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

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  1. Rick said on 11th July 2011, 9:27

    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 !

  2. suka (@suka) said on 11th July 2011, 10:41

    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???!!

  3. Darren said on 11th July 2011, 10:44

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

  4. idtichy-m said on 11th July 2011, 10:54

    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

  5. suka (@suka) said on 11th July 2011, 10:55

    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…

  6. idtichy-m said on 11th July 2011, 11:17

    cool its back

  7. frankh (@frankh) said on 11th July 2011, 11:32

    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.

  8. PJA said on 11th July 2011, 11:44

    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.

  9. f1 nut said on 11th July 2011, 12:10

    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?

  10. Damon said on 11th July 2011, 12:25

    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.

    • 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

  11. During the canadian race, vettel had no problem letting Button pass through wiht a fast car, whitout being held up in the last few laps. But apprantly has issues when he races his team car. Webber should have ripped the rear tire out of the swaying vettel in the front. Make hime pay the price for not giving enough racing line.

  12. Mike Dee (@mike-dee) said on 25th March 2013, 7:17

    Oh, the times, they are a-changin’!

  13. iAltair (@ialtair) said on 31st March 2013, 5:06

    Oh look at the polls.

    SUPER HUGE DOUBLE STANDARDS FROM OTHER JOURNALISM

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