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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. 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.

    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*

      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.

      2. [MISTER] says:

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

      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.

      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?

      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.

      6. JackL says:


        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.

      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.

      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.

      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.

      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.

      11. 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, , 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.

      12. Bomber says:

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

      13. 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.

      14. 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.

      15. 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?

      16. 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.

      17. Tom in adelaide says:

        Strange that the Red Bull team disagree with you.

      18. 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.

      19. 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.

      20. 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?

      21. 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?

      22. 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

      23. 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.

      24. 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.

      25. 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.

      26. 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!.

      27. 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.

      28. hotshoe says:

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

      29. 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.

      30. 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.

      31. 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.

      32. 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?

      33. 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.

      34. 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).

      35. 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.

      36. 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.

      37. Ajay says:

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

      38. 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.

      39. 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.

      40. 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

    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.

      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.

      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.

      3. Stefanos says:


      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.

      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.

      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?

      7. Bomber says:


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

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

      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.

      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.

      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.

      11. Andrew M says:

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


      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.

      13. F1 Badger says:

        Well said.

      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

    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.

      1. **Paul** says:

        Here’s a link to an article about it:

      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.

      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.)

      4. **Paul** says:

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

      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.

      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.

      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.

      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…

      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.

      10. Stefanos says:

        Alonso vs Masa facts correct?

      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.

      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

      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.

      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.

      15. Toni says:

        Two times in three years is not “always”.

      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?

      17. deancassady says:

        You got it right, again, Wayne.

      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.

      19. Greg (Aus) says:


        Spot on Wayne.

      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”.

      21. Doug says:

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

      22. Troy Prideaux says:

        What Wayne said.

      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?

      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.

      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.

      26. Matt NZ says:

        Excellent Comment Wayne

      27. gravelrash says:

        here here

      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.

      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.

      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’

      31. HR says:

        Uh that was Silverstone in two diff years

      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.

    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.

      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’.

      2. Bomber says:


        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.

      3. Doobs says:

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

    5. Stef says:

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

      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??

    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.

      1. Aditya says:

        Spot on, mate. agree a 100%

      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.

      3. Toni says:

        Just *PERFECT*

    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.

    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.

      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.

      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.

      3. Doobs says:

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

      4. Optimaximal says:

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

      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.

    9. Scuderia McLaren says:


    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.

      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

    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.

      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.

      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?

      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.

      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.

      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”.

      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?

      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.

      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.

    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.

      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 !

      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.

      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.

      4. Galapago555 says:

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

      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?

      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.

      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.

      8. Pete says:

        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

      9. Brad says:

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

      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?

    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.

      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.

      2. dean cassady says:

        are you sebastian vettel’s agent?

      3. Doobs says:

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

      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!

      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

      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.

      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?

      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).

    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.

      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.

      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.

      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!

      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.

      5. mhilgtx says:

        Horner says they were both in the same engine map.

      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!

      7. mhilgtx says:

        @mister which interview did you watch?

    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:

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

      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.

      2. Persi says:

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

      3. dean cassady says:

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

      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

      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.

    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!

      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.

      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?

    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)?

      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.

      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.

      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”

      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.

      5. mhilgtx says:

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

      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.

      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.

      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.

      9. James Allen says:

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

      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.

      11. Sam says:

        Finally, someone talking sense.

    18. 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.

    19. knoxploration says:

      BTW, “block” should be “cross” the pitlane exit line. Brain hiccup. ;-)

    20. 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.

      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.)

      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?

      3. Andrew M says:

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

      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.

    21. 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.

      1. knoxploration says:

        I suggest you rewatch the footage.

      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.

      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.

      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.

      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.

      6. persi says:

        It’s entirely different.

      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?

      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 :)

    22. 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…

    23. 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

      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.)

    24. 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”.

      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.

      2. Doobs says:

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

      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.

    25. 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.

    26. 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…

    27. 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.

      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..

      2. Doobs says:

        ..Because team orders can’t be policed.

      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…

      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!

    28. 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!

      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.

    29. 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.

      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*

      2. knoxploration says:

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

      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?

      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.

      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

      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.

    30. 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.

      1. JTodt says:

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

      2. L33t_Of_Lag says:

        Nascar? How do you find entertainment in that?

      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!

      4. L33t_Of_Lag says:

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

    31. 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.

    32. 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.

    33. 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

    34. 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.

    35. 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?

    36. 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.

      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…

    37. 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.

      1. Endres says:

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

      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.

      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).


    38. 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.

    39. 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.

    40. 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.

    41. 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.

    42. Tim Rear says:

      Hi James,

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

      Love your work !

    43. 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.”

    44. 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.

    45. 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!!!

  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.

    1. Luke Smith says:

      Well said.

    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.

      1. knoxploration says:

        Somebody clearly has a short memory.

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

      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.

      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 ?

      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.

      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.

    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.

      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.

      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

      3. Stefanos says:

        Too many layers of leadership at RBR

      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

    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.

    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.

      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.

    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

      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????

      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.

    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!

      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”)

      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.

      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.

      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

      5. 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?!

    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).

      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.

  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.

    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!

      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’.

      2. Veteran says:

        DRS on backmarker…

      3. Phill says:

        On Sector 2? Whoops.

      4. 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.)

      5. Hiten says:

        +1 knoxploration

      6. 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.

      7. Stefanos says:

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

      8. 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.

      9. 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??

      10. 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.

      11. 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.

    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.

      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.

      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

      3. Persi says:

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

      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.

      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

      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…..

    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.

      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.

      2. Wayne says:

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

    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.

    5. Phil says:

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

    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.

    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-

    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??

    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.

    10. Darryll Gooch says:

      Rubbish…MW turned his engine down

  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.

    1. IP says:

      Bianchi has been a superstar I agree

    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.

    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.

      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.

      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.

      3. Random 79 says:


        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 :)

    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.

      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.

    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.

      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.

      2. Random 79 says:

        Horner: Multi 21 Seb.

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

        Horner: Sigh.

      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

      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

    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.

  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

    1. James says:

      Was Webber suspended after Silverstone 2011?

      1. Matt says:

        Webber didn’t take the win at silverstone…

      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?

      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.

      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.

      5. Olive says:

        or after Brazil 2012?

      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..

      7. Richard says:

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

      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.

      9. hero_was_senna says:

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

      10. Joe Papp says:

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

      11. mhilgtx says:


      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.

      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.

      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.

      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.

      16. splinky says:

        + 1

    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.

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

    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’.

    5. Rafael says:

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

    6. Sebee says:


      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.

      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.

      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!

      3. Stefanos says:

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

      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.

      5. Jomar says:


        Sebee, my thoughts exactly.

    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!

    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.

      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…

      2. zx6dude says:


      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 :)

      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.

      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.

    9. Hendo says:

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

    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.

      1. Andre says:

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

    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).

      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?

  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.

    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.

      1. 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.

      2. Glennb says:

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

    2. Rafael says:

      Can someone remind me what happened in Brazil?

    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…

    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.


      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.

      2. dirk993 says:

        Webber getting praised by Briatore for helping Alonzo….

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

    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”

    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.

      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…

    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.

  7. Chromatic says:

    Question – Why did Webber let him pass?

    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.

    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.

    3. Mono says:

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

    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…

    5. Spinodontosaurus says:

      He didn’t…?

      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.

      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.

      3. Stefanos says:

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

  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!

    1. Bomber says:

      A flawed champion!

    2. Chris says:

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

      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.

    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.

    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.

  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.

  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.

  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…

    1. James says:

      F1 is inherently a popularity contest.

      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.

    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 [?]

      1. **Paul** says:

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

      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 ?

    3. Stephen Taylor says:

      There wouldn’t be an outcry.

      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….

    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.

  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…

    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

      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.

    2. MarkC says:

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

      1. Richard says:

        Yes they would both have run short on fuel!

    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

  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.


    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.

    2. Bruce says:

      I remember San Marino 1982!

    3. Siobhan says:

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

    4. Random 79 says:

      They’ll remember :)

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

    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.

      1. Zombie says:

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

      2. hero_was_senna says:

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

    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.

    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.

      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!

      2. CanadaGP says:

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

      3. Random 79 says:

        +1 Aaron – and how did you get italics?

      4. Random 79 says:


    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.

      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.

  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.

    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.

    2. Rick says:

      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.

    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.

    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?

    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…

    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.

    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.

  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?

    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 !

      1. Multi 21 says:

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

      2. **Paul** says:

        Webber @ Silverstone 2011.
        Alonso @ Hungary 2007

      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.

    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.

    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.)

    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.

      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

      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.

      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.

  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!

    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 ..

    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.

      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.

  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.

    1. James says:

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

    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.

    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…

      1. Anne says:

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

      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.

      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

    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.

      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.

      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.

      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?

      4. Oscar says:

        Mark TRIED, BUT couldn’t make the pass…

      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
        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:

        The f1 Francise is finished.
        BSKYB must be sick.

  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.

    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.

      1. LG says:

        +1 agreed. But every point does count.

      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

      3. Brad says:

        The quicker he gets there the better dear Anne :-P

      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.

    2. Victor E Lapp says:

      Totally agree

      1. Victor E Lapp says:

        Totally agree with you 180110

  19. Gul says:

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

    1. Lea says:

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

    2. Random 79 says:

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

      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.

      2. Random 79 says:

        True, and +1

    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.

    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.

  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…

    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.

    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 ..

      1. Olive says:

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

      2. hero_was_senna says:

        But Senna and Prost were true greats

      3. LG says:

        Nah, Webber not in Prost or Senna league

    3. Endres says:

      You lost me at 110%

  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.

    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…

      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

      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.

    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.

  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.

  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.

    1. All revved-up says:

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

  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?

  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.

    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.

      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).

  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.

  27. Pranav Haldea says:


    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?


    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.

  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.

  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?

    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.

      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..

  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.

  31. Denis says:

    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.

  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…

  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).

  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.

    1. Jim McMillan says:


  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?

  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….

  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.

  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.

  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!

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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?

    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 ;^)

      1. Chapor says:

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

        * tips my hat from one armchair expert to another… *

  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.

  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.

  46. GY says:


    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.


  47. AussieWoZ says:

    Unattractive behaviour indeed.
    Worse still, it appears that RBR don’t really care.

  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 !

  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!

  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!

  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.

  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.

  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.

    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.

      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.

  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.

  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.

  56. jon kennard says:

    Trouble is ……….. shades of Pironi / Villeneuve.

  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.

    1. Andrew M says:

      “eventhough he won it fair and square”


  58. Harrison Vrbanjac says:

    Hmm, didn’t Webber ignore order him self, 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.

  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!!!

  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…

    1. Persi says:

      Jesus Christ!
      Mark not Marc.
      Brazil not Brasil.

      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?

  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.

  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.

    1. Mike from Colombia says:

      Sorry, meant to say the fact that he said yes to the Red Bull option.

  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.

  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 dont want to. He has now shown he believes he is above the team and RB now have a tricky situation on their hands to prove he is not. (Personally i dont believe anything will be done by the team as he is the golden boy there)

    What Vettel obviously didnt consider when he made this decision was the reaction of the fans and media. He also then decided to lie to everyone by making out he didnt know anything, only to then later back-track on that statement. I truly hope he gets the media slaughtering that Hamilton got after Australia 2009, The main difference there being that rightly or wrongly, Hamilton had lied on instruction from his team, Vettel attempted to lie off his own back to try and make himself the innocent party which is even worse.

    Its easy to see why he is losing popularity and starting to be boo’d on podiums etc.

  65. Matt W says:

    Red Bull need to play it carefully. Alonso has number 1 status and Ferrari wouldn’t hesitate even at this stage of the championship to give Alonso the win. We saw Mercedes do the same by securing Hamilton the points (I think it is fair to say Hamilton also has the number 1 status regardless of whether it was actually enforced in this case).

    Seb is now a 3 times champion and in some part Red Bull do need to show him some respect in terms of being statistically the best driver on the grid. As much as Webber was screwed, it is just simple logic that come the end of the year those points are likely to be more important to Vettel than Webber.

    That doesn’t excuse Vettel doing what he did, but there is likely more at stake here. I’d suggest this has as much to do with Vettel sending a message for 2014 as it does with the 2013 championship. As the hottest property in F1, Seb in a way has a right to command number 1 status (in a sport that now allows it) when both of his closest rivals are already afforded that status.

    Again, this doesn’t mean I think Seb was right. It was far from a gentlemanly move and if they had a prior agreement and if the etiquette is to always bow to the will of the team then Seb was clearly in the wrong. However, this could quickly turn into a case of back me or sack me and I don’t see any team really wanting to lose Vettel under these circumstances.

    1. LG says:

      Nicely put. Other teams’ fans seem to ‘respect Alonso is no 1 in Ferrari’ and ‘Kimi is no 1 in Lotus’ and yet Seb gets less recognition as 3x WDC over webber. Webber is a clear no 2 cf to Seb I have no idea how RBR even thought he must stay behind Webber calmly for the last few laps. Bad strategy from RBR. Let the guys race. They big boys

  66. jeffwest says:

    So James, you’re not swallowing the whole “I did a big mistake”, “I didn’t do it deliberately” apology? It is notable by it’s absence from your analysis. This is another reason that the apology sounds particularly hollow; it is based on a fundamental deceit, and everybody knows it. The way I was brought up, an apology at least needs to sound like it is meant!

  67. EM says:

    Interesting race yesterday! My immmediate instinct was to lose a little respect for Vettel. I didn’t like the tone of the “move him over, he’s slow” message, the message was questionable but the sneer it was delivered with showed real disrespect.

    I wasn’t that impressed with someone who ignored team orders as well.

    However in the aftermath most of those sportsmen who i really respect have said that what Vettel did is the mark of a truly great competitor. They know what they’re talking about, I don’t.

    1. AlexD says:

      Sad that you need other people to tell you what to think….good luck in life.

      1. EM says:

        Thanks Alex for the good wishes x

  68. Chris says:

    Shame that the guys can’t race the cars to their full extent for the whole race due to tyres or lack of fuel! I feel fans are not getting full value and these situations shouldnt arise so early in the season.

    Us fans want to see ‘game on’ for 100 percent of the race. That’s why Lewis felt so bad because he knew he wasn’t racing. This is the real story to me. Let the guys race…

  69. Sergio says:

    I think RB planned to pass Webber in pits. When they called him before VET with hard rubber, they demonstrate just a bit their intentions. Marko`s team were cooking slowly the inevitable and clear since 2010: WEBBER has no chances to win a Championship at all with RB, but not for him and his skills. With RB car (2010 & 2011) almost any driver of the grid could win the Championshp choosing beetwen n1 & n2. The problem was Vettel could not pass the aussie at final pit stop, and from this moment one thing is clear: Webber received Team orders to “protect his tyres and engine”. After that, Vettel MUST defend his team hiding that he is & he was the number one elected by Marko, and so he admitted his fault but there is not his fault. The wall critizised his impatient move and the way he took a high risk like a spoiled child saying “silly”, but the truth is that the hipocrisy of RB is a fact that it exploded in their faces. I Tweeted to Mark to warn him about signing his 2012 renovation. He was ahead of VET at that time and we know what happened next. This is F1.

    1. K5enny says:

      Webber was the incumbant at RB when Vettel joined from ToroRoso / Minardi.

      Why didnt Webber mould the team around himself?

      Where was Webber in 2011 when RB (read Vettel) were wiping the floor with everyone?

      His only sip of the sweet stuff was when Vettel waved him through for the win at the last race of the year…. ??

  70. Tim morgan says:

    Hello alll
    In regards to silverstone mark was told to maintain the gap, but he didn’t pass check it out on YouTube … Seb took matters into his own hands and disobeyed the team… Big difference between the two incidents.

  71. Jacob says:

    This has been going on for longer than possibly even Turkey 2010. Perhaps it started when Vettel mugged Webber into T1 at the very same track in 2010. Perhaps there’s lingering tension from Vettel being told to hold position in Turkey ’09 after losing position to Webber because of Massa.

  72. Nick says:

    PLEASE people – can we not ignore the fact that Red Bull allowed Vettel the undercut on Webber in the last pitstop, robbing Webber of his 4.5second lead. In fact if Webber had been given the stop preference, the gap would have been more like 8 secs after the final stop. The way it turned out, it allowed Vettel to come out within a second of Webber and just enjoy the DRS benefit each lap to set up a move.

    Horner’s dismally weak “this is silly Seb” comment proves his lack of authority. Compare that with the clear and strong words of Ross Brawn to Nico Rosberg.

    It was a dog act by Vettel, but poor management from the team boss contributed to the debacle.

    1. LG says:

      I also feel if Horner was talking to Seb the way Brawn was talking to Rosberg, in no uncertain terms/words, Seb might have calmed down enough to listen> Might have. I doubt even Seb would have disobeyed Brawn if you ask me

  73. alex manning says:

    Great article James, as usual.

    I think Marko trashing webber a few weeks ago certainly contributed to vettels thinking.. This is really going to cost Red Bull in the long run as its going to create a divide in the team. Someone (and I don’t think horner is up to it) needs to adress this quickly- or its going to get very messy.
    Interesting comments about vettel taking webbo’s pit stop, i’ll have to watch thwe race again….and looking forwards to webbers memoirs!

  74. Vivek says:

    It is categorically clear that, what Vettel did was intentional. He expects to fight for the title with Alonso & others and that is a fair expectation going by the last 3 years. He sensed that the 7 points are too important and went for them. It was blatantly intentional.

    However, he probably did not expect the backlash it generated and that too within the team. His apologies were a direct reaction to that and trying to save some face. The apologies are rather hollow.

    Webber was definetely not an angel at Brazil 2012 and those start line moves were swept under the carpet only because they did not cost Red Bull the WDC.

    However, Vettel did disobey the team. He needs to be punished for that, otherwise the authority of the entire team hierarchy is undermined. May be a deliberate gear box change in China resulting in a 5 place grid penalty would be a fair sentence. A race ban is unlikely given that it will jeopardise the WDC chances.

  75. Michael S says:

    Vettel knows Alonso always has team orders over his teammate. I am not saying what Vettel did was right, but think about it. He knows how close the title fight has been with Alonso every year and he knows Massa is NEVER allowed to race his teammate. So in a way Vettel has to fight 2 people to the title, his teammate and Alonso. Alonso on the other hand only has to fight Vettel. This is why team orders are always so messy

    1. LG says:

      + 100 agreed.

  76. john says:

    It’s Horner who’s the soft one in all this.

    If any employee walks in one day and directly tells a boss and his co workers (= Webber) to ‘go and get stuffed’ and just does what he likes at work – should there not be a line drawn ?
    Vettel was given a direct order.

    Why do Red Bull even need Christian Horner now – when Sebastian Vettel is the one who decides who wins on race day ?

    Rosberg wouldnt dare do it to Brawn, yet Vettel had absolutely no hesitation doing it to Horner.

    Hey Christian… your boy made you look stupid, mate.

    1. 69bhp says:

      webber has also done it to Horner in the past and got away with it, so why shouldnt Vettel?

