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.”

2013 Malaysian Grand Prix

Browse all 2013 Malaysian Grand Prix articles

Image ?é?® Red Bull/Getty

Advert | Go Ad-free

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

  1. Rodney said on 24th March 2013, 18:19

    I’m really sorry but most of you are missing the point by a wide margin here. To all those defending Vettel – he didn’t deserve the win. You may ask WHY?

    Well, if you take away your rose tinted glasses comparing him to Senna or any other great and say he is a ‘true racer’, you’d realise that he only got close enough to Webber because Webber thought the agreement held up and he was cruising to save the engine, gearbox and tyres, as the team instructed him to. He did nothing wrong in this sense, it was Vettel who ignored the team and the agreement and increased his pace, at the risk of spoiling the race for himself and the team.

    This, to me, is despicable. If Webber followed suit and ignored the team’s order, Vettel probably wouldn’t have caught up with him anyway, as he had shown enough pace through the race. Those of you defending Vettel ought to see this and stop the naiveness. That wasn’t a ‘fair fight’, or that the better driver won, that was just plain robbery. Calling him a true racer just because he stole the win from his teammate who had more than enough pace to have him covered is borderline stupidity.

    • Rodney said on 24th March 2013, 18:33

      I would like to offer a scenario to all those defending Vettel (Helmut Marko fans, I suppose?)

      Lets imagine that your native country and North Korea had an agreement or a pact to maintain peace and stability between your two countries. Now, one day, North Korea realises that your country has something it wants and decides to throw a nuclear bomb into your country.

      AH, i see, given your behaviours, you would probably applaud North Korea for being a true fighter!

      Hypocrisy, much?

      • Mads (@mads) said on 24th March 2013, 19:06

        Oh my word.
        How on earth is killing people, and racing drivers overtaking each other in any way comparable? Its probably the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard.
        Anyway, going by your example.
        We (the fans) want to see racing. If we didn’t, then there would be no F1. Its our money that pays for that whole circus. On the contrary we do NOT want people to kill each other. And that is why I want Vettel to overtake Webber, but don’t want North Korea to nuke Seoul.

      • Randy (@randy) said on 24th March 2013, 19:08

        I think you are going a bit too far when comparing Vettel to North Korea.

        Call him a liar or a cheater – fine by me (after today he is a liar and cheater in my opinion). But adding politics to it… Sorry, i must oppose.

      • Maksutov (@maksutov) said on 25th March 2013, 1:54

        lol ….. that is a bit extreme don’t you think?

      • Rodney said on 25th March 2013, 7:54

        Yes that’s correct ridiculous is the word. And that’s why I mentioned hypocrisy. They are essentially the same situation just in different contexts. Which shows how much double standards are there in this world. It just shows all of you don’t mind hypocrisy or betrayals as long as it suits your agenda or viewing pleasure. Which is selfish in itself but u have demonstrated my point. It’s like saying stealing for the rich is ok but stealing from the poor is not. It’s morals double standards. In the end as u said, u didn’t mind Vettel breaking an agreement because u gained something from it, which was your viewing pleasure. Double crossing somebody is wrong, no matter what. I made my point. now it’s up to u to reflect.

  2. Michael Shone (@shoney0248) said on 24th March 2013, 18:34

    Vettel went against Team Orders, Webber is a gentleman and an honest human being. Something Vettel could greatly learn from, he has lost what little respect he had today.
    Reminds me of another German who was only as good as the car he was driving. Is anyone surprised because I certainly am not!!

  3. Vargas (@vargas) said on 24th March 2013, 18:48

    With such ridiculous team orders, there will be no competitive racing even if Bernie spreads oil on the track.

  4. Mads (@mads) said on 24th March 2013, 18:50

    I can’t believe that so many people are suddenly supporting team orders.
    I pay my money to see racing. Not world champions holding position because their teams don’t think they can manage some wheel to wheel racing. Despite the fact that both of their drivers have done so for over 20 years!
    They know how to get around another car. **** happens from time to time, but at least its real and it won’t create inter team friction like this.
    F1 drivers are there to win. Anything else is unnatural, and I think the teams who use team orders like this are a bunch of babies. They should accept it when their drivers does not obey their every call. They are there to win, just as much as the teams are.
    I applaud drivers for saying no to finishing 2nd and take their result into their own hands. If all F1 drivers were racing sensibly then I would stop watching. It’s their rebellious behaviour that makes them racing drivers.
    And isn’t it racing drivers, racing that we to see?
    I think the teams should accept that and move on. If they hire a F1 world champion to race their cars, then they are never going to get a lap dog. It has been like that for decades.
    Still. I get why F1 teams would support team orders, but I literally have no idea why some fans seem to do the same.

