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. Hands up everyone who thinks that, if Hamlton had been behind Rosberg, he’d have been ordered to hold position.

    Now hold your hand if you think that, even if such an order had been given, Hamilton would have obeyed it.

    No? Well, try putting Alonso and Massa into those scenarios. It’s even harder to imagine.

  2. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall) said on 24th March 2013, 20:47

    I wish people would stop calling Vettel a racer as a way of excusing his actions. It’s just a way of justifying his unacceptable, callous and narcissistic behaviour that would be unacceptable in the real world. Before anyone says, ‘He’s a racing driver, he’s supposed to win races’, I know that but the point is that he unacceptably took advantage of a situation that was simply not fair on Webber, disobeying the people that pay his wage, got him where he is today on a monumental scale.
    The more I see of Vettel the more I think he is your typical sociopath/psychopath.

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 25th March 2013, 10:45

      I wish people would stop calling Vettel a racer as a way of excusing his actions.

      I wish people would stop agreeing with team orders in the second race of the season, hiding behind the “it’s part of F1″ excuse, when with anyone else, they’d be against team orders being applied this early in the season (or later).

      • The Next Pope said on 25th March 2013, 20:00

        But this time, the team order was for the team? To not risk WCC points surely?
        To say Vettel did it for the Championship, a mere 7 points lol, well we’ll see. :D
        Honestly tho, if he could man up and admit he wanted to win, Seb would be so badass right now.

  3. Serby said on 24th March 2013, 21:20

    i hate that man even more…but hey:
    [IMG]http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f207/mafiotu007/36573347_zps0eb7e296.jpg[/IMG]

  4. Gabriel (@naylamp) said on 24th March 2013, 21:54

    I don’t understand. People is mad at Vettel disobeying a team order and at Rosberg obeying a team order. Double standard?

    • If they didn’t have double standards, they’d have no standards at all.

    • MDian said on 24th March 2013, 22:25

      Rosberg showed himself to be a team player and respectful to his team mate; Vettel did not show the same with Webber or the team, though naturally Red Bull will forgive him as he can’t do anything wrong!

      The real losers today are the fans for witnessing team orders at all and preventing a race; this is the second race of the year for crying out loud, not the 19th!

    • foleyger (@foleyger) said on 25th March 2013, 0:01

      people are angry with Mercedes for what they did to Rosberg and people are angry with Vettel with what he did to Webber. Rosberg should have clearly finished 3rd but thats the teams fault and Vettel disobeyed what his team wanted him to do. Rosberg is a team player,Vettel is not.

    • Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall) said on 25th March 2013, 1:59

      Different people think different things. I haven’t read any responses showing one person to have both opinions you state.

  5. fm (@fokkinmoron) said on 24th March 2013, 21:57

    After thinking a bit, I realized that what bothers me most as well as what really bothers most people is Vettel’s violation of the sense of fairplay. Webber had turned his engine down in compliance with team orders and Vettel willfully disobeyed the orders. Thus Webber was left ‘holding the bag’.
    I can’t take anything away from Vettel because he IS good. However, I think he sucks as a human being and team player.
    Liek it or not, Team orders are a part of F1, always have been; always will be. The drivers know it when they sogn up to race.
    Imagine for a moment had the roles been reversed: Vettel would’ve been crying and pitching a fit for the rest of the season. That’s just the type of person he is. He has 3 DC’s and thinks he’s entitled to whatever he wants.(Listen to him whine on the track when backmarkers don’t stop to let him pass) Thus I hope he follows Senna into Glory.

    • I do not remember Vettel whining at occasions like Hamilton overtaking him because backmarker slowed him down at COTA in 2012.

    • javlinsharp (@javlinsharp) said on 26th March 2013, 14:27

      @fokkinmoron
      I dont fault SV for being “unfair”. This is F1, there is no “fair”; only the rules and the podium.
      Disobeying team orders was probably his greatest sin, but I really dont care about that.

      I expect F1 to be a pinacle. All these artificial impediments are nothing but ridiculous. Im sure SV will have to “stand tall before the man” and take his lashings from the team, but in the end, he has the top step, and that cannot be taken away.

  6. Dane (@n0b0dy100) said on 24th March 2013, 22:21

    Taking an unfair advantage of his team mate following orders is as good as cheating to me. I lost any remaining respect for that kid today.

