broadcast in the same way Mercedes was although I guess it may not have been seen as important at the time but it must be recorded somewhere.

    And when will Jules Bianchi get the recognition he deserves. Two races in and he has been spectacular in that car but barely seen him on the screen or in the media.

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    1. IP says:

      Bianchi has been a superstar I agree

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    2. Random 79 says:

      Bianchi is still only driving a Marussia – hardly a headline grabbing car, regardless of the driver – but if he if can keep this up through the year I imagine we’ll see him in a better seat in 2014, and then he should start getting some mainstream attention.

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    3. Joe Papp says:

      I think Bianchi’s getting a lot of respect from SKY and they talk him up as much as they can w/in reason, given how slow his car is.

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      1. Oli says:

        He’s doing such a good job at the moment and really showing that Chilton isn’t much more than £££ (would love him to prove me wrong though). I imagine he’ll be racing for a top team soon.

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      2. Joe Papp says:

        “He’s doing such a good job at the moment and really showing that Chilton isn’t much more than £££…” — I don’t remember exactly when it was during the weekend, maybe during Qualifying or P3, but I think it was Brundle who said something very funny about how bummed out Chilton must be to have Bianchi in the team based on the revealing-impact his (Bianchi’s) presence will have w/r/t Chilton’s pace (or lack thereof). I don’t have any ill will towards Chilton and certainly am not trolling his fans, but he’s going to struggle to match Bianchi and it would be unfortunate if he gets embarrassed repeatedly by his teammate.

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      3. Random 79 says:

        @Joe

        On the bright side, if he does get too embarrassed then he can always quit and let someone else pay for a seat – I’m sure Marussia could use the extra cash :)

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    4. AuraF1 says:

      It’s been excellent hasn’t it? Usually we have some technical controversy at the start of the season – but this time it’s actual driver wars – which is a lot more intriguing.

      My only guess as to the radio transmissions is that Red Bull’s weren’t that interesting, Vettel obviously received the don’t fight after the final pit stop coded signal – but he then ignored it. Nico Rosberg was actively campaigning against the decision which is more exciting to listen to.

      We can only assume Seb didn’t say anything about going for it before he took his shot.

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      1. Oli says:

        I can’t wait to see how this develops. It’s a shame we have 3 weeks to wait until the next one.

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    5. Sebee says:

      Just in case you were wondering why Vettel was not ordered to yield to Mark for 10 laps. Wouldn’t you loave to have heard that radio conversation asking for this to take place?

      Maybe a little something like this?

      Horner: Seb, we’re going to need you move back and let Mark take P1

      Vettel: Repeat please. Lewis has mark P1? I don’t understand.

      Horner: Seb, we’re going to need you move back and let Mark take P1

      Vettel: My radio is braking up, there is nothing wrong with my back. Yes, I am P1.

      Horner: Seb, we’re going to need you move back and let Mark take P1

      Vettel: Radio is braking up. Tires are OK. I will make it to the end of the race.

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      1. Mike J says:

        Horner: we are going to fine you $1mil for not letting Mark re-pass.

        Seb: ok…radio working ok now…what do you want me to do??..ok, mark back ahead now. Need to get radios fixed after this race.

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      2. Random 79 says:

        Horner: Multi 21 Seb.

        Vettel: Yes, I’ve taken my vitamins, should help me get past :)

        Horner: Sigh.

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      3. hero_was_senna says:

        Horner: Seb, you need to give mark back the P1.
        Seb: you’re kidding right, it’s ugly. I got a LaFerrari on the way

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      4. Anne says:

        Horner: Seb Multi 21
        Seb: Oh sure! We had 3 weeks off to go to Las Vegas cassinos and make a lot of money playing Black Jack and parting all night long. Great idea Chris. You are the man!!! I really love to have you as my team boss

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    6. Scott says:

      There’s a fair chance any radio communication from Webber was pretty colourful and not able to be broadcast. He may well not have said much as was too busy seething, however whatever he did say I doubt was open to ambiguity or misunderstanding.

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  5. MikeW says:

    It’ll be interesting to see Horner’s reaction now – and I agree with John Watson that he need to re-assert his authority within RB by suspending Vettel for a race.

    However, that obviously isn’t going to be acceptable to Marko. If there are no steps taken to punish Vettel effectively, then we’ll find out that Marko is really in charge.

    I suspect, though, that we already know the answer to this

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    1. James says:

      Was Webber suspended after Silverstone 2011?

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      1. Matt says:

        Webber didn’t take the win at silverstone…

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      2. IP says:

        I wonder if there is a bit of the Turkey incident coming out in this. Back then webber copped it from the team but would it have been different this time?

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      3. brent says:

        I was thinking they should short fuel him so he can spend Sunday in fuel save mode racing the Toro Rossos. It would remind him who is in charge. If I were running the team there is no way this would go unpunished; I would not allow an employee to think they can ignore my instructions without severe consequence.

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      4. Anil says:

        Was Seb told in Silverstone 2011 that Mark wasn’t allowed to over take him and that he could turn the engine down? I don’t recall this; it was a very different situation.

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      5. Olive says:

        or after Brazil 2012?

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      6. MISTER says:

        Look, I accept that Mark did wrong in Silverstone, but he was a right to disagree with team orders in my view.
        I say that because at that stage, Vettel was miles ahead in the championship and Vettel didn’t need a team order that year. He was in a class of his own. I don’t really remember how many points he was ahead by, but must’ve been like 60-70 points I believe. And the RB7 was on rails..

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      7. Richard says:

        Webber did not pass, but relations between the two were already strained.

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      8. MikeW says:

        If I recall correctly, Silverstone was a case of RB making the “rules” up half way through the race.

        Malaysia represented the breaking of a pre-race agreement that’s been in place for quite a while – the key difference being that this agreement was made with Silverstone as a case study.

        But, irrespective of Silverstone, Horner needs to do something to get back in control of his drivers.

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      9. hero_was_senna says:

        Can’t wait for Eddie Jordan to come back and grill Horner…

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      10. Joe Papp says:

        Webber wasn’t grossly-insubordinate at Silverstone in 2011. Vettel most decidedly was yesterday, however.

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      11. mhilgtx says:

        +1

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      12. AuraF1 says:

        No but had Vettel turned his engine down and been told Mark was holding station in 2011 because the tyres were likely to delaminate and cause a catastrophic failure if he pushed too hard?

        It’s details but then they can be important distinctions in these situations.

        I’m not judging personally – I just think it’s hard to say the situation is identical when circumstances were likely very different.

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      13. Wayne says:

        No because it was NOT the same situation. I’m not going to explain it for the tenth time but you can easily look up the facts.

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      14. James says:

        Silverstone 11 a driver was told to maintain a gap, ignored the decision but fail to manage a pass

        Malaysia 2013 a driver was told to maintain a gap, ignored the decision but managed a pass.

        So yes, you are correct they are very different.

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      15. User007 says:

        There is just one thing that counts: If you are told to hold station, you don’t attack.
        Vettel did not follow in Malaysia, Webber did not follow in Silverstone. Webber even blocked Vettel in Brazil, when he was racing for the WDC, what kind of team spirit is that? Not one is better than the other in that regard.

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      16. splinky says:

        + 1

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      17. JC says:

        +1

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    2. **Paul** says:

      What action did they take on Webber for not listening to team orders in the past? Nothing?

      So why the excessively harsh punishment for Vettel?

      Please explain your logic for this.

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    3. Excellent spectacle for company that sells energy drinks! :) Even the bad advert is still an advert.

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    4. Mr Squiggle says:

      One way to keep Marko on side is to ask him to nominate Seb’s replacement for a one race suspension.

      Marko would be suddenly delivering a driver switch up from TR to RB

      Another way the team could send a message to Seb is to give each TR driver a Friday morning session in ‘hungry heidi’.

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    5. Rafael says:

      Christian gets graded on winning championships. I doubt it is in his interest to suspend Vettel for any amount of time.

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    6. Sebee says:

      MikeW,

      Suspend a 3X WDC for a race? There really seems to be something in the water across the pond!

      Vettel did what he did. He knew what he was doing and he knows the consequences. That the world and media wants a sweet sugar coated excuse is one thing. But what happend here was the right move.

      For perspective, everyone is head over heels over Alonso. Yet this is a guy who was involved in Crash Gate, Spy Gate and went up to Ron Denis with ultimatums. Apparently Pedro and Fernando were texting Mike direclty for Ferrari data, right? There are others on the grid with much worse acts on their CV than Vettel. I didn’t see Alonso give back the Singapore trophy or ask for the 25 points to be deducted. What Vettel did may have been against the wishes of a Christian, but it was within the rules and withing the spirit of racing. End of story.

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      1. MikeW says:

        Sebee – Is suspending a 3x WDC such an horrific concept? Is it so utterly out of the question? If Vettel didn’t cross a line here, is there a line *anywhere*?

