Mark Webber, Red Bull, Silverstone, 2011

Webber ignored Red Bull’s order not to pass Vettel

2011 British Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Mark Webber, Red Bull, Silverstone, 2011
Mark Webber, Red Bull, Silverstone, 2011

Mark Webber said he ignored Red Bull’s order not to try to pass Sebastian Vettel at the end of the British Grand Prix.

Webber was closing on Vettel in the final laps of the race and was one second behind his team mate with two laps to go.

Webber was told on the team radio “Mark, we need to maintain the gap”.

After the race Horner said: “It’s a team result. Circumstances earlier in the race… Sebastian had a KERS issue that we were dealing with and the last thing you want to do is see the team give away a whole load of points.

“From a team point of view we decided that it was best to hold the positions in the final two laps.

“Obviously Mark disagreed with that. The thing is, I can understand he’s maybe a little bit frustrated, but from a team point of view we can’t afford to give away a whole load of points.

Asked if this meant Webber could no longer fight for the championship Horner said: “No, not at all.

“But you get to that stage in the race we’d managed situation earlier in the race to get Mark ahead, give him the undercut effectively, and with the final two laps it was entirely the sensible thing to do.

“The last thing you want to see is both of your drivers in the fence which is how that probably would have ended up.

“The message was quite clear to him, what the team expected of him – not what I expected, what the team collectively expected.”

Horner said Webber: “should be fine” with the team orders, adding: “It was crystal clear this morning when we went into the race that it was all about getting the most points we can out of this event.

“Obviously we’ve had a rear jack issue with Sebastian that cost him the track position to Fernando. That’s racing sometimes, these things can happen. Ferrari was quick today, second and third is still a very strong team result.”

But speaking in the post-race press conference Webber said he was not happy with the instructions.

He revealed the team had first instructed him to hold position “four or five laps” before the end.

He said: “I ignored the team and I was battling to the end.”

Were Red Bull right to order Webber not to pass Vettel?

  • Yes (21%)
  • No (76%)
  • No opinion (2%)

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347 comments on “Webber ignored Red Bull’s order not to pass Vettel”

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  1. So all in all, we weren’t robbed of a battle it’s just that Webber couldn’t get the job done. Story of his season.

    1. But thats what he says, probably to try and quell the storm…

      1. …another team order “Mark, lie to the press”…lol

        1. Did Christian Horner really fear a repeat of Turkey 2010?

          1. WidowFactory
            10th July 2011, 22:12

            Yes. And given Vettel’s attempted overtaking record, that was entirely the right thing to expect

        2. ‘Maintain the gap.’

          I know we would never hear it, but I wish Mark said something along the lines of ‘**** you’ to his mechanic. Ridiculous and sickening. Almost worse than Ferrari last year consdering the lead Vettel has- except that of course that order is now ‘legal.’

          1. So you would say that to your employers?

          2. RB look worse than Ferrari to me, as Ferrari weren’t in the press last year saying “we would never have team orders” and “letting our drivers race is the RedBull ethos”, we’d rather come second racing than 1st with team orders”, yadda yadda yadda. Horner = full of it.

      2. Agreed. If this was true, Red Bull never would have needed to say anything.

        1. What on earth are you on about zenman1 and mike?

          “lie to the press” “if this was true”?? you’re saying you don’t think this was a team order? Horner stated it was and he’s the team principal?

          Here’s hopeing you cross the road when it’s red and believe that’s a lie to.

          1. Umm… no… Not quite.

            What I and I suspect zenman are suggesting is that the explanation that Webber tried to pass but couldn’t, is a lie.

            And for future reference, I obey the little red man. But I appreciate the death wish.

          2. Lame. Maybe you should hang out somewhere else for your Internet lulz. Wanting someone to get run over for having a comment is just whack.

          3. Oh, please! Can you really look at the footage and tell me that Webber wasn’t trying?

          4. He wasn’t on the last lap, that’s for sure.

      3. “But thats what he says, probably to try and quell the storm…”

        Agree…Diplomacy at its best.

        1. Mike the bike Schumacher (@mike-the-bike-schumacher)
          10th July 2011, 19:54

          No can’t agree wit u, u cud see webber was trying. Maybe he backed off at the very last lap but he was told 4 or 5 from the end to back off and it was easy to see he was trying hard to pass.

          1. Oh boy, cognitive dissonance is a killer. As the story goes for Mark’s fans and Vettel’s detractors (and that includes the entiry British fan base: 1000 times an Aussi than a Boche ahn?), Mark is the superior driver. But he is being consistently beaten in these 3 seasons. No doubt the team is holding Mark back! So when a message like the one of yesterday comes into the radio, these guys have a field day: confirmation!! But before you get all excited, consider these points:
            1. Mclaren once told Lewis to hold postion against Alonso in the Monaco GP. Reason? They wanted both cars to finish the race. Nobody considered Lewis to be relegated to 2nd driver because of that.
            2. Considering the reason the team gave, if the positions were reversed at that point,the team would have told Vettel to hold position.
            3. Take a look at the pit stops. In the first two, they actually gave the preferrence to Webber, holding Vettel out for longer – in the first round, it cut the advantage of Vettel to the pack by more than half – so much for 1st driver status.
            4. Contrary to what has been repeated, at least on TV, the order came at the hangar straight on the very last lap (in other words, with two curves to the end). Before that Webber was trying his heart out and after they gave the order he ignored it anyway. Conclusion: That is not what caused Vettel to beat Webber yesterday.

          2. Contrary to what has been repeated, at least on TV, the order came at the hangar straight on the very last lap

            According to Webber it came four or five laps before the end of the race and was issued several times.