  7. HiPn0tIc (@hipn0tic) said on 24th March 2013, 22:33

    I’m a Vettel fan, but today i trully think that is should stick with the orders, for a bunch of reason but the most important, respect for Webber.
    Yes team orders suck, because the victory is the essence of it, and they choose who to win, but, Vettel should not attack Webber

    • I love the Pope said on 25th March 2013, 2:13

      How come when Mark disobeys orders (Brazil 2012, silverstone2011) no one cares? I hope Mark quits. Buemi would be a better teammate.

  8. tmax (@tmax) said on 24th March 2013, 22:33

    If I am not wrong the Reb Bull team logistics people are coordinating and booking the tickets for Vettel, Webber, Horner & Marko to the Alphine Mountains to meet the Big Bull (DM).

    Well as a racing fan I hate the team orders be it coulthard moving for Hakkinen, Barrichello Moving for Schumi or Massa for Alonso. As a racing fan I also hate the fact racers like Massa are reduced to puppet characters through team orders losing their self respect.

    Yesterday was the story of 2 Managers (Brawn and Horner) – The consecutive video shot where both of them are holding their hand on their foreheads summed it all.

    1) Ross Brawn : Seasoned Principal who knows his Stud and places all his bet on that person ( boy he never lost one !! ) . He was crystal clear yesterday where his bets are. He is so masterful in that part of management, it was the old Ross brawn flowering back to his hey days. In fact Hamilton was lill surprised with that early support. It was that legacy which he left behind at Ferrari that even today Ferrari employs successfully. Alonso just like Schumi would have loved working with the Old Ross – just his kind of style. End of the day Ross was a better Manager than Horner.

    2) Horner : The Nice man who finds it difficult to control his raging bulls. I mean as he said this is a good problem to have. All the other team principals on the Grid are looking forward to this situation at least once in life. Oh Boy. here is a 25 year old triple world champion with all sorts of records on his name, Hungry for his forth title already. Speak about Motivation he does not need any more of it. Then there is this 36 year old Veteran who is a NO Nonsense guy and who on his day can beat the triple world champ easily. It is a potentially dynamite team. Good thing. Horner cannot be in the middle ground. He has to either take the stand of Ross Brawn and say , I know who my man is and I will put my weight behind him OR I will not give any team orders and they will race till the last race ( which is what he is doing most of the time last 4 years). End of the day Horner provided the best to his fans till date.

    I also hate the new Podium interview format where the drivers are in their full adrenalin rush and they just speak out. Last year it was about some of the words Kimi and Vettel used in the heat of the moment. I suggest these guys should be given a chance to cool down and sit and relax to give a proper race perspective. Again half the time with noise and other issues lot of the things are not even audible in the podium interview.

    @KeithCollantine Did the FIA release the full radio exchange between Vettel and Horner before the its silly remark. My question to Webber is if he was going with the teams instruction to tone down his engine why did he race for almost a full lap with vettel ? If that was the case he was indeed planning to race vettel he should have toned hi engine back and given us fans a good day to remember.

    Overall I feel bad for the Fans and for the Malaysian GP attendees. They were robbed of a great post race podium ceremony. It looked like a mourning of some sort. Adrian left without taking the picture with the drivers. The last time I felt similar podium was probably in 2005 US GP.

    Lets just say ban all team orders and let everybody race fair and square.

    • Bendanarama (@bendana) said on 24th March 2013, 22:50

      Overall I feel bad for the Fans and for the Malaysian GP attendees. They were robbed of a great post race podium ceremony. It looked like a mourning of some sort.

      See, you say that but most people I’ve seen couldn’t tear themselves away from that podium. it was like watching a plane crash in slow motion!

    • Dane (@n0b0dy100) said on 24th March 2013, 22:50

      Most of all fans want a fair fight. Vettel was asking for team orders halfway through the race, but when it wasn’t in his favor its all out the window. Let everyone race all the time if they can’t be expected to listen to the team.

      • tmax (@tmax) said on 25th March 2013, 0:06

        @bendana I agree it is the same pleasure as watching car wrecks or plane crashes. I mean there would have been less comments all across the world F1 forums if someone had one had won this race masterfully. As much as DM hate to be in the situation, imagine the limelight Red Bull brand is getting. as a brand they did not get a negative image but a lot of attention. Serves their purpose well.

        @n0b0dy100 I am not saying what Vettel did is right or wrong. I don’t know the nuances well. ofCourse Adrian and Horner being so unhappy with Vettel that they blasted him so openly means that something has gone wrong terribly. At the end of the day there are 2 Drivers who felt they deserved more points and 2 who felt that maybe the other guy deserved the points.