        A ruthless, win-at-all-costs team would not suspend him. Such a team will congratulate hime. But would such a team have needed to hamstring Webber before allowing Vettel to attack?

        A team with integrity would certainly consider suspending him – because I believe that a team with integrity needs drivers with integrity. And both teams and drivers need some amount of trust.

        I’m with the guy below quoting Stirling Moss – Winning is nothing unless done with integrity. Vettel’s behaviour isn’t in *my* spirit of racing.

        (Note that I’m not against the idea of the two of them racing at that point. Only it should have been on a level playing field. A policy agreed by both pre-race. That’s more the spirit I want to see. RB management are too gutless to let that happen though)

        Right now the trust level at RB isn’t even as high as zero. Everyone doesn’t just mistrust each other – they actually trust that the others will willingly destroy the others.

        Such a lack of trust is corrosive.

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      2. Sebee says:

        As many have pointed out. Mark knew what was going on and reacted. He has mirrors. Simply he didn’t have the tire or the pace at that point to hold onto P1.

        It was against team orders, but certainly not against the spirit of F1. There are a limited number of laps in a GP. There won’t be more. Goal is to be P1 at end. They don’t handout GP wins at the gift shop. In fact, what Vettel did was exactly IN the spirit of F1. Race your butt off till race is over. Win!

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      3. Stefanos says:

        It is easy to put forward unproven suggestions on Alonso, or anyone else. Seb did his transgressions openly.

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      4. Sebee says:

        Unproven? Come on Stefanos, let us not be selective about events that took place and are well documented.

        Even if one is to believe that Alonso knew nothing about Singapore, it is a way dirtier victory tainted by everything that absolutely has no place in F1. And a champion with integrity as MikeW says would have given back that trophy and the points. Yet I bet you that trophy is in the tropy case at Alonso’s pad. And the other stuff…well, that’s all fact Stefanos. Do a bit of reading about it in case you just started enjoying F1 in recent years.

        Vettel won on track without breaking any rules. Two events are not even comparable. I don’t remember 85% of the F1 Fans thinking Alonso should be suspended for race.

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      5. Jomar says:

        +1

        Sebee, my thoughts exactly.

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    7. F1 Steve says:

      Suspend Vettel!

      RBR need to question their own decision making policies!

      With this kind of POOR management I dont blame Vettel for taking matters into his own hands.

      He is going for a fouth consecutive WDC, history in the making!

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    8. Cem says:

      Suspending Vettel for a race ?

      I think actually, you need to suspend Horner for a race since he keeps telling poeple this nonsense of equal drivers.

      You cannot suspend a driver which had 2 pole positions with a commanding lead on both cases, and a race win and a podium.

      Vettel is a driver with 3 WDC on his pocket with open check waiting for him from Ferrari.

      This is actually sad for Webber. He put himself in this position. He could have enjoy driving best car and getting wins and podiums when he can. He is going to be out and forgotten soon.

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      1. AlexD says:

        I really hope he will never drive for Ferrari….really….I supported the team since 1998, but really do not want to see this guy in a ferrari. Let him worship his ego somewhere else…

        Total votes:
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      2. zx6dude says:

        +1

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      3. Cem says:

        You don’t want Vettel to drive Ferrari because of his ego but I tough biggest EGO on paddock is Alonso’s and as far as I know all Ferrari fans worship him for that :)

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      4. Multi 21 says:

        You really think McLaren, Mercedes and especially Ferrari will hire a driver who willingly disobeys the team’s directives?

        Vettel has done so much damage to his future employment prospects.

        Total votes:
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      5. KRB says:

        Yet Alonso played a part in costing a former employer 100m. Can’t think of many drivers who could do that and still remain in F1.

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    9. Hendo says:

      Maybe Seb will “need” an engine change after Q3 in China to drop him back a few places on the grid

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    10. grat says:

      Red Bull needs to, at the very least, take Vettel out of the car for FP1 in China.

      The issue isn’t whether he should have passed Webber or not… the issue is that he keeps ignoring orders from the pit wall, and putting the car (and therefore constructor’s points) at risk, and ultimately (from the team point of view), it’s the constructor’s points that matter.

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      1. Andre says:

        Yes he ignores orders and collected three titles doing so… Notice something?

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    11. Robert Gunning says:

      It is evident that Red Bull will not suspend Vettel. The punishment that I see fit, is to remove all of his privileges within the team for a month. He is still keeps his job, but loses his company car and hospitality treatment; meaning that he has organize his own transport and accommodation(like most ordinary people have to).

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      1. Alex says:

        I suspect Vettel would willingly book his own flights and arrange a hotel room to be in an F1 car – I’m sure he’d even find material for an amusing anecdote from the experience to share!

        How about just giving Webber priority on strategy and new parts for a few races?

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  6. Marcin says:

    As an Aussie, I am generally positively disposed towards Webber.

    However, I think this was as much payback for Brazil 2012 as it was clawing back some more points against Alonso (the added points & win were certainly a bonus).

    Webber’s actions on track in Brazil were also unsportsmanlike.

    Therefore, they have now squared the ledger, should both admit that to each other, and get on with it.

    Total votes:
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    1. Glennb says:

      I recall Webber blatantly moving over to let Seb pass in Brazil. I seem to recall a team radio message that followed whereby they said “thank you Mark”. How many times was Mark expected to move over for him? Seb has never moved over for Mark. The closest they came to that was Turkey 2009 when Vettel was told to hold station behind Mark for a 2-3 finish. JB easily won the race in the Braun. The following year, 2010 Turkey, they both had their engines turned down for a potential 1-2 finish in Webbers favour. Seb chose to run into Mark to take the lead. We all know the outcome of that move.
      Ledger squared? I think not friend.

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      1. mbraz says:

        + 1

        Total votes:
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      2. Marcin says:

        Mark blocked Seb down the straight and into the first turn. This caused Seb to lose a few places, and get embroiled in the Senna shenanigans.

        Having re-watched the start, it’s clear that Webber was specifically covering off Vettel, and not anyone else.

        Maybe it’s me, but I thought that was not the ‘right thing to do’ by Webber.

        Total votes:
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      3. Glennb says:

        I’m a big Webber fan but I agree with you there. The start was ‘unexpected’.

        Total votes:
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    2. Rafael says:

      Can someone remind me what happened in Brazil?

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    3. Michael S says:

      great point…. I thought the same thing. If Webber had not made it so hard on Vettel last year while Vettel is watching Massa take grid penalties to help his teammate… Vettel had to be mad… Vettel knows he will NEVER get help from Mark in a title race so he takes the points when he can…

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    4. Dan says:

      Can someone remind me what Webber did at Brazil last year?

      I recall he might’ve blocked Seb at the start and later on he allowed him past. Don’t remember all the details thoughg and how they were interpreted.

      Thanks

      Total votes:
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      1. Random 79 says:

        I think you’ve got it right. He said he wouldn’t let Vettel – or anyone – past, and he made it earn it, but in the end he did let him through.

        As for how that’s interpreted? Well, that’s for each of us to decide for ourselves.

        Total votes:
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      2. dirk993 says:

        http://www.yallaf1.com/2012/12/06/briatore-joins-montezemolo-in-criticising-schumacher/

        Webber getting praised by Briatore for helping Alonzo….

        That Webber is still racing in a RB is a joke.

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    5. Colin B says:

      I was thinking of this too. Surely Webber must know that neither of them are angels when it comes to following team orders. Maybe the main reason Webber is upset is because he thinks Vettel will be ‘protected’ and wished he had finished his career at Ferrari.

      This incident could make life interesting at the drivers meeting at RBR. But I do not see why it has to. Surely in a team meeting they can just point out that “Mark and Seb, both of you now have a history of not following team orders. That’s fine, you both are open to race each other from now on. Race hard, give each other room. But if one of you starts to causing us to loose constructors points, the other guy gets first dibs on the new stuff for a while”

      Total votes:
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    6. Anne says:

      Vettel had a bad start on his own. Then he crashed Senna. And he ended up in last place. Besides he got help from Toro Rosso and Schumacher. So if Webber didn´t help him it didn´t make a big impact.

      Total votes:
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      1. Marcin says:

        Yep, it all turned out ok. I remember watching the race thinking that it wasn’t a helpful move – Webber came over to cover Vettel, and then took the racing line forcing Vettel to back off into the corner and lose places. Any other race, perfectly fine; for the title decider…

        Total votes:
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    7. Bighaydo says:

      I know that there is some ill feeling towards Webber about Brazil, but what exactly did he do? Sure he moved to the left at the start, but there was more than a car width free, and with the usual maelstrom at a start just what was he supposed to do for Vettel off the line? Vettel created his own problems by braking a good 20-30 metres earlier than the pack, and then having the brain fade at turn 3 that could so nearly have put him out of the race. Then what was Mark supposed to do to support Vettel, who was behind him for the rest of the race? He was compliant after that, and the only reason he finished ahead of him was that he was no longer required to act as Vettel had the points required. I don’t know how anyone could think he could have done anything differently.