            The team orders broadcasts you hear on the TV are not in real-time: they are delayed, sometimes by up to several laps.

          3. I don’t know Keith. In theory they could show the radio message with whatever delay they wanted to, but why would they? If we go with this version that they started to talk to him five laps to the end, and considering the lap times, it would have created a gap of around 8 minutes between the message being transmited and the TV guys showing it. Given the potential for excitement (outrage is excitement too) it defies belief, doenst it? When Ferrari asked Massa to roll over, TV showed it fast enough for Brudle to have time to speculate on how long it would take Felipe to obey the order(and Massa obeyed within the very same lap). Why was it different now? And on top of it, Mark is saying that it was not one, but a flurry of messages. Really? And only in the very end somebody in the studio thought it would be a good idea to let the public know what was going on? Call me a skeptic, but I think Mark is milking it.

          4. In theory they could show the radio message with whatever delay they wanted to, but why would they?

            I’m not speculating, I’m telling you they delay radio messages.

            Part of the reason is to avoid them broadcasting any swearing.

          5. Agreed Keith. They obviously control what goes on air and when, but TV has access to the radio messages in real time. Now, explain to me why, given that they were showing the fight between Webber and Vettel for the last 5 or 6 laps of the GP, they decided to delay this piece of information on what they were showing for the best part of ten minutes. Even stranger, if it was not one, but several messages.

          6. I was at the race and heard the message to Webber well before he got to Hangar straight on the last lap. I consider it fairly unlikely that I heard the message before Mark Webber.

            Keith is right, the radio messages on TV are always (not sometimes) delayed. I guess there must be an awful lot of messages and they all need listened to before a decision is taken which to broadcast. They don’t broadcast too many and there have been plenty of times when an interesting pit message isn’t relayed at all on the TV but comes to light only after the race.

    2. John Cleary
      10th July 2011, 15:25

      Well put!

      1. Antifia,

        Can agree with your point one, but not your point 2. Webber would have been compromised somewhere or other to get Vettel past him – maybe they got confused in the Pits and that is why Vettel had the long stop ;-)

        Also do not necessarily agree re the timing of pit stops. Vettel was in front and is leading the WDC, so no need to use him to find out if the track is suitable for Slicks – that’s what you have a no.2 driver for!

        Remember when Ruebens was told to move over for Shuey in OZ and he ignored it and went all the way to the line before slowing? That was him letting everyone know he could have won but for team orders. With Webber pushing up alongside Vettel he was telling the world the same thing.

        1. That was Austria, not Australia.

          But looking back at that race, what upset people so much was not team orders, but rather unnecessary team orders. Team orders have always been accepted as part of the sport. Hakkinen gave way to Coulthard and vice versa. Even Senna gave way to Berger to help his championship. What disgusted people so much about Austria 2002 was that Schumacher at that point had won so many races and had such a lead in the points that most fans felt they were robbed of a victory by someone other than Schumacher.

          In this case the circumstances are quite similar. Both Red Bull and Vettel have such an unassailable points lead at this point that not I nor anyone else I know who follows F1 can understand why Red Bull thought it necessary to tell their driver to hold station. In fact, going back to Senna and Berger, if they were concerned about the their cars coming together, it would have made more sense to tell Vettel to let Webber go.

          After all, if they’re going to make the “It’s for the team” argument, it should be noted that Webber needs the points more, from a team point-of-view.

    3. +1
      Though kudos for Webber for ignoring team orders, that’s what they’re for – the real F1 drivers ignore them.

      Webber’s race with Vettel was lost off the start.

      1. Agreed, Webber had the chance to get one over Seb, and wanted to take it, but couldn’t get it done.

        1. Webber would have been ahead of Vettel after Vettel’s pit lane drama, if he hadn’t had one of his own before hand.

        2. Thats part of what makes this whole debacle so stupid. Webber ignores team orders, which if we are honest wasn’t exactly unpredictable, and they ended up with the result they would have achieved had they said nothing at all. Webber had a go Vettel defended his position and both cars got home safe. The only things Horner has achieved are:
          1) Remove any lingering doubts that Mark may have had about being a number two driver and possibly create instability within the team.
          2) Completely destroy any piece of credibility you have with regards to team orders and in the process tarnish your reputation.

          This has turned out to be almost as messy as the FIA diffuser situation.

        3. Couldn’t get it done because of team orders.

          1. Firstly, being the F1 nerd that I am, Rubens pulled over in Austria ’02 not OZ. Anyway, watching the race live, and I am Australian and a MW fan, I agree with Horner’s request. Seb was in front, tyres were going off, there was no way of catching Alonso and Lewis and Massa were miles behind – hold position.

            I would have said that, everyone who was around at my place watching the race said the same thing. Turkey 2009 was an example of these kind of team orders (which in my mind they aren’t – to me TO are asking a driver in front to pull over for their team mate who is behind, especially nasty when both drivers are still in with a shot of the title, e.g. Germany ’10, Austria ’02) which went the other way – Webber in front of a flying Vettel with a handful of laps to go and no danger of either taking the lead of the race or from being passed for third.

            I hate to say it but Mark is simply being beaten this year and wanted to try and put one over vettel. Unfortunately for him it was too late in the race and he probably would have been in front of Seb had he not run off the track twice.

            So, I’ll say again: as a MW fan, RBR called it right. This is not like Germany last year, but like Turkey in ’09. And I do not remember that version of ‘team orders’ creating even a ripple amongst us fans…

          2. Couldn’t get it done because he ignored the order and didn’t pass anyway.

          3. +1 Clay.

