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. OEL F1 (@oel-f1) said on 24th March 2013, 13:40

    So loads of comments applauding that Vettel overtook Webber when told not to, does this mean all these people reckon Gilles Villeneuve was at fault for being overtaken on the last lap to lose the win to his team mate after having an agreement not to overtake each other on the last lap?

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 24th March 2013, 14:12

      @oel-f1 – Funny that you’re going back 30 years to find a comparison, when just 2 years ago, Mark Webber did what Vettel did today.

      Gilles (1982), and Seb (2011), had outperformed their teammates prior. Mark hasn’t.

      • Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 24th March 2013, 15:35

        Gilles (1982), and Seb (2011), had outperformed their teammates prior. Mark hasn’t.

        Mark was 5s ahead of Seb before the last pit stop, the problem in this situation is that Mark was told to slow down while Vettel was pushing hard, it is true that Seb was on fire in the last stint but who knows how it would have been finished between the two because in the middle of the race Seb on option tyres and still couldn’t pass Mark on prime tyres
        The team is responsible for this situation, at least they could have warned Mark that Seb will not accept team orders and in that situation both drivers have to race, not letting Mark surprised by Seb breathing down his neck when he exited the pit while he was 5s ahead before the stop

  2. Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 24th March 2013, 13:44

    Funny this is the same guy who talks about “Dirty Tricks”
    What can he say about what he did today????

    • According to Webber, ” I ignored the team and I was battling to the end”.

      Let’s cut to the chase here -your idea of a “dirty trick” is Vettel winning.

      How people can justify to themselves the ludicrously unfair double standards they wield against Vettel is a mystery best left for psychologists.

      • Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 24th March 2013, 14:14

        Just reply on what was written, do not read my mind or say something about me that i didn’t wrote.
        This is not double standard , i don’t care if Vettel or Webber won, more than that it doesn’t bother if Red Bull or any other team used team order, but what bother me the most is this hypocrisy
        The Red Bull team (and now Vettel) are trying always to hide the truth, they are always lying and pretending that they are doing what the others did

        Let’s cut to the chase here -your idea of a “dirty trick” is Vettel winning.

        The guy has admitted that he made a mistake, well i should not listen to what he said , you probably know better than him & Mark & the whole team

        How people can justify to themselves the ludicrously unfair double standards they wield against Vettel is a mystery best left for psychologists

        I think that applies to you

        • Just reply on what was written

          I did reply to what was written – the claim that one driver passing another on the race track is a “dirty trick”.

          what bother me the most is this hypocrisy

          That’s what bothers me too, brother. Believe me. But I think we’re bothered by different hypocrisy.

          The Red Bull team (and now Vettel) are trying always to hide the truth, they are always lying

          Really? Always? That’s some subtle and nuanced thinking you’ve got there.

          • Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 24th March 2013, 15:45

            the claim that one driver passing another on the race track is a “dirty trick”.

            you clearly missed(or trying on purpose to miss) the point ,let me explain and i hope this time you understand
            one driver passing another on race track is not a “Dirty Trick”
            the “Dirty Trick” is when one driver is leading with 5s of advantage and was told by his team to preserve his car(lowering the enigine power) and his tyres exits the pits and see in his mirrors his teammate who took benefit from this situation and closed that gap when he was pushing
            If you didn’t understand now just tell me !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Akshay (@hamilfan) said on 24th March 2013, 15:51

      YOu caught the fish there @Tifoso1989 !! :-)

  3. Cyclops_PL (@cyclops_pl) said on 24th March 2013, 13:45

    Maybe they didn’t tell him “Mark is too slow, get him out of the way” was aired…

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 24th March 2013, 14:43

      Horner has since confirmed multiple times, that Vettel was defenitely told by his team to hold station, but chose to “not hear/not understand” the clear message.

  4. christian (@christian) said on 24th March 2013, 13:57

    Guys, what is that? Are we really talking about a sport? F1 racers giving excuses and feeling sorry about being at the podium? I want to go back to the 80′s…

  5. charles (@charles) said on 24th March 2013, 14:05

    there is no problem going for the win, the problem is taking advantage of some with an understanding of not fighting back or overtake. also that he couldn’t do this one thing after all the **** that mark has has to put up with over the last few yrs (number 2 driver). A accumulation of mark Webbers frustrations over the last few yrs and Vettels unsportsmanlike behavior.

  6. Bobby (@f1bobby) said on 24th March 2013, 14:06

    Poor Mark Webber. Given that he was told the cars would hold position he is rightly extremely upset with Seb’s actions. Total disrespect for the team and his ‘team mate’ from Vettel, what a heel!

