Vettel apologises to Webber for ‘win I’m not proud of’

2013 Malaysian Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Sepang, 2013Sebastian Vettel apologised to team mate Mark Webber after ignoring a team order not to overtake him during the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Vettel passed Webber in the final stint of the race despite having been told to hold position.

“I owe an explanation to Mark and the team, and that’s it,” said Vettel after the race. “Everyone else has the right to their own opinions.”

“For sure it’s not a victory I’m very proud of because it should have been Mark’s.”

“I think it has to be said that we respect each other and there’s nothing that has to be, in that regard, has to be fixed,” he added. “Obviously I owe him a proper explanation, I tried to give it in front of everyone and I will try again just face to face.

“The situation is as it is now but I think we don’t hate each other so I don’t think that’s anything to worry about for going into the next couple of races.”

Vettel indicated he did not realise what the consequences of his move would be: “I messed up today and I apologise for that but right now I want to say the truth.”

“I wasn’t aware of it otherwise I wouldn’t take that much risk to pass someone I’m not supposed to pass at that moment. But just before we got out on the podium I had a very quick word and it was quite a shock and not easy for me to admit but that’s the truth so I want to stick to the truth.”

Webber did not hide his displeasure with the outcome of the race, saying: “I was completely reassured twice that we were not going to abuse the cars on each other because it was very easy for us not to get any points for the whole team”.

“But it’s very hard for everybody to understand the whole scenario,” he explained. “There’s a lot of people that think they know the whole situation but unfortunately it’s not possible for them to understaned everything.”

Webber said the situation “puts a lot of heat on certain people” within the team. “Unfortunately there’s no rewind button now so the scenario is a bit more challenging for certain people.”

“It’s three weeks to the next race, we’re fortunate we have three weeks. I’ll catch some waves in Australia on my board and I think this will be good medicine for me. I had a lot of thoughts going through my mind in the last 15 laps of the Grand Prix so whether the medicine is enough, we’ll see.”

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574 comments on “Vettel apologises to Webber for ‘win I’m not proud of’”

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  1. If your gonna ignore team orders to take the all precious win,then don’t apologise for it …

  2. Sorry for posting again, but I want to make something clear to everyone saying Vettel should be commended for disobeying team orders.

    How can he be commended if he never owed up? Be a man, stand your ground and you can earn my respect.

  3. This(he) is so stupid, we all heard on the team radio:
    “Sebastian this is silly” refering to his attack on Webber.
    To then say that he did not know dosn’t add-up. He is always pushing the car when he dont need it. Sometimes its fun to see but when your own team says that they are going to ride to the end without overtaking you have to respect it. See Hamilton and Rosberg.

    Vettel, you just lost my respect.

  4. Today’s grand prix showed exactly what I think is wrong with Red Bull’s line-up: there is no mutual respect and their is no respect for the team. Sebastian Vettel should not have overtaken Mark Webber, but he did out of disrespect – there is no way any apologies can make up for that. Red Bull must somehow find a way to let their two drivers figure out a way to have a healthy professional relationship, or they have to look for a different combination. Mercedes showed what a good driver line-up is today.. Red Bull, take notice.

    1. @andae23

      there is no mutual respect and their is no respect for the team

      I think you are on the right track there. May I add, that in the RB team is like there is an inner group supporting Vettel mostly. That’s how I see it. If the team agrees with both the drivers that after the last pitstop there is no more racing, than it is obvious some other working underground, suggests to Vettel to ignore that order. And Vettel was pretty comfortable after the win, he never realised what reactions that move had caused to the team, thinking that he would have had the support of the team for that one. Only after he contacted to the team, he got the first impressions of the upset in the RB garage. It gives the impressions of a divided team.
      Whether it was right or wrong…, well I believe it was wrong since all had agreed that they are not racing after the last pitstop. It is like the situation between Hamilton and Button in Turkey 2010.

      1. @caci99 Whatever it is, something is brewing in the Red Bull team. As you point out, Vettel might be feeling he has lost his number one status. But on the other hand, Webber feels the exact opposite, saying that Vettel will be protected in the team orders row. The body language of Horner and Marko after the race says it all: they didn’t know how to respond to questions, suggesting that they’ve come to a point where they just don’t know what to do.

  5. Ultimately this is a sad day for the spectators, to see what was shaping up to be a great race ruined by an intended processional 1st-4th position. Not at all happy with what Vettel did, and do not for one second believe he didn’t know what was expected of him, but ultimately it is the teams that are ruining the race for those watching.

    Lets assume team orders are not allowed and no suggestion of them playing out was in place; we would have seen a great fight between Vettel and Webber in which they scrap for position with Vettel likely getting the upper hand, but as a result, scrubbing the tyres and significantly dropping pace, which leads to Hamilton and Rosberg catching them up, maybe having a tussle, only for them too to suffer from fuel issues. You would have ended up with 4 unpredictable cars fighting for 1st, with possibly cars behind (if able to catch up due to strategy) coming back into the race and maybe upsetting the order further.