    4. Sadly so. But good one for him giving it a try this time!

    5. streetfightingman
      10th July 2011, 15:37

      How true

    6. Not even Hamilton’s damage was terminal when he was overtaken on the outside by Massa. I’m sure Webber would have made a clean pass, if Vettel wouldn’t have turned into him, something not likely seeing his cautious manoeuvres when battling. Good job by Webber to ingore them.

    7. Isn’t team orders allowed from this year on? Why the fuss and a post to discuss that?

      1. I don’t think people saying it’s illegal.

        1. I don’t think people saying it’s illegal.

          I think the race was great. Theres more interesting features to discuss and praise.

          Hamilton’s and Alonsos’s drive, for example!

          Discuss team orders, and in Red Bull, is a waste of time and space. Sorry!

          1. Discuss team orders, and in Red Bull, is a waste of time and space.

            Clearly a lot of people are unhappy with what’s happened and I’m not going to stick my fingers in my ears.

            It’s not as if there aren’t plenty of other post-race articles for you to discuss other topics on.

          2. The only reason people are even bothered is the hypocrisy. Christian Horner clearly said that Red Bull are a team that allows their racers to RACE.

    8. Oh snap.

      1. Why are people saying Webber couldn’t get the job done?

        He attempted to pass a few times but backed off after assessing the move / risk (i.e. safe overtaking without taking both cars out).

        The impression that I got was that Webber ignored team orders 4 or 5 times before yielding at the end.

        1. When he ignored it for those 4-5 times you claim, did he pass? No. So the assessment that he couldn’t get the job done is right I’m afraid.

          1. It’s hard to pass when you’re nowhere near the driver. The order was “Maintain the gap” i.e. don’t cruise up to the back of him.

            No, he didn’t pass. He wasn’t robbed of a place. But he was told to not go for one, that’s the issue.

      2. LOL @ people that say “oh snap!”

    9. billfenner1967
      10th July 2011, 23:01

      Nah. I think if it had been anyone other than Vettel, he would have dived up the inside. But I think maybe at the end he though if I can’t get him cleanly on the straight then I’ll have to stay behind. So while Webber wants to defy his bosses, I think he also realises that it would have been a nightmare had he touched Vettel in an attempt to pass.

  2. Webber deserves better. I wouldn’t give Horner the time of day.

    1. Webber seeing red in 2011, wearing red in 2012.

      1. streetfightingman
        10th July 2011, 15:54

        And becoming the new Massa. i.e number 2.

        1. Exactly, he’s just not on Vettel’s level. I have no idea how any Webber fan can think he’s on Alonso’s level.

      2. DeadManWoking
        10th July 2011, 16:30

        Yes, you could see how chummy Domenicali and Webber were on the way to the podium today.

        1. Yes, you could see how chummy Domenicali and Webber were on the way to the podium today.

          That’s exactly what I thought. And Webber and Alonso have always been good friends.

          1. Domenicali was pretty chummy with Vettel too. I tried to get my camera out and take a picture but I was too slow.

  3. I’m going to get bashed for this!

    I think the Team Orders were the correct thing to do. The order wasn’t about Vettel and Webber, it was about them taking each other out (which would have been disastrous). Mark had a shot at it, and they came close to ending in a paddock somewhere in Northamptonshire.

    1. I won’t bash, but I’ll disagree vehemently. Horner himself said today was all about getting maximum points for Vettel.

      1. No, he said it was about getting the maximum number of points for the team. Given the circumstances, i.e. Vettel’s jack problem, KERS issue etc. I believe it was the right call. If RBR suddenly find themselves on the back foot, and they lost 33 points as a result of the 2 drivers colliding, they would really regret it. Team orders are back, people may not like it but F1 would just be even more controversial without it.

    2. But they said that Vettel had no KERS, so Webber should have been able to take him, he was almost there and then the radio message came to “Maintain the gap…”

      1. Looked like he was using up KERS according to the onscreen graphic on the last lap…

        1. Yeah I saw that being used by Vettel in defence from Webber too. Unless the graphic was lying- is that what Horner’s saying?

          I was getting a bit sick of red Bull always winning and having a massive lead, but I didn’t care too much as long as the competition between the drivers was fair. But now, seeing a driver over 3 wins behind being told not to go for a position is far too refelctive of the ridiculous team orders issued by ferrari years ago which lead to the banning of team orders in the first place.

          1. Perhaps an over-reaction (never post drunk) as ferrari made drivers give places away rather than just not overtake, but it is still incredibly disapointing seeing a driver prevented from attempting a pass on a much slower driver. And after all the talk from Red Bull about driver equality, it strikes of inconsistency if not hypocrisy.

      2. I do wish they’d say something more like ‘calm down guys, don’t take each other out!’ than something as patronising and transparent as ‘maintain the gap’ ;) It actually results in worse press and cringy post race interviews with team bosses when they code stuff like that. Just be open with it I say!

        1. Agreed, especially since its now LEGAL!

      3. And how many times has Webber had no KERS this season? Too many not to take advantage when he has it and his rival doesn’t.

        If they were going to issue a team order it should have been to let Webber go if Vettel’s car was crippled, because Webber would have been able to get further up the road and therefore be better placed to take advantage if Alonso suffered a problem in the closing laps.

        Teams should be concerned with team points, not an individual drivers points.

      4. Did anyone see an onboard with graphics for Webbers car? I suspect he had no KERS at the start, hence why Vettel was able to monster him off the line.

        I seem to recall plenty of other races this season when Webber has had KERS trouble as well.