  7. WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 24th March 2013, 14:10

    This race epitomizes why I cannot stand Sebastian Vettel. Rather like Ayrton Senna in the early 90s, Vettel has this impression that he is some how entitled to take the win. Webber did the better job, and was plain faster throughout much of the race, and he took the win in my eyes. I cannot imagine what was going through Vettel’s head, did he just think that he could directly defy team orders and skew a race result and then not receive a whole heap of hostility just because he is this “golden kid”? Rosberg did the sensible thing; so why did the high and mighty Sebastian Vettel not? You might well be one of the fastest drivers in the world, but you have to concede when you’re beaten, but Vettel simply cannot compute the entire concept of being beaten by his teammate, and in the process does not come across as the wise and powerful champion that Alonso, but instead that of a spoilt kid.

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 24th March 2013, 14:41

      @william-brierty

      You might well be one of the fastest drivers in the world, but you have to concede when you’re beaten, but Vettel simply cannot compute the entire concept of being beaten by his teammate, and in the process does not come across as the wise and powerful champion that Alonso, but instead that of a spoilt kid.

      I believe Alonso is a great driver too, but he’s had a bad day or two in the same regard that you’re criticizing Vettel.

      • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 24th March 2013, 15:16

        Where do I say that Alonso is faultless? For the first half of the 2010 Alonso drove poorly, and had a incident of some nature almost every race, and Alonso was beaten by Massa in the 2010 German Grand Prix, although he was handed the win. However, I can’t remember an occassion when Alonso put himself above the team’s commands. In the 2007 US Grand Prix he was quicker than Hamilton, but he respected McLaren’s decision to keep the status quo. We don’t see this desperate and irrational action from Alonso that we have often seen from Vettel; a man that has had it so good that he simply cannot cope with the idea of not taking the win. I will always remember what Vettel said to Rocky after he congratulated Vettel on 2nd place at the 2011 Hungarian Grand Prix: “But I WANT to win!”. Says it all really. When Vettel is inevitably handed a below par car I fully expect him to go to pieces.

        • David-A (@david-a) said on 24th March 2013, 16:58

          @william-brierty

          Where do I say that Alonso is faultless?

          Yes, you didn’t say Alonso was faultless, but you said he was a “wise and powerful champion”, with Vettel in comparison a “spoilt kid”. And in that US GP, he tried to pass LH, and shook his fist at the pitwall at one point. I’m not excusing Vettel, I’m just saying that he isn’t necessarily “spoilt” as opposed to someone else being “wise/powerful”.

          And re: Hungary 2011/below par cars: Wanting to win is a negative attribute now? You could easily turn that comment around and claim that it shows how determined he is, which could bode well, if he were to drive a worse car than he is now.

          • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 24th March 2013, 19:24

            I am in no way saying that wanting to win is a bad thing, but NEEDING to win, as Vettel clearly feels he does, certainly is. Alonso does not act like that. When Alonso finishes second he thinks, “Hmm, 18 points, that’ll be good for the championship.” When Vettel finishes second he thinks, “Arrrrgh, that loss of 7 points hurts me so.” That kind of attitude does not bode well for when the inevitable day comes and he does not have the best car out there. Vettel is starting to come across spoilt. He talks about feeling “privileged” every time he takes the win, but he doesn’t, he just thinks that’s how a race normally ends. I so hope that the RB10 is a poor car and that Vettel gets the wake-up call he so badly needs. It’s a shame really, because look at him, he’s a true great of our sport, and there is just no need for him to act so childishly. I think today’s race just beautifully illustrates my long held belief that Alonso and Hamilton are better than Vettel, and are just that much more complete drivers.

  8. Tayyib (@m0nzaman) said on 24th March 2013, 14:14

    The overtake on Mark Webber doesn’t bother me, he’s a racing driver and you race TO WIN.
    However what does bother me is the fact RBR have always supported Vettel, they have always been behind him and he couldn’t follow their orders and ignored them. Christian Horner said it was getting “silly”, Vettel must have known they had to stay in position. Webber will say he’s been “marginalised” by the team before e.g. Silverstone 2010 and he will feel massively aggrieved. He must think that Seb gets “preferred treatment” and now he ignores team orders. Wonder how they move.

    • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 24th March 2013, 15:25

      What bothers me is that Vettel mounted an attack on Webber in full knowledge that he was disadvantaged with lower fuel mixes, a turned down engine and in tyre conservation mode. There are just too many examples of Webber being buggered by Red Bull for his position within the team to be in any dispute. However, this is not the issue. This issue is that Vettel ignored team orders, “pulled a fast one” and skewed the race result all out of sheer irrational desperation to win. I hope Red Bull place sanctions upon Vettel in payment for the media nightmare that is currently burning around the team, and I hope Webber goes into the next race assured in the knowledge that although he doesn’t have the points or the trophy, he beat Sebastian Vettel at the Malaysian Grand Prix.