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  7. Chromatic says:

    Question – Why did Webber let him pass?

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    1. steen says:

      Probably because the team was going ballistic & someone had to give to avoid Turkey all over again. The shots of Newey & Horner were priceless.

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    2. Random 79 says:

      He didn’t – he fought Vettel, but Vettel caught him by surprise. Webber’s engine was turned down and I imagine that – close as they were during the fight – he couldn’t safely take his focus off his driving to turn it up again.

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    3. Mono says:

      Answer- because he was the leader. Leaders can’t use DRS.

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    4. AuraF1 says:

      I suspect Mark knew his tyres were fading fast with the defending and he could lose it. Probably visions of Turkey 2010 were flashing in his mind as well.

      Vettel was once known as The Crash Kid. He’s clearly a better overtaker than those days – but he certainly isn’t afraid of hitting a few things as even last year showed…

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    5. Spinodontosaurus says:

      He didn’t…?

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      1. Chromatic says:

        Well, Mark is a formidable driver and he did his best. But that was just not enough to hold back Seb, who gained his win the hard way.
        I know this is a minority view, but posterity will side with SV.

        What I dislike are his crocodile tears and false apologies, no doubt to appease MW.

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      2. Liam in Sydney says:

        Correct. It is all just a show, with Seb knowing not much will happen and the fait accompli of 25 points is in the bag.

        Total votes:
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      3. Stefanos says:

        DRS. And full KERS apparently. Very hard, indeed..!

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  8. Lewis Greaves says:

    Good article James. You are right in what you say regarding the ruthlessness of Vettel…. And that’s what makes a champion… He’s in the same vain as a certain other German. I’d be interested to know what Mark a meant by using the term medicine in his post race press talk… I assume he’ll either retire or move at the end of the year and maybe this could be the spur he needs! As be has the capabilities to be a champion if Red Bull will let him!

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    1. Bomber says:

      A flawed champion!

      Total votes:
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    2. Chris says:

      Hard to agree with that, Alonso, Hamilton,KR and Vettel are the fastest drivers out there right now – fact!

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      1. Lewis says:

        I didn’t say anything about Alonso, Hamilton etc not being fast… I said Webber has the capabilities to be a champion, which he does.

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    3. grat says:

      If Schumacher had ever disobeyed team orders, Ferrari would have benched him instantly– probably only for one race, but I don’t think there was ever a doubt that Schumacher was a Ferrari employee, rather than the other way around.

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    4. AuraF1 says:

      I disagree that every champion in this sport has been a vicious and ruthless operator. Selfish – yes, single-minded – yes – but there are champions on both sides of the ‘utterly ruthless’ line.

      Senna and Prost won championships when they weren’t acting like over-entitled children. They also damaged their reputations with their deliberately ‘darker’ moments. Though Senna has mostly had his ‘dark side’ glossed over after death.

      Schumacher actually improved his image by coming back and losing – as he showed he learnt how to handle it. Maybe one day Vettel will recover his reputation as well.

      Total votes:
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  9. KRB says:

    The 14-pt swing definitely a big factor. Horner’s also said that this goes back to Brazil. Plus I think if he’d stayed in 2nd, it would have made him 0-for-2 in converting pole to a win, which would’ve rankled no doubt.

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  10. FredB (Sydney) says:

    Here, here James. This was not brilliant racing if one of the guys in the fight was not prepared for that fight and had every reason to expect no challenge to come from his teammate.

    Nothing impressive about that at all except for the total lack of insight and maturity.

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  11. **Paul** says:

    “The situation was reversed in Silverstone two years ago when Webber was told not to pass Vettel in the closing stages, but had a go, eventually backing off. So he is not blameless in this story either.”

    Some would say that Mark set a precedent that day, and the press backed him to the hilt and sympathised with him. Horner had to calm Webber down.

    I honestly feel if the situation was reversed in Malaysia most fans would have no issue with it. Likewise if the Mercedes team orders were reversed there would be an outcry…

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    1. James says:

      F1 is inherently a popularity contest.

      Total votes:
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      1. **Paul** says:

        Do you not feel that perhaps it’s a shame when the press fall into the trap of reporting it as such? One of the reasons I dislike some of the football coverage on TV in the UK is because of the bias shown to either large clubs, or home grown clubs. F1 doesn’t need to be like that for me. I want an impartial view ideally. Sometimes I think several of the pundits struggle with that because they have to maintain relationships with drivers.

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    2. bruno menilli says:

      Webber did not pass but backed off at Silverstone – therefore he did not disobey team orders like Vettel did.

      It is not the same as what happened at Silverstone.

      Horner needs to assert his authority and stop trying to be Mr Nice Guy all the time, which is ok most of the time, but not when a driver thinks he’s in control and ignores team orders.

      Even Schumacher never did that [?]

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      1. **Paul** says:

        Webber was told to maintain the gap, he disobeyed that and tried to overtake Vettel. That’s disobeying….

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      2. BRUNO MENILLI says:

        I do not believe that maintain the gap means keep exactly ??metres behind Vettal, but do not pass, and Webber didn’t – and maybe he was letting Vettal know he was getting the place easily because of team orders.

        We can only speculate about what actually happened not what doing something implied ?

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    3. Stephen Taylor says:

      There wouldn’t be an outcry.

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      1. **Paul** says:

        I think on a certain comments section on a large UK website there would have been outrage of the highest order. Nationality you see….

        Total votes:
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    4. Jake says:

      I like Hamilton but would not have had a problem with the Mercs trading places. It was clear Nico had more fuel and could have lapped faster than Lewis. He would not have caught the Bulls tho’ so nothing in it for Merc and not worth the risk. Fair call by Ross as long as your name isn’t Nico.

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  12. SJM says:

    I think Seb was more worried about Lewis Hamilton gaining ground. I wonder what would have happened if Lewis had not been in fuel saving mode…

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    1. Grant H says:

      I don’t think Lewis could have caught Seb even if he had the fuel, they confirmed on the tv that Lewis lost the place because he was not happy on the hard tyre rather than fuel, I don’t think Lewis would have caught him on the final scrubbed medium stint as Lewis’s pace even in the early stints seemed to drop off more than the others, his tyres seemed to go off quicker than the red bulls, Lewis seemed to be pushing harder than nico, this maybe allowed nico to manage a sensible gap and wait until the right time. Obviously in the last stints it was more fuel management that was the problem

      Total votes:
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      1. Richard says:

        I don’t think Mercedes had the pace to catch Red Bull at Sepang although Lewis gave it a shot in the earlier stages of the race, and did make some head way being quite close at one point, but ulitmately paid the price in terms of fuel consumption. Indeed both Mercedes cars were low on fuel with Lewis’s being the most critical Ross Brawn did the right thing at the end of the race. Ross did say that they did not anticipate the race being driven so hard, but it was the medium and hard compounds that allowed it.

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    2. MarkC says:

      Forget hamilton, he mismanaged his race..if nico was allowed to race it might have been a different story..

      Total votes:
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      1. Richard says:

        Yes they would both have run short on fuel!

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    3. Anne says:

      Then RB would have never issued that order. They told both drivers to turn the engine down. RB was conffident that Hamilton was not a problem

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  13. Peter says:

    As much as I don’t like Vettel and what he has done. The fact of the matter is, 95% of the people will not remember this moment when they talk about Vettel the multi world champion in 20years time.

    Webber had something stolen from him, those last 15 laps he must of been thinking of his 2010 title hopes, the Silverstone moment and countless more where he did obey the tram orders. And WHY didn’t the sign a deal with Ferrari?

    Do wonder what the mood at RBR was like last the debrief, cannot image Webber staying as composed as he was on the podium and press conference.

    In my mind, this is showing what Vettel is like, doing everything he needs to do to win, no matter what. But I have to think that Helmut would of given Vettel the belief of “entitlement” as you say James.

    Disappointed.

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    1. RedChimp says:

      I don’t know if I agree that no-one will remember this in 20 years time.

      Think about Senna, the multi-world champion, and you pretty much remember his reneging on a pre-race agreement with Prost that kicked off their infamous rivalry. Not to mention the 2 legendary coming togethers (on and off track) in Japan.

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    2. Bruce says:

      I remember San Marino 1982!

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    3. Siobhan says:

      Don’t be so sure Peter, many people remember a lot of Schumacher incidents and not just his 7 titles.

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    4. Random 79 says:

      They’ll remember :)

      Of course it’s open to question on *how* it will be remembered…

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    5. hero_was_senna says:

      There’s enough examples of Schumachers “will to win” that even as a 7 times champion, he’s not considered the greatest.
      Little incidences like yesterday, or the 2010 Turkish collision or Webber having his front wing taken away after Seb had damaged his in Britain, all these add up.
      When you include Marko’s continued bias and the fact that he’s driving the best car in the field, a lot of people will not have warm feelings when the think of the Vettel era.