        I do not see how anyone can say they are being treated equally.

    3. I absolutely agree. Vettel has a massive lead in the championship and Webber hasn’t exactly been competitive relative to Seb all season, so why risk an incident?

      1. Dan, I agree with you iamS8 100%, what angers me is the Redbull line at the beginning of the year where they said they would ‘NEVER’ use team orders, and the stupid smirk on Helmut Markos face last year when he was bashing Ferrari for doing the same thing, and the stupid Christmas card they sent out last year. Basically, it’s the hypocrisy of the whole thing that annoys me the most.

        1. I agree! It is very hypocritical from Red Bull! Last year they were outraged by what Ferrari did and said up to the last race they would never use team orders. And now, as if nothing had happened, they use them blatantly!!! I think it was the right thing to do, though: I kept thinking “oh, hell, they are going to crash!!!”

        2. Agree with Cacarella. What really gets to me is Red Bull’s hypocrisy. When Ferrari used team orders last year they definitely got bashed for it, and no one had a more condescending tone towards Ferrari’s actions than the ‘holier than thou Mr.Horner’. Mr.Horner obviously is the brand philosophy enforcer of Red Bull in F1, where the ‘right’ thing to do in sport is to let your drivers race it out. That is why Webber and Vettel were allowed to race all the way to the end of the season last year. Instead of the team playing it safe, and securing the title for the driver who was ahead on points, they decided to do the right thing and let their drivers race. I clearly remember Horner saying that if they were to lose the drivers championship in 2010, it would be ok, as they stuck to their philosophy of letting their drivers race.

          Now we come to the British Gp 2011, where Vettel has a comfortable lead in the WDC, and they are actually in a situation where their drivers should be racing. And what do we hear on the radio? Its Mr.Self Righteous Horner playing it safe, and telling his drivers not to race, because apparently the outcome of this race is more important than Webber’s championship chances of last year.

          Horner is without a doubt the biggest hypocrite in the paddock right now. I honestly wouldn’t care if Red Bull said that they were going to adopt team orders… but to sit on you high horse and preach your sporting values, and then just abandon those values to favour one driver in particular is just RED BS.

          1. Very nice point. Agree 100%. Helmut Marku was behind that idea for sure! Horner a hypocrite and big puppet.

          2. It’s true, RB had the right to play it safe, but they shouldn’t claim that they are any better than Ferrari wrt team orders.

            Their hypocrisy is simply a big let down to both their drivers. Webber for being told not to be able to race, Vettel for being made to look like he isn’t trusted not to collide with Mark.

          3. I see no conflict between Red Bull’s decision to let their drivers race each other in 2010, and their issuing of team orders in 2011.
            Last season they were willing to practically hand the title to Alonso in order to give Vettel his last chance at the title (and they were lucky Ferrari got it wrong in Abu Dhabi). What I’m saying is, Webber and Vettel were allowed to race each other as long as it was the former who was leading the championship.
            Red Bull have been consistent in their decisions, which favor Vettel; it’s his team, and has been so from day one.

      2. The point is Vettel has an enormous lead and is going to win the championship regardless barring a miracle, and for the sake of four points they prevented Webber having a decent go. I am fairly sure if Webber was ahead and Vettel was pressing there would have been no such instruction

        Alonso, Hamilton and Button have each won a race, but none of them have a quick enough car to put together a string of victories to take points and the championship away from Vettel, so why intervene. These are meant to be the best drivers in the world, so let them race.

        1. Except Webber did have a decent go, which is the point of this article.

          I am fairly sure if Webber was ahead and Vettel was pressing there would have been no such instruction

          Horner said he told Vettel not to pass in Turkey 2009, where Vettel closed on Webber late on.

          1. Perhaps I should have written ‘tried to prevent’ then. I don’t think he should have given the order today, or back in ’09 either if that did happen.

            I could understand if it were toward the back end of the season, or if Vettel’s lead was less big but it was unnecessary in my opinion

          2. I remember Horner said to Vettel “use your overtake button(possibly aggressive engine mapping not KERS)” when he was closing on Webber. I think you can confirm it from race edit in Am I wrong?

          3. If I am right, it’s almost same situation to 2009 Turkey when Webber was in economy setting.

          4. Sorry 2010 not 2009.

          5. I was indeed referring to 2009, not 2010.

          6. The Radio talk where the engineer says… “For a boost on the straight, use the over take button” from the F1 edit of Turkey 2010 wasn’t actually Vettel’s engineer…….. it was Mark’s.

            His Engineer told him to use it to help defend from Seb.

          7. Thanks Andy Carr

      3. If accidents were that likely when two drivers race cleanly nobody would ever try and overtake anyone. Not risking an accident is a paranoid argument.

    4. if that were the case then the order should have been to vettel to let mark past

      1. yeah right, a faux pass like that would have been popular.

        1. It probably would be popular, without the sarcasm. Anything pro-Webber would be like Christmas to some people on this site.

          1. It’s not just about liking Webber but surely at this part of the season it would be better for the team for Webber to keep scoring more points and start to think about getting him 2nd in the drivers championship.
            It also would have seemed a bit fairer given his great qualifying lap.

    5. Agreed, Webber had a couple of chances to overtake Vettel and couldn’t make it stick – so any more attempts that late in the race would have had to have been pretty kamikaze and it’s a fair decision to ask Mark to back off. I’ll say it again, F1 is a team sport – there’s a whole team of people trying to keep these two cars on the track, not just two people in the car going all or nothing against each other.

