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. florida mike (@florida-mike) said on 11th July 2011, 2:01

    I have no problem with a slower teammate being asked to cleanly and safely let a faster teammate pass. I feel very differently about asking a faster teammate to not pass a slower teammate, unless it’s critical to the slower winning a championship and the faster is not in contantion.

  2. Dirk said on 11th July 2011, 2:01

    If “the team is more important” then Horner should have told Vettel that Webber is faster. That would have been both sporting and sensible in terms of avoiding one or both drivers taking each other off.

    The overall benefit to the team in view of the current (at the time of the call) point standings would have been greater than the eventual outcome. Increasing the risk of loosing second place in the championship to Alonso and Ferrari surely isn’t in the teams best interest which exposes Horners assertion that “the team is more important” as… ********, imho.

    If… the points gap was significantly smaller I think the call made by Horner would have been understandable, if not sporting in the true sense, and the “team is more important” reasoning could be half way justyfied.

    But the call in the name of the greater good of the team just doesn’t stack up as things stand at the moment.

  3. dragon said on 11th July 2011, 2:51

    For those (particularly David A) who says he couldn’t get the job done; Mark might say he ignored the radio messages, but in the back of his mind, he knows that the few gaps he had were just too risky. For the lead, and against a different car, I have no doubt he would have attempted to outbrake once or twice, and risked a lockup or running wide; but it can’t help your state of mind if you have saint Christian shouting in your ear to back off. Seb shouldn’t cop anything for this, his tryes were older, he defended well, Webber had a few half-hearted attempts to pass, but decided against it. There was maturity from both drivers.

    Then again, I haven’t heard any radio messages from Seb to the team; can anyone clarify if he asked Rocky to get Mark to back off?

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 11th July 2011, 3:46

      It is valid to say that the messages did not help Mark’s state of mind, but all things aside, it comes down to a simple yes or no. He didn’t get the pass done.

      Not to say his pace wasn’t very good in the latter stages of the race, it’s long overdue that he at least matches Vettel.

  4. dragon said on 11th July 2011, 2:52

    Also, it’s a huge shame that Schumi hit Kamui; entirely his fault of course, and clumsy in that weather, but for the rest of the race he still seemed to have great pace and sharp overtaking skills. Praying that Merc can produce something half decent sooner or later!

  5. manatcna said on 11th July 2011, 3:13

    Mr Horner – You are a hypocrite.

    But I would have made the same call.

  6. Lord Ha Ha said on 11th July 2011, 3:45

    “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.

  7. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 11th July 2011, 4:14

    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.

  8. Maksutov said on 11th July 2011, 7:50

    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.

  9. ukk (@ukk) said on 11th July 2011, 7:52

    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”… ;-)

  10. 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.

  11. Dmb said on 11th July 2011, 8:41

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

  12. suka (@suka) said on 11th July 2011, 8:52

    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…

  13. 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.

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

  15. corky said on 11th July 2011, 9:26

    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.

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