      Personally I have no problem with his ruthlessness, Jesus, look who my hero was. But I don’t like his apology, it’s insulting to the viewers, much like MSC after the 2002 Austrian GP. It was clumsy and almost made it worse.

      Important point about Senna and Schumacher team orders, the only one I remember of Senna was 1991 Japanese GP and gifting win to Berger, he wasn’t happy about it at all, but obeyed the team.
      Schumacher? The only team order I remember him receiving was from Luca Cordero Di Montezemolo, after he called and his daughter said daddy was outside playing football ( on a recovering broken leg )
      LdM made it very clear that MSC return for the next race as Ferrari was still competing for both championships.

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      1. Zombie says:

        H_W_S, Schumacher 1999 Malaysian GP. He toyed with competition to let Irvine win.

        Total votes:
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      2. hero_was_senna says:

        That was the very race that he returned for. A brilliant drive too.

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    6. JD says:

      “As much as I don’t like Vettel and what he has done. The fact of the matter is, 95% of the people will not remember this moment when they talk about Vettel the multi world champion in 20years time.”

      This is similar to how Senna is now universally held in high regard despite the fact he deliberately crashed into Prost (far more dangerous than what Vettel did, by the way) and much later on admitted he did it on purpose.

      Just to be clear, I was and still am a Senna fan and I’m not saying Vettel is a “Senna.” However the legacy of Vettel will not be as tarnished by this incident as some think.

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    7. Aaron says:

      As much as I don’t like Vettel and what he has done. The fact of the matter is, 95% of the people will not remember this moment when they talk about Vettel the multi world champion in 20years time.

      I’m not so sure about that. A lot of when we think of Schumacher instantly think of him driving into Hill & Villeneuve, or parking the car in Monaco. Same for Senna, I still remember when he deliberately took Prost off the track to win the world title. These incidents are not easily forgotten.

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      1. User007 says:

        Interesting fact: Villeneuve himself, last year, admitted that what Schumacher said after the race was true: He would have never made the corner if he hadn’t crashed into Schumacher. And he even added that he was deliberately taking the risk, as he knew Schumacher would close the door and be penalized. Smart move!

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      2. CanadaGP says:

        Interesting made up fact. Could you please cite your credible source?

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      3. Random 79 says:

        +1 Aaron – and how did you get italics?

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      4. Random 79 says:

        Nevermind…

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    8. Joe Papp says:

      “The fact of the matter is, 95% of the people will not remember this moment when they talk about Vettel…”

      Uhhh, how could you possibly know this? What a daft statement. I for one will never forget Vettel’s shameful display of insubordination.

      Total votes:
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      1. Peter says:

        It’s call GUESS! plus all the new fans in the next 20 years will need to be reminded about it. as they didn’t live it.

        and plus 95% of people not fans. there are a lot of people on this earth who are NOT fans of F1 or even know what F1 is.

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  14. Alex says:

    James, not clear why Vettel being on the faster tyre in the closing stages was a strategy when Webber could have also been on the same tyre? And what I think everyone seems to overlook, was that the team gave Vettel Webbers pitstop, so that Hamilton was no threat on the undercut. Webber going around on old tyres for a lap longer ate up nearly all of his 4 second lead over Vettel, and put him in the mercy of Vettel. Vettel abused Webber’s and the team’s trust and decency, and thats why he was able to win. It seems highly unlikely would have won had they let Webber pit first, given how the race had unfolded before that, and it challenges the claim that Vettel is a “real racer” and won because he was the better driver.

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    1. James says:

      Vettel had an extra set of mediums as he ran on an older set in Q2 and rain saved him needing to have second lap.

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    2. Rick says:

      This!!
      Webber was in front, should have got the preferred strategy at the last stop and would have been about 8 seconds ahead after the stops.

      Total votes:
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    3. Glennb says:

      Webber used a 2nd set of Mediums in quali. Seb did not. Mark didnt have another set to use. Having said that, his first stint on the Hards was pretty impressive.

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    4. Peter says:

      Very a valid point that many of us keep missing, why did Vettel pit before Mark for the last stop. From what I know at RBR whoever is in front can make the call who to pit first.

      Vettel going first gave him the ability to undercut Mark, taking 4 seconds off Mark in his out lap! Why did this situation of Vettel right on Mark’s tail even occur at all?

      Total votes:
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    5. Andrew M says:

      “James, not clear why Vettel being on the faster tyre in the closing stages was a strategy when Webber could have also been on the same tyre?”

      It shows that Webber and the team were already in conservation mode, as Webber said in the press conference. The team took the slower, more durable option to make sure his tyres didn’t fall off a cliff, as they knew there was no threat from behind.

      Or so they thought…

      Total votes:
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    6. Mike says:

      Exactly right and your point is being missed on several websites. This talk of ‘different strategies’ misses the point that having started the race on inters there was no requirement to use both dry compounds (or am I wrong about that?) It seemed obvious that if webber had thought he was racing to the end he would have played it very differently.

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    7. Richard says:

      I think Vettel is a ruthless racer, but I think there would have been fireworks in the team had Hamilton joined Red Bull. Suddenly there would have been someone in the other car as fast as him on all counts, and I expect he would ultimately thrown his toys out of the pram when faced with Hamilton’s racing ability.

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    8. +10 ! ! !

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    9. Muk says:

      +1

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  15. zoomsthru says:

    I find it strange how such a big deal is being made of this defiance of team orders, when probably the worse offence was in Brazil 2012 when in Christian Horner’s words, “Mark was told to hold position and started racing [Vettel]”.

    Given Mark’s ignorance of team orders in such a crucial championship finale and in the not-so-crucial Silverstone in 2011, is it fair to expect Vettel to allow his teammate to win?

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    1. **Paul** says:

      The media view:

      Must obey team orders: Vettel, Rosberg, Massa.

      Legends when they disobey team orders: Webber, Alonso, Hamilton.

      It’d be funny if it wasn’t true !

      Total votes:
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      1. Multi 21 says:

        When did Webber and Alonso disobey team orders? Please give evidence.

        Total votes:
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      2. **Paul** says:

        Webber @ Silverstone 2011.
        Alonso @ Hungary 2007

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      3. Multi 21 says:

        So, you mean Hungary in 2007 when it was Hamilton who ignored the pre-arranged team order to let Alonso through at the beginning of the fuel burn phase of Q3.

        And you also meant Silverstone 2011 when Red Bull’s racing policy was “we don’t have team orders”.

        Sorry. You need to try harder.

        Total votes:
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    2. bruno menilli says:

      Webber was making a point – he did not pass Vettel [?] therefore not the same thing.

      Webber did not disobey team orders.

      Total votes:
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    3. All revved-up says:

      Yes. Mark Webber’s hands are not clean. I agree that the situation in Brazil was worse.

      But it’s good that Vettel understands that 2 wrongs don’t make a right. (Assuming his apologies are genuine.)

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    4. steen says:

      Everything would’ve been fine if Vettel had “raced” him in the same manner as Webber did in Brazil.

      I think it was a pre-planned move to secure Vettel the win, that went awry. Vettel’s zig-zag antics crossing the finish line, then being gob smacked that the team wasn’t out for him at the end of the race shows the disconnect.

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      1. hero_was_senna says:

        Yes I noticed that. The zig zag was very remeniscent of Schumacher in the Ferrari.
        The lack of hands at the pit wall was fascinating

        Total votes:
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      2. JD says:

        In a straight fight over the course of the season. I don’t think Webber can beat Vettel. So really all Weeber can do is something dangerous to put Vettel at risk. I certainly hope it doesn’t come to that.

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      3. Multi 21 says:

        And Webber’s move to the grandstand side to be as far away as possible from the pit wall when crossing the finishing line was the first sign of how displeased he really was.

        Total votes:
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  16. Tommy says:

    Worryingly for fans who are looking to a highly competitive and entertaining season, is the fact that Red Bull knowing that there is no worthy competition behind, can confidently lay down arms part way through the race, instructing their drivers to take their feet off the gas, and bring the cars home in a stage managed procession. Boredom saved by the ‘bit of the devil’ within!

    Total votes:
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    1. BreezyRacer says:

      When motors are rationed you will work to use them only when needed .. same with transmissions and tires.

      F1 is today a technical exercise in mechanical efficiency, like it or not.

      The whole issue at play is not Vettel vs Webber, it’s Vettel vs RBR. The tail is wagging the dog ..

      Total votes:
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    2. CarlH says:

      Remember that Alonso crashed out. I very much doubt they would have been able to coast home if they had Fernando hassling them. Also, Mercedes looked to have the pace to challenge but screwed up on fuel load (again), and then wouldn’t let Rosberg chase them down.

      Total votes:
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      1. Richard says:

        Both Mercedes cars were low on fuel, and had they let them race they may not have passed FIA fuel test at the end.