      1. jack says:

        Nice try… except no, because Webber diidnt overtake at silverstone. Vettel actually went and did it. Rosberg did exactly what webber did. Stay behind, as much as he hated having to do so. Theres a big difference between thinking of doing something and actually doing it.

  77. NRMF1 says:

    It seems to me that the issue here is not who disobeyed orders not to overtake, but the fact that both red bull and mercedes see the need to protect their position in the race by giving their drivers orders. If the tyres are supposed to spice up the racing action then it seems that they have failed if for the last quarter of the race it is just a procession to protect the tyres!

    1. Olive says:

      very good point

    2. Dan says:

      They are also protecting the drive train, as they need to last multiple races.

    3. AuraF1 says:

      I think that is more a coincidence that Lotus were doing badly, Alonso was out of it so early and the McLaren still hasn’t really gotten on top of things. When it’s a full field, with a better Lotus set up, McLaren technically sorted and Alonso having more than one support pillar on his front wing – we’ll be less likely to see teammates bunched up front.

  78. Robert says:

    One point that I would say is that I don’t think Alonso’s retirement had anything to do with Vettel’s decision. He would likely have attacked regardless as all he wants to do is win.

    I thought it was atrocious behaviour, and he apology would mean nothing to me.

    1. K5enny says:

      I for one got up on sunday morn to watch a race!

  79. F1 Steve says:

    I applaud Vettel, absolutely applaud him.

    I can understand Mercedes reigning in their drivers, they are desperate for confidence building finishes and points. Get some momemntum going, one step at a time.

    RBR have shot themselves in the foot on this one. This is the SECOND race of the season and they should have trusted the drivers to race each other.

    Asking a triple world champion who is going for a fourth consecutive WDC to follow his team mate home in only the SECOND race of the season is asking for trouble. Webber was always in range.

    I would liken Vettel to Schumacher but Schumacher wouldn’t have apologised for winning.

    1. Bomber says:

      Vettel was given Webbers pitstop to keep him ahead of Hamilton when Webber as leading driver had the right to it.

      That allowed Vettel to close the 4 sec gap.

      That is why this incident is not the same as Silverstone.

      If the RBR knew what Vettel would do they would have called Webber in first.

    2. Richard says:

      Vettel and Schumacher are of the same ilk, both arrogant, and both not necessarily the best or the fastest driver out there. They have won because they have an advantage, and when that advantage is removed they resort to dirty tricks such as this. I sincerely hope the other teams rise and take the fight to Red Bull this year.

    3. roryfireplace says:

      i have to agree. at first i was a little shocked at Vettel, but in review i agree with some other posters that Mark is getting back what he gives. his own admission that he doesn’t believe in team orders, confirms that. i was appalled by Mark’s behaviour at Brazil last year. we reap what we sow!!

      1. Richard says:

        Let’s not forget the time before then when Vettel nearly took them both out by moving over towards Webber at?

    4. William Benson says:

      Webber wouldn’t have been in range if he hadn’t allowed Vettel to take his last option on the pit spot. It was the loss of those 4 seconds and turning down of the engine that gifted Vettel the opportunity to pass. Webber believed the team that Vettel would hold position. If he hadn’t believed that he wouldn’t have given up his choice to pit first (and may have taken a punt on the faster tyre as well). This is why it’s different than Silverstone (not to mention we can’t be sure if/what arrangments were made before each of these races). Vettel’s actions yesterday were far more underhanded and sneaky.

      1. Steve Nicholls says:

        You make some good points.

        Point I was making is that the temptation for Vettel is huge, a fourth consecutive WDC on the line!

        For RBR to expect him to dutifully follow his team mate home in only the second race of the season is asking for trouble.

        And trouble they have got!

        Team orders have their place but RBR got this one wrong and should have let them race!

      2. LG says:

        +100 again, if Webber is not seen as a no 2 driver in RBR (aka MAssa in Ferrari) let the guys race and see what gives. Seb is fighting Alonso AND Webber for the WDC, c’mon now he must sit behind his teammate??? WTF???

    5. hero_was_senna says:

      Body language, and not being capable of looking interviewers in the eye. He didn’t apologise with words, but every action screams out how uncomfortable he felt.
      That’s the one thing that Vettel didn’t display at all. That’s why his apology sounds so false.

      Watch the video, Montoya, Ralf Schumacher all shared the same pity for Barrichello.
      Whether it was Todt ordering the result, or MSC knew anything about it, he was hugely embarrassed and regretful.

      Vettel, before they went out on the podium was almost defiant. Even Newey was making conversation with him, but significantly, not applauding him

      1. F1 Steve says:

        Webber got as good as he gives!

        If RBR had let them race there would not have been a problem.

        The Schumacher/Barichello situation was a step too far!.

  80. Anop says:

    Never seen such a sore loser. Sorry Seb but you just lost a fan.

    1. Rockie says:

      You were never a fan! Fans don’t see fault in their hero’s.

      1. John says:

        Heros don´t behave like Vettel did.

      2. Rockie says:

        Oh yea tell me one thats nice?

      3. SteveH says:

        Unless one’s stupid, one should always judge their ‘hero’. To do less is to concede that one can’t think and has become some sort of brainless hero worshiper.

      4. Rockie says:

        Judge your hero really!!!!!!

      5. My hero did the way expected, why should we follow our boss orders if those are wrong?, who seems Webber been a tittle contender?, Seb did only one thing wrong, did not tell Horner he was going for the winn

  81. Michael Prestia says:

    Webber should be free to ignore the team’s orders too going forward. I mean, if he believes he is on equal footing and would receive the same sort of consequences from the team… which is none. hahaha.

    1. hero_was_senna says:

      So off topic, but I’d like to share anyway.

      My daughter plays football for the school. Years ago, she was 9, one of the boys used to deliberately punch her and push her over.
      I said punch him back.
      “I can’t otherwise I’ll get told off”
      “What does the teacher say to the boy?”
      “Next time, you punch him back. The teacher won’t say anything to you. If he does, that’s when Daddy goes and sees your teacher”

      The next week, he runs up to hit her again, she unleashes an uppercut and floors him.
      Let’s just say, she has never been bullied again.
      And Daddy never had to visit the teacher.

      P.S. I do not advocate any violence.

      As I write this, I just see this “silly” little boy, as Horner voiced, playing the playground bully

    2. mhilgtx says:

      Weber already has a long history or ignoring Team Orders and being proud of it.

      1. Anne says:

        Vettel will have never won 3 championships without Webber´s help. Webber´s job is to take points away from Alonso and Hamilton and he has done that. So he doesn´t ignore orders

      2. Andre says:

        Have you ever checked how many points webber took of Vettels direct Opponents from other teams? I had in many races the impression he makes sure to be behind Vettels oponents.

      3. Anne says:

        When in qualy RB gets 1 and 2 Webber always takes points away from others. When Webber has KERS problems then he can´t. It´s very unusual to see Webber fighting Vettel for a win

      4. Rockie says:

        How many races did Redbull finish 1,2 in 2011?

      5. Yak says:

        Andre – Go look at last year’s race results and the final points table and see what happens if you give Alonso back the points that Webber took by finishing ahead of him on I think 6 occasions (including winning two races, one of which Alonso was leading). All else the same, Silverstone alone puts the championship in Alonso’s hands.

        And that’s not considering the many problems Webber endured during the year. Alternator in the US, I think it was DRS problems in Valencia quali sticking him right near the back, being shunted from the front down to the very back at Suzuka and the safety car then coming in before he’d even had a chance to join the back of the pack (although Alonso took himself out of that race anyway), gearbox change at Spa starting him from 12th (although Grosjean took Alonso out there anyway), gearbox penalty at Germany dropping him from 3rd to 8th on the grid, the KERS system that I’m not even sure why they bother fitting to his car as it never seems to be working, etc.

    3. Brad says:

      he’s been doing it for the last 3 years… so nothing new here

  82. Aadil says:

    Personally I think this makes him even greater.

    People say Schumi is a poor sportsman and his legacy is tainted for doing the things he did!
    I find that a laugh.

    If Schumi wasnt the kind of man he was he wouldnt have had a legacy to be tainted in the first.

    Its why he has 7 titles and no1 else has.
    U dont win 7 titles by being a boy scout.

    Sure u can be a standup sportman and still win races and be a good driver.

    But if u want 2 be great then u need to be ruthless.

    Whatever people, the press and his rivals may call Vettel. The fact is his records will speak for him.

    People will love him no less his fans will always be his fans.

    Just like Schumi even after all he wrong people claimed he did he is still loved and respected more then any other current driver.

    1. Chapor says:

      Schumi is still loved by a lot of people… Yes, the intelligence of Schumi fans is world renowned… Those are the same kind of F1 experts that stopped watching F1 when Schumi retired in 2006, right?

      Vettel is emulating Schumi… Successful, but a rubbish sportsman.

      1. Zombie says:

        Sure. Compared to 140+ IQ that Senna fans have who overlook all his follies before May 1st,1994.

        Vettel and Schumacher rubbish ? Boy !Ferrari and RBR must be really dumb to have paid them $20m/year when they could’ve just hired Sakon Yamamoto or Narain Karthikeyans !

      2. Chapor says:

        Since we are not talking about Senna here I think the point is mute.

        And I never said that Vettel and Schumi and Vettel are rubbish at what they do, they are just rubbish SPORTSMEN. There is a small but discernible difference…

    2. forzaminardi says:

      And the same is true in the opposite direction – Schumacher is still more hated and reviled than any current driver. The fact of the matter is that Schumacher’s collective inheritance is partly “a great racing driver” but also partly “a cheat, a liar and a morally-questionable man”. I always used to think Schumacher was a better driver, but Rubens was (and is) by far a better man. I think the same applies here to Vettel and Webber. Whether that is important or not to you is another story.

      I won’t claim to know enough about either personality to call Vettel or Schumacher ‘good’ or ‘bad’, all I can say is that both appear driven by very powerful competitive motives that override what may be regarded as morally-correct behaviour or even common sense. Similarly, I wouldn’t call their fans ‘good’ or ‘bad’, except to say that one tends to be drawn to characters who appear to reflect one’s own moral make-up.

      1. JD says:

        Schumacher is committed to charity work. He can’t be all bad.

        For example:

      2. forzaminardi says:

        I don’t think he’s all bad at all, and I am well aware of the charitable work he has done and donations he has made. This doesn’t mean that his moral credibility when it comes to F1 is unimpeachable though, does it.

        It does make the point though that what we’re talking about is some millionaires racing cars, not a cure for cancer. Webber vs Vettel, Schumacher vs You name it, Senna vs Prost, ultimately not that important in the real world.

      3. Zombie says:

        The only reason anyone would ever remember Rubens is because of his constant whining about a team with whom he remained for more than half a decade. And oh, his “blah blah blah” comment about Brawn. Far better man ? Sure!

    3. Dvo says:

      Fangio, five titles, not ruthless and honorable to the core. Go figure.

      1. Chapor says:

        That was in an era of gentlemen racers. They knew not to overstep boundaries since going beyond those boundaries meant risking serious injury or death.

    4. Bomber says:

      Fangio was greater than Schumi and still managed to be a sportsman and gentleman!

      1. Zombie says:

        Fangio raced in an era when cars did not race on closed circuits jostling for every inch of space to take a corner. Not to mention there was no microscopic media attention on motorsports, and every word a driver utters the way it is these days. The media ruthlessly magnifies every action of a driver making them more susceptible to the public lynching.

        As for Fangio being a gentleman, i dont know the man personally, but he had a child out of wedlock whom he never acknowledged to be his despite it being common knowledge.

    5. Richard says:

      That’s right the records show he had the advantage of best car and best team to make it happen.

      1. Zombie says:

        Records also shows how “great” the car and team were for 21 years when they won nada drivers titles.

    6. F1Bobby says:

      Schumacher has 7 titles because he was competing in an era of F1 with a markedly poor crop of opposition in inferior cars and had the benefit of a bespoke tyre and a team-mate who took subservience to unprecedented levels.

      Both he and Vettel are great drivers but I don’t see how insubordination or a disregard for sporting ethics makes them ‘better’ champions.

      1. Val from montreal says:

        Schumacher’s “bespoke” tires is just an EXCUSE from many to take away his brilliance … Were his Goodyears also “bespoke” before 2002?

        And Senna also had his ” bespoke” Honda engines over Prost , Alonso was using his ” bespoke ” mass dampers back in 2006 …

        See how easy it is to use the word ” bespoke ” ??

      2. hero_was_senna says:

        Val, I know anything anti Schumi gets to you, but I think you may need to review your memory a little. He started using Bridgestone in 1999.
        Goodyear left after 1998 and Michelin didn’t arrive until 2001.

      3. Aadil says:

        All the Schumacher [mod] will say that wont they!

        It wasnt that he had poor opposition its simply because he was so much better then all of them.

        People seem to forget Michael raced against the greatest of all time Senna and he proved he could match and beat him on occasions.

        Michael already proved himself before he even became champ for the first time.

        and ur view that Schumi always had a better car is a load of crap! When he was @ Benetton he have the best cars.

        Between 1997 and 2000 Michael won countless races with and inferior car.

        He fought for the 97 and 98 titles with far inferior cars and almost won the titles

        so get ur facts straight before talk a load of crap.

        Senna and Schumi wanted to win @ all costs nothing or no1 would stand in there way.

        its exactly what Vettel did yesterday.
        He won @ all costs!

        Winning @ all costs and pushing the limits of whats acceptable is what make them great its why they achieve what they do and its why other drivers don’t.

      4. Zombie says:

        Please tell me more how moms in late 60s and early 70s stopped popping competitive babies to aid Schumacher become a 7 times champ in the 90s and 2000s. Or how “bespoke” were the outgoing Goodyears in 1997-98 when he nearly won the titles in inferior cars. Or 99 and 2000 on same tires as the Mclarens ? “Opposition in inferior cars” ? Sure. Mclaren,Williams,Renault,Honda all decided that they should take a decade long sabbatical to allow Ferrari win !

      5. User007 says:

        Ayrton Senna – poor opposition?
        Damon Hill – Inferior car?
        Mika Hakkinnen – poor opposition, inferior car?
        Jacques Villeneuve – poor opposition, inferior car?
        Heinz Harald Frentzen – poor opposition, inferior car?
        Juan Pablo Montoya – poor opposition?
        Fernando Alonso – inferior car? Poor opposition?

        Come on! Get your facts straight.

        What do you think of Senna’s and Prost’s McLaren, Prost’s and Hill’s Williams? Or the Tyrrells of Jacky Stewart? These guys won most of their championships on cars that were top of the line. You don’t win a championships with a lemon, not even Keke Rosberg did (it was slower, but stable – to finish first, you have to finish first, you know?).

    7. Werewolf says:

      I think you’re confusing greatness and successful.

    8. hero_was_senna says:

      Look at that, 7 titles.

      Lance Armstrong had 7 Tours de France under his belt, but his cheating has had it all taken away. No doubt, his ardent fans will think it was acceptable but..

      Valentino Rossi has won 7 MotoGP titles and is responsible for the success of MotoGP over the last decade. He has fans and people who hate him, and he has been ruthless on many occasions, but is respected and loved throughout the sport.

      Sebastien Loeb has 9 titles to his name and massive respect.

      Ruthless doesn’t mean you are unsporting. To be truly great, you want to win on a level playing field, thats what a true legacy is about.

      Stirling Moss never won a championship. I would imagine he was as ruthless as any other great driver, but his sporting conduct is still the stuff of legend.

      “Moss believed the manner in which the battle was fought was as important as the outcome. This sporting attitude cost him the 1958 Formula 1 World Championship. When rival Mike Hawthorn was threatened with a penalty in the Boavista Urban Circuit in Porto, Portugal, Moss defended Hawthorn’s actions. Hawthorn was accused of reversing in the track after spinning and stalling his car on an uphill section of the track. Moss himself shouted the suggestion to Hawthorn that he steer downhill, against traffic, to bump-start the car, which Hawthorn did. Moss’s quick thinking and then gracious defence of Hawthorn before the stewards preserved Hawthorn’s 6 points for his second-place finish (behind Moss). Hawthorn went on to beat Moss for the title by one point even though he won only one race that year to Moss’s four, making Hawthorn Britain’s first World Champion.”

      I suppose it depends on your definition of sporting, sportsman or simply sport.

      1. Endres says:

        Well put Senna Lover, Now we have a different bread, a pure breed specific to the operation of the spectacle that is an f1 car. These kids are not men, they do not have the capacities of our heros, they are raised and trained to do one thing, and one thing only, they operate an f1 car around a solid surface as quickly and as consistently as possible. They do not experience life in the same way we do, their choices are governed by an entirely different set of metrics. No normally adjusted humen could sit in their seat, that person would have had to sacrifice too much life time training to be an f1 driver to be normal. Senna was the biggest mark of this “crossover” We will not see another Moss or Gilles or the like again. Suck it up and watch the race.

    9. Marian says:

      In my opinion, It’s not posible to be great and a dirty champion at the same time, it’s black or white.

    10. Victor E Lapp says:

      Garbage. Some people DO NOT “love” & “respect” ruthless people.

    11. Bobdredds says:

      Actually Senna was far worse and Suzuka 1990 was the most disgraceful incident I have ever seen in F1. Schumacher was the next generation from Senna and you can see how not punishing Senna led to Schumacher thinking he could behave simularly. That is not to say that either Schumacher or Senna don’t deserve their accolades because they do. But these incidents must be dealt with in a timely and proper manner and when that happens the sport and everyone else benefits from it. This incident is one of those IMHO and needs to be addessed properly. Citing historical incidences only confuse the issue and it should be dealt with in isolation.
      For the record I still think Schumi is the greatest of the modern era because of his involvement in building the team arround him and the amount of work he put into developing the car. Nobody worked harder than Michael when he was racing and not even he could match his previous level when he came back the standard he set was so high. That is why Alonso and others studied him so closely and learned so much.

      1. Endres says:

        Absolutely correct.

        Not one other commentator here has brought attention to the fact that ALL these drivers try to emulate Shumi.

        He is their god.

        (please excuse the blasphemy)

        Just as Fangio was a god.

        And whom did a young Schumacher emulate?


        Lest we forget Suzuka, but we do, and we do because of the talent that was Ayrton Senna, we forgive because of exception.

      2. IP says:

        i remember senna ’90 and i don’t forgive him. but then again i never liked the way he drove. he started the rot in that respect. having said that i do think it is tragic the way he died and if he was still alive he might just have softened enough to exert a greater influence on driving standards in a more positive manner!

    12. jeroen says:

      So if I rob your house after we agree that I won’t, am I then just a ruthless person and a winner? What a load of nonsense!

      1. Zombie says:

        Another anology : I’m in a jungle, and i come across a Lion. I try making a pact with it not to eat me. It may nod, but it’ll eat me for sure!

    13. LG says:

      Must admit people still admire Senna till today and say he was the greatest, the best but a good sportsman? Really????

  83. r0ssj says:

    Its the sense of entitlement (and not for the first time) that to me, makes Vettel unlikeable. His hollow apology even more so. He was happy to celebrate his actions at the end of the race, before his PR side kicked in.