    It should be up to the drivers to decide how far they can push the pace and think of the long view, rather than the lap they are on; at least that way a good race could have turned into a great race.

    Having said that, best post-race I’ve seen :)

    1. F1 is both a team and an individual sport. Even without explicit team orders, there are codes or pre-race agreements that would prevent this type of racing, unless there is a direct policy of not having team orders (like McLaren in 2010).

      Actually ironically it was the fact that there are team orders at all that led to the fight, because one obeyed them (and turned their engine down) and the other disobeyed them (to bring on the fight).

  6. vuelve kowalsky
    24th March 2013, 12:21

    I have to congratulate vettel because of a will to win i miss in other drivers. i understand he is well covered by the team to be able to do that. they must be unimpressed for sure, but what are they going to do? fire him? He is an old fashion type of driver. He is there for himself. And i must admit that i like it.
    I only wished he was more honest, instead of apologizing without meaning it. I imagine in the future he will tell the truth.

    1. +1

      Thanks god we still have drivers like Hamilton, Alonso and Vettel… Others can go play and moan…

    2. Yeah I agree with all of that.

    3. +1
      I completely agree with that view.

    4. I disagree: a driver who’d rather win unfairly than finish second fairly is a driver I cannot respect. The whole point for F1 drivers IMO is to prove that they are the best driver, and winning races like that doesn’t show that at all – quite the opposite, really.

      1. @andae23 exactly. winning by such underhanded and degrading method is self-degrading and disrespectful to the team.

  7. What Seb did today was a bit distasteful, but how was it different to when Mark was ordered to hold at Silverstone a couple years ago?No difference, both were unprofessional.

    As far as the fans were concerned, Webber’s actions were raved, because he is the underdog, the neglected child in the relationship, and it suited his general gritty personality. It was accepted, but it was no better than what Vettel did today. These guys are professionals. This is a professional team sport and if certain agreements are made as part of the game plan, then it is up to them to honour it.

    Having said this,perhaps there is more behind the scenes that we arent privy to. On the surface however, it is not right and it is unacceptable behavior from a World Champion.

    What would Schumacher or Senna have done? Probably what Seb did, but they were hardly model team players now were they?

    1. Difference is, Mark held it ground and owned up that he did disobey team orders. As for Vettel, did he do the same? No, he issues an apology and feigns ignorance. Same thing happened during the podium interview ceremony.

  8. Team Orders sure are appropriately named aren’t they. They exist only for the teams interests, not the fans.

    The fans want to see no holds barred wheel to wheel racing.

    Vettel should have at least told the team he was not going to follow orders so they could warn Mark and then we would have seen a true battle.

    What we got was the Motorsport equivalent of a sucker punch.

  9. do people think schumacher,or a hamilton or alonso would have stayed at the back and not fight for a win if they were in a competitive car and able to fight for the win. all this vettel hate is ridiculous..he did the fans a favour and gave us a great race..thats how f1 should be..i agree he broke some team order but seriously.. when did any of the red bull drivers obey team orders :), get over it..vettel was much quicker than mark on those tyres. anyway everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

    1. vettel was much quicker than mark on those tyres

      Webber was driving to a target lap time when Seb caught him up. He basically got stabbed in the back which some will approve of, but it doesn’t sit right with me at all.

      1. @venom Shumacher has done it. Ironically at the first race of Malaysian Grand Prix :)

  10. i hate all this PR talk, he won the race, he should be proud of it.
    i can’t count how many times Mark disobeyed team orders, if he wanted that win he should have got it on track.
    Props to Seb for an awesome win

    1. +1, agreed!! we need more racing drivers not robots!!

    2. Huh? Trust is everything in life, and without it, you have nothing. Vettel breached that trust and for me, became no better than Schumacher for cheating his way to wins!

      1. Ooh, and Webber must be right down there too (except he has less wins), in your world.

  11. I think that there is a lot of unfair stuff being said here.
    There seems to be a number of people who say that Rosberg should’ve stopped whining and overtaken Hamilton, despite team orders telling him not to. But when Vettel does that exact thing, out come the pitchforks.

    Also, think back to the 2011 British Grand Prix. Webber ignored a team order not to race his team mate, he didn’t get the same level of vitriol Vettel is receiving now, and was praised by many for his “I’ll tell them where they can put their team orders” attitude.

    There’s a double standard that the drivers are held to.

    This type of controversy happens every time team orders affect the outcome of a race, as there will always be one driver who gets the bad end of the deal. While I don’t think team orders should be re-banned (as that would just make the teams return to circumventing the rule anyway), I think Red Bull (and to some extent Mercedes) need to evaluate how they handle this issue in future, because at the moment their management of the issue is sub-par.

