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. “We didn’t stop them racing at the start.” says Horner. Then prove to us that the start engine maps were exactly the same and have been the same all this year and last. Prove to us that the software controlling the off throttle has been exactly the same all season. Red Bull gives you ….. The way that line is completed is their franchise and their brand’s means and ends.

    1. Horner may have come up with some rubbish, but all that would be taking it too far.

  2. A true Aussigrit Webber,why will I listen to my team? I would have been happy if he would have got pass Vettel cutting Seb’s front wing.Vettel have a comfortable margin in front of him so why will you do things like this? I want to see Webber do racing of his own,just come on Thursday & the do the race weekend & fly back home in Monday.The next races from here will be interesting.

  3. Do I agree with the order? No.
    Could Mark have passed Vettel if it weren’t for the order? Probably No. Because as we have seen, he clearly tried and there simply was not enough time and laps remaining.

    As we all know, the ban on team orders has been removed so teams are now entiteled to make orders and they did just that. The rule to prevent team orders is impossible to implement under the current system.

  4. I’m just curious what would the reaction be if the order was for Vettel to surrender the position, something like “Webber is faster than you, please confirm you understood the message”… ;-)

  5. If REDBULL(horner) asked mark on the last lap to stop racing and maintain the gap – fair enough. But the requests started apprantly 4 laps to go, that seems very poor judgement. But I agree, Vettel can just let mark pass by, since they both had no chance of catching alonzo. Should have let em be men on the track and race. Horner tried to protect his IMPETIOUS Boy behind the wheel.

  6. For sure Webber could have not done cleanly too, judging from couple of crashes he has done.

    1. I guess you mean all the crashes he had coming from 18th to 2nd in China.

  7. Webber is starting to be my favourite driver, so cool and so smart. I can feel he intimidated Vettel from the way Vettel answered the questions at the press conference.
    Should not have lost his pole at the start…

  8. With the kind of lead Red Bull has, they ought to encourage Webber to go for it. They only look like point-greedy driver-biased jerks. It’s a race. Webber is in second place!

    Webber has the best chance to give Vettel a battle and would do nothing more then give more camera time to watching two redbulls. But instead they would rather play it safe, and let Vettel run ahead. Because of this the cameras focus on other teams. Redbull needs to rethink their basic intentions. I would have a lot more respect for the team if they let them race each other.

  9. The problem with this situation is we’ll never know if Webber could have passed Vettel. It really ruins things!

  10. The best thing Mark can do is get out of Red Bull at the end of season,it’s clear to me Vettal is the blue-eyed boy and Mark plays second fiddle,no matter how many times Horner protests things are equal.
    But under the rules now Red Bull have done nothing wrong,the only wrong doing is cheating the fans out of a possible battle between them.

  11. Lets face it, this is a clear sign that the current F1 rules are flawed. If you have one team with the fastest car the only challenger to the leading driver is his team mate. If the rules allow teams to stop the 2 front runners racing then F1 isn’t worth watching any more.

    If I was Webber next time I would go banzi on the first corner…..there isn’t time for team orders to be given then !

  12. Mark has been having bad starts since the beginning of the season, why dont they emphsize the problem and sort it out like Alonso and Ferrari did???!!

  13. Webber to Williams Renault next year?? hmmmm nice thought..

    1. Been there, done that. It was a disaster, car totally outclassed and totally unreliable.

  14. had a 5 large on webber to beat vettel / please let me know how i can recoup the loss , or does match fixing only apply to Pakistans cricketers

  15. If RBR offers him a contract, he’ll take it. Notice he has not complained once this year (not as obviously as last year). No “Not bad for a number 2 driver” and such…

  16. cool its back

  17. Like most people I find team orders hard to take. We would like the drivers we support to win, fair and square. But I fully understand why team ordered are given. Teams consist of hundreds of people, not just 2 drivers. The old “four legs of the table analogy. Sponcers/fans/team/drivers. The drivers are the easest to replace. from one race weekend to the next a drievr can be replaced. a million fans or a team of skilled technicians nor sponcers can be obtained or replaced with ease. We like our hero’s, the drivers but they represent hundreds of people in the team and sponcers and at the end of the day, I can understand why team orders are given. All the money spent and all the work but hundeds of people would be wasted and worth nothing if 2 drivers, in a points winning position, take each other out. We remember the try scorers in rugby, not the 14 other people without whom the try would have been impossible. In this case I do think Vettel is slightly better than Weber( not just because like most South Africans, I am an “ABA’ supporter “anyboby but australia), just like Schumi was better than barrichello. They cry about races they could have won (which is true) but the team is backing the driver who has PROVEN to have the most chance of winning for the whole team.

  18. I understand why Red Bull told Webber to maintain the gap although I would have preferred it if they hadn’t.

    I hope now we won’t hear Horner preaching about how Red Bull don’t issue team orders and let their drivers race as he has done many times before this race.

    Weren’t Red Bull quite vocal about what Ferrari did at Germany last year as well?

    Also the way Horner was defending the order after the race was that if Webber had tried to overtake Vettel then it was virtually guaranteed that they would crash into each other.

  19. I support Webber on this, he showed character by not bending over although this situation is nothing compared to Massa/Alonso I wonder if roles were reversed would Vettel be told to stay back and listen?

  20. The team are just saying that to save embarrassment for vettel, Its pretty clear that webber could have overtaken vettel if he’d have really gone for it. Vettels got it easy, the best car out there and a teammate who is not allowed to race him.

    1. Damon, I not sure how it was pretty cleat that webber could have overtaken vettal. the guys are tv are ALWAYS saying “catching is one thing, passing is another”. its not like vettels car was breaking down. Marks tyres were alao old. on average over the season vettel has been better. Mark will like barrichello always have the excuse ” i could have won if i had been allowed to”
      All he needs to do is prove it. get the poles , win the races and with a lead over this team mate it will be in the teams best interst to support him. it is a team sport afther all. (see my comment above) frankh

      1. +1. And getting pole then giving it away at the start (like the last three poles Mark has had) isn’t good enough.

      2. Have you guys heard of DRS, that’s when the car on your gearbox gets another 15k top speed on you going down the straight.

        1. That facilitates, rather than guarantees an overtake.

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