    As for the move on Webber, I do feel bad for Webber, having being told Vettel would hold station, but I can understand why Vettel did it.

    1. Endres says:

      His apology is the only proof that he can follow team orders. EnTITLEment? Didn’t see Bernie hand him three of them when he walked in the door at Milton Keys, get real.

  84. Peter says:

    What Vettel did was not fair. However very few people complained against Mark when he almost ended Vettel`s race in Brazil last year when it was all about the WCH. The situation is not black or white in this case, but Vettel could have afford to let Webber win and would have done good for his own image by doing so. The kid is only 25 he will learn from that, he should offer Webber his trophy and help him to a win later this year. However I see the relationship unfixable. Mark should consider swapping seat with Grosjean.

    1. mhilgtx says:

      The team asking Vettel to give away 7 pts was wrong.

      Anyone that didn’t think Weber realized he was racing Vettel needs to go re watch the race.

    2. Stephen Taylor says:

      can’t see RG moving from lotus as Boullier is is manager as long he doesn’t crash or do what Vettel did to Webber on the Iceman.

  85. Robby says:

    If this was a championship decider,would Red Bull allow Webber to win the race and Vettel lose the championship to Alonso or another driver? I don’t think so.

    In the end, I’m (like most people I think) against the use of team orders and that’s exactely what Seb did: ignoring them, knowing he was faster then Webber to win the race and take away 7 more point on Alonso.

    When Vetten screamed on his pit radio asking to allow to pass Webber before half way, there was also the threat of Hamilton (and Rosberg), who’s Mercedes was at that stage of the race faster then the Red Bull. And that was proven after the pitstop when Lewis passed Vettel.

    So I think (one of) the reasons Vettel ignored the late team order, is that he wasn’t allowed to pass his teammate earlier in the race.

    1. forzaminardi says:

      Um, more like Vettel COULDN’T pass Webber earlier in the race, hence him asking the team to move Webber over. This is the crux of the matter, really. Not whether what Vettel did was right or wrong on whatever grounds, but more the fact that he was apparently expecting team orders to facilitate his progress, but chose to ignore them when they advantaged Webber.

    2. hero_was_senna says:

      1) “If this was a championship decider,would Red Bull allow Webber to win the race and Vettel lose the championship to Alonso or another driver?”
      Everyone on this forum, at home, or in the sport knows that team orders in that respect are perfectly acceptable.

      2) “When Vetten screamed on his pit radio asking to allow to pass Webber before half way… Vettel ignored the late team order, is that he wasn’t allowed to pass his teammate earlier in the race”
      He wanted to pass Webber because apparently Webber was too slow. If that was the case, with two massive DRS sections, he should have been able to pass as he did later in the race. But hang on a minute, Webber had his engine mode turned up to the same as Seb’s at that point.
      He ignored the late team order and was able to pass Webber because Webber wasn’t racing him and had turned down his engine mode.

      Just the facts sir, just the facts

      1. Endres says:

        Not just the facts sir.

        If his comments were taken out of context, I would have thought Vettel was doing his best Raikkonin impression: Mahrk izzz tooo zlow, gehht-emm outaa da-vah.

        Bloody classic!

        If I were vettel, I’d patent that one, cause if your racing anything and you find your team mate ahead, wether he’s ten second faster or ten slower, that’s my first radio communique.

      2. hero_was_senna says:

        Massa- hey boss, I’m being held up by Fernando, get him out of my way!
        Boss- just spoken to Fernando, he say your tyres are ruined now, see if you can hang on around Casino Square or any other corner here.

        Later that afternoon,
        Boss- Felipe, you’re very quiet, whatsa upa?
        Massa- just wondering where did my playmate go?

        It’s happened before, will happen again, the intelligent driver may appear slow but is playing the longer game.

      3. mhilgtx says:

        He couldn’t use DRS to pass Weber then because the team ordered him to keep a 3 second distance.

        They also told him it is a long race and he would be able to challenge later.

    3. Simon A says:

      He absolutely was allowed to pass Mark earlier in the race.
      Reason he was on the radio demanding Mark move aside is because he couldn’t pass at that stage.
      Not only that, but subsequent to that radio call, Mark was asked by engineer to lower his lap times, which he immediately did, and started gapping Seb!

      Which leads to the most interesting point untouched by James’ article … the apparent need to drive to a delta to look after tyres, and how much a driver relies upon the info from pit wall to do that.

      Webber controlled the gap back to Seb wonderfully well for most of the race (something which is usually Seb’s domain).
      At any and all times he needed to increase pace or was asked to, he did.
      ie. He was driving to the lap times and deltas asked by the team.
      The team is fundamental to the performance of the driver.
      The team instructions should have been followed.

    4. Afonso Ronda says:

      And to add more to your comment, during his request to move Mark aside, his engineer came back to him and told him to stay 3s behind and that there was still a lot of race left.

    5. Demanding that your team mate be told to let you pass at that stage of the race is not the action of a racer. It’s the action of an entitlement-ridden little brat.

    6. Steve says:

      He was “allowed” to pass his team mate earlier in the race, but he couldn’t under racing conditions. What Seb was asking for at that point was for Mark to be just moved out of the way.

    7. Brad says:

      Don’t forget that MW cleverly backed his teammate into the claws of those behind…

    8. Bobdredds says:

      Team orders are a part of F1 and necessarilly so,it’s a team sport. There are times when they have left a bad tastes in the mouth but thats only when they are not implimented properly and this was not the case in Malayasia. When Seb was leading the race at the start the first call was given to him and he made a mistake and pitted too early. His error and the consequenes are down to him. Mark on the other hand drove a faultless race and could have fought fairly with Seb if he had been given the chance. This is not about TO’s anyway, it’s about integrity or the lack of it. If winning is more important than integrity then Seb did nothing wrong. If it isn’t then what he did was disgraceful and should be punished. It’s a simple as that and people can make up their own minds and live with their own conclusions. Thats the great thing about integrity, the choices made around it stay with you to niggle if you make the wrong one. So be careful what you chose.;)

    9. AuraF1 says:

      But when Vettel was moaning about letting him pass Webber, Mark then pulled out 7/10ths on him on that same lap. So it just made Vettel sound churlish. If he was closing in on Mark it would have been more of an acceptable statement – but Mark pulled away on slower tyres. Vettel only closed in when Mark was told to slow down and bring it home on low engine mode.

    10. Hiten says:

      Plain and simple, I believe it was a wrong and even stupid call to hold station for 15 laps. Why should a driver hold station for 15 laps when he is on faster compound tyres?? If team needs points so deperately and is selfish in the start of the season so is a driver. There are two drivers to score points for team but driver has to look after himself. I understand to hold station if it were only few laps remaining as tyres wear out by that time.

      I didnt like the tone in which above article is written and is also irresponsbily written considering how much power the media holds but also the fact is that Vettel has never been liked by authors of this blog it is evident from all the DOTD articles were good racing by Vettel is miniaturised whereas even miniscule act of racing of other drivers is highlighted and stretched.

      1. LG says:

        I believe there are more anti Seb fans (before even this incident) than anti Schumi fans. This is just oil for their fire. RBR as a team were stupid to give team instructions with 15 laps remaining. Merc did as well and look how embarrassed Lewis was. Let the boys race. This is F1, early season FFS

      2. Yak says:

        1) Red Bull have been struggling with the new tyres, so they didn’t want a rough last stint. Telling them to hold position a few laps from the end won’t count for much if both drivers have already utterly ruined their tyres trying to fight for the top step, leaving their opponents to take the points from them. It also slows them both down, as they both end up off the ideal lines trying to attack and defend, again letting opponents potentially catch up.

        It’s as much for the drivers’ benefit as it is for the team. Alonso was out, Raikkonen was in the lower points, Massa had dropped from his starting position, the Mercs were looking to be at a safe distance as long as they didn’t do anything stupid. The team know what can happen at any point in the season… mechanical failures, strategy miscalculations, incidents, unfortunately timed safety car deployments, etc. Both drivers were in line for a good points grab, so why not ease off and take them, and save the car from some component wear and potential contact damage while they’re at it?

        2) The drivers work for the team. Yes there’s a WDC which is an individual title, but even still, no driver wins that without a monstrous amount of work from a large and dedicated team (and a huge amount of money). Regardless of what you think of his driving ability, Red Bull have been a huge part of Vettel being able to win the championship. Just like McLaren were a huge part in Hamilton’s 2012 campaign falling flat on its face. If Vettel wants to be the boss, he can go start his own F1 team and appoint himself no 1 driver with team rules revolving around helping him cross the line first. Otherwise, he works for Red Bull and reports to people above him. No amount of success as a driver gives him the right to disrespect his team mate, boss and team by going against an agreed plan, screwing over his team mate to steal his win. A win which according to their plan, had indeed already been won by Webber. I’m sure the sponsors are happy having their name all over the car of the winning backstabber too.

        The plan effectively shortened the race, leaving the last portion to basically be a bunch of formation laps. Whoever’s in front at that point stays in front. It’s not to favour either driver, they both have the chance to take that leading position UP UNTIL THAT POINT. Vettel lost it, largely through his tyre mistake early in the race, and Webber controlled it perfectly from there, understanding that he only had to race up to a certain stage and after that he could cruise to victory with the support of his team.

        3) Vettel maybe have been on the softer tyre, but it wasn’t necessarily the faster race tyre. Webber was on the harder compound because that’s what he preferred to be racing on. Vettel preferred the softer tyre, and they both chose accordingly.

        Personally I would have loved to have seen Webber crank it back up and push Vettel to the point where hopefully Vettel’s softer tyres fell apart, just to jam it back up him. Overtake while thrusting his left arm as high as possible out the monocoque to make sure he could see the middle finger on display. Before the podium, “Yeah, multi 21, Seb!”, while giving him the finger again (maybe double up with the right hand too), then go collect the trophy for the win. Spray him straight in the eyes with the champagne just to top it all off.

        Unfortunately, Webber’s a bit more mature than that.

    11. Anne says:

      They did it in 2010. Webber was in a better position to win the championship than Vettel going into the last race. Thanks to a tricky and yet brilliant pit stop strategy that fooled both Webber and Ferrari then it was Vettel the one who won.

  86. Mark J says:

    Both parties have had things to answer for over the years.

    But the fact will always remain Vettel’s actions and this result will taint his legacy and persona for as long as there are records kept about F1. Pironi vs Villeneuve the best example of this. Pironi was made a pariah for his treachery of the team that day and the consequences that followed.

    So now Vettel will have to live the knowledge that while he may be one of the all time greats of the sport via his accomplishments and skill. He will also be remembered in equal measure as a cold, ruthless and calculating competitor by fans and his peers alike. So does that make you really an all time great?

    1. Yak says:

      Well it’s like with Schumi. Yeah great, 7 WDCs to his name. But it doesn’t erase from F1 history the less pleasant factors that helped him get to that number…

      If he’d won say, 4 or 5 titles, but without any of the the questionable factors, that’d still have been a mighty achievement to forever place as one of the sport’s greatest drivers. Instead, he has a bigger number that’ll always have a bit of a question mark against it…

  87. Peter says:

    I hate team orders, and I am against corporate strategy overwriting racing. I have no interest in watching formation laps for the first four drivers for the last 15 laps of a race. Fans paying TV fees, entry fees etc. to see racing. The Mercedes story is also interesting to me, why Rosberg was not allow to simply pass Hamilton when Hamilton made a startegy error by using too much fuel.

    1. Jimi-d says:

      All this talk about Mercedes; Rosberg had not one but two overtaking opportunities near the end on the straight, but somehow forgot on both attempts there was another DRS zone on the home straight. Wasted shot. Simples.

      1. Peter says:

        So after two opportunities he simply ran out of all his chances or what? You know the race ends after crossing the finish line?

      2. Andrew M says:

        I know, if Rosberg had been a bit smarter and just tucked in behind Hamilton into the hairpin and used DRS down the start-finish straight, none of this would have been an issue. Mystified as to why he didn’t do that (at least on the second occasion).

      3. rad_g says:

        I was rewatching the race yesterday. Those two overtakes into the hairpin happened after he was already told to hold position. I think he was showing to the team “look, I’m really quicker and I can do it safe”.

      4. Yak says:

        Interesting rad_g, I thought they happened before the orders to back off. Not saying you’re wrong, I’m probably just remembering it wrong.

        I thought maybe Hamilton was being a bit clever and deliberately going in to the last corner slower. Get it straightened up for the exit knowing that Rosberg had crossed the detection point first, so he’d get a good exit and the DRS to take the position straight back.

    2. Steve Boden says:

      I am not a fan of team orders either but i do understand that F1 teams are business and there is a hell of a lot of money involved and a lot more people involved than just the drivers. Also, At the end of the day the drivers are employees and are paid a lot of money by the team to do their job, If Seb had of collided with Mark it would have cost the team a lot of money and caused the mechanics and engineers a lot more work. When you take these things into account you can understand team orders and it seems fair that they can race until the final stint.

      On the Mercedes issue, The one thing that journalists, sites, forums have all missed is that Nico had many chances to pass Lewis in the 3rd stint. He did in fact pass him on a number of occasions down the back straight only to then be re-passed straight away each time in the 2nd DRS zone. What i can’t understand is why Nico did not then think to himself that on his next attempt he should wait for the 2nd DRS zone to make the pass so he could secure the position?

      Had Nico of done this he would have been in the box seat in the final stint and secured his spot on the podium. The way i see it, Nico had his chance.

    3. Yak says:

      Peter – To be fair on the fuel thing, I’m pretty sure I remember Hamilton receiving a radio message at some point telling him to go absolutely flat out to catch the Red Bulls.

      In which case I can sorta understand the feeling that they should let Hamilton take the podium spot, as he’d performed better over the weekend, and their own order is what made him have to back right off at the end. They hadn’t expected to be potentially challenging the Red Bulls, and basically got carried away with it beyond what their fuel strategy had allowed for. Mind you, maybe they were only up there because they were so light on fuel to start with.

      Really, I don’t suspect any driver is just doing what they want without advice or confirmation from the team. They’ve got very clever people working on every aspect of the race. The driver can give feedback on the tyres, the track condition, when they feel they want to come in, etc., but they’re not doing fuel calcs in their head at 300km/h.

  88. caringforapathy says:

    What happens if Seb has some DNFs or runs into a bad stretch this season and those 7 points end up losing Mark the championship at the end? Why is it Seb’s championship in race 2 when they are tied at points, and Mark would be in the lead by virtue of the win? The sense of entitlement is what us non-Seb-supporters don’t like about yesterday.

    The drivers seem to think it is a driver’s championship when it is in fact a constructor’s championship. They added the driver’s champ later on, and it’s probably easier to root for a driver than a team, but all the money for the teams comes from the constructor’s champ. Seb needs to be reminded of who pays the bills and that he wouldn’t have the fast seat without them. Risking 43 team points for 7 of your own when asked not to is just silly, as Horner stated over team radio.

    1. Dvo says:

      The Chamionship for constructors was introduced several years after the driver’s championship….however teams only get paid on constructor points.

    2. Mike says:

      Not correct about the wdc. F1 was a drivers championship only for the first ten years. Perhaps it would be better if it still was …..

    3. John says:

      Totally agree. Tried to make a similar point myself an hour ago, but this site.takes forever to moderate.

    4. Darren says:

      I would say the exact opposite. Firstly the fact that it was originally a drivers championship and they added the constructors championship later.

      Teams seem to think its a constructors championship when its not, its a drivers championship. The only people that care about the constructors championship are the teams, this is due as you say to the prize money allocated. So long as this is the case the teams will not want to risk their drivers taking each other out.

      I am totally against what Vettel did. In an ideal world they should have been allowed to race, in which case I am sure Vettel would have won anyway being on the softer tyres but thats not the point.

      Interesting to see what happens at Mercedes, Hamilton was so slow at the end Rosberg could have coasted past him, they could have easily allowed Rosberg past to have a go at the bulls. Rosberg was a man of honour and did what he was told though. Has Hamilton got a preferential contract as Martin Brundle believes?

      For those that are asking, Webber was on the hard tyres because he wanted to be on them. He said over the radio earlier in the race that he prefered the hards.

    5. lazza says:

      Erm, the drivers’ championship started in 1950.

      The constructors’ championship started in 1958.

    6. Werewolf says:

      The World Championship for drivers began in 1950; it was the Constructors’ title that was added later (in 1958).

    7. hero_was_senna says:

      European Grand Prix Racing was the top level motorsport which was the fore runner of the F1 Championship as we know it today.
      Alfa Romeo, Auto Union, Bugatti and Mercedes amongst other contested these races before the second World War. Legends such as Nuvolari, Rosemeyer, Carraciola, Varzi and co were the superstars of their day.

      The F1 Drivers Championship started in 1950, the first champions being Farina, followed by Fangio, Ascari, Ascari, Fangio x 4 then Hawthorn in 1958.

      The F1 Constructors Championship began in 1958, the first winner being Vanwall, as driven by Stirling Moss that year.

      Over the years, the glory of the Champion driver has far out ranked the glory of Constructor champion.

      Think back to 1976. James Hunt won the Drivers championship, but Ferrari won the Constructors.

      Or, more significantly, everyone says Ferrari had gone 21 years without a Championship when Schumacher finally won the title in 2000.
      But actually that was wrong.
      It was the last Drivers title in 1979, but Ferrari had won the Constructors in 1982 and 1983, then the next one was 1999. So in fact it was 16 years.

      The Constructor trophy pays out the big money, all the way down to 10th. It covers travel costs regardless of what the drivers have done, but the glory is the men behind the wheel.

    8. Endres says:

      You call it silly, go watch curling, I call it racing. I want to watch FORMULA ONE. Not formula what-ever-the-team-seems-practical.

      1. User007 says:

        What you think is “FORMULA ONE” ended, if not earlier, the day that Juan Manuel Fangio took over Stirling Moss’ car. Welcome to the real world.

      2. Endres says:

        Those were the days of the gentlemen racers, 200+lbs men, who were held to their contemporary understanding of honour.

        The gents were discussing now are cut throat, and that IS what I’m interested in watching, not pre/para/post Fangio v. Moss era.

        You need to ditch the books and get with the ‘real world’

        Sep v Ham v Alonso, + their team mates, all out at each others throats, every race. Period.

    9. Steve says:

      You have it backwards. The driver’s championship came first. I would also say that it’s the one the vast majority of people care about.

    10. caringforapathy says:

      I stand corrected regarding when each championship started, my apologies. I had it flipped in my head.

      That said, it doesn’t change the fact that I believe it is a constructor’s championship now. The prize money is given to constructors, and with 2012′s prize pool being worth a reported $700M, $100M for first, we aren’t talking chump change. Combined with the money the teams spend to put the car on the track, I still say they get to dictate how the cars are raced.

