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

2013 Malaysian Grand Prix

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’

  1. DavidS (@davids) said on 24th March 2013, 12:28

    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.

  2. 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.

    • 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).

  3. rantingmrp (@rantingmrp) said on 24th March 2013, 12:38

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

  4. vuelve kowalsky said on 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.

  5. mead said on 24th March 2013, 12:42

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

  6. Garns (@) said on 24th March 2013, 12:45

    @ 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!!)

  7. f1alex (@f1alex) said on 24th March 2013, 12:46

    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.

  8. David not Coulthard (@) said on 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.

  9. Highstoned (@highstoned) said on 24th March 2013, 12:52

    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.

  10. rrrev (@rrrev) said on 24th March 2013, 12:52

    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.

  11. Mark Hitchcock (@mark-hitchcock) said on 24th March 2013, 12:55

    I’m not a fan of team orders, and would rather the drivers are allowed to race. But Webber has played number 2 to Vettel and not fought him so many times in the past, the least Seb could do is return the favour when it’s his turn to hold position.

    Some say it’s the sign of a cutthroat racer, but I see today’s actions as a low blow and those of a coward and poor team mate.

  12. kevin (@kevin22) said on 24th March 2013, 13:09

    He is disgusting, I hope history is not forgiving.

  13. As a compromise solution, maybe team orders could be banned except in the last six races of the season.

  14. FlyingLobster27 said on 24th March 2013, 13:32

    Vettel and Rosberg reacted differently to orders, but I won’t judge that. Those who disgraced F1 today are the teams, Red Bull and Mercedes. Team orders are out and IT’S ONLY ROUND TWO! Is there NO right time in the year whatsoever for team-mates to have a fair shot at wins and podiums anymore? By all means tell them not to do anything over-ambitious, not to defend or attack too hard, but at this stage of the season, it is plain immoral in my mind to deny team-mates a chance to race each other.

  15. brny666 said on 24th March 2013, 13:37

    So they had an agreement to race till the last pit-stop and coast afterwards. Then why didn’t the team let Vet have a go at Webber before the pitstop. Vettel said as much on the radio, “mark is too slow”, then got told to be patient as the race is long. I think Vettel felt shafted by that and took the victory anyway after the final pitstop.

    • Delta Golf Sierra (@cumulonimbus) said on 24th March 2013, 15:37

      Because when Vettel complained of Webber slowing him down, Webber was actually turning faster lap times than Vettel. Vettel was losing ground to Webber at that time, so Vettel had no justification to make a demand like that.

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