      It’s similar to the 2010 Turkey bust up between the Mclaren drivers – let them have at it for a while on the track, but the longer it goes on the more likely someone will get desperate and things go wrong.

    6. I agree too. Webber was faster but not enough to make it certain or even probable he’d pass. That raises the chances of a collision. Then there’s a difference between mid-race team orders and the last lap where one or both drivers could lose places spinning off and be unable to make them up.

      I’m not saying Webber should listen though. It’s one thing for a team to say what they think is best and try to persuade the driver, another for the driver to accept the order. It’s possible for both the team and the driver to be ‘right’ since at the end of the day they’re not fighting for the same thing.

    7. Horner must have a low opinion of his drivers if he doesn’t think they can overtake without colliding.

      iamsa8, didn’t you bash Ferrari for team orders last year?

      1. i wasn’t for the Ferrari team orders, but i didn’t bash them at all.. i kept very quiet actually.

        The difference is that the Ferrari orders were mid-race, and to move one driver ahead of the other.. it was blatant and unnecessary. The Team orders today were to stop 2 drivers crashing into each other.. it wasn’t about deciding which driver should win, it was about making sure both drivers finished

      2. Were you watching last season? Both the RB’s had a bit of history.

        1. i was more active last season than now.. i can’t figure out the argument you’re trying to put forward, but the incident today was completely different from Ferrari @ Hockenheim, and put in place to prevent a repeat of Turkey..

    8. DeadManWoking
      10th July 2011, 16:50

      I’ve been following F1 too long (early 60’s) to be bothered by team orders. Red Bull now lead the Constructors Championship by 110 points with 10 races (430 possible points) to go. If Webber and Vettel had taken each other out in the closing laps that lead would only be 71 points, a no brainer in my view.

    9. Mike the bike Schumacher (@mike-the-bike-schumacher)
      10th July 2011, 20:02

      Agree wit iamsa8. The only problem is that red bull have always given the impression that they don’t use team orders. It was foolish that they thought they could always be against team orders and never use them. Every great championship wining team has used them at one point or another, Ferrari, Mclaren, Williams…. Horner and red bull were right.

    10. It’s the same as Ferrari, there is a number one and number two driver. Why pretend that it’s something different. As soon as that order came in, it had an effect on Webber. There is no way he could have been 100% focused on overtaking Vettel.

    11. I agree. Creating a drama out of nothing.

    12. While I understand the motivation for asking Mark to maintain position I do think this sets an interesting precedent. If you don’t want them to crash into one another at what point in time do you see it fit to give this order. It is inevitable that they will be racing wheel to wheel at some point later in the season. With the diffuser rules going back to normal it is likely that we are set to see Red Bull return to dominance. Is it just the last couple of laps where an order like this goes out? Last 10 laps? Last 20 laps?

      The collision involving Webber and Vettel in Turkey last year is being brought up as motivation for the move. That crash happened on lap 39 of a 58 lap race. If the fear of a similar incident was the reason the team made the call, then we have to wonder if it is possible that Red Bull will make the same decision earlier in the race. Another question is whether the same call would be made if, like in Turkey, Webber is in the lead and Vettel is chasing. Call me a cynic but I really doubt that would be the case.

      1. Agreed Eric, and do not forget what lap Hamilton and Button collided in Canada -about lap 6, so pretty soon we will be back to processional races with no overtaking your team-mate allowed in case cars collide.

  4. So in the end Red Bull makes Webber look even better…

    I don’t like this… they talk about fair chances with the blown diffuser, the engine being worse than the Mercedes and Ferrari, all that stuff… and you are not fair within your team.

  5. I don’t remember that being said in the post race press conference? All I remember is that he was asked about it and Webber said something about how he was going to pass Vettel but “not quite”. I just asked everybody in the stream and nobody remembers Webber saying anything like that either…

    1. The driver’s conference always goes on much longer than what is shown.

      The way it works is there’s an official moderator who throws a bunch of softball questions at the top 3, we get the canned responses, and the TV feed cuts. Then the floor is opened up, the odd interesting question/response comes out, and you have to wait for the transcript to come out.

      As usual, the FIA’s way of organising things ensures maximum boredom and that anything important or interesting gets missed.

      1. If thats true then thats just really, well its a curse word, so I won’t say it, but you know…

      2. Following the initial questions, the drivers from non-English speaking nations get to make a statement in their own language which is the point they cut back to local coverage (except, possibly, in the driver’s local country). If they showed driver statements in German and Spanish on the BBC people would just complain.

    2. Me niether…

  6. Ordinarily I would have voted “yes”, but given RBRs self-spouted “philosophy” of “we let our drivers race” I find it fairly hypocritical. Also where were the team orders to “maintain the gap” in Turkey last year…

    1. There were none, coz they favour Vettel and wanted him to win. Just like Ferrari favour Alonso. Its just the way it is.

    2. That’s what annoys me the most. The fact that Horner stated at the start of the year there would be no team orders yet conveniently changes his mind half way through. I’m sure he knew all along there would be. It’s as if he only said it to keep people happy and to make the team look peachy. Maybe I’d feel different if he said “things may change if Sebastian or Mark become a lot more competitive than each other” for example, although I suppose he’d probably never admit that.

      Having said that, I do understand why Red Bull did what they did today, same as I understand what Ferrari did at Hockenheim, but it doesn’t mean I feel completely okay with it (not that my thoughts make any difference though).

  7. Paul Grainger
    10th July 2011, 15:28

    No. Webber could have passed. Webber being the professional that he is, figured it would be better to say he couldn’t get past and that the team orders didn’t affect the result, than saying that he backed out of a sure pass because the team told him to maintain position. Imagine the uproar (if there isn’t any already) if he said the latter…

    1. Exactly Paul, he made the point that he was in a position to use DRS and pass, but afterwards played it down. After all there aren’t a lot of winning rides going for next year.