      If you want to see wheel to wheel racing from lights to flag then the way money is distributed needs to be changed, but I don’t see that happening any time soon. Or the tyre nonsense needs to be changed, but then we would just complain about processional races with tyres lasting forever. I was watching a race from 2003 over the weekend and the pre-race commentary was that this weekend was going to be all about “tyres, tyres and tyres”. While things change in F1, things still stay the same.

    11. LG says:

      Amazing that non Seb fans talk about Seb’s entitlement yet most accept the entitlement that Alonso has over MAssa and or that of KImi in Lotus etc etc…and Seb has proven 3 years he should be the number 1 driver in RBR…what’s the problem? I dont like team orders no, but if MAssa being a number 2 to Alonso is acceptable why isnt the same entitlement given to Seb? JUst wondering

  89. Aadil says:

    I don’t see why Mark is so upset.

    He should’nt forget what he did Silverstone 2yrs back and he shouldnt forget what he did in Brazil last year when the team asked him not 2 attack Vettel.

    What goes round comes around.

    The only difference is Vettel was actually successful and pulling it off and Mark tried but failed.

    Mark should’nt have double standards.
    What Vettel did was what Mark himself previously failed to do.

    Personally that makes Mark more of a coward then Vettel.

    Because if he was a man he would have accepted it was’nt any different to what he did on previous occasions except that he failed and could’nt actually pull it off.

    But instead Marks trying to act like the poor little kid whose candy was stolen by a bully.

    1. Random 79 says:

      You’re right, it is a bit of tit-for-tat, but there is one big difference that I can see.

      When Mark tried it on at Silverstone, they were both racing and he was absolutely up front about the fact that he was ignoring the team orders. That doesn’t make him right, but it does make him honest.

      In Malaysia Vettel blindsided Webber, and then after the race – once he’d realised just how badly he’d screwed up – he made up some p*ss poor excuse about why he passed him.

      I support Mark, but if Vettel had just said after the race ‘Yeah, I passed him. So what?’ I would actually have a bit of respect for him.

      What he did on track is what a champion would do – I didn’t like it, but I respect it for what it is.

      What he said after the race was what a bully would say after he just got caught stealing the little kid’s lollies.

      ‘I didn’t mean to’?


      1. Aadil says:

        lol u right

        The thing Vettel did wrong was not being honest about it!

        If it were me I would have told Mark remember Brazil last yr?

      2. Greg (Aus) says:

        Oh please.

        Vettel was in a high enough position to secure the WDC at the start of the race. If he hadn’t then chopped Senna and got himself spun about later that same lap it would have made no difference. Note also that Webber moved aside for Vettel to let him back through when it was necessary to do so.

        As for Silverstone, as others have pointed out time and again – they were racing on equal terms with no agreement in place prior to the race. It is a totally different situation, and if you want to draw a comparison, it is much closer to Turkey 2010, and we all know how that turned out.

    2. Anil says:

      Comparisons to Silverstone don’t really count given Seb wasn’t told that Mark wouldn’t fight. Also Seb was clearly about to win the title so it didn’t matter.

      Here, Webber went to a different fuel mix and was nursing the engine.

      Also, you’re conveniently forgetting the part when Mark said there were countless times when he was behind Seb and was told not to do so and so he backed off.

      1. Aadil says:

        Mark may say he was nursing his car but when Vettel was on his tail u just have to look @ Marks lap times 2 know what was a load of crap.

        Maybe he started off nursing his car but he quickly up his pace!

        if u cruising along and ur team mates is trying to overtake you you not exactly going to just carry on crusing and let him buy.

        Mark was fully in control of his own car
        He tried to up his pace but Vettel came past anyways.

      2. H says:

        Actually mark was told at least 4 times by Christian maintain the gap, both their tyres were going off which is why mark was told to hold station.

        In regards to sunday both had the same engine mode, this was confirmed by Christian post race.

        I’m not saying what Seb did was right because it wasn’t but Mark can’t have it both ways he shouldn’t have tried to overtake Seb in Silverstone and he shouldn’t have done what he did in Brazil, if he really wanted the win he should have taken it, but instead he let Seb past he’s got no one to blame but himself.

      3. Chris says:

        At last!!!

        What do you racing fans wanna say, wheel to wheel action, or a procession? I think most want what ever doesn’t suit Vettel. If Webber had passed Vettel he would have been a hero, and Vettel would have been the kid that comes to the race track and doesn’t wanna race, just wants his Adrian Newey designed toy to win win win!! This bitterness towards Vettel makes me question fans, for example, Alonso and Ferrari fans praised their team and driver when they broke Massa’a FIA seal in order to get Alonso higher up the grid and onto the clean side of the track. Part of racing, needed sacrifices, Alonso the hero. If Red Bull ever did that to benefit SV, I’d love to see the reaction on here!! That deliberately ruined the start of the race for other drivers and ruined Massa’s efforts in Qualifying. A driver passing his team mate, or a team (on the assistance of Alonso) meddling with a grid? Wonder what the reaction would have been if Red Bull broke Webbers seal for the same race? I’m sure Vettel would have taken a bashing!!

    3. William Benson says:

      But it was different … Webber gave Vettel the pit stop to protect him from The Mercedes’ cars on the understanding team positions would be maintained. This gave Vettel the opportunity to essentially undercut Mark along with the engine turn down. In the other situations, they were still racing and Vettel had done nothing to assist Webber.

      This isn’t just a case of ignoring team orders, it’s a case of abusing team orders to underhandedly gain advantage over a team mate. Vastly different in my opinion.

    4. hero_was_senna says:

      Everyone pulls out Silverstone 2011, or Brazil last year. These aren’t the only instances of intra team battles.
      Who has forgotten Turkey 2010. Again Webber had turned his engine down, yet Vettel still raced on. He pulled alongside and in a straight line, Vettel veered right, straight into Webbers car.
      Yet the team immediately back Vettel.
      This was before Vettel had even won a championship.
      The British GP that year, Vettel damaged his new front wing during qualifying. The team took Webber’s one and fixed it to Seb’s car.
      When Webber won the race the following day, his radio comment was ” not bad for a number 2″

      The whole infrastructure has been built around Vettel, and no matter how good he is, he has got the team fully behind him and yet he still acts like a spoilt child.

      The other thing I have noticed about Vettel, which is quite frightening in an F1 car, he seems to hold grudges against people. Witness his driving Alonso completely off the road last year at Monza. Now we have Horner stating that this action yesterday dates back to Brazil.

      More like school girls in the playground.

      1. User007 says:

        You forgot to say that Webber, the day before, said he felt no improvement with the new wing and that Vettel was leading Webber in the championship that day and said the wing was good. What would you do as team principal, but give Vettel the new front wing? I take Webber’s whining afterwards as nothing more than politics.

    5. If you want to go back in time, you need to keep going…back to 2010 when Vettel got priority over Webber mid-season when a new front wing was available. Webber has been discriminated against on and off for 3 seasons, so yeah, what comes around certainly does come around.

      1. James says:

        Or Turkey 2009 when Vettel was leading Webber in the WDC but was asked (and complied) not to challenge him late in the race.

      2. Bighaydo says:

        Yeah, but Webber schooled Vettel in Turkey in 2009. Want to finish ahead of your team-mate? Then don’t spin on the first lap and mess up your strategy!

    6. Victor E Lapp says:

      Really silly comments. As if this issue has anything to do with cowardice.

    7. FerrariFan says:

      I felt the same thing. Mark knew he is number two for some years now and he still signed up for a year. He should not complain then.

    8. Bobdredds says:

      ROFLMAO I doubt that Seb would have done it without having the skirts of Helmut Marko to hide behind. I believe those skirts were instrumental in him thinking he would get away with it in the first place and Red Bull should look closer at that relationship and if it’s really as healthy for the brand as they think. Seb will leave Red Bull one day while they will have to live with his legacy. In this instance it’s Seb who behaved as a cowardly bully. Interesting to note that when people are criticising Mark over this they have to go back a couple of years because he did nothing wrong in this race.

  90. Harvey says:

    A meaningless apology from Vettel, seeing as how he took the 25 points. He’s Mateschitz’ boy, and also Bernie’s, so nothing is going to happen to him within the team. They might claim to assess him a fine for disobeying orders, that’s it. If he and the team were truly apologetic, they would claim an illegality on his car, forego the 25 points, and hand the win to Webber. Webber should sue them for breach of contract, what are they going to do, kick him off the team? One day Red Bull will not have the best car, then we’ll truly see how good a racer Vettel is.

    1. Chris says:

      They didn’t have the best car last season, result world champion.

      Torro Rosso, a win from pole at Monza.

      Over 25% win ratio, with a season at a back of the grid team (where, as already pointed out) he won.

      Bet your such a great driver Harvey, the FIA banned you from ever racing a grand prix, shame :(

  91. Wes says:

    So sorry James but damage to his reputation?
    We finally have a driver that doesn’t act like a muppet and has some attitude and you Brits come talk about sportsmanship?
    Come on, you must be kidding me, if it was me I would not only overtaken Webber but I would give him the middle finger while doing it…
    As you said, finally we have somebody with attitude like Senna to watch on the weekends, I just wish Massa would watch the race, learn something about it and trow Alonso in the wall next time he try to get past, then we would have some real race…

    1. Johnston says:

      So we can all wish to see drivers doing whatever the hell they like. Beautiful.

  92. Twincarbs says:

    I find it a little ironic that so many people are critical of Vettel ignoring the team orders and going for the win when you consider that the media and fans often made reference to Coulthard being too nice to be a WDC and being critical of his decision to comply with team orders at Jerez in 97 letting Hakkinen through for his first win and then again by sticking to the pre race agreement in Oz 98 and letting Hakkinen back though after he mistakenly went into the pits.

    At the end of the day drivers are employed to win and bring home the championship. I prefer the Williams philosophy of letting the drivers race, just warning them not to take one another out.

    1. Chris says:

      Changing the tune, whats up at Williams??

  93. Sebee says:

    I want to extend a heart felt thanks to Vettel for his actions at Sepang. It’s just what Dr. ordered.

    What would we talk about over this long 3 week break without that ruthless pass? Lewis’ pit stop? :-)

    1. mhilgtx says:

      So true, So true. I think this 3 week break is cruel punishment.

  94. Ral says:

    Actually the worst thing about this from Vettel’s perspective was the way he responded after the race. If his whole attitude had been “Suck on it” (as Webber’s always is), it might have been acceptable from the point of view of let racers race.

    As it was, he first celebrated as if he had won a genuine fight for the win and then reacted like the proverbial kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar when he realised what other people felt and came out with some weird completely unbelievable “I didn’t do it on purpose” line. I’ve never been in a similar kind of pressure situation and then get the world pushed into your face by way of cameras and microphones, but one would like to think that principles are principles (although of course one would also like to think the world/life is fair and most people realise at some point in their lives that it is not).

    I thought the reaction of the powers that be in RBR were interesting. If they were planning a long-term future with Vettel, you would have thought they would have sugar coated their thoughts on his behaviour a bit more.

    With Webber obviously thinking hard about how much he enjoys the Pirelli kind of racing at all, are we looking at a whole-sale driver line-up change at RBR? And if that is the case, what are the chances that Mateschitz et all just tot up the numbers and come to the conclusion that their involvement in F1 has run its course?

  95. NutBallRacer says:

    As in hockey, the golves are off now. I’d like to see these guys free to duke it out on the track — to race. Screw team orders, they are only there to protect the constructor and his mfr championship desires – that’s the problem. Unfortunately in today’s F1 a driver apparently needs the participation of his strategist, and it’s the strategist’s boss who really calls the shots. Webber could focus on doing everything he can to deny Sebby this year’s title. Webber might harass Seb at every chance, just up to the point of being obviously sacrificial of his own chances. Wishful thinking, too. Actually the only way around all this is to suspend Vettel for a race. If RedBull has set down a fair law, now is the time to set down the consequences. If fairness was never their intention, as I suspect, then they should trade Webber for someone else now.

    1. mhilgtx says:

      Funny NASCAR’s Tony Stewert just asked for the same thing, seems he has some driver he wants to fight. Tony said NASCAR should just let them go at like Hockey and once someone hits the ground it is over.

      1. NutBallRacer says:

        No, no, no. I am not recommending fisticuffs. Ha ha. I said to fight it out on the track — I mean in the cars, during a race. But you do point out an interesting thing. If drivers want to have a physical confrontation, it might be amusing. It certainly isn’t new or unique. And it certainly wouldn’t hurt the image of drivers, at least to me. I don’t care how they blow off steam. Some of these guys are real babies anyway, and I doubt they would raise a fist. I bet Webber would, though.

  96. Rachel says:

    For me, it’s the combination of the first call from Vettel for the team to ask Webber to move aside and then the ignoring of the team orders. He wanted team orders to effect his race first of all, then, when the team wouldn’t do that, when Webber pushed again and put in some fast laps, decided he was going to ignore them entirely. He wanted it both ways. He wants to win, but this is a sport and you would like to see sportsmanlike behaviour from the players. But it’s also a team sport, because that is where the money is, and they should also play the team game.

  97. Rob b says:

    Why are some posts taking over an hour to moderate with no changes?

    1. James Allen says:

      Look at the plume of comments!!

      1. Sebee says:

        JAonF1 servers must be ON FIRE this weekend.

      2. Sebee says:

        By the way James, why no proper scientific poll?

        Obviously majority will say Vettel was wrong to pass, but I think it would be interesting to see how strong the minority is that thinks it was fair game to make the pass under the circumstances with Alonso out, 4th WDC drive, histroy between the two, etc.

        It would be awesome to go just Yes or No – 2 choices to make all those on the fence choose a side.

      3. Bradley says:

        Why should those on a fence be forced to get off it?

      4. Sebee says:


        If you’re on the fence, obstain from voting. Personally, I’m tired of the 5 option poll questions. Yes or No. Simple!

      5. Sebee says:

        My browser crashes when I try to open that 1000 comment GP summary. Last time I saw almost this many comments you were giving away a trip for free to Belgian GP!

        If these two play this smart, RBR will keep F1 at the top of every sport page all season long. I love it! All it took is small rebelion – for all the right reasons. What a fantastic thing Vettel did here before the 3 week break to keep F1 on everyone’s mind.

        Mr. Vettel? Special ‘Thank You’ gift from Mr. Ecclestone. Please sign right here. :-)

      6. Craig in Manila says:

        James really needs to get his sponsors names to appear in the empty white space to the right ===>.

        They’d be getting a lot of extra publicity as we all scroll up and down reading these comments !!!

  98. Ant says:

    I’m bemused by something. . .on all the articles I’ve read about this the overall conclusion is this will taint Vettels reputation, why? What he did on a human level wasn’t nice, but when do nice people win? World Champions are ruthless -period! It’s the same in any sport. The same was said about Schumacher and lets be honest about Senna, do what ever it took to win. He even went as far as drive a fellow racer off the track at near 180mph in order to win. . .Whether we like it or not it’s what separates the greats from the best, pushing to the limits and beyond in order to win

    1. Bobdredds says:

      Nice people who became WDC

      John Surtees
      Jim Clark
      Joddy Schecter
      Alain Prost
      Mika Hakkinen

      I could go on but you get the point.:)

      1. Zombie says:

        Alain Prost nice ? My my ! And Mika Hakkinen never had the car or strategy advantage over DC ? Too bad that DC has a different take on that than you.

      2. Ant says:

        Can’t speak for Surtees, Clark and Schekter but Prost cried and moaned every time something didn’t go his way and refused to be Sennas team mate in 94… And wasn’t Hakkinen the man that benefitted twice that we know of from Coulthard being made to move over – bet that really sits hard with him when he thinks about his 2 WDC’s…. Get the point ;)

      3. Bobdredds says:

        If you dont know about Surtees, Clarke and Schecter and if you think Mika is a monster and that Alain Prost is anything other than one of F1′s greatest drivers and a gentleman how can I take you seriously.;) There is more to F1 than the movie Senna which is seriously flawed and is completely misleading in the way Prost is portrayed.I saw it in the window of a charity shop recently for a euro……….I left there.:)

    2. Aadil says:

      Exactly Ditto!

      Finally someone who has the same view as me!

      Thank you! :)

      If they werent as ruthless as they were they would have no legacy that ppl claim are tainted in the first place.

    3. Bomber says:

      Sir Bradley Wiggins and the rest of our Olympians.

      Wiggo refused to take the advantage of riding on when many of his rivals had punctures from tacks thrown accross the road.

      That is sportsmanship something Vettel knows nothing about.

      1. Ant says:

        Fair point but ask yourself this question…. Would he have done that if they were a real threat to him winning the tour? And all of our Olympians? Maybe the ones that didn’t win. There was an interesting study done in either the 80′s or early 90′s. It asked top Olympic athletes what they be prepaid to do in order to win, the responses are scary…. I stick by what I said, all the most successful sports men/women are ruthless it’s one of the inhertent things which is part of their make up

  99. Bomber says:

    It’s completely different as Vettel couldn’t have closed the gap without being given Webbers pit stop.

  100. Drew says:

    Easy one for me:
    Vettel: 25 years old, 3 time world champion, leading this years championship. Attack Dog
    Rosberg: 27 years old, no world championships. Good Dog.

  101. Seán Craddock says:

    Very very good article, stating the facts

    Webber should have to explain himself to the team for almost putting Vettel in the wall. I’m not saying what he did is as bad as what Vettel did in any way, I just think it shouldn’t be overlooked.

    In that situation, Vettel used all his KERS, had DRS, and Webber had a lower engine setting. He was effectively a sitting duck and defenseless, what was the point in making a move like that? He risked a lot.

    It will be interesting to see what Red Bull do.

  102. Linda says:

    I think Vettel ignored the team order because the team told him to be patient in the middle of the race, not letting him race Webber when he complained. And then they denied him that opportunity at all. I found RB’s actions very odd, considering that he’s their triple WDC and Webber is…well, not a triple WDC. And then they didn’t back up Vettel, as they usually do. Strange.

    James, do you think it might have something to do with the fact that Vettel didn’t extend his contract as it was rumored? Could it be that he wants to leave for Ferrari and RB people are p@@ed off at him for that? I remember that about ten days ago RB’s owner said that they couldn’t keep Vettel despite the contract if he wanted to leave. What do you think?

  103. Benalf says:

    I understand all the fan guns pointing to Vettel and this and that, punishment and such. I think everyone has to put things into perspective and stop believing that the team has to do “something” to compensate Webber. The truth of the matter is RBR has been built around Vettel/Newey and no one there cares who else is driving with him. How naïve Webber is to follow orders knowing that Vettel was right behind him. Why did he believe Vettel would hold ground when he was racing as fast as him and with faster tires? If Webber really wanted to win, he should have kept Vettel at more than 1 sec away, no matter what Horner said about put the engine to coast. People keep talking about Webber disobeying orders in Silverstone, using it as an excuse for Vettel to pay back…what about Turkey? The key point here is that if you want to win, you have to make certain that you are gonna see the checkered flag first and not waiting for your “team” to keep you in that position. If what the press is saying is true, then Webber knows that the only reason why he’s there is because of the RBR owner, and so he should race not only Vettel, but his race engineer, Horner, Marko and fight like a real champ.
    I personally think what Brown did to Nico and how sheepishly Nico responded to the team order is far worse than what happened at RBR. There’s an implicit mindset about driver #1 and #2 in most of the teams and that makes a big difference in mindset when it comes to follow or disobey orders that will prevent you from winning a race. If you accept them is because deeply in your mind, you are a #2 driver, period.