        Also at the end of the day there are 2 Angry Drivers who are contemplating the future with their teams , 1 driver who is surprised by the support early on and 1 Guilty driver. It does not help anybody. Ferrari has mastered this situation so well, that if either of the teams situation happened at Ferrari nobody would be talking about it now !!!!!

        One thing is sure, after 3 Consecutive WDCs the competitive spirit is still alive, Kicking and burning in Vettel. He must be a mouth watering candidate for Ferrari & Luca. The Tifosis will love him like Alonso and Schumi.

    • Maksutov (@maksutov) said on 25th March 2013, 0:40

      @tmax

      I also hate the new Podium interview format where the drivers are in their full adrenalin rush and they just speak out. Last year it was about some of the words Kimi and Vettel used in the heat of the moment. I suggest these guys should be given a chance to cool down and sit and relax to give a proper race perspective

      Well I actualluy love the new podium interview format, because that is when we actually hear the truth from the drivers. Letting drivers “cool down” doesn’t mean they will change their mind, it is more likely they will be told by team bosses what to say and what NOT to say.

      But I agree with you on the following:

      My question to Webber is if he was going with the teams instruction to tone down his engine why did he race for almost a full lap with vettel ?

      Which suggests to me that although Webber might have been given the “slow down” order, I doubt he followed it through. It is likely that once he saw Vettel trying to pass, he turned the power back on. However, damage was already done because this allowed Vettel to catch up within the DRS zone.

  9. Bendanarama (@bendana) said on 24th March 2013, 22:46

    Right, my thoughts and nout more:

    I feel Seb is in the wrong in this situation, for the simple reason that if you want to benefit from Team orders, then at some point you’ve got to accept that they may go against you. What Vettel did today was nothing short of what – in any other job – would be a disciplinary matter.

    What also naffed me off was the downright sly and underhanded way he pulled this. Frankly, someone who ‘didn’t know’ he’d been given a team order wouldn’t have looked so bloody sheepish across the board. He would also have known what that meant for Webber. He knew that if he kept the wick turned up, he would have a distinct advantage over his teammate. It isn’t cheating – technically – but it is downright unpleasant. People can make comparison to drivers past all they want, but drivers of the past wouldn’t have been able to play this hand.

    Were it me as team principle, I’d be tempted to pull a sly one of my own:

    “What’s that Seb, you’ve got pole position again? well, unfortunately we’ve decided we need to change your engine. You’re starting from tenth. Have you learnt to listen to your radio yet?”

    Of course, this is all just my opinion, it won’t be shared by everyone. I will point out that I don’t necessarily disagree with disobeying team orders in some situations – but given that Seb has been perfectly happy to benefit from team orders in the past, it does irritate me somewhat.

  10. Ron Mon (@henslayer) said on 24th March 2013, 22:50

    Translate that to:
    “Sucker, you actually listen to team orders? Got you, chump.”

  11. dragoll (@dragoll) said on 24th March 2013, 22:54

    This issue seems to have polarised the f1fanatic supporters. Reading through the comments, I see the following points being raised:

    * Some people don’t like VET’s domination in F1
    * Some people don’t like team orders, and subsequently don’t agree with drivers upholding them
    * Some people don’t like team orders, but since they are in place, believe that drivers should adhere to them
    * Some people think that VET is lying about his apology
    * Some people applaud VET for his apology

    If you look at this situation in a purely instinctive way, no one will ever question the motives of a race horse, whether it wins, loses or draws. The horse is considered to be working on a very limited awareness to its surroundings, and in fact some race with “blinkers” on to ensure they only look straight at the target to ensure they don’t get distracted.

    If you look at this situation in a logical, thoughtful way, then human beings are gifted with the ability to think and have the awareness that animals are not generally credited with. Its important to note here, that humans have the ability to think, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we do.

    Given that a lap of Sepang is a bit over a minute and a half, and most of that time is spent making sure that you aren’t running up the backside of the car in front, while changing up and down the gears, and making sure you hit your apex. They also now days have to adjust many components in the car, like throttle mapping, brake bias. How much capacity do the drivers really get to think about other things? If the driver is thinking about other things, would that not detract from his performance? People like Schumacher were regarded as supermen behind the wheel because they could analyse the race as it was happening, but that is the exception rather than the norm. And that’s not to suggest that Schumacher never made any mistakes, he made many in his career.