  8. there’s no such thing as bad publicity they say…. i might have drank my last redbull+vodka though.

    1. I think that will be more for the benefit of your body than the detriment of redbull. They don’t care if someone puts down the can your body will thank you with the ammount of junk that’s in it though. :P

    2. +1. One of my favourite drinks is genuinely going to get a second thought on Friday/Saturday night.

      1. you actually drink the stuff ??

        1. Yeah.. it is quite a good vodka mixer, and it does keep you up for a long night after a long day of work.

  9. I’m going to get bashed for this!

    I think the Team Orders were the correct thing to do. The order wasn’t about Vettel and Webber, it was about them taking each other out (which would have been disastrous). Mark had a shot at it, and they came close to ending in a paddock somewhere in Northamptonshire.

    I agree. If you were in Christian Horner’s position, with both your drivers having past troubles overtaking each other (Turkey 2010 being the best example) and being on an unpredictable track like today’s, you’d want to avoid them passing each other like the plague.

    1. Fine, but don’t claim the team’s philosophy is “we let our drivers race” after that.

      He’s always saying that but not NOW.

      1. Agree entirely with no.65.

        1. Mr. Horner is hypocrite and a puppet of Mr Helmut

      2. I fully agree with that Fer no.65

      3. Fully agree with both. But it’s a little sad to see that the Red Bull ‘sportsmanship’ bastion fell (i.e. ‘we let our drivers race, we don’t use team orders’, blah blah). If there really was one which I doubt.

      4. Oh, I agree, they can’t claim that philosophy anymore, but I have to stick by my point that it was a safer bet to hold him back than risk a crash so close to the end.

  10. Year ago Horner said a lot of ********* about how drivers are treated equally. Now it’s confirmed…

    1. Just like when Ferrari used team orders.

      I’d hate to have to explain this to the F1 bigwigs, but Team orders are not popular.

      1. Laranja Mecanica
        10th July 2011, 16:07

        But Ferrari didn’t say they would never use TO. what RBR have done today is perfectly legal, even reasonable, but for the record they are a bunch of hypocritic liars forever.

        1. What I said was they are never popular, which in both cases, the vast majority has shown to be against it.

          I wasn’t commenting one which was worse. In which case, I actually agree with you.

    2. They deserve to be blamed because they blame when Ferrari used team order although it’s not notorious one as Ferrari did.

      1. They’re also completely different situations. Massa was asked to pull over. Webber was asked not to challenge.

        1. still It’s team order and surely Horner didn’t allowed them to race each other as he said.

          1. Well he maybe did for 95% of the race.

            Anyhow the good thing for the season is Webber’s closing the gap. And he’ll need to get more aggressive and stir things up with Vettel again to make a real challenge, hopefully this is a start. For all the complaints about RBR, I don’t expect them to contain and tame Webber as Ferrari did Massa if Webber starts to pose a real threat and has a realistic chance. Has to be now. He should have maintained the lead at the start though. But Vettel’s start was superb.

          2. He is? He just lost more points at this race going into the second half of the season.

        2. No, it’s the same. Bo9th where team orders designed to prevent one of their cars from challenging the other. It is still distasteful.

          1. No, they’re different. Vettel’s far enough ahead for the potential point loss to Webber not to be a big issue for Red Bull. Their issue was clearly a collision happening like last year. Alonso passing Massa was another issue entirely, pre-coded and agreed before the race, and put into action when Alonso couldn’t get past Massa on the track. It damaged the race as a sporting event.

            As a McLaren/Ham fan I’d have loved to see them both collide and Lewis take 2nd. But I’d expect McLaren to issue a similar ‘warning’, maybe a bit more subtly. But also I’d want Hamilton to ignore it! (presuming he was chasing Button). I don’t see any point in making out ‘team orders’ are always the same when they have different motives, that’s all.

          2. Or to put it this way. Red Bull or McLaren issue an order basically saying hold position, Webber or Hamilton (say) ignore it and manage to get past cleanly. The teams might grumble with the driver that he risked a collision, but they’d accept the result. But Massa ignoring Ferrari would have been a huge issue, probably the end of his contract.

            That’s the difference.

          3. Okay scrub what I said. That was based on the initial report that RBR warned Webber on the last lap. Having learnt they were warning him over the previous laps, I’ve changed my mind. Bad Red Bull.

            They’re over-protecting Vettel and doing him no favours.

        3. They’re also completely different situations

          The different situation is that Redbull have always claimed to let their drivers race on track, even (supposedly) willing to risk losing the championship last year so they could maintain the ‘fairness’ between drivers.

          Ferrari has always claimed that the TEAM comes first and that they were willing to make these kinds of calls if necessary.

    3. As usual, I think this is another clear instance of the people who should run the team (Horner) being kicked around by the bighead who thinks he does run the team (Marko). Just like the previous times Red Bull have been made to look like idiots, it has not been on Horner’s watch. I think he’s got a very sure touch, and his comment to Ted Kravitz “Not my orders, the team’s orders” was very telling.

      And yet again, Marko doesn’t realise that
      a) Vettel doesn’t need this sort of interference to protect his championship;
      b) Webber is never, ever going to obey a team order;
      c) Marko thinks we’re all as dumb as sheep.