  104. Bomber says:

    I am fed up with the assertion that this ruthlessness or bad sportmanship is the mark of a great champion.

    Sir Bradley Wiggins is a great champion and he waited for his fellow competitors to fix their punctures caused by tacks thrown on the road when he could have ridden off and taken advantage as some other riders were urging him.

    Thats the mark of a true champion.

    1. AlexD says:

      Agree with you, those who say that you need to be a devil to win and justify it, they are like that in their heart and life, but just do not have talent to use it at a global level.

      Miserable people who think that winning is more important that being a human being.

    2. Rockie says:

      Lol like Chris is allowed to challenge hin in team sky please spare me.

  105. dirk993 says:

    I cant understand why no reporter (or Horner) ever asked Webber why he did what he did at the start of the 2012 brazil race.

    If Alonzo fails to secure the WDC this year bet we’ll see Vettel in a ferrari next year.

    1. LG says:

      Alonso will not allow Vettel into Ferrari. Cmon now.And Alonso is there till end 2016 i think

      1. Brad says:

        Not his decision to make LdM is already getting p**ed off with their star driver not winning anything, he’s been given an ultimatum…

  106. CarlH says:

    Ron Dennis observed admiringly of Alonso, ‘Competitive animals know no limits’

    Love that.

    1. Endres says:

      And don’t keep friends – I might add.

  107. Geoff Norman says:

    Vettel’s so-called apology was worse than keeping his mouth shut – sheer hypocrisy mixed with lies – great driver, lesser human being.

  108. Jim, Belfast says:

    Do we know if Horner or team asked Vettel to let Webber back past him again? If they didnt and were truly concerned about the issue – then they should have got on the radio and explained to Vettel that engines were turned down and the pass shouldnt have happened and tell him to let Webber past.

    If they havent done this then perhaps it means that under it all they arent that bothered and felt the issue will blow over.

    1. Anne says:

      Horner was asked by reporters after the race. He said there was no point because Vettel wasn´t going to obey that order either.

    2. LG says:

      Exactly. Point the finger to Seb now instead of RBR mgt. If Horner had the strictness Brawn had in explaining his very clear cut message to Rosberg, I doubt Seb would not have listened. He would have paused and listened.

  109. Laurence H says:

    Hi James, I posted on another thread that I was surprised that Red Bull and Mercedes allowed their team radio to be broadcast. I thought they could withhold it from the broadcaster (but not the Stewards or FIA). Others disagreed. Can you confirm what is the position?

  110. Tomby says:

    They gave him everything: best car for a few years, protection, support for a lot of years, no.1 status but thats not enough for him. He wants to be more important than the team, be made his boss to look like a fool. Hopefully someone will take him to the ground this year.

  111. Denny says:

    Fairness would be for Vettel to let Webber have one (or two) of his potential victory’s this season.

    1. LG says:

      One is more than enough and would make compensation yes. No reason to give 2 away :)))

      But we have to get webber in a 1-2 situation again with an Alonso and KIMI on the track and that might not happen easily…

  112. Luca says:

    Vettel did his sums and decided that the end justified the means. Because he is the boss’s favourite “son” and because points mean prizes. And in doing his soms he also proved himself the perfect ambassador for a brand like Red Bull which best represents in the marketplace those qualities of self-indulgence and individualism which dominate our culture.

    I’ve just read that John Watson wants Red Bull to suspend the boy. What nonsense. Dietrich Mateschitz will know well enough this would be quite contrary to the very core “brand values” his company was built on.

    Lying about being sorry: now that WAS grating.

  113. Aaron says:

    Am I the only person who thinks the most ridiculous part of this affair was Seb’s attempt to apologise afterwards. I’d have more respect for him if he said in interviews, “I want to win at all costs” than the frankly half-hearted apology he came out with. The decision to overtake may have been a spur of the moment decision, but if he was truly bothered about it then he then had 10 laps to lift off and let Mark back past.

  114. Rob says:

    Vettel should be suspended at the least for ignoring a management decision let alone his sporting conduct. As for his fans defending his championship defence then please remember this ir race 2 of 19 and in my book Webber had it won fair and square. This comes from a Lewis fan.

  115. Zombie says:

    How funny folks can be ! Some 11 years ago during the 2002 F1 season people were calling for a ban on Ferrari for “team orders” and how “unholy” team orders are, and why it has no place in modern F1 etc etc. And now the same folks are crying because someone ignored “team orders” ! Lol! Its a funny,funny world !

    1. EM says:

      Are they the “same folks”? I used to detest those Ferarri team orders that meant Rubens had to give up a hard fought win to let Schumi through towards the end of the season.

      I totally understood why Massa got moved aside in Germany for Alonso to get the win.

      And I can see why Red Bull told Vettel to stay behind Webber.

      So i would have been up in arms at one instance of team orders but quite happy to see them in place at other times.

  116. Peter Freeman says:

    No comment on the difference in authority commanded by Ross Brawn and Christian Horner James?

    Most saw a strong leader vs a weak and ineffectual leader, what was your take?

    1. Bobdredds says:

      Different styles and neither did anything wrong. I am not a Red Bull fan bun Christian Horner is one of the ablest principals in F1 and his record stands for itself. Suggesting that he is a weak and ineffectual leader is just diverting focus from the real issue.

      1. LG says:

        Brawn got the response he wanted. My comment is that Seb would NOT have disobeyed Brawn. Sometimes storng hard headed passionate an gifted people need a Brawn command in their lives now and then. Horner should at least have been more persistent, even demanding Seb give the position back to webber, as stupid as it sounds, that’s the only way he would have stamped his authority over Seb. But why have such a stupid team decision 2nd race of the season 15 laps left..really RBR, you’re not handling grade 1 kids here…

      2. mhilgtx says:

        That is the bigger issue it was a dumb decision to hold them back that early.

        Someone else said it best, Nico is 27 with no WDC’s and Vettel 25 with 3 there is a little bit of difference there in how you deal with them.

  117. Redheat says:

    Hum it reminds of another case: Gilles V.and Didier P. resulting in Gilles losing the Championship.

    I am with Webber on this one. I am amazed he did not ram into Vettel to make him pay.

    On thing is certain Vettel just made things very difficult for him for the rest of the championship.

    1. Bobdredds says:

      I am amazed he didn’t flatten him on the podium. I believe if Mark had heard the earlier “get him out of the way” comment and its dissmissive tone immediately after the race he would have trashed the little tyke within an inch of his life.:)Then we would have plenty to talk about eh!

      1. Redheat says:

        Oh yes indeed!!!

    2. Bomber says:

      I believe Gilles Villeneuve lost his life in the next race.

      After mola he swore he would never speak to Peroni again and at the time of the race he was still not on speaking terms.

      1. Redheat says:

        Yes you are right he lost his life on May 8 in Zolder (Belgian GP).

  118. Tim says:

    Just a couple of questions:
    1) What fan likes team orders?
    2) Does the pit wall control the engines of their cars
    out on track? If so why not turn down both of them?
    3) Why all the fuss when we watch this behavior on a continuos basis from other teams? Ferrari?

    Perhaps this is why the FIA wanted to ban team orders.
    May all the drivers out there (Fellipe you most certainly) pay attention. In Vettel’s case, I hope you realize the precedent you have set with Webber, payback can be nasty. My advise for a quick and even fix for all participants…ban team radios!

    1. Bobdredds says:

      I have answered your other questions elsewhere but as far as the team turning down the engines, I believe this is banned by the regs for over 10 years.

    2. Anne says:

      1) This is not about what fans like. Rules are rules made for the teams not based on what fans want
      2) Both driver were told to turn down the engines. That was the order that Vettel didn´t obey
      3) All temas use team orders at some point. Some are more blatant than others and make no apology. Only McLaren is the team that use it the less or not use at all.

      1. Bobdredds says:

        McLaren is the team who first caused a major furore over TO’s in ’98 and their constant use of them in the Hakkinen/DC era left a bad taste in the mouth and an unfair blemish on DC’s record. TO’s are an important part of F1 because they are necessary to control the many variables and situations that occur. They are only a problem when used excessively or for the wrong reasons. What happened on sunday wassn’t TO’s anyway it was a strategy that was discussed before the race and one that is used most often when a team has both drivers in a controlling position. It is a sensible strategy that was used throughout the period when TO’s were banned. The only problem with it in Sundays race is that Seb threw his toys out of the pram and wouldn’t play fair.:)

  119. NF1 says:

    For me there is no argument…..If team members are running one after the other with no threat from another team/car & they are looking to get both cars home safely for maximum points & the management from the pit wall give an order to hold station then that is what should be done. It is a team game with the drivers being paid employees. I.E very similar to most other companies operating on this planet. Therefore, if an employee breaks the company rules he should be reprimanded accordingly.
    The drivers championship is only a by-product of the manufacturers championship…..NO ARGUMENT!!

    1. Endres says:

      Get real, if that’s acceptable entertainment than go watch curling, this isn’t a fortune 500 assembly company we’re watching, it’s F1!!!

      Does anyone here want to watch 20 milion dollar cars float around for the last 20 lalps – total BS

      1. rad_g says:

        I’m sure you will be able to say that when these are your cars. The team made a decision. The employee disobeyed.

      2. NF1 says:

        Endres…..I’m afraid this is the real world. I know these drivers are the best & they put on a good show, that’s why they are there, but they are not the bosses, they are the puppets and when the chips are down they have to be controlled by their paymasters….that’s the way it is & always will be.

      3. Endres says:

        Well that is sad, why not just have the ECU’s do the driving? It would make the Paymasters time so much more easily spent.

        I submit to you this, we are the paymasters. If this BS continues on, then more fans will look elsewhere, and more sponsors will drop out, and sooner than you and I could imagine F1 will become an oddity.

        It’s already becoming esoteric, the average fan has no real understanding about the engineering, let alone the new 2014 power units, in fact, most fans I know here in North America are excited because the “turbos will be so much faster”. Oh boy.

        People here have no context for “hold station” or whatever euphemism you care to employ for this BS.

        If we loose the US, then you might begin calling this Formula EU

        Canada and Brazil are balking at the subsidies, the novelty is wearing off for the oil bearing muslims, the inevitable boycott of the Great GP of Pollution, China. Where does that leave us?

        Down under, way way down under.

      4. NF1 says:

        Listen my friend (or foe – surely we are fans together), I have been watching & following F1 for 40 years now & nothing has changed on the way in which teams manipulate results to suit thier best interests. The only difference these days is more & better communication to the fans – and it is live these days – which of course makes it look like it’s more excessive than it was back then. Nothing will change except that the more fickle & less understanding fans will keep dropping in & out of the sport because they dont fully understand what it is all about.
        As for the 1.6 turbos; I am not a great fan of this innovation, my preference would have been for the rulemakers to limit fuel available for each race & tell the teams that they can do what they like enginewise. this would leave some teams trying to make th bigger engines more frugal & others developing new ones – win:win.

  120. Joe Papp says:

    Vettel is no longer worthy of my respect or admiration, and those of you who are cooing over his gross-insubordination…I wonder if you’ll be equally enthusiastic about such risible behavior next time it affects someone you care about, or worse-still, if you’re the victim!

    1. LG says:

      I wonder if we’ll hear the same nonsens if Alonso was to sit behind Massa for 15 laps…oh no we won’t, Massa is a recognised no 2 and knows his place – behind Alonso. So is Webber. I mean really. Seb has 3x WDC’s. Webber has NIL. Does not even come in 2nd in the league in ‘the best car on the race track”. Really. Now RBR expect Seb to sit behind. Bad call RBR Management. Seb wants to race. So does webber. Go boys!!

      1. rad_g says:

        We didn’t head “Felipe, Fernando is faster than you” in Australia this year, did we?

  121. Phil Bishop says:

    this situation highlights some of the negative aspects of the current F1

    engine turned down?
    saving fuel?
    taking it ‘easy’ to save the tyres
    orchestrated 1-2 (and 3-4) finishes

    PAH! not *really* racing is it?

    1. Phil R says:

      Yes, but apart from 1994-2009 with refuelling it has always been this way, looking after tyres, fuel, gearboxes etc. Even in the refuelling days you knew which drivers would break down and which wouldn’t because some of them ragged their equipment (Kimi to begin with, Rubens, Montoya) and others looked after it.

      1. Phil Bishop says:

        apart from 15 glorious years…

      2. Phil R says:

        14…I’ve just remembered 2005 had the one race tyres, and like I said even then there was mechanical sympathy involved.

        They were good years don’t get me wrong, but I wouldn’t say they were the best of F1. Three mini sprint races took all the variables out of it and just made it an extended qualifying session. If you want to see an F1 car go as fast as possible tune in on Saturday, if you want to see entertainment and its still the fastest combination over 2 hours, watch it on Sunday. The ultimate race by your definition would have been Suzuka 2000 where it was all out for the whole race between Shuey and Mika, but with just a pass in the pit stops.

        People focus on the negative aspects of F1 as if they were newly introduced and forget that they are an inherent part of the sport.

      3. Joe Papp says:

        Pah! You can HAVE those years! I hope we never see F1 like that again! BORING! This new Pirelli-shod F1 is amazingly entertaining and such good fun! I love it! Go AussieTrueGrit Webber!

  122. jc says:

    i think mark should be penalised for ignoring team orders… because the order was “hold positions” and mark could not hold his position :))) … (just a joke and did not mean to offend anyone, mark could just fight a little harder i think)

  123. Paul says:

    Two things that seem clear:

    1. Christian Horner isn’t in charge and Vettel knows it.

    2. If RB have the best car again, unfortunately this season is going to be as dull as 2011, because RB effectively rig it for their preferred driver (Horner might not, but see #1 above).

    Kudos to Hamilton and Rosberg, both of whom showed infinitely more class – humility by Hamilton in constrast to Vettel’s showboating, and Rosberg for doing the right thing for the team and not throwing his toys out of the pram.

    1. Peter says:

      …the problem is with the Hamilton-Rosberg situation that most of the fans want to see racing…

      1. LG says:

        You must also remember. most of the time Seb fights Webber and Alonso for WDC. Alonso has his no 2 behind him, no worries. Those extra points will count.

    2. Mike from Colombia says:

      Absolutely agree. Horner looked very weak here. Compare the following:

      Brawn: Negative, negative (talking over Rosberg)
      Horner: This is silly, Sebastian, come on

      Horner is effectively a subordinate to Vettel and Marko.

      …and Horner has expectations of replacing the dictatorial Bernie…don’t make me laugh!

  124. Clemo says:

    Why did vettel ignore Team orders and pass webber?
    Because at that moment in time, he could…because he wants to win at any cost….because he has no respect for his team or team mate ….and because ultimately whatever is said within the team, there will be no punishment and he has collected the extra ponts.
    I don’t buy the ‘he’s only young’ stuff, for the majority of the worlds population of young people thinking about their actions, making decisions and respecting others is part of life and the penalties can be huge, if they get it wrong, and an insincere sounding apology isn’t going to cut it, yet vettel as an extremely well paid role model can behave however he wants ?
    Fair tough racing yes, not underhand tactics.
    Btw James will this have any effect on the vettel to Ferrari rumours, as don’t Ferrari say no driver is bigger than the team, and presumably aren’t keen on drivers publicly over ruling what the team says….or by the time he gets there would they be hoping he can show a bit more maturity

  125. TMAX says:

    James, I thought your article was little harsh on Vettel. To say that his legacy would be tainted and that he has left a bad mark is something too big. I felt the punishment did not fit the Crime (if any ???). I mean why was’nt Webber thrown into the same light as to Vettel when he disobeyed the team orders and raced Vettel in Brazil 2012 during the start and the Safety car Restart. I think everybody is blaming Vettel too much. I felt the entire media had chastised him much more than required. I really felt sorry for him. The very fact that Adrian Newey moved away from him and did not participate in the Photo Op on the podium conveyed the message. I also felt that Red Bull should have been better off to handle this situation internally than washing the dirty linen in public.

    In true essence the only guy who supports Vettel in RB seems to be Marko. Everyone else Mateschitz, Horner, & Newey are a bigger supporter of Webber. It just happened that this kid came in and took the team by a storm. Probably they did not expect him to be this good.

    MY 2 cents ONLY FERRARI can handle such top competitive Champions very well. ask Alonso he will agree 100%.

    The 2 people I would like to hear from about the incident are Marko and Bernie :)

    1. Bomber says:

      The fact that Newey moved away from him shows just how P’ed off Redbull management are with him, and rightly so.

      They work out the strategy for both drivers.

      They worked a strategy for Vettel to stay ahead of the mercedes by allowing Vettel to pit before Webber and he then uses that to overtake Webber when asked not to and then claims he misunderstood the message.

  126. Anne says:

    If an order is given it must be followed. However I don´t think it´s a fair to compare this team order with the one in Silverstone in 2011 because neither Webber nor Vettel won that race. And back then Vettel had a very big lead in the championship. So he didn´t need any help from Webber. I´m saying the situation was different.

    It makes no sense to ban orders from the rules either because teams always find a way to do it.

    It´s not fair to punish Vettel because he didn´t do anything illegal. The rules say teams are allowed to use team orders but says nothing about driver´s obligation to obey. What Vettel can´t do is to scream over the radio to the team asking them to move Webber away. He did it early in the race. So Vettel was given orders to the team. Things seem out of control in RB.

    This problem started 3 years ago in Turkey and RB never addressed it the right way.

    To take the radio audio away from the T.V. broadcast changes nothing. Drivers can tell everything that took place in the race in interviews so the media and the public will be informed anyway.

  127. pac says:

    “So it is not clear what was said to Vettel and when.”

    Will FOM now release Red Bull’s coded instructions?

    It’s hard to understand why the FOM TV director broadcast Mercedes’ team order instructions but not for RB. F1 needs more audio transparency during races, especially when it comes to team orders.

    1. EM says:

      I guess an engineer saying “Multi 21 Sebastian” wasn’t really thought interesting enough to get TV time.

      It will now though!

  128. what ever happens , next time they are next to each other on the grid it will make for a cracking start ! ( well if Webber gets off the line good )


  129. Roy says:

    As a British guy living in America, I have constantly found SV’s single finger in the air as very offensive to the American audience where a single finger means the same as a V gesture in Europe.

    I have found it hard to be a fan of his, mainly because he is constantly put on a pedestal by Marko protecting him within the RBR team.

    So this incident confirmed by inner feelings that he, like Marko, has a hidden and protected agenda.

    Sad to see this in the sport we all love.

    I am also not usually an LW fan, but after yesterday he went up many points in my rating.
    Nice to see that he may be maturing and understanding the real world now that he is with Mercedes.

    Also, sorry to see NR not winning when it looks like he was faster, but the team is of greater importance and both NR and LW will be on the podium a number of times in 2013.