  5. Brace (@brace) said on 24th March 2013, 18:57

    Anyone remembers when the fallout in McLaren begun in 2007?
    That’s right, exactly after Hamilton renegaded on a prior gentleman agreement.

    Shouldn’t be surprised if these two end up pushing each other off the road during the year at the benefit of Alonso or Kimi.

  6. Chris (@chris) said on 24th March 2013, 19:02

    Vettel reduced himself to an amount of s….

    He is saying he regrets to have stolen the victory promised to Mark but in the very deep part of his soul, he thinks nothing of what he said about his regrets

    He is probably the worst racer now on the track… Just having the good car by Newey but no team spirit no contender spirit

    I just cannot say anything else than I hate him

    • Force Maikel (@force-maikel) said on 24th March 2013, 19:18

      I wouldn’t say I hate him but I do think his behavior today was unnecessary and unworthy for a triple formula one world champion. I still think he has deserved every title and record he has achieved although I don’t like him a single bit. It’s the dual personality really that bugs me the most. When he’s not wearing his helmet he can be a charismatic person but once in the cockpit that changes to a greedy and arrogant driver.

      I think he is most definitely wining the driver of the weekend award.

      • ME4ME (@me4me) said on 24th March 2013, 19:48

        “Unworthy”? So the nicer you are, the more worthy you are of becomming a world champion? .. Obviously being a champion is about speed and skill, and having the equipment to compeet. It’s not about being nice, or morally correct. What happened today has nothing to do with how many championships Vettel have won.

        • Nick.UK (@) said on 24th March 2013, 22:29

          @me4me

          Itt all depends on what you think makes a good champion. It’s one thing to win a title it’s a whole different thing to be a champion. A champion should be a role model and set a standard for others to admire. Vettel does none of this.

          • ME4ME (@me4me) said on 25th March 2013, 21:40

            @nick-uk I see your point and I agree to some extend. But then the question arrives, who of the late greats is a better champion then Vettel then? Alonso did some pretty silly things back in 2007. Hamilton was all over the place in 2011. Schumacher did ever crazier things then the pair of them combined. I see this a a single incident. We shouldn’t be to quick to blame Vettel, and judge his career by this. He is still and foremost a great racing driver.

    • stolen the victory promised to Mark

      Do you people even hear yourselves?

      This nonsense, like the crazed flash mob which formed around the “Vettel passed under yellow flags in Brazil!!” silliness, really leaves me wondering about the sort of people who follow Formula One.

      This is racing. You can’t “promise” a victory to anyone. And one driver passing another driver (who tried hard to stop the first one from passing) does not constitute theft either legally or morally.

      • MDian said on 24th March 2013, 22:19

        True enough, but maybe you are not understanding the facts! Webber decided upon a tyre strategy based on the assurance that Vettel would not over take him, so Webber slowed his pace in line with the team and opted for the tyre he preferred, albeit slower; then Vettel ignored the request.

        • cg22me (@cg22me) said on 24th March 2013, 23:20

          Exactly.
          Webber’s pace was governed by a mutual agreement by him and the team that ensured he got to the end of the race on those tyres; a safe position.

          This could only have occurred with the guarantee that Vettel wouldn’t attempt to overtake.
          If no such agreement were in place, Webber would have maintained an optimum car set-up and brought the fight proper to Vettel… At the risk of not being able to finish on those tyres.

          People saying Webber was slower, what was the problem? Well, Webber was only as slow as he was because of the agreement. He proved to us all that he had the pace to match Vettel earlier in the race, which is probably why the agreement held (until Vettel got greedy).

  7. Mads (@mads) said on 24th March 2013, 19:13

    I can’t believe that so many people are suddenly supporting team orders.
    I pay my money to see racing. Not world champions holding position because their teams don’t think they can manage some wheel to wheel racing. Despite the fact that both of their drivers have done so for over 20 years!
    They know how to get around another car. **** happens from time to time, but at least its real and it won’t create inter team friction like this.
    F1 drivers are there to win. Anything else is unnatural, and I think the teams who use team orders like this are a bunch of babies. They should accept it when their drivers does not obey their every call. They are there to win, just as much as the teams are.
    I applaud drivers for saying no to finishing 2nd and take their result into their own hands. If all F1 drivers were racing sensibly then I would stop watching. It’s their rebellious behaviour that makes them racing drivers.
    And isn’t it racing drivers, racing that we to see?
    I think the teams should accept that and move on. If they hire a F1 world champion to race their cars, then they are never going to get a lap dog. It has been like that for decades.
    Still. I get why F1 teams would support team orders, but I literally have no idea why some fans seem to do the same.

  8. Gary B said on 24th March 2013, 19:37

    I am a Canadian and love F1 but I think this was the worst race I have ever seen. I usually root for Hamilton or Button. With that out of the way I cant stand these stupid team orders. Rosberg should have gone around Lewis and Vettel did the right thing.Get rid of the constructors champion , we all know what team had the best car of the day. Let these guys race that’s what they are supposed to do.Racers of generations past would be disgusted were are politically correct, greedy corporations have taken the sport.If you want fans put on a real race not a staged one.