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  17. JasonF says:

    All the what if’s are pointless. Webber is now under no illusions, has a contract that lasts less than a season (now) and in the event that the tables are turned has the precedent to do the same to Vettel in return. Lets not forget, whatever his intentions at Silverstone, he DIDN’T disobey team orders.

    Total votes:
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    1. James says:

      He stated himself that he did disobey team orders to race Vettel at Silverstone.

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    2. 69bhp says:

      Webber DID disobey team orders at Silverstone, he proudly admitted it in post race interviews. Only difference was that he didn’t manage to pull off the pass whereas Vettel did. And Red Bull did nothing to webber then, why should they sanction Vettel now? Not that I agree with Vettel’s actions this time, but webber made his own bed and has to lie in it.

      Total votes:
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    3. **Paul** says:

      ” whatever his intentions at Silverstone, he DIDN’T disobey team orders.”

      He was told to ‘maintain the gap’ four times and each time he ignored it in pursuit of Vettel.

      Battleship Sunk…

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      1. Anne says:

        But at the end he didn´t pass and he didn´t win the race

        Total votes:
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      2. **Paul** says:

        Jeez…. he disobeyed team orders. He didn’t overtake no, but that wasn’t his order… his order was to maintain the gap to Vettel. So he broke it, just like Vettel did.

        Total votes:
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      3. Anne says:

        I think that was the order but it was given with soft words. Hardly ever we are going to hear a straight order like “don´t you dare to overtake your team mate”. Even this time RB use the code word Multi 21. Of course Webber knew back then “what matain the gap” meant. He didn´t keep a big gap but kept a small gap anyway behind Vettel. To some extend he obeyed

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    4. jake says:

      To quote Webber after Silverstone 2011:

      “Of course I ignored the team because I wanted to try and get a place. Seb was doing his best, I was doing my best. I wasn’t going to crash with anyone… Four or five laps to go, they started to chat to me about holding my position. I wanted the points but I also wanted to get some more points as well. I just wanted to race to the end and I’m sure if it had been the other way round it would have been like that as well.”

      -I think Mark Webber disagrees with you about him disobeying team orders.

      Total votes:
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      1. JasonF says:

        In F1 its results that count. Otherwise I am sure Caterham would be world champions. Mark Didn’t pass, Vettel did, Caterham pretty much come last whatever their intentions.

        Total votes:
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      2. jake says:

        Webber didn’t pass because he couldn’t, not because he didn’t try. Vettel, like Webber, broke team orders by attacking. The difference is Vettel was good enough to pull it off.

        Total votes:
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      3. User007 says:

        Yes, but “Didn’t pass” as a result of “couldn’t pass”. He had a go and put the result at risk, hadn’t he?

        Total votes:
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      4. Oscar says:

        Mark TRIED, BUT couldn’t make the pass…

        Total votes:
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      5. K5enny says:

        Webber is a number 2 driver,
        Vettel is a triple WDC….

        for all that counts for.
        F1 is fast heading down the path of WWF
        (WWF1)
        A staged managed economy run is not racing.

        Shame on the competition (and organisers and promoters for allowing them to think they could
        pull this off.

        Contrast this with Danny Hamilins treatment in NASCAR – where he was fined $25k for
        “denigrating the franchise” with these comments:
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azvQ6LS4lM4

        The f1 Francise is finished.
        BSKYB must be sick.

        Total votes:
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  18. 180110 says:

    Sebastian Vettel wants the 4th WDC for himself. As simple as that. He saw the opportunity for the win and given that Alonso had retired and how close the c’ships have run these last few years, for him it was all about the win and an extra 7 points. For him, Mark may be a good racing driver but is not a Championship material and thus Seb thinks he owns things in Red Bull.

    Personally, lost a lot of respect for Vet yesterday. If Web and him were racing and he had overtaken him – which he most probably would have, given the fresher medium tyres, even if the team had said no.. it would not have been that big an issue. But that Mark was assured of not being overtaken by his team and then everything happened in a non-racing environment, that is not happening.

    Total votes:
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    1. Anne says:

      Last year Alonso was capable to have a 40 points lead at midseason. And at the end meant nothing. So 7 points today might mean nothing going to Brazil. There is no guarantee for any driver.

      Total votes:
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      1. LG says:

        +1 agreed. But every point does count.

        Total votes:
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      2. Anne says:

        Vettel is only 25 years old. He has plenty of time to win more championships. Does he really expect to win 7 or more championships in a row?
        Very difficult task

        Total votes:
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      3. Brad says:

        The quicker he gets there the better dear Anne 😛

        Total votes:
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      4. rad_g says:

        It would be really cruel if the engine on Vettel’s car blows in Brazil and he lost WDC because of it.

        Total votes:
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    2. Victor E Lapp says:

      Totally agree

      Total votes:
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      1. Victor E Lapp says:

        Totally agree with you 180110

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  19. Gul says:

    That was one sad podium. Hope Webber doesn’t quit F1. :(

    Total votes:
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    1. Lea says:

      I struggle to think of a podium in recent years where all three of the top three were unhappy.

      Total votes:
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    2. Random 79 says:

      Right now I’m disappointed in Vettel, but if Webber quits over this I’d be more disappointed with him.

      Total votes:
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      1. Anne says:

        What we saw at the race was just the top of the iceberg. I don´t think Webber is going to quit. But if he does it won´t be only because of Malasya 2013.

        Total votes:
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      2. Random 79 says:

        True, and +1

        Total votes:
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    3. Cem says:

      Why not ?

      Don’t you want to see a new talent to join one of the best teams?

      Webber had his chance on 2011 when he massed up.

      Total votes:
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    4. CarlH says:

      I very much doubt that a guy with Mark’s fighting spirit would allow something like this to send him on his way.

      The team are p***ed off with Vettel and Mark is doing his best to get them onto his side. He’s actually being very clever in my opinion.

      Total votes:
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  20. Roberto says:

    When MSC passed Barrichelo in Austria, Schumi and Ferrari were thrown to the garbage, the media simply went against theam and more about the farcical podium ceremony.

    I’m not Webber’s fan, but he was doing a great race and trusting the instructions of his team, but at the end he’s teammate let him down and if the team doesn’t take appropiate measures not only him will feel betrayed, but his side of the team too, his engineers, mechanics, etc when they realize no matter what they doyp, the team will support 110% Vettel.

    RBR has a difficult situation in hands, simply because an employee (Yes, the driver is an employee) is not bigger than any company, therefore they have to reprimend there shining star and somehow make it public, in order the other employees keep the trust in the company (team).

    Being an F1 driver it’s almost impossible, you need not only amazing or extra human skills, but a series of miracles for that to happen, so I don’t think Webber will resign before china but certainly he will have a long season…

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    1. Peter says:

      Don’t forget that was when Barichello has a huge lead. And wasn’t mid season when the title wasn’t down to the wire. It brought on the ban of team orders soon after.

      Total votes:
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    2. BreezyRacer says:

      This event is going to be only a prelude to two RBR cars, smouldering at the outside of turn 1 at whatever race track. Webber now has every reason to shut the door at all costs. It’s Prost vs Senna again ..

      Total votes:
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      1. Olive says:

        but he (Mark) tried it already, see Brazil 2012

        Total votes:
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      2. hero_was_senna says:

        But Senna and Prost were true greats

        Total votes:
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      3. LG says:

        Nah, Webber not in Prost or Senna league

        Total votes:
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    3. Endres says:

      You lost me at 110%

      Total votes:
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  21. IP says:

    I think that the dangerous way Vettel passed up against the wall was reckless. so far though we haven’t seen any blatant cheating in the manner of Senna or Schumacher. I think it says a lot about Webber that he still left racing room.

    Does an agreement between the whole team mean this violation is worse than Senna+Prost, I’m not so sure. Maybe they are both as bad.

    But then again, what else should the world expect from Vettel given who he looked up to as a kid.

    Webber aside for a moment, what must JEV and Ricciardo be thinking. I suggest punting Vettel A in the rain behind the safety car might be a good career move.

    Total votes:
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    1. **Paul** says:

      Ah yes the Rubens move in Hungary, in which the defending driver, Mr M Schumacher from Germany was roundly slated, even though he too left a cars width.

      So who are you blaming?
      1.) Schmacher and Webber
      2.) Barrichello and Vettel

      I’d say that the defending driver is always the one making the situation more dangerous, but the attacking driver can always back out if they don’t fancy it…

      Total votes:
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      1. IP says:

        well i am talking from the point of view of the team management and from their reaction, it’s clearly Vettel that made it dangerous. webber was in the middle of the track and jinked right slightly, but there was a whole lot more room on the outside

        Total votes:
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      2. **Paul** says:

        As I said above for me it’s the defending driver who pushes the attacker nearer the wall. Thus Webber & MSC made it more dangerous, but then again neither Rubens nor Seb backed out so.

        Total votes:
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    2. Mart says:

      He went for the inside line and as Webber started to cover there was nowhere else to go then more to right. There was enough room and he took the line. Nothing dangerous. Also Webber left him enough room.