    They raced hard against each other in karts and are still good friends, hopefully this will continue.

    Just my 2c’s

  130. Ant says:

    the british gp 2011, they were NOT in P1 and P2,they were both behind and still trying to catch alonso who WAS P1, that was a very different scenario. webber wanting to pass in that situation is totally acceptable for that reason.

    Also the fact is that the team orders scenario would of been sorted out and set in stone after that particular race, making what vettel done even more discraceful!

    the 4 laps prior to the time of vettel’s last pitstop, web and vet’s lap times were alternating between each other and vettel was 5+secs behind at the end of lap41, until he did pit 3+ secs down at lap43 behind webber. so webber, believing that (VETTEL PITTING 1ST) he had already made it to the point in the race that they agreed they shall just manage and maintain the race lead,(either cars final pitstop) so he turns his engine mode down and pits, meanwhile vettel is going as fast as he can, trying to overtake him when he exits pit lane. there is NO WAY IN HELL webber would have lost that 3+ seconds if he knew he was still racing for P1, also webber’s pit time was(2.5)=20.767 and vettel’s was (2.7)=20.757.

    I believe, vettel tried to steal P1 on his in lap as it was his last chance to manipulate a sneaky win for himself, whilst webber was justly expecting that the teams policies would be enforced. But vettel’s devious plan didn’t work, so he showed his true selfish hotheaded self AGAIN!!! RE: japan 2007 and turkey 2010

  131. Werewolf says:

    Schumacher, Senna and Prost all have legacies tainted by avoidable collisions, ‘politicking’ and broken agreements; and the point is we still remember their misdemeanours alongside their successes.

    In the short term, Vettel has seriously damaged his reputation within Red Bull, who must now see him as considerably less than the team player they thought him to be. What would have happened if Webber had locked up in the first complex or been more ruthless in turn 4 (rather than leaving the required car’s width when returning to the racing line) and taken one or both cars out?

    The extra seven points have been successfully banked but at what cost? It is going to be a very uncomfortable few months (at least), with more important bridges to re-build than to Webber because, as Alonso discovered at McLaren, championships can only be won with the support of the team.

  132. mhilgtx says:

    RBR should suspend Vettel. And kiss good bye any super talented driver ever wanting to race for them again.

    They should have suspended Weber after Brazil or not brought him back, if that was going to be their way of doing business. Silverstone too when Weber defied orders and bragged about doing so to the press afterwards.

    I never once thought Weber had the car to win the race, the only reason he was ahead is that Vetel made the mistake to switch off inters a 2 laps too soon.

    In the middle of the race Vetel asked for RBR to move Weber aside as he was struggling on the medium compounds. Mer also was awear of Weber’s car not liking the medium’s either.
    Weber was also awear of this and there was a radio transmission conversation reported by Will Buxton that Weber wanted to run the hard compounds at the end because he was slow on the medium.

    RBR told Vetel when he asked for Weber to allow him to pass that he needed to hold station and there would be time to pass him later in the race. This is all on the US broadcast. Vetel did this, allowing Weber to build a slightly bigger lead after he was instructed to speed up.

    I can see plausibly where Vettel might have been a little confused. But I also maintain not allowing them to race and Webers illegal blocking move were all just as bad. Does RBR really believe that Weber will be there in the end for the WDC? If not then they should have let the guys race and told Weber if you can hold him off fine BUT DO NOT crash.

    With the difference in tire (I also think Webers tires already had 4 laps on them) I Vettel easily would have over taken Weber.

  133. james smith says:

    Mark webber silverstone 2011, i dont remember any of the media moaning about this one too much

    Q. (Adam Hay-Nicholls – Metro) Mark, Christian Horner has said that you should be fine with the team orders at the end and if you and Seb had raced until the end you would both have ended up in the fence. Do you agree with that? Was it the right call? Does this mean realistically that you are out of this championship?

    MW: I am not fine with it. No. That’s the answer to that. If Fernando retires on the last lap we are battling for the victory so I was fine until the end. Of course I ignored the team as I want to try and get another place. Seb was doing his best and I was doing my best. I don’t want to crash with anyone, but that was it. I tried to do my best with the amount of conversation I had. One-way conversation obviously as I wasn’t talking too much back. There was a lot of traffic coming to me, but I was still trying to do my best to pass the guy in front.

    Q.(Adam Hay-Nicholls – Metro) Do you remember roughly how many messages you had?

    MW: Probably four or five.

  134. ubergreg says:

    I agree that Mark made a rod for his own back, because of Silverstone ’11 and Brazil last year. But to me, the real issue is with Vettel and his team. It’s an embarrassing situation for them (which no doubt counts for a great deal in this business) that could affect overall team performance and race results going forward.

    Another thing: Sebastian may have gained 7 points on the day, but it could cost him many more later this season if he finds himself racing against a teammate who feels he has very little to lose. The problem with ‘an eye for an eye’ is that they still have one eye left…

  135. slumpy says:

    I always saw Silverstone and Brazil as Mark showing that he could easily have passed, but wasn’t going to because that was the point, he *could*. He ultimately obeyed team orders against his own wishes, but made sure the team and Vettel knew he should have had the place.

    I don’t envy Christian Horner one bit…

  136. Peter M says:

    Why did Vettel ignore team orders? Simply put, he is a complete self-serving arrogant jerk and one of several reasons I will never like him as a driver. Following in Schumacher’s footsteps perfectly: great and talented drivers who are complete jerks.

  137. PetardHoister says:

    RBR have basically no option at this point but to sit Vettel out of the next race. It’s about the only punishment they can hand him that will actually punish him.

    I want to see my racing drivers, you know, racing. So I enjoyed the battle between Vettel and Webber as I suspect did just about everyone else that wasn’t on Redbulls pitwall.

    That said if the people that pay your wages tell you to do something and you don’t do that then you have to face the music. Redbull told Vettel to hold position and he didn’t. So if Redbull don’t sit Vettel out of the next race Redbull Racing will be ‘Vettel Racing’ in all but name which will likely wind up with either Webber quitting the team entirely or doing everything he can to try and stop Seb winning races, which leads down the road of no constructors title (which is where the money is)

    RBR are in a lose/lose situation.

    It comes down to this. F1 is a TEAM sport, and were it not for the backing of the TEAM from the guy that designs the cars, to the people that make the coffee (or deliver the alternative caffeinated beverages) for the mechanics then the drivers wouldn’t have a car to sit in to attempt to win titles for themselves. Effectively sticking your middle finger up at your entire team isn’t a great idea, no matter who you are, or how well you can drive.

    No matter how RBR decide to sanction Vettel there be fireworks ahead! – roll on China.

    1. LG says:

      I must admit if my boss gives me an instruction that I consider stupid I will tell him so. And I have not followed orders either once or 2x when I felt the orders were stupid or not correct accounting wise. I told them get a bigger boss to give me the instructions since they were engineers and not accountants. I never got that bigger boss instruction cos they realised they were wrong. Just saying

      1. PetardHoister says:

        OK. but Vettel himself acknowledged in post race interviews that he was wrong to have pushed for the position and that doing so might have trashed both his and Webbers tyres causing them both to finish lower.

        If Vettel had said to his team, no screw you I want to win this race I am not holding station here, I need these 7 points and then gone for it he’d be getting respect. He didn’t.

        He made an agreement with Webber and made an agreement with his team and then stuck his finger up at both and did what he wanted.

        If Redbull don’t sit him out of China then they lose Webber and probably the constructors title as a result. (either Webber will leave RBR or will fight Vettel at every turn and cost RBR a bunch of constructors points)

        If they do sit him out they potentially lose Vettel, who remains one of the top 3 drivers in F1 right now.

        Whatever they do it seems the racing between the two RBR drivers is going to be feisty and they’ll lose constructors points as a result (and it’s the constructors title the teams care more about)

      2. Joe Papp says:

        Plus there’s a complete and total difference between refusing an order that conflicts with published legal guidelines, like accounting standards, and refusing to comply with a tactical order based on an evolving strategic situation. There’s no comparing them, unfortunately.

  138. Andrew says:

    I didn’t think it was wrong when Webber refused to follow team orders at Silverstone so I can hardly hold this against Vettel.

    The British media are coming down extremely hard on Vettel over this. I know many of them are very friendly with Webber and I suspect that this is clouding their judgement. I’d be interested to see what the German media are saying about this.

    1. User007 says:

      It’s no different. The German media is usually pretty hard on German sportsmen, while I think the English media is usually rather on the soft side with their people.

  139. Chris Chong says:

    Vettel’s biggest mistake was actually saying “sorry”. If you’re going to be ruthless, you have to go all the way – none of this chickening out and apologising once you’re out of the car.

    He should have been a man about it and said what he thought and stuck by it. That’s why fans rally behind Webber, even when he attempted something similar in Silverstone and Brasil.

    1. 69bhp says:

      agreed. He should have manned up and said this was payback for Silverstone and Brazil rather than attempted a lame apology.

      On a related note, Horner’s failure to discipline Webber for Silverstone and Brazil was the real cause of the Malaysian fiasco – it showed Vettel that RBR team orders could be ignored with impunity.

  140. Bobdredds says:

    I have been reading the many responses to this situation and it’s clear that there are some who think it’s ok what Seb did citing he’s a racer, killer etc and thats what we want and expect. I believe they are completely missing the point. I believe it was an unecessary act performed by a spoilt racer who believed he would get away with it. Far more telling was his tone of voice earlier in the race saying to the team “get him out of the way” and I would like to be there when Mark hears it. Anyway you look at it Seb took advantage of a managed situation and relied on his acchievements and his relationship with Marko to get away with it. If he’s sorry it’s because the reaction is so negative, he has no concept of the real issue which is his integrity or lack of it. He has created a very real problem for Red Bull and it’s boss Dietrich Mateschitz who abhors such behavour and puts loyalty and integrity above everthing else. If they do nothing the incident will haunt Red Bull and forever put a question over their high minded standards and whether or not they are genuine or just marketing jargon. The biggest problem is what do you do. Clearly any bonuses should go to Mark but that is not enough, money means nothing to Seb at this stage. John Watson has said he should be banned for one race and while I rarely find myself in agreement with “Watty”, in this case it’s the only option IMHO. It would be very difficult for any team to suspend a top driver and even more so one as successful as Seb but if they dont, the message sent out to younger fans and upcoming drivers will be the wrong one. I expect this view wont go down well with Seb’s fans and claims of denying us the opportuinity to see him race is a tragedy will be numerous I expect but I for one wouldn’t mind for one race and I think the sport and Red bull and especially Seb would benefit from it in the long run. This is all his doing after all and he should take proper responsability for it and take his medicine.

    1. Joe Papp says:

      ” John Watson has said he should be banned for one race and while I rarely find myself in agreement with “Watty”, in this case it’s the only option IMHO. ” —- I find myself agreeing with you that a one-race suspension by the team is the only viable punishment that would actually have an impact on the individual in question, while conveying the team’s commitment to defending its rules and protocols from violation/abuse by an egoist like Vettel who thinks he’s more than the team, who thinks he’s better than the team.

      That said, I still don’t think it will happen. Any other action against Vettel though will be a token punishment, imo.

      1. Bobdredds says:

        I dont think it will happen either but not because of Vettel’s hold over the team but because it may be judged as too harsh. I dont agree with many of the critics here who damn Seb for what he did after the race, that was just his immaturity showing itself and I am not really surprised. He still is a very fast, hard working driver who has great acchievements to his name and that hasn’t changed. But in many ways he is atill a kid and what he did was more childish than anything else. However the consequences dictate that it be treated seriously because the fallout is serious for the team and the brand. I’m glad I dont have to make that decision. Slamming Horner for not taking immediate action is ridiculous because if he did it would have been a knee jerk reaction and not appropriate to the situation. I certainly wouldn’t want a principal who behaved like that and Christian Horner is one of the calmest and the best. To write him and the team off because one of their drivers had a “brain fade”(Thanks Ron) is also ridiculous. Seb made a stupid, immature move that will follow him for his entire career and that may be enough because the press and those who dont like him wont let him forget it ever. A clear message has been delivered to Seb with 90% of people damning his actions. But isn’t everyone entitled to one mistake and as long as he learns something from it I wont have a problem with it. I know that some will be adamant that he wont learn from this and the team will protect him but I believe that Horner and Matescheitz are people of integrity and if Seb really tried to control the team to get his own way he would be out on his ear. His petty comment “to get him out of the way” was ignored by the team remember. So while there is still a lot of noise to dissapate before the next race, most of it is static. We wont know the real consequences till China or even later. As far as Mark is concerned he has strengthened his position and it’s now up to him and no one else when he leaves Red Bull.
        His dad will sit him down and say “Mark, dont be such a silly drongo, they are paying you millions to drive, you have the moral highground, take the opportuinity because it wont last forever. ;)

      2. Joe Papp says:

        I couldn’t see Webber quitting the team over this, let alone quitting right now. Top level sportsmen just don’t do that, and Webbo’s at an age where he realizes how amazing the life of the elite sportsman is, and, barring injury or massive disillusion or the like, you don’t think at age 37 about precipitously bringing your career to a close on a whim in response to the actions of a spoiled brat like Finger-Boy.

        That all said, if RBR actually sanctioned Vettel and suspended him for a race, who would drive in his stead?

  141. Bernd says:

    Well done to Vettel for blowing away the facade and exposing today’s F1 for what it is: not racing, but a hollow spectacle where the engineers determine laptimes in advance.

    It wasn’t like this when I started watching in 1994.

    Webber really has only himself to blame – he never played for the team; the contrast between his and Massa’s behaviour last year in Brasil was stark.

    1. Joe Papp says:

      Oh please, F1 now is more interesting and exciting to watch now than 1994 when I was in Monaco.

  142. Shame says:

    After the dust settles and if Vettel wins the championship again this year, nobody will care about this. What people care about at the end of the day are the results, P1.

    People may be upset with Vettel for a while, some may hold a grudge forever but if he gets a 4th WDC by less than 7 points do you think he will be sad?

  143. goferet says:

    Whoa, this incident proves to me that Vettel has a mathematical brain that’s always computing different calculations ahead of time.

    Hadn’t realized Vettel and Webber would have been equal on points if Webber had got the win.

    Yes, in this brutal sport it’s always a mistake to let your teammate get the first blood for goodness knows when you will get the upper hand again (same reason Lewis kept re-overtaking Rosberg).

    Think about it, Webber almost won the 2010 title because he got the upper hand on his teammate in the first half of the season.

    Now, Vettel’s reputation might have suffered a bit in the court of public opinion but over time with lots of clean racing, good behaviour and charity work, the majority of people will forget once upon a time Vettel pulled a fast one on his teammate.

    In conclusion, it has to be noted that this tag of war between Vettel and Webber pretty much guarantees them to be mates for life especially when both are retired.

    Yes, this usually happens when you have foes for over time, they tend to become the best of mates e.g. Senna and Prost, Schumi and Rubens, Lewis and Alonso etc.

    So no worries, all is well that ends well.

    1. Bobdredds says:

      Schumi and Rubens????……….really!

  144. Hansb says:

    People compare this incident with the race in Silverstone 2011 but I think it wasnt.
    Back then, in the closing stages Webber had a chance to fight for the win because as it seemed there were no team orders made -before- the start of the race (from the comments of Horner). So MW had to be stopped (obviously CH did not want a Turkey2010) when he smelled victory, leaving not much time to think things over in that heat of the moment.
    I do agree however that he should have stopped the hunt immediatly.

    In the situation yesterday it was clear that there was an agreement -before- the race and both drivers accepted that.
    Breaking that agreement and ignoring a teamorder in the process is something different. Its betrayal.

    1. 69bhp says:

      so there are different degrees of culpability when it comes to defying team orders? who decides which can be ignored and which must be obeyed? An order is an order, and Webber and Vettel were both wrong. In my view Horner sowed the seeds of this furore by failing to discipline Webber for ignoring the team orders at Silverstone 2011 and Brazil 2012.

      1. Hansb says:

        A team order is a team order no difference in that. Shamelessly and in full awareness violate an agreement is something quite different.
        Its betrayal, stabbing a knife in the back of your teammate when he doesnt expect because of that mutual agreement.

      2. Hansb says:

        I do share your view that all this doesnt seem to be managed very well by CH.
        If he will not be unambiguously clear to Vettel now, a reaction from Webber could be expected and things might get beyond control.

  145. carm says:


    Great coverage this week-end, great podcasts too, thanks.

    Full disclosure, I’m an old fart, Italian, and forever a Ferrari fan. But I also like to think of myself as a student of f1. Before I get to this weekend, a couple of things (opinions). Tires are absurd, one pit stop for tires would be ideal for my taste. KERRS/DRS should be junked. Just dreaming!!

    Another absurdity is that f1 drivers on the same team are referred to as “teammates”, they are rivals, in my view. To be real teammates, one would need to do the first half of the race, and the other the second, I know, more dreaming! But a real bond might be created.

    But like all sports today there’s too much money, and gentlemen are few and far between. Winning at all costs can’t taste good all the time.

    I will admit it took me a long time to lose respect for Schumacher, but I did in spite of all the wins in the red cars! But it seems to be happening quicker for me with Vettel, and I’ve always liked him. But last weekend he lost something, a bit of respect from my view. Now he’s just another of the win at all cost guys. Jens is a gentleman, and maybe Ham will mature, and hopefully some other guys will step in the future.

    And, I’ve always liked Massa, but last weekend he should’ve been on the podium, no excuses.

    Thanks again,

  146. Robert says:

    Vettel has gone up in my estimation not down. Is he the real Schumi deal ? Perhaps yes.

    He saw an opportunity to grab more points and took it. The world is shaped by unreasonable men and always will be.

    1. AlexD says:

      I wish more and more of them in your life, treating you like this. Ejoy.

  147. goferet says:

    Senna and Prost fell out over violations of agreements between themselves, but not of rules imposed by the team.

    Lewis disobeyed a team rule to come in Hungary 2007.

    1. Stephen Taylor says:

      But obeying team instructions can also get into hot water with stewards as Lewis found out after Melbourne 2009. In some cases you should go with instinct and vice versa.

  148. Grant says:

    What I found most disgraceful about Vettel’s behaviour was the long faced he pulled during the interviews, like someone who’s just committed murder and is without remorse.
    in Brazil team orders were NOT allowed and fans know that what Webber did was out frustration from the team’s continous abuse. Same can’t be said for Vettel.
    He’s just an old 25-year-old kid that is spoiled.
    He should be glad Lewis never made to that team, coz Ham would have just broken him down and exposed him to the world….

    1. Endres says:

      Yes Ham was quite the mentalist. The manner in which he has completely discombobulated Mclaren by his crafty stop-n-go, or as he masterfully dismissed it `pulling a Jenson`, such a cad.

      Didn`t know till today he had secured such a sweet sugar daddy with the likes or bernie.

      Can hear the witty repartee now: `Pleeeese uncle burns, i wannna drive a red bulllll.

      Yes, real smashing stuff.