    • Timothy Katz (@timothykatz) said on 24th March 2013, 20:58

      I completely understand your viewpoint, but there is another aspect to this that seems to have been missed from all the comments here about team orders etc. And this is that engines, gearboxes etc must be used in multiple races as their numbers are limited in the season. Because of this, it it entirely sensible for a team manager to say “That’s it guys, no more racing each other. Conserve the cars for the next race.” In the old days when engines etc were unlimited, the richer teams could afford to bring a virtually new car to each race. Now, an engine has to last four races (I think).
      So in the interests of the season as a whole, teams must limit the stress put on their finite resources at each race. Seb ignored that today and very nearly cost his team the one-two they deserved.
      In this instance, he put himself before the team. Not something that will endear him to anyone.

  9. Sergey Petrov said on 24th March 2013, 19:52

    The only thing Seb did wrong today was appologise out of place. Everyone in F1 is all PC, cute and fluffy, for the spectators (god forbid we hear what they actually have to say). Everyone must drive in order, proceed as discussed in briefing, buckle up and indicate when overtaking. Boy oh boy the wrath of the fans shall be upon you should you overtake after half race distance as we are used to catching a nap by then. In the PC world An apology was expected from Vettel – he gave one.

    Tremendous job by Martin Brundle on putting it to all drivers in another non-PC fashion.

    • MDian said on 24th March 2013, 22:21

      Nothing wrong with F1 being all cute and fluffy, it is one of few sports remaining where players and supporters alike are fair, honest and polite; unlike football etc.

  10. Multi-21, hmmm let me see what can be made out of it. 2 stands for Webber and 1 for Vettel. Which means Mark was supposed to win. So was it pre-decided that Webber was the one the team wanted to win?? I suppose this Multi-21 came into effect around lap 43 (or just before that ugly overtaking by Seb)..

    • F1_Canuck said on 24th March 2013, 20:37

      They were reporting that Mult-21 is an engine mapping mode which Webber engaged and Vettel was supposed to engage but did not. So not only did he go against team orders, he passed a car using 80% of his cars power – he must be proud.

  11. Still camileon (@stillcamileon) said on 24th March 2013, 20:01

    F1 drivers are all the same and dont have any respect for others, just go down to your local kart track and see how they behave as children with there parents throwing thousands of pounds at them from the age of five then you can understand where these little babies bad attitudes come from, i went to my local track last year and one little brat had four different karts and fifteen engines for one race weekend.

  12. Peter Cotterill (@stigrennfahrer) said on 24th March 2013, 20:01

    I’m sorry…am I the only one here who thinks drivers should race to the limit, and not just tiptoe around following team orders?

    Such a thing as happened today would have been unheard of in the pioneering years of F1, so why should it be the case all of a sudden, now?

    If you can do something (within the rules), do it!

  13. DannyJ said on 24th March 2013, 20:03

    Seems to me, Seb can’t overtake: unless there’s team orders for Webber to
    a) let him through, or
    b) for Webber to turn his engine down
    Can’t see Helmut Marko coming down hard on Vettel though… or can I?

  14. Mike the bike Schumacher (@mike-the-bike-schumacher) said on 24th March 2013, 20:19

    This is about Vettel not being a gentleman.
    Rosberg showed he was a gentleman today.
    Vettel didn’t keep his word and showed true unsportsmanlike behavior.
    I’m just disappointed in him.

  15. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 24th March 2013, 20:31

    Controversial opinion but I really do think that both Red Bull drivers are to ‘blame’ today. Whether or not you ‘believe’ in team orders is irrelevant, you’re an employee therefore you do as you’re told but I think that while Webber is being portrayed as the victim he was racing Vettel just as much. He could have removed all the risk factor by letting an impatient Vettel pass him but he chose to fight and therefore put the team at risk as much as Vettel did.

    • cg22me (@cg22me) said on 24th March 2013, 23:26

      @andrewtanner
      I see where you are coming from… But sit in Mark’s position for a second.

      You’ve been guaranteed that Vettel wouldn’t overtake you. Suddenly, you’ve got him racing right by you, you may think that you’re just going too slowly (being too conservative, if you will), not that Vettel is overtaking.
      You respond by picking up the pace slightly, thinking that you’re now just matching the also coasting Vettel.
      Vettel then thinks you’re fighting for position proper, and now it’s too late… The battle has already escalated too far.

      Webber eventually let him through when the intentions of both parties were clear.

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments must abide by the comment policy. Comments may be moderated.
Want to post off-topic? Head to the forum.
See the FAQ for more information.