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Analysis: Why did Vettel ignore team orders and pass Webber?
Scuderia Ferrari
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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"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.


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!!!


[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.


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.”


Hi James,

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

Love your work !


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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).



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.


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.


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...


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?


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


Nascar? How do you find entertainment in that?


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


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!


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


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.


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.


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.


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


@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*


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?


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


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!


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.


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.


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!


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...


..Because team orders can't be policed.


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..


... 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...


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.


"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".


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.


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.


And he's got no reason to have selective beliefs... 😉


+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


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.)


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...


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.


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?


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 🙂


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.


It's entirely different.


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.


I suggest you rewatch the footage.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.)


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


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?


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


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.


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)?


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


Finally, someone talking sense.


@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.


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.


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


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.


+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.


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.


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.


@ 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"


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." rel="nofollow"> Here's just one example for you.


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 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?


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.


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...


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.


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.


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


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


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


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.


Horner says they were both in the same engine map.


@mister which interview did you watch?


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!


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.


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.


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!


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.


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.


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?


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).


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.


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.


[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!


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


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


are you sebastian vettel's agent?


True points.

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


..."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 !


"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?


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



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


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


@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.


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?


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


"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.


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.


"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.


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.


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.


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.


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?


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".


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.


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.


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?


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.


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

Scuderia McLaren



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.


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.


"Be patient" as in don't try to win the WDC in one race perhaps...


Exactly... The whole comment from Rocky was basically "Be patient, we're not even half-distance yet!".


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.


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.


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.


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.




Spot on, mate. agree a 100%


At least that would have been more honest.

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


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


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


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.


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


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'.



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.


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.


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'


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.


Uh that was Silverstone in two diff years


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?


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.


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.


here here


Excellent Comment Wayne


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.


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.


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?


What Wayne said.


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


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".



Spot on Wayne.


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.


You got it right, again, Wayne.


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...


Two times in three years is not "always".


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.


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.


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.


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


Alonso vs Masa facts correct?


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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


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


Here's a link to an article about it:


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.


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


Well said.


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.


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.


"Also, the hard wasn’t actually more durable."



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.


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.


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.



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

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


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?


@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.


He actually said he didn't know & would have to 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.


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.


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*


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


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.


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.


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.


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


"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.


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


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).


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.


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?


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


@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!.


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.


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.

Eduardo Fuentes

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.


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


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?


...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?


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.


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.

Tom in adelaide

Strange that the Red Bull team disagree with you.


"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.


@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?


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.


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.


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


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



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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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?


> 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.


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


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.


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).


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.


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!


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?!


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


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.


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.


...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")


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


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????


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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


Too many layers of leadership at RBR


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


Somebody clearly has a short memory.

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


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 ?


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.


Well said.


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.


Rubbish...MW turned his engine down


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.


"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??


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-


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.


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


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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


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.....


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.


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


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


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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


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??


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.)


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


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.


+1 knoxploration


DRS on backmarker...


On Sector 2? Whoops.


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'.


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.


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.


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.


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


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


Horner: Multi 21 Seb.

Vettel: Yes, I've taken my vitamins, should help me get past 🙂

Horner: Sigh.


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

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


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.


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


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.


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.



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 🙂


"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.


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.


Bianchi has been a superstar I agree


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


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).


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?


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.


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