  9. Highstoned (@highstoned) said on 24th March 2013, 14:53

    If Horner doesn’t penalize Vettel, then his stature as team principal will be exposed as a “fake”. (for lack of a better word, I’m not native to english)

  10. Jolerto said on 24th March 2013, 15:03

    Who cares what he said, the thing i don’t get is why do you have to explain yourself for winning a formula one race? He went for it because, well frankly, he wanted to win? I’d watch Vettel pass Webber for the lead all day long as opposed to Rosberg, Massa, Rubens.. etc… To be honest, formula one is heading down a very very bad road.

    • TMF (@tmf42) said on 24th March 2013, 15:24

      I think there’s too much money to lose. Team orders and show-runs like we saw today from Mercedes in the first races of a new season are silly. Better they go for budget caps and distribute the TV money not by points but equally among teams then the thing Seb pulled today would be a no brainer to cheer for.

  11. Maksutov (@maksutov) said on 24th March 2013, 15:18

    To me personally this whole situation is ridiculous. I find it strange that someone has to apologise for winning a race? What has this world come to? Both Vettel and Webber clearly fought for their positions despite orders, and Vettel turned out to be faster and Webber was left with sour grapes.

    I think team orders should be banned. Vettel won, and Rosberg should have overtaken Hamilton. And as I’ve said above, if the teams want to drive their cars (instead of the drivers themselves), then they should simply install a remote control system on every car and operate the cars from the garage with a joystick.

    • f1alex (@f1alex) said on 24th March 2013, 15:49

      Thing is, team orders did exist then Germany 2010 happened, so we can’t win either way. But even if they were banned, Webber would probably have won, because he wouldn’t have been conserving his tyres and fuel (exactly what Vettel should have been doing) as much as he did, so Vettel probably wouldn’t have passed him so easily/at all… but it doesn’t really matter now anyway.

  12. sumedh said on 24th March 2013, 15:21

    A very wise decision by Vettel to apologize publicly. He has already been scolded by his boss and Webber. Good on him to not make comments like, “I am a racer, and I will fight till the last metre”.

    I think whatever happened in the team debrief, it was made loud and clear to Vettel that no matter how many championships he wins, he is not bigger than the team. He cannot defy team orders.

    Good on Vettel to have realized his childish behavior. I hope he gives Webber a win sometime this season itself.

  13. Sergey Petrov said on 24th March 2013, 15:23

    Everyone is so amiably cute nowdays it makes one cringe.

    F1 salaries are paid by us, the viewers not team efforts and i for want to see racing.

    Good on Vettel beating Webber. Sorry for Rosberg being too scared of contract closes not passing Ham with no fuel. I might understand supporting a driver aiming at title but not Ham now with an empty tank. What did he support, an empty tank?

    If Seb n Mark had a personal agreement not to pass in last 15 laps Seb is wrong as a man.

    I would rather watch paint dry than watch 1/3 race distance of team orders.

    As an engineer i understand Newey and Brawn wanting machines to come home safe but thats their job and mine.

    Let them race.

  14. Ripudaman (@ripudaman07z) said on 24th March 2013, 15:24

    Vettel did not listen to his team!! But neither should have Webber!! I am not happy about what happened to him but the RBR team handled this like a bunch of idiots!!! Declaring the race over fifteen laps before it is actually over is monumentally stupid!! Clearly they do not respect their drivers enough to let them race!! They will play the “team comes first” card again but a team which uses team orders in such fashion does not deserve any respect no matter how many races they’ve won!! This **** is right up there with Ferrari’s “Fernando is faster than you” saga!! Terribly sad to see this kinda thing in my favorite sport!!

    • Delta Golf Sierra (@cumulonimbus) said on 24th March 2013, 15:49

      Absolutely agree. The RBR team is ultimately responsible for creating this situation. Vettel and Webber are both professionals, and know how to pass each other cleanly. They both realize the consequences of making a mistake and taking each other out. They have enough sense and skill not to do that. Just let them race.

      • DaveW (@dmw) said on 24th March 2013, 16:13

        “Vettel and Webber are both professionals, and know how to pass each other cleanly”

        Sorry DGS but that is precisely the problem with this two in this situation. This professionalism is in doubt as to the both of them. After Turkey 2010 you can be sure there is a team policy never to let that kind of situation come to a head again. The policy obviously needs some better implementation.

    • Maksutov (@maksutov) said on 24th March 2013, 20:23

      Declaring the race over fifteen laps before it is actually over is monumentally stupid!!

      agreed. which is why team orders should be banned! To stop the teams from manipulating when the race is actually over.

  15. Sergey Petrov said on 24th March 2013, 15:28

    Agree with Maksutov on his view.

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