      “The team needed maximum points” is the same cheap, lazy, stupid argument Ferrari used to give one driver a preferred result. Let’s be clear about this: If your team are P2 & P3, and swap positions, then the team’s points don’t change one iota. The only thing that changes is the driver’s points. And in this case, all that they attempted to do was to maintain one driver’s gap over their other driver. The team don’t benefit at all.

      1. What’s also telling is that both Vettel and Webber, in their comments after the race, seem to think that the team order wasn’t necessary at all.

        Vettel thinks the whole thing is amusing – in a way, he’s right, Webber ignored the team order but still couldn’t get past – all it proves in a real sense is that Vettel still had the goods on his teammate. Webber is a big enough man to admit when he’s beaten fair and square. Vettel is grounded enough to know that he’s good enough to win without needing someone to interfere on his behalf (or at least, he should be, and appears to be).

        Yes somebody in Red Bull still seems to think it’s necessary to impose an invisible “1-2” arrangement on its drivers. Yes there’s an argument that following Turkey, the drivers need to be kept in check. I think it’s reasonably obvious that both drivers have sorted that out between themselves, and have managed to race clearly, fairly and sensibly since then. The orders were ignored and “the team” got the result they wanted.

        1. I agree with Hairs 100%. You make some very good points.

          To me, it seems Horner doesn’t trust Vettel in wheel-to-wheel combat with his team-mate, and Mark paid the price for that today. Even if Mark couldn’t get past, they still told him not to race. Very disappointing stuff. To me it seems so strange that Horner was convinced they were going to have an accident should they be left to race. They are the drivers – so it’s up to them to keep it together. If they can’t, the driver who caused it can be slated. But I can’t help but feel Red Bull have done themselves perhaps more harm than good.

          The negative comments made about them reflect badly on a team that prides itself on not employing team orders. Sebastian has an enormous lead in the drivers’ championship, so if they’re not going to be allowed to race when they have not a huge amount to lose, they’ll never be allowed to.

          I know Helmut Marko has a lot to do with Horner’s decisions, but I still wouldn’t trust Christian as far as I could kick him – especially after the nonsense he delivered on the forum.

          1. Damon, you got that smack on to what ive been thinking, that Horner or the RBR management dont trust or have enough faith in either of, or both their drivers in a wheel-to-wheel battle.

      2. If your team are P2 & P3, and swap positions, then the team’s points don’t change one iota.

        The team’s points do, however, suffer a bit if its drivers crash into one another while contesting second place.

        1. To prevent them from crashing, Red Bull could equally have told Sebastian: “Mark is faster than you…”

          1. Sidney Vianna
            11th July 2011, 19:32

            AdrianMorse, you are correct, but the whole sentence would have been: Mark is faster than you, do you understand? :))

            Yes, Horner is afraid of Seb’s stability (also figuratively) on wheel to wheel combat. Do you guys remember Spa 2010 when Seb managed to strike Button’s sidepod with his nose?

            The story here is obviously the fact that Webber is out of RB in 2012. I doubt he will be driving for SF next year as some of you have insinuated. I think he will be out of F1 altogether. His best chance at a championship was 2010 and he wasn’t able to pull it.

            Oh well, Massa too was champion for a few seconds in 2008, until Lewis crossed the line in interlagos….

    4. They are also getting blasted in the comments of their latest status update.

      Three extra points for Vettel are not worth this PR mess.

      1. In Facebook, I mean.

    5. And rightly so after maintaining they would not use TO as they do not fit with the company ethos!

      1. @Hairs

        Agree with your comments, but regarding Vettel’s insistence that team orders weren’t necessary, he’s bound to say that in public.

        No driver will admit, in public, that they wanted team orders to be made in their favour.

        1. “I know Helmut Marko has a lot to do with Horner’s decisions, but I still wouldn’t trust Christian as far as I could kick him – especially after the nonsense he delivered on the forum.”

          But is he forced to talk nonsense as a result of decisions he can’t really defend, because he does not actually have any conviction in those decisions?

  11. All the controversy of Turkey last year, the front wing saga, and now this, and Webber still wants to stick with this team? Maybe Red Bull will slot in the rookie next year now as they know he won’t argue with team orders.

    1. “he won’t argue with team orders.”

      Wouldn’t be too sure about that!!

  12. Good to hear Webber ignored. I don’t think battle between both would make anything wrong. gap to Hamilton is enough so none of both would not lose their position to other team. I want to see Webber has ball to do same thing like Hamilton.(but I don’t like what he did to Massa although there’s no need for penalty.)

    1. 1) Is it team order?
      Of course!! even Horner said it’s an order.

      2) Is it reasonable?
      Fair. but I don’t think it would hurt team’s point hunting.

      3) Is it hypocritical?
      Yes. Hornor didn’t what he said.

      There’s no room for whether it’s legal or illegal because team order is now permitted. but It’s Red Bull who always said they won’t use team order. No penalty or something but deserve to be blamed.

  13. There would have been no incident if they had said “Marks quicker, let him passed, it won’t affect your lead, but will help Mark stay in front of Alonso in the wdc”. That’s looking after the team.

    1. Hear hear. Well put.

    2. Or even, “The points are important to the team, you can fight, but don’t take each other out.”

    3. I’m a Webber fan and completely disagree with the team orders, however if the team had have ordered Vettel to let Mark through I still would have been disappointed. Team orders are team orders, regardless of who the winner and loser of the situation is.

      If Red Bull were so concerned about protecting their points they should have let both Mark and Vettel race but told them not to do anything stupid.

      It would have saved them all this controversy.

      1. Now that is a good comment. It would be every bit as bad if they were swapped around.

    4. Hear hear. Exactly the point and well said.

      I’m gonn struggle even watching F1 for the rest of the year now, because what happens next time my boy mark wants to try and overtake vettel? same story?