      If someone would to be accused in making thins dangerous at the pitwall, I’d blame Webber as he had rest of the track available to the left of him.

      Total votes:
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  22. Paddock F1 says:

    I think Vettel will gain more fans and respect as a result. It may be a team sport but it is a sport. One of the things Vettel observed from 2012 was that every single points count. Whilst he races for the team he also races to be the WDC so quite frankly, I don’t blame him even if there was a risk of him running out of tyres.

    Vettel was told to he couldn’t be let through pass Webber at mid distance, so of course he may have thought maybe nearer the complete race distance, he would or should. I’m all for team orders as it is a team sport but I don’t blame Vettel for doing what he did which was racing to win.

    I don’t think he can be compared to Schumi in terms of unsporting behaviour either. Schumi used his car as a missile twice in championship deciding situations. He raced Webber when he was told not – hardly unsporting.

    We don’t want a sport where drivers don’t try to pass each other and fly in corporate formation otherwise fans could start switching off. Vettel should only apologise for risking the tyres and the team result, nothing more.

    Total votes:
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  23. All revved-up says:

    Vettel has apologized and been very thoughtful about it when he calmed down after the race.

    If Webber is within 7 points of Vettel at the end of the season, then Vettel should do the right thing. But I think most of us expect Vettel to be well ahead on points.

    The only remaining issue is Webber scoring a race win for the purposes of F1’s history books. Vettel could pretend he has a gearbox problem as per Brazil 2011 and allow Webber through for a win.

    So for Vettel to fix this he needs to wrap up the championship by Japan and hope that Red Bull run 1-2 in one of the 4 remaining races!! Then he can move over for Webber like he did in 2011.

    Total votes:
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    1. All revved-up says:

      Sorry. I should have written if Webber is within 14 points of Vettel, instead of 7.

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  24. Matt says:

    Is anyone able to please provide some insight into how this is being reported in the German press? Are they supporting or criticising Vettel?

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  25. wakie81 says:

    Really what can Red Bull do to Vettel. If they dropped him for a race he would say ok, I’ll drive a red car next year. Being one of the best drivers in the field gives you power.

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    1. Multi 21 says:

      So Vettel can just pick and choose where he drives when he wants?

      LdM won’t have him while Alonso is there and these antics on the weekend will put him in a negative light at Maranello: If you drive the red car you do as you are told.

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      1. Nathan says:

        Sorry, I don’t think I made my point clear enough. Vettel has power over Red Bull. If he left the only option is Kimi (which I wouldn’t mind).

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  26. Larkeson says:

    Tainted legacies are one thing World Titles are another thing altogether. This episode shows that racing drivers with the bit between their teeth and team orders kill the enjoyment of the sport.

    Weber will be remembered as a nice bloke, fair and a team player….that never won a world title.

    Vettel dropped the thin veil of a civilized racing driver yesterday. He showed the true ugly nature of a young, driven, paranoid, WORLD CHAMPION on his way (this year or next) to winning again.

    F1 is NOT a popularity contest. The challenge for a sportsman is to keep the wolf behavior at bay so you get to keep you seat.

    Plenty of F1 drivers lose their seats because they are as hungry as Vettel but not as talented.

    Red Bull need to do something publicly to please Weber and to remind Vettel they are a team….but not too much as they still want Vettel to win another world title.

    Weber ain’t gonna win a world title, he’s too nice.

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    1. +10

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  27. Pranav Haldea says:

    James

    Given what transpired in the race later on (with the Red Bulls etc.), I think everyone, including the stewards, seem to have forgotten that Alonso deserves a penalty for continuing to drive with a broken body part which was potentially dangerous for other drivers. We know that other drivers have been penalised for this in the past. Why not Alonso? Given that he had a DNF in Malaysia, in my view, a 5 or 10 place grid penalty should be given to him for the next race. What do you think?

    Pranav

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    1. Multi 21 says:

      This seems to have been forgotten in the furore surrounding Red Bull.

      It certainly was dangerous and I am surprised he didn’t get an order from Race Control to pit.

      If the debris had have affected someone else’s race, I am certain he’d be penalised.

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  28. I have always been a Ferrari supporter but have had admiration for Sebastian vettel because I have always seen him as a guy with a level head on his shoulders.

    Further, after the race vettel claimed he heard the message, understood it, but overtook by mistake. Mat coch summed it up brilliantly saying “it’s difficult to overtake in f1 today. It’s even tougher to do it by mistake”

    And he also came on the radio to ask the team to tell mark to move over earlier in the race. If he is the fighter every one claim him to be, why didn’t he make up the place himself.

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  29. Cetacea says:

    All the “ethics” and “morality” aside, the question should be; was it wise in terms of managing what promises to be a quite tight season? And it seems to me that there is a quite good control experiment out there that happened virtually at the same time. Brawn gave an order to NR not to pass LH, and Nico complied. But what he said in doing so interests me. He said, I’m paraphrasing, remember this, boss. And that was not lost on Hamilton either, which was evidenced by the little talk at the podium. The way I see it is that, Vettel had an excellent opportunity to win Webber over as his trusted ally at the track at that fateful moment and he blew it spectacularly. Had Vettel heeded the call not to pass, would Webber not feel some kind of debt, as apparently Hamilton did towards Rosberg? Even after all the history of Webber being treated not so courteously I kind of doubt that Webber would be so unappreciative. It obviously is a failure of leadership in Horner’s part, but it is also a failure of Vettel, for he exposed himself as a short-sighted, ungrateful child that he very well may be. But he didn’t have to brag about it, did he?

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    1. JD says:

      I don’t think Vettel wants, seeks, or expects Webber’s help. And although I think Hamilton has a sense of humanity, he will surely beat Rosberg in a given race if it’s necessary for him to win the title.

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      1. Cetacea says:

        That is most likely true, but it is also true that Webber could ruin Vettel’s chances as the Driver’s championship race gets tighter, as it surely will. So the help had I had in mind was more of not deliberately screwing around causing Vettel troubles. And in Sepang the opportunity was so ripe in that Vettel’s chief rival, Alonso, was already DNF. 7 points are no laughing matter, but for the sake of even more crucial points at even more momentous occasion it could have been sacrificed with not necessarily big pain. If Vettel becomes the champion this season, this rather “ruthlessness” would be glossed over. On the other hand, if he fails, and he fails is a way that involves Webber, well..

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  30. AlexD says:

    “Why did Vettel ignore team orders and pass Webber?” – because he is full of himself, ruthless to the point of immorality and will do absolutely everything to win.

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  31. Denis says:

    Why?
    Because it was 7 more points and he won’t be punished for it.
    Horner is going to have to accept the position as deputy team principle to Vettel.
    He has no authority anymore.

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  32. Baghetti says:

    A man named Dieter Mateschitz will be rubbing his hands for being given such a golden opportunity: imagine the good publicity that RedBull will be getting if they now go as one team behind Webber! It’s risky for the WDC as Mark is probably less a certainty when it comes to clinching the title, but then again I do not think that that title is what really counts for Mateschitz…

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  33. Diz Gusseted says:

    The media have struck gold with a story which is set to run ad infinitum and absurdum with loads of hot—air exchanged between the two opposing fan camps:-

    WDC Advocates : Racer + Personality
    WCC Advocates : Idiot + Team effort destroyer

    As I’ll side with the latter, Red Bull have a simple solution to the problem:-

    1st Pit stop at Shanghai : Change tyres in 2.5secs and keep him on the jacks for a further 7.5secs before release with all pit crew raising their forefingers to him in salute.
    Next time team orders disobeyed – total time on jacks : 20secs (but I doubt that would be necessary).

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  34. Kenny Carwash says:

    There’s a time and a place for selfishness in F1 (a cynic would argue ‘most of the time’ and ‘everywhere’), but I can’t help feeling this is a misstep by Vettel.

    It was inevitable that this situation would come to a head at some point in the season, but do bring it about in the second Grand Prix means Vettel now has an awful lot of racing to do alongside a no doubt unsupportive teammate.

    Sure, he might end up needing those seven points to clinch the title but I suspect reigniting this feud so early on could cost him a lot more.

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    1. Jim McMillan says:

      +1

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  35. SKirch says:

    Mark should by now be under no illusions that he is in a team. With Vettel on board it has always been each man for himself. Given this scenario Mark should just race and ignore team orders [a concept which shouldn’t generally exist].
    I don’t think Mark would consider himself an angel but he is professional enough not to run into his team mate as Vettel did in his frenzied and clumsy overtaking attempt at Turkey in 2010. From that point on Mark should have known the score and responded accordingly. The support for Vettel after that disgrace and the wing debacle in Silverstone that year have been pretty clear demonstrations that Mark is not racing with the full team behind him. A hard place from which to win a championship.
    At the very least he should now give it his all, racing as hard as he can and just go for the win – channelling Gilles Villeneuve. After all, what’s he got to lose? Team spirit?

