Webber ignored Red Bull’s order not to pass Vettel

2011 British Grand Prix

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 (3%)

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

  1. scuderia_fan85 (@scuderia_fan85) said on 10th July 2011, 16:24

    im glad Mark ignored that order because it is team orders. they would not of crashed with Vettel’s KERS issues, so he would be too slow to make contact. i wished Mark had passed Seb.

    • I don’t think Vettel had KERS issues during the battle with Webber. Horner was referring to an earlier point in the race, in a roundabout way, to try to justify team orders.

  2. Aldo said on 10th July 2011, 16:27

    I truly, honestly can’t understand those who support that nonsense that we all witnessed today. Those ridiculous team orders are *killing* the credibility of F1. Maybe those orders make sense from the bussines or contractual point of view. But I don’t want to spend an hour and a half in front of the TV while my children playing football outside, just to hear a moronic order like “maintain the gap”.
    Maybe what happened today was good for RedBull and their bussiness. For racing, it was a disaster.

  3. I loathe team orders and am very glad that Webber ignored these ones. However, if I remember correctly from many quotes last season, one person who *doesn’t* have a problem with team orders, at least in theory, is…Mark Webber. I’m looking forward to reading many quotes from him to this effect in coming days!

    • Raj_raman said on 11th July 2011, 18:48

      So what you are saying is that the driver who was leading the championship last year and was told that there will be no team orders in this team has to take team orders laying down this year because he is behind. Oh please

  4. Yoshitsune (@yobo01) said on 10th July 2011, 16:30

    Well it was the most sensible choice from their perspective. Sebastian had KERS issues and he was slower than Mark, but Webber couldn’t catch up with Alonso, so it wasn’t necessary to swap places.
    Besides it was risky, it’s true that Red Bull’s drivers have learnt a lot from Turkey 2010 but you never know, especially beacause they are not best friends and a crash was not impossible between the two. We also have to consider that team orders are now legal.
    Obviously Horner last year claimed that Red Bull was fair to their drivers, and that they would have never done something like Hockenheim 2010. And in fact they didn’t, it was a different situation.

    I mean, I don’t understand all this talk, in my opinion it was a normal thing that everyone would have done.

  5. Brendan said on 10th July 2011, 16:32

    I am so disillusioned that I’ve just about given up on F1. I’ve certainly given up on Red Bull. After the Silverstone race, including the blown diffuser fiasco, but more importantly the whole Team Orders issue of the Red Bull team during the final stages of the 2011 race I am now determined not to support the Red Bull team and to never buy a Red Bull product again. I know my decision will not make anyl difference to Red Bull, but it is my minisccule protest to what I think was discraceful behaviour by the Team manager Christian Horner in implementing Team Orders, telling Mark Webber to “maintain the gap”. I’ve had enough.

  6. Brendan said on 10th July 2011, 16:35

    I am so disillusioned that I’ve just about given up on F1. I’ve certainly given up on Red Bull. After the Silverstone race, including the blown diffuser fiasco, but more importantly the whole Team Orders issue of the Red Bull team during the final stages of the 2011 race I am now determined not to support the Red Bull team and to never buy a Red Bull product again. I know my decision will not make any difference to Red Bull, but it is my minisccule protest to what I think was discraceful behaviour by the Team manager Christian Horner in implementing Team Orders, telling Mark Webber to “maintain the gap”. I’ve had enough.

  7. Mark, Sebastian is Faster than you.

  8. bearforce1 said on 10th July 2011, 16:41

    So what will RedBull do with Mark. Replace him?

    • zenman1 (@zenman1) said on 10th July 2011, 16:49

      And knowing that Vettel is golden balls and will get star treatment, who would really want to go there. Apart from a few of the new drivers who it would help propel a bit, and maybe get them in another top team.

      • The difficulty Webber has is getting another drive that will match Red Bull’s superiority. Better second in a winning team than first in a losing one as they say.

        I think if any team is holier than thou at the moment, it has to be McLaren. Fair play to them for really allowing their drivers to race on track and it seems to have had a positive effect on Hamilton and Button’s relationship within the team.

  9. Hatebreeder (@hatebreeder) said on 10th July 2011, 16:47

    if he had won this race, Webber could’ve said “not bad for a #2 driver”, again!

    • Overtaking Vettel would be one thing, and winning the race entirely another one. By then FA had a 20″ gap already.

  10. Marcello said on 10th July 2011, 16:49

    Absolutely shocking really, I am fed up with people saying about Ferrari favouring Alonso blah blah blah….when in reality any half sharp person can see that infact Ferrari DONT NEED to favour Alonso as he is head and shoulders above Massa. At Mclaren and Red Bull on the other hand the drivers are much much closer so the teams tend to REALLY favour one driver over the other…this has clearly happened today with C Horner favouring Vettel over Webber. You become a racing driver to overtake and win races, not to play second fiddle to your team mate as Kovalainen did for years at Mclaren and Barrichello at Ferrari…..

    • zenman1 (@zenman1) said on 10th July 2011, 16:51

      But can you really say that they are favouring either Button or Hamilton at the moment? They are being left to get on with it.