    2. Grant says:

      Bernie only wants Lewis at Redbull only to benefit the sport of F1 (thus himself).

      He knows the battle that would ensue from that pairing would be quite epic!

      As F1 fans, should we really accept that we’ll never see a Senna/Prost type battle ever again?

      Things are getting sort of mediocre (in terms of actual racing) in F1.

  149. Sarvar says:

    I think the Red Bulls marketing dept could not have dreamed of such a free but a global publicity this month))

  150. Marian says:

    Vettel drives for a team which is well known for breaking the rules without consequences. He called stupid, cucumber, etc to other drivers. He played dirty with Alonso and Button last year ( qualify and Monza with Fernando, braking after the safety car with Jenson). He is the only driver who has 3 team mates(Webber and the TR drivers) Yeeeessss that’s what I’m talking about, that’s the way Vettel wins!

    1. Brad says:

      If this point is true… then don’t forget Alonso has a CLEAR nr 2 and the Saubers… so 3 each…

  151. Matt W says:

    Maybe it is time each car had a different title sponsor. Probably tough in the current climate to find 22 different sponsors but it would certainly stop driver A from getting priority over driver B.

    This is the reason team orders should have remained illegal. It would have been completetly insulting to the viewer (who is now paying a premium to watch) to see a contrived procession finish yesterday from 20 laps to go onwards.

  152. Tim morgan says:

    Hi James,
    Love the website and your insights. My question is how will Mr Mateschitz view what happened in Sepang, clearly Seb and the pit wall will have to answer for what happened, do you think they might make changes on race day regarding strategy and management .

    1. James Allen says:

      Probably as good publicity!

      1. Stephen Taylor says:

        Are you mad James ,surely it has to be the opposite?

      2. STIGG says:

        There’s no such thing as bad publicity . . . nobody is thinking Monster, Burn or TNT at the moment (I just struggled in recalling their competition!)

      3. PetardHoister says:

        ‘no such thing as bad publicity.’ Red Bull is front page of every F1 publication right now.

        The world seems split 50/50. Half think Vettel is a ruthless racer seeking every last little advantage, and praise Vettel for racing till the end and providing us with some entertainment in what would have been a processional last dozen or so laps had the teams had their way.

        the other half think Vettel is a petulant spoilt brat who has armfuls of talent but absolutely no class.

        Both sets appear to view Christian Horner as spineless and that Vettel will probably get away with it almost entirely.

        Whatever people feel about it though Redbull is getting blanket media attention of the kind that you cannot buy and Mateschitz is a businessman first and foremost.

      4. Craig in Manila says:

        This weekend should have been about Lewis and Mercedes having a great result. Instead, they have been forgotten.

        Instead, it’s all about the Bull.

        One wonders if the whole thing was a deliberate attempt at media manipulation….

      5. Grant says:

        Can vettel still be seen as good ambassador for Redbull products:
        - The drink
        - Redbull Mobile
        - etc…

      6. Phil says:

        Yes, Red Bull has always had a hint of a naughty side of it in its brand.

        There is such a bad thing as bad publicity, but from Red Bull’s point of view the only thing that can be bad is something negative about the drink (faulty product/contamination/very severe health scare), the F1 side of it is detached enough.

  153. Victor E Lapp says:

    Here are some quotes from qual & GP:

    “I wouldn’t think there’s a snowball in hell’s chance of that”. (Martin Brundle b4 qual re going back to last year’s tyres)

    “Come back, come back, I love you!!!” Martin, qual 3 Massa’s car sliding out)

    “He was squirming around like Bambi on ice”. (Martin,qual 3)

    “The biscuit barrel is not just full of custard creams”. (David Croft, lap 33)

    “You could go & see Swan Lake & you wouldn’t see more people working in tandem & harmony at such a rate”. (Martin, lap 43 pit stop)

    “That’s cried “Enough!” and made a bid for freedom”. (Martin, lap 51 re Kimi’s front wing end)

    “I’ll need boxing gloves up there I suspect”. (Martin, lap 51 re podium)

  154. James Lewis says:

    I’ve got say, I think the situation is FANTASTIC. We need a bit of spice back in our F1.

    I do find it rather dull when the drivers are commending each other etc as per the end of last season.

    I want the cut and thrust of racing – drivers who won’t stand for 2nd place. Drivers who court controversy. Australia was an interesting race, but all too respectful amongst the champions. I want Piquet style driver punch-ups. Mansell throat throttling. Schumacher-like confrontations with Coulthard in Spa.

    I remember when F1 was dominated by MEN taming wild beast-like machines… Men who told the team what they wanted (not the other way around)… not clean shaven/bland little boys with Millionaire fathers…

    Bring it on I say….

    1. Zombie says:

      Those days are long gone. These days we live in a politically correct world . Although watered down, MotoGp is probably the only motorsports that has any semblance of real racing and near zero BS associated with it .

      1. Dean V says:

        Casey Stoner would beg to differ

    2. Stephen Taylor says:

      Wouldn’t mind a Kimi and Seb rivalry . Would remind me of Schumacher vs Hakkinen.

  155. dedi says:

    Rbr please have a short course with ferrari how to apply team order gently.

    1. FerrariFan says:

      Or Mercedes. Ross Brawn showed how its done.

      1. Anne says:

        Well said!


      2. Hiten says:

        As per latest news, Niki Lauda and Toto Wolff were not amused by Ross Brawn’s decision and are saying “they should have let him go”, “it was not good from sporting point of view”,”they will have a talk with Ross on how to handle in future”.

        In another news, Niki says “what Vettel did was a serious mistake.”

        F1 double standards. They think drivers are supposed to be their puppets and obey orders everytime – when to overtake and when not to overtake (mostly not to overtake)!!

        F1 fans should be supporting drivers not the team and look more from drivers perspective and very less from team perspective. Who would want to cruise for 15 straight laps if he has started from pole and is on better tyre than one on front?? He will sure give a fight.

      3. Anne says:

        Hiten do you want drivers to be like Tevez? I hate the arrogance, inmaturity and stupidity of football players. I don´t want to see that in other sports

      4. dedi says:

        Good Ferrari Can Now Proudly launch its book ” Team Order for Dummy : A Gentle Touch” .
        Brawn would first comment how useful the book is.

    2. Endres says:


  156. Carl Craven says:

    Vettel needs to take a leaf from this athletes book and know when he is beaten . . . perhaps

  157. AuraF1 says:

    The biggest loser here is Christian Horner. He just looks like a frightened rabbit afraid to tell Vettel what to do.

    It’s actually in Vettel’s interest to have a strong team principal – and strong support across all departments.

    And to be honest – Mark seems to race better when he’s in a bad mood. Vettel is just likely to get attacked on all sides now. I’m sure he doesn’t care – he knows Herr Marko has his corner no matter what, but there are less tangible elements of support that wither when a driver angers his team.

    1. FerrariFan says:

      How can he continue as the head after his position was completely undermined on live TV ?

    2. Andy says:

      I agree. In fact, I’d go a bit further than that; if Christian Horner doesn’t apply some sort of appropriate sanction to Vettel, his (Horner’s) days as a team principal are effectively over because he can’t allow the drivers to publicly dictate what the team does and doesn’t do. If he’s prevented from applying a sanction by Red Bull management, then his position is probably untenable.

  158. russ says:

    The four cars in front should have crashed into each other so the RACERS behind them could get by and RACE!

    1. Stephen Taylor says:

      I was hoping the top six would smash one another up so Kimi could get another win . You wouldn’t think I’m on a journalism degree (which I am) by suggesting such things as that to happen.

      1. Tim says:

        Correct are you, judging the way by which you have written your sentence I would never have guessed :-)

  159. FerrariFan says:

    Hi James,
    I was not so surprised by Vettel’s behavior. We saw this in Turkey when he caused the collision and blamed it on Webber. The Red Bull team (or at least Marko) supported him then. What I was more surprised about was the Red Bull team’s reaction to it. It was interesting to see that they acknowledged that Vettel was to blame in this incident, while I expected they will “Protect” him as usual. It seems as though there is a rift developing between Vettel and Honer. However, Honer sounded somewhat helpless in his comments later.

    1. Endres says:

      Yes of course, penalize your own driver, the triple world champion you happen to have the good fortune of having in your employ, wouldn’t want your 40 year old multi-race winner to feel he’s second best now would we?

      Pardon me while I barf in my soup.

  160. Oz Gizza says:

    My two bob worth.
    1) C Horner must act decisively as the team
    Principal should and only in monetary terms.
    2) When an employee undermine his Superior
    it is goodby Columbo,cheque is in the mail.
    3) Mark Webber must vacate his seat at
    Red Bull or be push out,the perception is
    the trust is no longer on the menu on Mark Webber table and collision will accure in
    due course.
    You see Mark Webber is a true blue a champion
    of a guy,as far he’s concernd they change the
    script, do you blame him?.

    1. Endres says:

      These guys don’t punch a clock at GM genius, perhaps Mark could file a complaint with HR? I’m certain they have an open door policy?

  161. ChrisDL says:

    Let me get this straight:
    Because of the tyres, we will now get team orders forbidding team mates to pass each other in the last quarter of the race?

    I’m going to route for anyone ignoring team orders in that case!

    Do we really want our favorite sport to be like this?

    1. Craig D says:

      This type of behaviour has always existed across all teams. I recall the Force India Sporting Director(?) saying in quali the same thing about his drivers in Australia.

      We might not like it but in situations near the end of a race where a team’s two cars are in close proximity with there little threat from behind, it makes sense to bring the cars home. There’s too much risk for the team from reliability worries, collisions etc to allow them to squabble. So it’s not really to do with tyres but the overall situation.

      I found when Webber referred to in an interview of “naievity” about the sport very interesting. There’s a lot of control measures in this sport thanks to, in short, money. Often they are kept more hidden from the public.

      For example, until the end of the race everyone thought the Red Bull drivers had had an epic battle, with Vettel coming out on top. There were no questions raised about Vettel until Rocky(?) told him he had “Some explaining to do.” Without the presence of radio feed and all the live interviews, we’d be none the wiser as to what really happened between the team and drivers.

      It makes you think of all the potential untold stories from the Olden Times!

      1. ChrisDL says:

        Cheers, Craig. I do think I have a bit of a different point to make.

        The reason the teams wanted to bring the cars home in tandem was the uncertainty about the tyres. Both Red Bull and Mercedes issued team orders just because they were afraid that the tyres wouldn’t last long enough if they did “real racing”.

        People can forget about Vettel, that doesn’t worry me. What worries me is that Pirelli designed tyres which prevent the drivers from doing actually racing for the last 30 minutes of a grand prix!

        In fact, both Vettel and Webber (and perhaps others) complained about this exact issue 2 days before the race. For me, it takes part of the fun out of F1 and I find that sad.

        Of course I’m passionate about F1 or I wouldn’t be posting here, so I’m hoping that somebody listens to my (our?) complaints regarding the tyres and does something about it.

  162. Oz Gizza says:

    I meant to say and not only in monetary terms

  163. Trickle says:

    People jump at anything that vettel does its as simple as. No such fuss was created about Webber’s previous disobedience – people just quietly chuckled that he failed whereas here Vettel succeeded.

    However as people have said the far more pressing concern as a fan of the sport as a whole is the precedeny Malaysia has set for this season. If teams are going to continue this “race is over after last pit stop” malarkey then f1 will become a joke to be honest. Vettel’s move provided the most entertainment from the fan’s point of view in the final 15 laps. Note im not saying it was a fair fight but was a damn side more exciting than watching the merc duo.

    Just food for thought: If Hamilton had been behind Rosberg a) would he have been such an obidient sheep and b) if he had stayrd behind what would British press have said?

    1. goferet says:

      @ Trickle

      If Hamilton had been behind Rosberg

      Uh there are a couple of examples where Lewis maintained position

      Monaco 2006 being one of them and then there’s a wet China 2010.

    2. Endres says:

      You said it brother, could have been one of the GP greats instead it’s one of the “what the !@#$’ just happend on the podium. Not my cup of controversy, much rather discus who’s grey area aero bits were the more interesting.

    3. Timmay says:

      I can handle, and I can understand crusing after the final pitstop when it is 2 of this teams car, well ahead of 2 of this teams car, miles ahead of the rest of them. Just makes sense doesnt it?

  164. jeroen says:

    I am frankly very dissapointed with the F1 press and don’t like this analysis one bit.

    It was wrong what Vettel did as in morally wrong and the sport must never ever tolerate this, simple as that.

    What am I supposed to tell my son when watching a GP race and this nonsense happens? That it is all right to cheat your team and team mate? that it is ok to have one set of rules for one and another set for you?

    Drivers, Teams and F1 Media must act a little bit more morally correct in matters like this as I’m sure they are aware of their influence.

    1. Bomber says:

      Hear Hear.

  165. FerrariFan says:

    On a completely different note, the body language of the different parties during the podium ceremony was interesting.

    Vettel – Delighted to win. No remorse for his actions

    Webber – Grumpy

    Hamilton – Sorry to be on the podium

    Honer – Extremely concerned

    Marko – Extremely Proud

    Newey – Hard to tell. Must be a good Poker player.

    1. dedi says:

      Make me laugh at least .
      May i add
      Dietrich Mateschitz : i am the banker. And the banker always win.

  166. Paul D says:

    The problem is with the whole concept of ‘team orders’ which is just ridiculous at this stage of the season. Let the drivers race!

    If drivers start taking each other out, get new drivers. Quite simple really.

    Mansell and Piquet were always allowed to race by Williams. I don’t remember them taking each other out.

  167. Frans says:

    I’m sorry, but since when does ‘Racing’ stop when a team order is given? Isn’t it the case that a race stops when the checkered flag drops? So why on earth is there ANYONE even siding with RBR and Webber on this? We as fans should be up in arms that there are even team orders issued at all! And that there are drivers who even obey them! (I’m looking at you, Rosberg).

    Vettel is paid to do one thing: win the race. He did. End of story. Webber might find it hard to swallow that he lost a race he could have won, but fact is, would he really have won the race if there weren’t team orders given? I doubt it.

    Let’s also think about the millions of people who watch Formula 1 using pay-per-view or other subscription-based channels: Here in the netherlands I have to pay 7 euro per grand prix to watch it. I don’t want to pay 7 euro for a ‘race’ where some guy at the pitwall decides who wins. I want to see a REAL race, where real drivers battle for the win, because they consider winning the most important of all.

    Vettel showed that he understands what’s important. Rosberg didn’t and Webber didn’t either. Shame on them, together with the press and so called ‘fans’ who apparently find it ‘great’ that there are even team orders given.

    1. dufus says:

      No need to be sorry because your views are from a minority. Everyone’s entitled to an opinion.

    2. H says:

      I completely agree with this, I can’t believe the backlash that Seb is receiving for passing someone for the win, Mark would have seen Seb closing and would have thought to himself hmm maybe he will try to pass me and turn his engine up if he didn’t then more fool him!

      People were telling Nico to pass Lewis against team orders and rooting for him to succeed and those same people are saying what Seb did was wrong absolute hypocrisy! I can understand why mark is annoyed and in a way he does have a right to be , but then what about Silverstone when mark said yes i defied team orders i wanted the points and if Alo car broke it would be for a win, so the only difference in this situation is that Seb actually passed Mark, Mark can’t have it both ways he’s either for or against team orders.

      Had it been anyone other then Seb doing the pass people would be hailing their drive to win.

  168. Danny Almonte says:

    Vettel used all his intermediate tires in qualifying. He had no choice but to pit early for slicks: it wasn’t a mistake.

    Even though he was in second place, he was given the early pit stop which enabled him to catch Webber.

    I don’t feel sorry for Webber but I don’t condone what Vettel did either. Mercedes were not a threat. It was just a boring Sunday drive to the finish. Vettel knew exactly what he was doing.

    Vettel showed his ugly and selfish side which will never be forgotten. He is already as infamous as the recently fired journeyman driver, Schumacher. Yet another sports personality is tarnished. The zealots and fanatics will continue to cheer and cry hysterically for their ‘sporting’ heroe.

  169. Dean says:

    If I was Mark, I’m not sure I’d be too upset at how this is played out. 7 points is easily made up in a long season and if this helps drive a wedge between Vettel and the team, especially when you think the team have favoured him in the past, then I’d say it’s worth more than a race win. Only problem is the three weeks until China, the gap will remove some of the pressure that would surely have increased even further if it was another back to back.
    And I can’t see how this won’t drive a wedge between Vettel and the team. He has made a mockery of team management (Horner in particular) and exposed the brand to plenty of negative press. So Seb has to be visually punished or Horner will be fatally undermined. Also interesting that a certain Mr Newey looked less than impressed as he waited to go onto the podium. Now there’s an individual who’s worth a lot more than a driver so I wonder if he’ll get any say…..

  170. Matt_D says:

    In terms of the WDC, Webber is not a has-been, he is a never-was. His best-ever WDC result was third. Since joining Red Bull, Vettel’s _WORST_ WDC result was second.

    What Webber needs to get through his thick antipodean skull is that his role at Red Bull is to spare no effort assisting RBR to win the WCC but to never, NEVER, under any circumstances, diminish Vettel’s chances of winning still another WDC.

  171. Lol says:

    People are whining that drivers are racing? It has been confirmed both had their engines turned down, so a fair fight. People suddenly want drivers to follow teammates (or no wait, if the teamorder is against Vettel?)

    This has gotten silly. Senna and Fangio would be the first to applaud Vettel.

    And this is why the likes of Webber and Rosberg and Rubens and Irvine never will be/could be champions. They accept the second fiddle.

  172. Carlos Marques says:

    Conspiracy theory of the day: Is it possible Red Bull told Webber to slow down knowing full well Vettel would probably ignore the team order and overtake Webber?

    Think about it. Red Bull knew full well that Webber would not slow down and move over if asked (apparently nobody follows team orders at Red Bull) so they told him to “save his engine” and the trap was set.

    Probably Vettel and Red Bull are giving each other high-fives in their closed-door meeting right now…

    1. Endres says:

      Ineresting Carlos, certainly would be the best explanation on this site for what the RBR communicated to Vettel directly after his communique, telling them to, “geht Mahrk outa-da vaa”. REPLY: “Patience Sep”.


  173. franed says:

    “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.”

    Not having Sky I listened to your commentary on BBC5Live and the instructions were not coded they were in plain English and very clear on your program. Maybe you need to listen to your own broadcast again.
    BTW excellent commentary, far better than the tv one on the highlights.

    1. James Allen says:

      I’m talking about the original instruction Multi 21 etc

      We only heard the later comments on ‘being silly’

      1. EM says:

        I’m guessing the instruction to Vettel was something like “multi 21 Seb” probably not worth broadcasting on the TV feed.