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  36. Bobby M says:

    Vettel is clearly the “Golden Child” of Redbull and has no fear of loosing favour in a team that has this culture. He obviously believes he is on another level than Webber stating that he had ‘a lot more’ . Finishing behind Webber after starting well ahead was not something he could digest, Webber being so slow….

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  37. Andrew Humphrey says:

    As an aside on the general theme of ethics and team orders, I think everyone expects the sort of team orders that allowed Hamilton to stay third – i.e. bring the cars home safely don’t race. What annoys fans is the (mainly limited to Ferrari) spectacle of drivers being ordered to swap places, irrespective of who has been quickest or where the rivals are, in order to maximise championship points for Schumacher or Alonso. You want your champions to earn the title. Vettel’s move doesn’t quite fall into this category, but if RBR teammates are going to race, at least make it a fair contest for both drivers.

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  38. Lea says:

    I can somewhat understand Vettel trying to take the win, even though the team told him to hold position. What I did not like was

    1. “But in calling for Webber to be moved aside midway through the race he also showed a sense of entitlement, which is not attractive.”

    The tone of his voice in this call was more of putting than anything else.

    2. RBR has always been almost first to jump at the slightest hint of team orders at Ferrari legal or not (and lets not forget the Xmas card a few years ago).

    3. In an interview on Sky, Vettel was asked about being criticised over this, and his reponse was he only cares about what the team thinks, he doesnt care what anyone else thinks. Now he is right in that team employes him so he only “need” them to race but it felt like he doesnt care what we the fans of F1 think… not very good PR for RBR.

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  39. Adam says:

    This goes back much further with several defy the team actions getting fastest lap when he was told to dial back the engine. If RBR is not seen to act publically then it will look weak and encouraging bad sportsmanship. With Marco already out of the box in that department how far will RBR go with the any news is a good news story before they figure out it is damaging the brand? Suspend Vettle for one race and Marko for six months if you want to fix things now. Vettle should have apologized on the podium with Brundle without reservations, he did not. The team does not act at its own peril of damaging the brand. I suspect that they will not as they want to stay the bad boys. But bad boys are only just so marketable! Ask Jessie James after he got done with Sandra Bullock how that helped him out!

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  40. AlexD says:

    James, maybe this is me wanting you to say more than you did and express your opinion, but probably this is not what you are expected to do.

    The way I read your article is that you almost justify this behavior from people that want to succeed at any cost (meaning you understand it and can tolerate) because they are exceptional, or so they think.

    Yes, you also say that he will regret, so it means you also agree that being a human is much more important than being a multiple world champion.

    Some people here think that Vettel is the real racer and they want to see this more and more. I know what is driving these people – they side with those that are winners, that pursue the glory because it makes them feel better and there are no limits or ethics in this. Some people, for some reason, feel they are more entitled.

    I hope that I will never see Vettel in Ferrari because this is the team I support.

    Pride comes before the fall….Vettel chose to ignore it.

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  41. Mike J says:

    Another great thought provoking article James.
    Personally I don’t think RB will do anything with Vettel apart from what has already been said. I mean, what can they do?……..the team wants to win the WCC as the primary target and both Vettel and Webber are at least in agreement with that and they have a proven track record on this.
    I think Vettel and Webber will continue and will commit to team orders again. Webber will get over it and come back quite aggressive knowing he has to do it himself. His biggest problem is the 14 point turnaround to Vettel caused by Vettel
    The other issue is the trust and entitlement factors. Can RB trust Vettel again to do what they agree?….and I don’t care how many WDC he has won, if Vettel is that good, no one should have to move out of his way unless being lapped.

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  42. Andy Dudley says:

    That was one gloomy podium wasn’t it!

    Team orders are unpopular with fans, but we’ve been told that they’re legal (mainly because they’re unpoliceable) and we should just accept it.

    Many people probably thought that the race was over after the second pitstops – indeed I took a break to go and make a cup of tea there, and was surprised to see Sebastian carry on attacking Mark after his tyres were up to temperature.

    We’re told that motorsport is a team sport, but I imagine the majority of F1 fans will support a driver rather than the team – just count the extra number of Mercedes hats at Silverstone this year for proof! And even if we support a team, no doubt we will have our favourite of the pairing within that team. There is always more focus and interest on the Driver’s World Championship than the Constructors, so even though it is a team sport, fans will see it as predominantly Vettel against Alonso rather than Red Bull against Ferrari.

    If it is a team sport, then the whole team should play as a team – like a football match where a team has an elected penalty taker, and there is one member of the team who could get a hat-trick by taking the penalty. The hat-trick player should concede to the penalty taker. That’s the team order. Unfortunately, as Horner admitted after the race, once the red lights go out, they really have no control over the drivers.

    Sebastian has not done his reputation any good with this move, but as others have said, in the grand scheme of things we won’t be talking about this incident when we mention Sebastian Vettel, 4/5/6/7(?) time World Driver’s Champion.

    I think all we saw was the worst case against team orders – one where a driver ignored them, and another where one was forced to stay behind a car that was saving fuel. However, it’s only through the level of exposure we now have to team radio messages that we get more of the full story – and that’s only a good thing for fans.

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  43. Chapor says:

    Much has been said that Mark raced Vettel in Brazil 2012. But didn’t Mark also let Vettel passed him at a later stage were Horner himself actually thanked Mark for over team radio? Why is everybody forgetting that?

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    1. Mack says:

      Because it is easier to think and point to the worst example than actually look at the facts. Most people with a vested interest will always look for and excuse rather than accept an ‘Idol’ could possibly make a mistake.
      I think this constant ‘what happened previously’ argument is a crock. It is my belief that the team orders issue is a direct result of those previous incidents and an attepmt to ensure that it didn’t happen again. Now that RBR know that a driver is unwilling to follow a team order – it will undermine all that the team has set out to do. Where do they go from here – only the team will know. The only way to defuse this current incident is to publish the team orders and show engine settings. But that will only result in a larger backlash as it will clearly demonstrate what actually happened.
      Not likely I think, in the mean time all the couch experts can put forward one eyed argumets both for and against.
      Just like me ;^)

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      1. Chapor says:

        Spot on there… Two wrongs don’t make one right.

        * tips my hat from one armchair expert to another… *
        :-)

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  44. Chris Anderson says:

    At the end of the day it is 7 extra points for Vettel, when his main rival(in my opinion)had a DNF. I don’t for one moment think this will taint his legacy. If he wins the championship by 7 points or less this season he is going look an awful lot smarter.

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  45. Craig says:

    SV did it for the extra 7 points. As you noted it may cost him and RB more down the line. Or it could be the difference in the championship. We’ll see.

    SV was clearly in the wrong in the context of his own team, but MW is certainly no choirboy and has not always done what is best for RB either(see Silverstone ’11 and Brasil ’12).

    What I’d like to know is when SV passed him why MW could not turn off ‘multi 21’ or whatever and go racing to take back P1 with 8 more laps to go? Surely MW had to know team orders were off the table when SV blew past him.

    MW would never have passed SV under team orders not to. But suppose he had – Would SV have just sat behind him and whined about multi 21 in the driver’s room or would he have turned it off and gone after him? Sure you might run out of fuel, destroy the tires, wreck both cars, etc. All good reasons not to do it, hence RB team orders, but I’m just saying it shows the difference between SV and MW.

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  46. GY says:

    James,

    Good article as usual.

    Can you (or anybody else) please clarify the following for me?

    Was Vettel and Webber had similar engine modes during that scrap?

    I think Webber had almost 4sec on Vettel before the last pit stop. How did he make that up since I seem to remember Webber pitted only a lap after?

    Thanks a lot.

    G

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  47. AussieWoZ says:

    Unattractive behaviour indeed.
    Worse still, it appears that RBR don’t really care.

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  48. Nigel S says:

    Simple – Christian Horner as Team Principal should have been very clear to Vettel – stay behind Webber (instead of fudging the instruction such as ‘ this is getting silly Seb ‘ ).Ross Brawn was crystal clear to Rosberg and he obeyed the instruction.
    Everyone knows that Horner & Marko favour Vettel – good job Webber has got an ally in the Red Bull owner !

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  49. Peter Daniel says:

    Well, nobody seems to realise that Vettel has harmed his career! That mooted Ferrari deal is now gone, as Ferrari is the team and the drivers are expected to be team players, just see Luca’s comments down the years. Vettel has put two fingers up to his team and scuppered a drive in most of the teams! If Mark decides he will quit this year will he give Vettel any room in any move, or just take his off? The sparks will fly! Horner should stand down he has no authority now!