    • sebsronnie (@sebsronnie) said on 10th July 2011, 17:44

      Kovalainen – years at Mclaren? I recall it was only two year and Hamilton comfortably had his number then. I agree though about your take on Alonso vs Massa.

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 10th July 2011, 18:37

      At Mclaren and Red Bull on the other hand the drivers are much much closer so the teams tend to REALLY favour one driver over the other…this has clearly happened today with C Horner favouring Vettel over Webber.

      I agree that Alonso is head and shoulders above Massa, but I certainly wouldn’t say Webber/Vettel is as close as Button/Hamilton. Vettel has been the better driver since 2009, and as a result, gets favourable treatment, like Alonso.

  11. Marcello said on 10th July 2011, 16:54

    Webber, get yourself a drive with a decent team!!!
    PS— you would have easily had Vettel if the team had let the both of you race. Silly decision really what does the 3 extra points mean to Vettel…more than what the second place trophy would have mean to Webber?
    One word sums it all up—-robbed!
    Perhaps thats why Vettel has won all these races this year..perhaps he has been favoured all aong..

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 10th July 2011, 20:24

      Come on, do not rain on Vettel’s success this year. Vettel had a poor race today. Webber had poor races in Australia, Malaysia, Spain, Monaco, Valencia. That’s why Vettel is 6-0 up in race wins, and was 8-0 up in finishes ahead before today.

  12. bib said on 10th July 2011, 16:59

    People have been comparing Red Bull’s team orders to the one Ferrari had last year, but I think it is different and Red Bull had a reason to do what they did.

    When Ferrari did it last year, it was to secure more points for Alonso so that he had a better chance of winning the championship. However, Red Bull did it today to prevent a crash of both their drivers which would mean no points for both of them and the team. They didn’t do it because they wanted Vettel to get more points. I am sure if today the situation was reversed, if Vettel was the one chasing Webber down, Red Bull would have told Vettel to do the same thing.

    Red Bull just wanted to prevent a crash of both of their drivers. Once bitten, twice shy. They remember what happened in Turkey last year, and so under race conditions, looking at how things were like, they had to make a decision to ensure maximum points for the TEAM. They didn’t do it to ensure maximum points for Vettel.

    That’s just what I feel. :)

    But perhaps a more tactical way Red Bull should have done it was to tell Vettel and Webber that they are free to race, but to ensure that there won’t be any crashes. Anyhow, I don’t think peoeple should be criticising Vettel if they are displeased with the team orders, because the issue isn’t really with Vettel, but the team.

    • Aldo said on 10th July 2011, 17:12

      When Ferrari did it last year, it was to secure more points for Alonso so that he had a better chance of winning the championship. However, Red Bull did it today to prevent a crash of both their drivers which would mean no points for both of them and the team.

      My only reaction to this paragraph is: OMG!!!

    • Sandman said on 10th July 2011, 17:43

      People are dissapointed after all the strong words last year after Germany. I clearly remember Mr Horner saying they always let their drivers race. What happened to that?

    • If they wanted to avoid a crash they should have ordered seb to let webber through. I completely diagree with your point.

      • Pink Pirelli said on 10th July 2011, 22:35

        And it’s not Webber you need to worry about when making a pass. Webber could have done so cleanly, as long as the wunderkid was told not to lose his head.

        • Mgn said on 11th July 2011, 22:15

          for sure Webber could have not done so cleanly too, judging from “not bad for a No.2 driver” crashes or you so call lose head in couple of races.

  13. Trenthamfolk (@trenthamfolk) said on 10th July 2011, 17:00

    Hmmm… ever wonder why some people die rich and lonely? It’s because they put success in front of everything, including their friends! RB are in danger of wandering into the mire of Ferrari territory… and that’s a whole pile of pride, horses heads and prancing ego’s. Shame.

  14. Uk F1 said on 10th July 2011, 17:02

    To me Red Bull are the biggest hipocrits walking wasn’t they the team saying Ferrari were unsporting and that Ferrari took the spectacle away from the fans in Hockheim 2010 as well as saying much more about Red Bull being a sporting team with the equality to race but where was the equality today Red Bull ! Would Red Bull of stopped Vettel overtaking Mark ? (NO !) + somebody said Mark didn’t get the job done anyway well yes probably because Horner etc.. was too busy putting him off on purpous over the radio as the order was given to Mark more times than we heard so the ploy to put him off worked ! I used to like Red Bull for there equality + honesty before now but they have clearly just done what they said they would never do ! so why call the kettle black bunch of hipocrits !
    Ps. I’m British but Hamilton no penalty for same as Schumi but if the race was in Germany I firmly believe the stewards woulda penalised both drivers so to be fair to all Fernando deserved the win today + it was nice to see the British fans applaud him even if we wanted our drivers to win so that was nice to see, even if the race was overshadowed by many other things but Silverstone delivered a good race for once + nice to see Silverstone cemented onto the F1 calendar for a further while yet !

  15. Uk F1 said on 10th July 2011, 17:06

    Oh yeah was’nt it Red Bull who sent Ferrari a xmas card sying Santa is faster than you ! Maybe Ferrari can now send one back saying Webber is cemented behind you !

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