        However I bet next time they are close every multi instruction to Webber and Vettel will be going out

  174. KK 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. 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.”

    Comeon James, we expect you to say as you see it, not as you listen to someone like how the PF1 guys do :)

    Anyways, two corrections here
    1. It’s impossible for me to believe that Webber hadn’t turned his engine up in that situation because otherwise, he wouldn’t have got the top speed to match Vettel on the straights. Why is it that Webber almost planting Vettel on the wall is OVERLOOKED? That was ruthless in my book. So yeah we were racing, not like a competitive animal passing a sitting duck
    2. Webber in Silverstone didn’t just have “a go”, he had three or four gos but simply couldn’t pass as he mentioned in the press conference. That day, the press and Formula 1 experts gave a lot of flak to Redbull for being evil and Vettel for being protected whereas Webber was hailed as a hero.

    Only that when the situation is reversed, Vettel is ruthless and unsporting.
    3. Why is the Brazil 2012 situation still being overlooked? Webber deserves a whack for he has never driven for the team, but for himself. I don’t have a problem with that but he can’t have it both ways and cannot complain now, just cannot. And you guys, the media shouldn’t have short memories, you guys need to assess the situation in a more rational manner.

    Mark Webber is a frustrated soul, almost rammed into his teammate in the championship decider, ignored team orders in 2011 and now cribbing for Vettel ignoring it for once…..double standards anyone???

    1. Endres says:

      Thank you KK,

      Some logical understanding of these relationships, relavant history, pragmatic qualification of track positioning and performance, without Sep coloured glasses.

      James made an inaccurate statement.

      I would have considered myself, currently, a Raikkonin fan, however, the manner in which this young, gulp, German is being judged, draws my interest to his obvious talent. If everyone dislikes him so much, there has to be another layer to this virtuoso.

      Although Alonso fans must be loving this, just not the extra 7 points, oh wait….

  175. Raymond Yu says:

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

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

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

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

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

  176. Grant says:

    Strange that overtaking was still pretty hard, even with two (very straight) DRS Zones.

    1. IP says:

      that’s the way it should be. DRS should be just enough to allow a driver to mount a challenge but it shouldn’t gift an overtake. IMO

  177. stuart the old geezer says:

    I agree Phil, but trouble is that ever since the WDC was introduced in 1950 drivers have concentrated on winning it rather than each race. Likewise the manufacturers or team owners want to win the Manufacturer’s Championship. So collecting points has taken precedence over racing. The regulations and the farcical tyre situation have now become so obtuse that sometimes the drivers cannot or are not allowed to race, and Sunday was the perfect example of what happens. It might sell newspapers but it is not what the real fans want or expect.

  178. Nick Hipkin says:

    Three observations come out of yesterday for me:

    1. Vettel seems to think stats and records alone will be the measure of his greatness, but that did not make Schumacher the greatest. For many its Senna. P.S. Gilles only won 6 races but will always be considered a great.

    2. Ignoring the rights and wrongs of the team orders there is an underlying resentment towards Vettel, the majority of fans are not enjoying his success as they feel this era is being shaped by a driver who probably isn’t the best on the grid (Alonso). Martin Brundle also pointed out that Seb has an increasing image problem with fans.

    3. This will likely be a turning point for Webber like it was with Barrichello at Ferrari in 2005, when the quickest car is no longer enough.

  179. yassin says:

    Hi James,

    My question is on a technical aspect of the Redbull.

    On your recent post of “Driver of The Day” we can see a picture of the Rebull. It shows that the Redbull suspension/ride height is high on the rear compared to others.

    Can you tell us a bit more about this as it is unusually higher than the other top teams even when full on fuel?

    Thank you

    P.S Looks like the gloves are off at Redbull……

  180. Colin B says:

    After reading my local paper in the US this morning (F1 had two paragraphs today next to a Nascar story today, instead of usual 1 paragraph!), it had an interesting little comment. The winner had to apologies for winning.

    How many sports are there where the winner has to apologies for winning?

    I know F1 is different with team orders etc. But really, how dose a sport look to casual American viewers when the winner apologies. It is almost as bad as explaining to Americans that in test cricket there can be a draw after 5 days of play.

  181. Steven Pritchard says:

    Answer: When push came to shove, he knew he’d get away with it (with his team).

    Oh dear Mr V. I was just starting to develop some respect for you.

  182. Lee says:

    He’s a winner, did what it took to win, it was a calculated decision. The only issue I have with it is whether it was the right decision in that he needs the support of his team to win WC No.4 and maybe his team mate.

    Get over it. He’s not in F1 to make friends he’s in it to win. Nice guys finish 2nd.

  183. Eric Weinraub says:

    Mark should have taken them both out by shutting the door and *forced* RB to deal with the situation. I saw and admired Schuey for many years NEVER backing off and doing the same thing with the only difference the clear statement of #1 status that Vetel does not have. I am also thinking that Rosberg should have gone by Hamilton because what we saw was an implied #1 status that too must be addressed. Folks, this racing and when the teams make this look pre ordained we the fans lose.

    1. IP says:

      Nico should of offered hamilton a tow to help him “save” fuel

  184. Truffaut says:

    It is perfectly allright to be scared of people who don’t obey authorities or don’t necessarily do accoding puplic opinion, it is in our genes. But those few people do extraordinary things in sports and business that gives us joy and sometimes also change the world. I find it most amusing that people are so upset that he didn’t obey the team orders and are asking for strict actions for his misbehave. Kimi, Seb and co can take few years off if they want, it was different at Sennas era, times are changin’… Ross Brawns will shortly be in wax museum.

    Adrenaline pumping to his veins Seb in a real racer spirit took his chance without throughly analysing the consequences. It looked like fair racing, nobody was near to get killed and nobody was mentally hurt for good, apart few commentators apparently here. This is F1 and I love it for all that.

    So overall good enough judgement from Seb when heading for WDC and WCC. Mark will have his chance to get even by beating Seb on the track. Can’t wait for that in three weeks!

    1. Rob says:

      “it looked like fair racing”

      it may have looked like it at the point of overtake, but even during the race on tv we heard radio calls that Seb had some explaining to do. Then after the race, we learn that Webber was told the race was over and to nurse the car. It wasnt fair racing.

      1. Truffaut says:

        Well we don’t know yet for sure, I guess we have to trust our eyes and intuition regarding the fair racing. I think Seb was anyway faster than Mark at final stint due to tyres and I can understand Seb’s frustration when probably what he thought was good pre-race agreement for him was not anymore. Then he saw the chance and took it. Not a flawless act but hey he is a race driver. And sure he’ll have lot to explain to the team.

        Mark probably knew that he can’t respond to Seb’s speed with his tyres and that’s why we didn’t see the second fight, only the middle finger. And no question he was frustrated. even more if he had made some compromise on speed on earlier stints counting on Seb to hold on the pre-race agreement after last pit stop.

        All in all I think faster driver won that grand prix, and that is what counts most to me, all this drama is icing on the cake. I like Mark and Seb equally, great drivers both.

  185. kimberly says:

    i honestly think that this is going to be vettel’s last season in RBR. probably why horner is quite critical of vettel. he actually has done worse in turkey 2010 and they were defending him.
    PS i hate the new tyres

    1. aveli says:

      vettel will not be driven out of rbr. i heard horner say to vettel “good drive, you really wanted that one” this tells me that they are not unhappy about vettel’s theft.

  186. Mike from Colombia says:

    Two great videos:

    James, two questions for you:

    1) If Webber does decide he has had enough, then who do you see alongside Vettel next year ?

    2) Has team-mate-to-team-mate radio ever been considered? Is it allowed ?

    1. Grant says:

      Sorry I’m not James, but on question-1:
      Lewis of course….

      Newey is gona be making the best cars till he retires, and I need so many questions answered about Vettel :D

    2. Sebee says:

      Webber would be crazy to leave RBR! He will never have it this good on any other team.

      Today he is on the pages of ever sport section world wide and has the sympathy of 85% of F1 fans. He would never get this much attention had he won a staged coast-to-the-finish result Malaysian GP.

      There are many GPs he won or came second I don’t remember. Everyone will remember this one!

  187. Sebee says:

    Telegraph poll concludes 85% think Vettel was wrong, 15% think Vettel was right to “disobey”.

    Congratulations to all those (an myself) in the 15%! See you all at the 4TH WDC party! :-)

    1. john says:

      I don’t think so. 2013 is not Vettel’s Year.
      It’s time for a new World Champion.

      1. Gloryhunting is easy. But meaningless. Anyone can climb onto the bandwagon of the winner in the fastest car and say ‘yay’. It does not reflect any glory onto them though.

    2. Bighaydo says:

      Yeah, I don’t think congratulations are in order. An attitude or perspective adjustment perhaps, but not congratulations.

    3. Well says:

      People who speak different languages and read around will see the British media and fans are negative, the rest of the world positive about Vettel. Except the people who already disliked Vettel (like Alonso and Hamilton and Webber fans)

      In the Netherlands, he is being praised as the new Senna at the moment. So it shows people with an hidden agenda, especially the British, jumping on their nationalistic bandwagon.

      James also failed to mention Vettel’s engine was turned down too and the British media is running with the “Vettel won because Webber’s engine was turned down”. Everyone totally turning a blind eye to Webber ignoring direct teamorders at least 3 times and one of them almost costing Vettel the championship.

      This is not about people supporting teamorders. This is about them hating Vettel. 100% guaranteed if the roles were switched and Webber was told to not overtake Vettel, all hell would have broken loose.

      Hidden agendas, hypocrisy and double standards.

    4. Zombie says:

      Telegraph is a UK based paper, and the results are as expected. Lets have a worldwide poll and then see the results. If Webber is so unhappy with his team about which he’s been whining ever since he joined, he should either hang up his helmet or go somewhere else.

  188. iGOR BdA says:

    Barrichello was forever criticized for supposedly following team orders… now Vettel is being bashed for ignore them and go for the win. What a hypocrisy

  189. zx6dude says:

    “Why did Vettel ignore team orders and pass Webber?”

    Because all he cares about is himself and winning?

    And I was trying so hard to find things in Mr. Vettel to like as I couldn’t really understand my irrational dislike of him. I guess it must have been instinct.

  190. Rene says:

    This is a bit off topic, but I don’t think that there is room for ‘team orders’ if that means ‘cruising’ for the last part of a race.
    Fans who watch the races pay for F1. For everything and everyone involved. If there were no fans, there would be no F1.
    I think that what we are meant to accept as ‘team orders’ is the same as going to a concert to see your favourite band, only for them to stick on a CD for the last 15 minutes. Who would be ok with that? Why are we ok with the equivalent in F1?
    We want to see racing. if teams can’t sort out their cars/fuel to last the distance they don’t deserve to win. go vettel. go rosberg.

  191. 7 mins of Red Bull team radio from Sunday.
    Worth a listen !

    1. Nick says:

      Wow, thanks for this. The best part was watching Newey’s action and reaction (1:50) to Vettel overtaking Webber. I do not think he could have pressed the comms button any harder.

  192. zx6dude says:

    It is funny all the comments about Mark doing this or that in other Grand Prix. Regardless of what Mark did or didn’t do, what Vettel did was wrong! Even if Mark did something wrong in the past – and I’m not saying he did – you cannot fix something wrong by doing something wrong.

    1. 69bhp says:

      yes, Vettel was utterly wrong to ignore a clear team order. But the point is that Webber is just as guilty and has lost any right to complain about it. To do so and play the victim, as he’s doing, is hypocritical in the extreme.

  193. Sam Williams says:


    Super piece as always. As a massive F1 fan I’m always keen to see hard racing – but think there was a real contrast between the decency of Rosberg / humility of Hamilton and disingenuous (“I didn’t mean to”) apology of Vettel.

    Key question for me: do we know if Vettel wacked his engine mappings to max knowing that Webber would be caught cold? If so, that’s not wheel to wheel racing, it’s being a twunt.



    1. Endres says:

      It’s referred to as crafty, bloody crafty and also, knowing your enemy, repeat ENEMY.

      If Mark is just now realizing this aspect of becoming a Formula One Champion, that is why he is searching for a crutch, the typical poor me crutch. Unfortunately he’s unbelievable because now possess PVR, U-tube and, oh ya, a memory. Wake up Martin Brundle!

      As a trecky, and I know if Newey, and Horner were listening, their ears would perk, when Kirk beat the simulator by breaking into the computer room and hacking the software, we loved it.

      Go traitors of Team orders, GO!

  194. Richardc says:

    Firstly I am amazed that some fans of F1 can somehow defend SV. Never mind team orders, the WDC ect this is about common courtesy to a team mate. An agreement was made and Vettel broke that agreement, simple as. I am not however in the slightest bit surprised by the weakness of Horner. His leadership has always been weak and given SV ruthless nature he will optimise that weekness and undermine him on every available opportunity. The Red Bull team have always sailed close to the wind and it has not bitten them where it hurts. By allowing this sort of thing to go on they have shown the public exactly who and what they stand for.

    1. Lol says:

      Common courtesy to a teammate, just like Webber ignored teamorders 3 times in th past, including costing Vettel the championship almost?

      Double standards are not a virtue.

      1. Bradley says:

        Team orders imposed during the race, but not agreements signed off by both drivers before the race.

  195. Bayan says:

    I think tyres made the difference here. I don’t believe there was any turning down of the engines. Looking forward to the rest of the season between these 2.

  196. George says:

    James, again a level of insight others can only dream off so thanks..
    I wonder were Senna or Prost ever requested by the team to either move over or hold off?
    I think Webber would be justified in being a bit over all the crap he has to put up with – he may have had a less challenging time at Ferrari if that plan had come off, then maybe we could have seen Hamilton busting Vettel’s balls a bit.

  197. Rushil Jain says:

    Difference between silverstone and malaysia?
    1. No pre-race agreement of holding station. Mark was quoted as saying “in the last 4-5 laps team came on radio and started ‘discussing’ about holding station. It was never decided that after the last pitstop drivers would just hold position. Mark never agreed to it.
    Probably after this they made some internal pact that after last pitstop drivers wont push and try to overtake.
    2. In silverstone, Mark refused to agree to just following Vettel home. The team knew that, they were trying to convince Mark, but they knew that Mark is not listening, so they would have never told Vettel that the race is his and just cruise now and that he wont be challenged. So Vettel was fully aware and alive to a possibility of an attack from behind.

    1. Lol says:

      So Webber ignored teamorders too, period.

      Not only in Silverstone 2011 but also Turkey 2010 and Brazil 2012.

      People who attack Vettel for ignoring 1 teamorder but sweettalk Webber ignoring 3 yeamorders are funny.

      1. Sam says:

        Turkey 2010 wasn’t a team-order’s situation, it was the first instance where Red Bull’s priorities were made public.

        Vettel clearly turned in on Webber and the team defended his actions.

        (In that circumstance he cost the team a guaranteed 1-2)

      2. Brad says:

        He also won the championship for the first time that year Sam

      3. Sam says:

        Thanks for jogging my there memory, champ.

      4. Rushil Jain says:

        When Mark had differences with the team in the previous years, they were just that, difference of opinions between the team and the driver. Mark did not agree to follow something and when the time came to follow up on the promise just back out. That is what Vettel did, made a promise and then backstabbed the team and Mark when time came to hold his end of promise.
        This is not a simple disobedience of team orders that is setting off the anger, it is the going back on a agreed upon set of rules by which the Red Bulls were supposed to race.

      5. Endres says:

        No, actually it seems that it is the person that is setting off the anger.

        A teamate that could have easily, single-handedly ruined his counterparts (and teams) title hopes for no other possible gain than finishing ahead.

        That is not disobedience, it’s Narcistic depravity.

  198. George says:

    Another thought, is it not allowed for the team to change the engine map from the garage? Possible but maybe not legal..

    1. Lol says:

      They actually turn down the engine from the pitwall and they can do more too. Both Vettel and Webber were running the same performance.

      The British media totally ‘forgets’ to mention this, while also confirmed by Horner in the BBC interview and they all run with “Vettel won because Webber had less engine power”.

      Total BS.

      1. James Allen says:

        Team cannot turn down engine from the pit wall

      2. Stephen Taylor says:

        James I reckon Mercedes aren’t being completely honest when. I think Lewis have been given an unofficial no 1 status by the Mercedes Board something not in the contract but is clear to see. What is your view?

      3. James Allen says:

        I’ll explain in the Strategy Report later

  199. Paul says:

    Isnt the answer pretty clear – that he wanted the points and it could quite easily make him world champion!

    James is right that the apology possibly rings hollow, as I suspect if he could replay history, he would do the same again. Im surprised at the amount of commentators who claim this to be a heat of the moment event. It seems pretty calculated.

    Im not sure if Schumacher would have done the same. Possibly yes. But he did help Irvine in his championship bid when the team asked.

    1. Zombie says:

      Monza 2002 and USA 2002. Schumacher publicly stated that he would help Rubens secure 2nd place in the WDC. He held station behind Rubens in Monza despite being much faster. And forfeited a race win in US.

  200. Yury 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 and I’m agree with knoxploration.

    Please take a look at the racing laps:
    43 1:55.174
    44 1:41.763
    45 1:40.446
    46 1:41.998

    43P 1:44.754
    44 1:57.352
    45 1:40.685
    46 1:42.757

    It is clear to see, that on the lap 45, the lap after the MW’s pit, he run the same speed, as Seb did.
    If on the lap 45 was not “a racing situation”, so may be he has drunk a tea and read fresh newspapers at that moment?

    The guys fight against each other very nice.
    Sorry, but if it was not “a racing situation”, it means some thing wrong with modern F1

    1. BenM says:

      The bit you’re missing is their respective lap times on the laps the stopped.

      Vettel’s pit stop laptime is 2.2s faster than Webber’s. Vettel pulled a pretty shifty trick and disguised what he was up to by doing it during the stops.

      1. Yury says:

        No, I’m not missing it

        It is not the truth.
        Pit-stop times were almost the same
        MW 20.767 vs SV 20.757, but Seb did the fast out-lap the the best 2nd and 3d sectors time.

        Of course, he wanted to overtake MW during the pit. And I can not blame him for it. Every races driver have to want to win.
        In case of pit-stop overtaking he could avoid the “Multi-21 mode” (hold-the-position) problem. He missed literally 0.2-0.3 sec.

  201. Anthony says:

    James. This incident left me wondering if the current technical regulations around tyres, number of engines, and fuelling are ruining the final quarter of races.

    It seems that teams are turning the engines down for survival earlier and earlier in races. Teams also seem to be flattering slower cars with aggressive fuelling strategies rather than building better cars to start with.

    Drivers personalities aside (the comparison between Mercedes and RB being instructive)the end of this race left me feeling like I was watching a parade of technical failures rather than a group of drivers racing to the line.

  202. Justin Holden says:

    Maybe its time Webber woke up and realised he’s a number 2, pretty damn obvious

    1. marcus42 says:

      Wow. Perhaps you should be doing James job. So insightful and clever.

  203. Steve JR says:

    The whole episode is a storm in a tea cup:
    1) RB took a dominating 1-2 victory
    2) Mark’s ego takes yet another battering
    3) Seb gets put on the naughty step
    4) Seb gets off the naughty step

    They should simply impose hefty fines on drivers who flagrantly ignore team orders

    1. Lol says:

      Webber would have paid 3 times more than Vettel then because he ignored 3 direct team orders at least in the last 4 years.