      Not really Red Bull “Racing” is it…

  14. Risking an incident? Surely this is not showing respect to neither VET nor WEB to trust them to fairly race each other as drivers? After all, Horner maintains they’re free to race each other. Yes, always until VET is threatened by WEB…

    1. True. If racing each other is too much of a risk, then racing another team’s driver would, by extrapolation, be an unacceptably great risk. In that case, don’t bother with racing at all.

      1. “True. If racing each other is too much of a risk, then racing another team’s driver would, by extrapolation, be an unacceptably great risk. In that case, don’t bother with racing at all.”

        Summed up nicely.

      2. A collision involving both cars of the same team is likely to wipe out both car’s possibility of scoring.

        A collision involving two cars of different teams is likely to wipe out one car of that team’s possibility of scoring.

        So the risk to a team greater if their drivers are racing each other.

        1. Not to say I like TO, but I was just disproving the point about risk.

        2. Even when you’re not the best of pals, still it’s your team mate you can expect to behave the most reasonably during an overtaking attempt; it’s still him you can most trust to give you room etc.

          Or the fact of working for the same employer only figures when a team order is issued, but not when two extremely highly paid ĂĽber-professional employees should intelligently work out a solution between themselves that does not endanger the employer’s interest? (That’s what doodie111 called “not showing respect” to VET and WEB)

    2. Exactly, this is one thing that really stands out to me. When we see Lewis and Jenson racing (even colliding) we always hear the team saying they will keep letting them race, they’re professionals, we trust them, etc etc etc. Seems very disrespectful and untrusting to say “they would have both ended in the fence”.

      Another thing that stands out from todays race for me was the lack of wheel to wheel racing ability of both RB drivers. First Vettel fails to get past Lewis, despite having the faster car and Lewis saving fuel. Then Mark backs out on the way round Woodcote, where no doubt Lewis or Fernando would have stuck it out and taken the position.

      1. last year at hungaroring vettel had a car that was 1 second per lap faster and still couldnt make it past alonso.
        apart from barcelona this year we havent really seen him in trouble

        1. Nor could Webber pass Alonso until his strategy was changed to help him skip past in the pit stops. Hell, he lost to Alonso two weeks ago!

          Why are people so insistent on criticising Vettel for not being in trouble like Webber always is?

          1. Why go so far back david.. just look at this race. He couldn’t overtake Alonso for a whole lap while the Alonsos front wing was shattered and scraping all over the track..

  15. Keith.

    I’m surprised at your increasing lack of impartiality.

    1. I’ll express my opinion on anything I choose to. I have never claimed to be impartial.

      That said, I don’t know what you’re referring to in this article (as you haven’t said).

    2. I don’t get it StefK.

      Based on the situation that was visible for everyone on TV during the race and in the press conference and described mostly using direct quotes, Keith asked us to give our opinion by vote.

    3. I have reread the article and cannot see the impartiality you are referring to. Actually, I like this site because of its impartiality; many other media outlets in my opinion are much less impartial than this site.

  16. Just do a quick search on Google ‘Horner – team orders’

    No one was more critical last year of the Fez than Horner. The guy is a smarmy hypocrite.

    1. In fairness, last year team orders were illegal, and the prancing Ponies deserved all the **** that was thrown at them. A disgrace to the sport. This year, it’s OK, and Horner is free to do what he wants in this regard. Don’t want team orders, lobby the FIA!

      1. Unfortunately, Ferrari DO want TO so you’d be wasting your effort lobbying the FIA

  17. I don’t agree with team orders at all but if I put myself in Horner’s shoes I can understand it (not saying they’re right just as I didn’t with Hockheinem). Vettel’s by far the best bet and Webber has been nowhere in comparison. From a team point of view I can understand Red Bull wanting to wrap the title up as quickly as possible however if Webber ignored him four times I don’t think it was handled at all well.

    1. I can agree with you on this, guess most if not all Team Principles would have done the same.
      That’s why I felt the ban on team orders was right, to prevent many of them from doing so.

    2. From a team point of view I can understand Red Bull wanting to wrap the title up as quickly as possible

      To be honest, I dont see exactly why they are in such a hurry to wrap up the title. It will take a miracle for Seb to lose the title after the gigantic lead he has built up, and I really doubt these 3 points he would have lost to Mark were going to be a game changer in any way.

      If Horner was such a good team principal, he should have kept in mind that by going back on his word, he is more likely to do harm to the Red Bull brand image, and destroy the spirit within the team.


    Horner speaking on Alonso/Massa last year

    “Martin Brundle said that if he were Stefan he would have done the same thing. In that position would you have done the same thing”
    Horner: No, we let our drivers race.

    Horner: It’s wrong, it’s wrong for the sport. The drivers should have been allowed to race.

    Slightly different circumstances, team orders not allowed at the time (by the letter), and ordered to let overtake rather than not to overtake. However I can’t help thinking that his comments then are still valid in this circumstance, although Horner:

    “Obviously… disagreed with that.”

    1. Worst thing is the circumstances for Ferrari made sense from a championship battle point of view, when now it was just as much (not at all) needed as it was in 2002 at Ferrari!

      1. +29


        This was not a dire situation, and I do not know how Horner can justify the importance of this team order. At Hockenheim, Fernando had the slimmest of chances to challenge for the title and Ferrari decided to use team orders to help the cause.

  19. Brilliant race and thank god he ignored the orders. Was at the race and it was a great finish. F1 is all about the fans.

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