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  50. RedChimp says:

    Maybe I am biased but I see Vettel’s transgression here as much more serious than Webbers at Silverstone 2011. I was at Silverstone that day (so maybe didn’t have the same quality of info as watching on the TV) but it seemed to me that Webber was harrying Vettel to make a point but ultimately played the team game. Also, as far as I know, in 2011 although they were asked to hold position nether driver was asked to turn down the engine or manage the KERS. In that sense it was a fair fight with equal machinery.
    On Sunday Webber & Vettel were asked to dial down their cars, as I understand it Webber did this and Vettel didn’t. This gave Vettel a performance advantage and so it wasn’t so much a fair fight as a mugging.
    Of course Webber responded when he saw the challenge coming but by that point it was too late – I can imagine it’s pretty hard to ‘turn up’ the car again while dicing in wheel to wheel combat with one the best drivers of their generation!

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  51. nenslo says:

    I absolutely deplored what Vettel did and wished Webber would attack him again in that race.

    The unfortunate fact of the matter is that in few a years time this will all be forgotten; how many people today remember and hold against Alonso, the childish move on Hamilton in 2007 when they were team mates and he sat in the pits for several seconds simply to spite Lewis who was coming in for his own pit stop?

    Vettel knows in 2 or 3 years, Webber will have likely retired and people will move on to the next big issue in F1. But as many have mentioned these 7 points can be the difference between 3 or 4 WRCs in a row.

    Personally I hope Vettel fails miserably this season.

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  52. A-P says:

    “Also central to Vettel’s motive was the fact that the man he considers his main title rival, Fernando Alonso, did not score any points in Sepang and to leave the extra seven points on the table for finishing second rather than winning, was not something Vettel could contemplate, even if his team could.”

    Alonso’s presence or absence is an absolute red herring.

    Psychologically, one could argue just as much that it might be considered *more* vital to score the extra points if Alonso was on track and scoring big points himself.

    Both arguements are something of a pair of equal and opposite sporting cliches.

    Mathematically, points gained are worth precisely the same wherever your main rival is on (or off) the track, though double relative to said rival if you’re overtaking them to take the points.

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  53. Nicolai says:

    Why hasn’t Webber been penalised for blocking Vettel all the way over to the pit wall? It seems ridiculous given the harsh penalty Schumacher received for a similar move on Barrichello in 2010.

    The thing I don’t understand about this, is why Webber is still a Red Bull racing driver. I honestly can’t see what the team had imagined would happen in 2013 after the contract extension. It has always been obvious that Vettel and Webber don’t function well together, and all due respect, but there are a number of equally fast/faster drivers than Webber, who would gladly join Red Bull and would probably function better with Vettel.

    The only thing I have against Vettel’s behaviour yesterday is his explanations afterwards. If he had just told the media that he wanted the points, that he wanted the win, then I really can’t see this escalating the way it has. Then it would have just been one-of-those-moments where Webber feels like the world is against him, which (arguably) more or less boils down to his frustration that he fought his way through poorer materiel in his best days, and once he finally had a winning car, he ran into a driver above his league.

    All in all I think Red Bull are pleased. They must have known what they were getting – which is a lot of press. By now, I’m just waiting for the documentary from inside the team.

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    1. Jake says:

      The rule is that you can’t force another driver of the track once that driver has established an overlap. Mark did not force Vettel of the track therefore no penalty.

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      1. Nicolai says:

        The only difference I see, is that the track in Hungary was more dusty, making it look more dramatic, and the track not nearly as wide as Sepang, meaning Barrichello touched the grass.

        The point of punishment in these cases should be for ‘forcing’ a driver to cross the pit-lane exit line, thus creating a dangerous situation, should anyone leave the pits at that time.

        Don’t get me wrong, I believe Schumacher’s penalty was too harsh. Barrichello caused the dangerous situation by trying to overtake on the pit-side. And the same was the case here, Vettel caused the dangerous situation. I just don’t understand the line of judgment on driver errors, given that I see the danger-moment being equal in both situations – with very different outcomes.

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  54. Michael says:

    Vettel has created a huge problem for himself now. The team now has to factor into every strategic and tactical decision the fact that they cannot know for sure whether Vettel is going to do as he is told. We don’t even know what damage he’s done to his engine or gearbox by not turning down his engine as requested. It’s a bigger can of worms he has opened that even now he realizes.

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  55. John says:

    I’m fairly sure that teams look to the WCC first and the WDC is nice to get if you can. That is why both team principals (RBR &MERC) ordered to stop racing because they wanted to preserve the points. So no real damage done so far, except for trust, brand issues, sponsor issues(?). But if SV had pushed 43 points up against the wall the Business might have taken a different view and still may. While I think celebrating this type of behaviour in a sportsman is at best totally misplaced the team now faces the prospect of an employee putting their future above that of the company. This is business boys and Money is very important. I’ll be surprised if SV and MW are not very responsive to team orders in the future. If they are not RBR has a huge issue on the brew.

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  56. jon kennard says:

    Trouble is ……….. shades of Pironi / Villeneuve.

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  57. JB says:

    This has really been blown out of scope!

    OK, RedBull got the maximum 43 points. There was no accidents. This is the best possible result for the team and drivers.

    I am impressed by the fact the Vettel chose to apologize to Webber eventhough he won it fair and square. This shows that Vettel feel for Mark after seeing his angry face.

    Perhaps RB should rethink about team orders. This is the 2nd round of the season for god sack! Just let them race, advise them of consequences and trust they will do the right thing like a responsible adult would. Minding them as if they are little kids just brings about so much pointless heartache.
    Think about it, if there was no team orders (only advise), the result would have been the same.

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    1. Andrew M says:

      “eventhough he won it fair and square”

      lol

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  58. Harrison Vrbanjac says:

    Hmm, didn’t Webber ignore order him self, http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2011/07/10/webber-red-bulls-order-pass-vettel/ at Silverstone 2011, but didn’t manage to pass? Still, I’m not defending Vettel, it wasn’t sportsmanlike and he doesn’t have any excuses.

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  59. Kris says:

    If anything, this is the time for Red Bull as a team to show some support for Mark. Between this and Marko’s comments earlier, they should really make a stand behind their driver.

    Red Bulls Tea Lady doesn’t deserve the sort of lack of respect shown by Vettel and Marko let alone their team driver.

    Watching Marko at work is like watching The Emperor (Marko) turn Skywalker (Vettle) into Darth Vader in Star Wars…Now I think the transformation is complete!!!

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  60. Janis says:

    I would say,
    Seb did what had to be done.
    His goal is to win, not to be loved by everyone, and these points may come in crucial at the end of the season.
    Sure, Marc has the moral high ground now, but then I don’t recall Seb or Christian saying anything about Marc’s driving in Brasil 2012 – when things were really finely balanced.
    What goes round…

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    1. Persi says:

      Jesus Christ!
      Mark not Marc.
      Brazil not Brasil.

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      1. Jake says:

        Nice one Persi.
        Why don’t you offend all the Christians while you chastise someone for their poor english.
        Why was the comment nod moded?

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  61. Nick says:

    Quick question James (apologies if this has been asked elsewhere), is Vettel’s contract watertight for next year or is he possibly on the move? Hence maybe the team being more open in criticising him. By Red Bull standards their response has been rather firm.

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  62. Mike from Colombia says:

    I dont think you can say that Webber is “protectd” by DM.

    Liked, maybe. He was only given first option on the second Red Bull seat. The fact that he said no worked to the pleasure of Vettel, Horner and Marko. hamilton would have reacted much more aggressively…remember Indianapolis 2007.

    Vettel is Red Bull’s longer term bet. Hamilton is off limits for now. Vettel will not dare enter Ferrari with Alonso there and would probably also need Newey to come alomg with him. STR’s drivers do not cut the mustard to move up.

    So Red Bull will have to put up with this, or hire a clear No. 2 for next year.

    I wish that Bernie would release the radio messages.

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    1. Mike from Colombia says:

      Sorry, meant to say the fact that he said yes to the Red Bull option.

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  63. Persi says:

    I don’t agree with but can fully understand the mentality of winning at all cost. F1 champions are ruthless and selfish to an extent. I guess what I dislike about Vettel is that he is rather two-faced: Mr Charisma for PR purposes, ‘get him out of the way’ and dummy spits behind the scenes. Meanwhile drivers like Alonso are far from perfect and we have all been witnesses to his tantrums but to me Alonso doesn’t pretend to be a nice guy. He is what he is. Take it or leave it. Or Kimi ‘I’m not interested in what people think of me, I’m not Michael Schumacher.’
    What Vettel did was not racecraft, it was an act of desperation. Nothing classy or heroic at all.
    This makes Horner look bad, too especially compared to Ross Brawn.

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  64. Steve Boden says:

    It is clear that Vettel took things into his own hands knowing full well that with the RB driver situation and with him being their reigning triple champion nothing much would be said, He would know they are hardly going to suspend or punish him as due to his status/titles etc and he obviously decided to take the extra points and deal with the relatively small talking to he would get from the team afterwards. He would know that RB’s main problem would be trying to support Webber after that and make him believe that they had actually done something about it when they really