    Ultimately I believe that if VET had given the whole situation more thought, then he may well have let WEB take the win, but I personally think that VET had the “blinkers” on at that point in time and no matter what anyone said to him on the radio would have processed in his brain. I don’t think he was aware of his surroundings, I don’t think he gave it enough thought.

    Its easy to make judgements from a comfy couch watching the race unfold, but its definitely a different situation sitting in the car in the heat of battle with a million things to do and to focus on. I’m not excusing his decision, but I can certainly see how he could have been tuned out of the whole team orders conversation because at the time he had set his sights on passing the car in front.

    • Maksutov (@maksutov) said on 25th March 2013, 0:56

      Ultimately I believe that if VET had given the whole situation more thought, then he may well have let WEB take the win, but I personally think that VET had the “blinkers” on at that point in time and no matter what anyone said to him on the radio would have processed in his brain. I don’t think he was aware of his surroundings, I don’t think he gave it enough thought.

      Perhaps Vettel was not warned properly by the team. But I am certain Vettel was AWARE of the situation.

    • tmax (@tmax) said on 25th March 2013, 15:48

      Ultimately I believe that if VET had given the whole situation more thought, then he may well have let WEB take the win, but I personally think that VET had the “blinkers” on at that point in time and no matter what anyone said to him on the radio would have processed in his brain. I don’t think he was aware of his surroundings, I don’t think he gave it enough thought.

      I guess racing at 200mph on the 46th Lap of a very hot and tough day was not the best place to think of the WHOLE Situation. But as you said in your next paragraph it is what it is.

      Again a smarter move would have been to gift Webber the Race and then rant about it so that Webber would have nothing to complaint and Horner would owe more for Vettel’s generous action. Is it better than 7 Extra Points which going by last 3 years Vettel has the chance to take more advantage of than Webber ? What say ?

  12. 72defender (@72defender) said on 24th March 2013, 23:46

    I suspect Vettel has benefitted handsomely over the years with respect to Red Bull’s ‘no race after the last pit stop’ protocol. So why this grimy effort not to reciprocate?

    • Maksutov (@maksutov) said on 25th March 2013, 0:57

      I suspect Vettel has benefitted handsomely over the years with respect to Red Bull’s ‘no race after the last pit stop’ protocol. So why this grimy effort not to reciprocate?

      TBH, most often than not, Webber simply could not catch up to Vettel.

  13. Nuno Moreira said on 24th March 2013, 23:56

    I am so sorry for Vettel… Poor racing driver made a mistake. “Well i made a mistake and pass my team mate. Red Bull slowed down Mark and i was faster… so i pass him… I didn’t mean to do that… Sorry Mark…”

    Red Bull is starting to suck…

  14. foleyger (@foleyger) said on 25th March 2013, 0:10

    Don’t be silly is what Seb’s race engineer was saying when he got up very close to Webber. Seb knew what he was doing. Will Webber trust him again? I doubt it. Mark said he was reassured twice about no racing between them. I have lost a lot of respect for Vettel today.

  15. wigster (@wigster) said on 25th March 2013, 0:13

    I think what Vettel did was completely wrong. Whilst I largely disagree with the idea behind team orders from a fans point of view, I want to see the best car and driver win after all, I completely understand why teams choose to use them, and it’s impossible to ban them in what is actually more of a team sport than an individual sport.

    Vettel should have understood why the team wanted him to stay behind Webber and not fight his team mate and complied. At the end of the day it is his team that employs him and he should have shown some of the same professionalism and humilty that Rosberg showed and stuck behind Webber rather than risk both their races, the respect of his team and show everyone how ruthless and single minded he actually is.

    I simply don’t buy his story about not hearing or understanding the instruction, he obviously was completely focused on winning at all costs. He’d have lost less of my respect as a driver if he’d came out and explained that he thought he was faster than Webber, seen an opportunity for points which could be important for the championship and ruthlessly took it, rather than the excuses and, I think, fake apologies that he did come out with.

    • himmatsj (@himmatsj) said on 25th March 2013, 1:10

      I totally agree with your last paragraph. For one, he did not have the balls to own up and say that he did in fact defy team orders. Then on the podium interview he acts as if nothing was going to happen (thankfully Webber spoke his mind). Then he issues a largely fake apology and feigns ignorance that team orders were issues. Actually, in the post race press conference, he claims he knew about the team orders but didn’t understand what it meant.

      Today, not only is Vettel a thieving cheater, but a cunning liar. His good-boy persona may save him from further scrutiny, but this guy is worse than Alonso or Hamilton at their absolute worst.

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