  12. The only people who owe us an apology are the team management at Red Bull and Mercedes. Team orders have their place in F1, but that place was not anywhere in this race.

    If Vettel had been leading Webber, the team had ordered the drivers to hold position, Webber had said “Sod this!” and taken the win – then everybody currently claiming to be “disgusted” would be screaming themselves hoarse with delight. And you all know it.

    As for Mercedes, I was hoping for a real team battle this year to get some sense of the relative strength of Hamilton and Rosberg. But I get the impression that Brawn is simply not going to let the Twenty Million Pound Man finish the season behind his teammate. If Rosberg had also ignored orders the result would be fairer and we’d have had a better race.

    I support the concept of team orders, but seeing them used like this makes me with they were still banned.

    1. If Vettel had been leading Webber, the team had ordered the drivers to hold position, Webber had said “Sod this!” and taken the win – then everybody currently claiming to be “disgusted” would be screaming themselves hoarse with delight. And you all know it.

      Exactly. I look forward to pointing it out the next time that exact thing happens (and then to the inevitable tortuous explanations for how “different” THAT situation is).

  13. hahaha. Good heavens – if it had been Hamilton who disobeyed team orders and overtook say, Jenson Button…this forum would be smoking with insults.

  14. vuelve kowalsky
    24th March 2013, 12:38

    This remainds me of the san marino gp in 1982. Pironi disobeyed team orders to keep positions and overtook his teamate during the last lap. He won in front of 100.000 italian fans. Gilles villeneuve was so upset, he never spoke to him again. 15 days later, still very angry, villeneuve died during qualy for the belgian gp, trying to better didier’s time.
    It was the first time i saw the death of a driver. I lost my motorsport inocence that day.

  15. Vettel and Maldonado must be hanging out together. Don’t believe what you see, only what I say.

  16. @ Traverse
    “As for cry baby Webber, GROW UP!! I thought you were made of Aussie grit, not pink fluffy marshmallows.”

    Serious Trav- go stand in the far que mate! His is full of the Aussies Grit and if you could not tell that from the podium you have NFI what that means!! (Not Aussie I EASILY assume mate) He was P**sed, Seb knew he was P**SED and he made his point= no cry baby !!!

    I dont like team orders but I hate comments like “Mark is too slow, get ho out of the way!!”

    Seb has always been smug, and likeable at the same time- like Kimi (I am really starting to like Kimi hey!!). Recently I , on this forum, have defended him as his seems to lack respect as a 3 x WDC. While I still respect his driving am more so questioning his personal qualities (and I dont like that!!)

  17. What some people seem to not realise is the difference between what Webber did in 2011 and what Vettel did today. There’s a slight difference between driving close to another driver and showing that you are as fast as them, without overtaking (as Webber did), and completely ignoring an order not to overtake, and then claiming it was “unintentional” and a big “mistake” (as Vettel did).

    At Silverstone Webber didn’t actually overtake, all he did was get close to Vettel to show he was faster, but stayed behind (and actually dropped back once he’d proved his point). That’s quite different to making repeated attempts to overtake, putting the cars in danger, resulting in an overtake that was completely against the team’s orders.

      1. Hmm that barely looked like an attempt to be honest… I mean, who would try and pass someone on the outside of Copse? Plus he backed of quite a bit before the corner…

  18. David not Coulthard (@)
    24th March 2013, 12:52

    All this is just PR stuff…

    I’m no sure, I mean, who told you that he even saw a PR director after that? We’ve got to “confrom” that first, I think.

    Or perhaps it had something to do with this:

    In the past Red Bull never made much of a point of him ignoring orders to slow down and setting fast laps.

    Which one might help those who try to argue that this is the truth:

    That’s what its all about EGO. Vettel as the mind of a child, not a man.

    But the difference fastest laps and passing Webber should’ve been that bit more obvious to him if the 2nd quote above was true.

    1. David not Coulthard (@)
      24th March 2013, 12:53

      O’m not sure.

      And I suppose I’ll make an admission here just in case I made a hillariously wrong comment: I missed the race.

      1. David not Coulthard (@)
        24th March 2013, 12:54


  19. This puts Horner in a very tricky situation if it is true that they treat each driver the same and Seb disregard the orders. If he gets away with it, what will Horner do then…leave?

    And, I thought it was interesting to see that Newey didn’t celebrate with the drivers after the champange as i usually the case.

    Can’t wait to see the outcome of this.

    1. *as is usually

    2. Horner is Mr Marko’s lapdog.

  20. Webber had Vettel covered and in turn they had the mercs covered and the hierarchy knew it so it made sense to turn down the wick and conserve the hardware. Vettel, your a canine.

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