Webber: Vettel will be ‘protected’ in team orders row

2013 Malaysian Grand Prix

Mark Webber, Red Bull, Sepang, 2013Mark Webber said there will be no repercussions for Sebastian Vettel after disobeyed an order not to pass him during the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Vettel was running behind Webber in the final stint of the race when he passed Webber for the lead, going on to win.

“I was controlling the race and getting everything in place really towards the back end of the race. Obviously I had to make Lewis off a little bit in the middle there.

“After the last stop obviously the team told me that the race was over and we turn the engines down and we go to the end. I want to race as well but in the end the team made a decision which we always say before the start of the race is probably how it’s going to be. We look after the tyres, get the car to the end.”

“In the end Seb made his own decisions today and will have protection as usual and that’s the way it goes.”

Christian Horner said: “I’m not quite sure what he means by that,” when asked about Webber’s remarks.

Horner confirmed the drivers had been told to hold position after the final pit stop: “For us the most important thing for us was to win this race. We’ve done that, we’ve achieved a one-two finish. We gave strict instructions to both cars after the final stop.

“Of course Mark’s going to be aggrieved by it but the instructions were clear, they were clear for all to hear, and the drivers have taken it into their own hands.”

Vettel refused to be drawn on the subject following the podium ceremony, saying: “I think obviously it’s very hot today and if there’s something to say we need to talk internally.

“For sure I think we both enjoyed that. Of course I’m standing in the middle now so I enjoyed the podium a little bit more. But I think we have plenty of time to talk about.”

Team advisor Helmut Marko said the situation “got out of control”:

“It was Christian [Horner] who said we have to look after the tyres and stay in position,” he added. “But then I don’t know how… he was immediately behind him and then there was a race and at this stage you can’t talk to race drivers.”

“The team will have a word because we have to control the drivers. It’s not like at Mercedes where it’s clear number one and number two, basically we treat the drivers the same.”

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244 comments on Webber: Vettel will be ‘protected’ in team orders row

  1. Team Photo @Red Bull has been cancelled .. LOL!!!

  2. AldoG said on 24th March 2013, 10:57

    Mark is right: nothing is going to happen to Vettel. But I wonder about the effects of having a rotten environment inside the team after only two races.

  3. It seems the only 2 Lead Drivers who get respect from their Team Mates are Alonso and Kimi…

  4. the_sigman (@sigman1998) said on 24th March 2013, 10:58

    “Of course Mark’s going to be aggrieved by it but the instructions were clear, they were clear for all to hear, and the drivers have taken it into their own hands.”

    The drivers

  5. carbon_fibre (@carbon_fibre) said on 24th March 2013, 10:59

    Is there a chance that Vettel’s pass was illegal? I mean, he crossed the track’s right white line and put his whole car in the pit lane’s line. Check out for yourselves.

  6. GeeMac (@geemac) said on 24th March 2013, 11:06

    “The team will have a word because we have to control the drivers. It’s not like at Mercedes where it’s clear number one and number two, basically we treat the drivers the same.”

    Yeah, sure you do Helmut…

  7. petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 24th March 2013, 11:07

    “It’s not like at Mercedes where it’s clear number one and number two, basically we treat the drivers the same.”

    Well done Helmut – another classic! Either you told Seb to stay behind and he didn’t (as your team say) or you didn’t. All Mercedes did was the same as you but their drivers followed instruction (although they did whine about it!)

  8. geekracer2000 (@geekracer2000) said on 24th March 2013, 11:07

    So what some people actually complain about is that we had racing in stead cruising around in final stages? Weird.
    Hats of for SV I kinda expected Nico to do it, and I wish Felipe could have grown some “cojoes” and do more of this.

    • It would have been better if Webber had fought back.. At the end, Mark just yielded position with a Turned Down Engine

      • geekracer2000 (@geekracer2000) said on 24th March 2013, 11:15

        Really he wasn’t? So Vettel jumped him in one of the corners and took the lead effortlessly? And Webber didn’t try to pass Vettel on straight line on very next lap after he lost P1?

        • Pockets said on 24th March 2013, 12:55

          Did he? I’m not so sure. Seems more like he just showed a wheel to say ‘yeah I can drive this fast too’, but then backed off immediately after that

    • willba said on 24th March 2013, 11:16

      but they were told not to fight, al well and good saying people complaining but what im complaining about is the fact that webber was mislead so didnt push. the team should have just let them race WITHOUT telling webber vettel is not going to overtake. its the team that have stitched mark over and vettel ust added to it and showed what a silly little kid he is, i do hope he doesnt need marks help this season as he has the previous three!

    • @geekracer2000 – you just can’t please some people. They will continue to loathe everything Vettel does, whatever he does.

      • @vettel1 And it’s quite curious that you feel the need to defend him all the time.One would think that if he was doing the right thing,he wouldn’t need so much defending …

        • @kimster381 – you would, but apparently winning dominantly isn’t the right thing, or racing through from pit lane to podium isn’t the right thing. It’s not just to do with questionable actions (of which other drivers have had plenty of also).

      • BreezyRacer (@breezyracer) said on 24th March 2013, 18:05

        This idiotic and selfish act has singlehandedly demeaned all of his other wins .. and just what team wants a driver they cannot control?

        Competitive? Without a doubt ..
        Fast? Without a doubt, as he was able to keep up with Webber throughout the race when they were similarly equipped.
        Stupid? Unquestionably and he will be paying for this transparent act for a long time
        Selfish? Check Check Check ..

  9. Pockets said on 24th March 2013, 11:08

    mostly surprised to see mark come out of the pits and seb to be right on his ring
    on lap 45, before seb pitted mark was 5s clear
    what happened in 2 laps to allow a 5s turnaround?

  10. guitarez said on 24th March 2013, 11:22

    Knowing that WEB, as agreed, had turned down his engine after the last stop, VET took the opportunity to first close the gap and then mount an attack. WEB probably not aware what was going on until VET was along him. This is not racing, not even dirty racing- it is pure disgrace to accept to take a position by stabbing your opponent in the back like that.
    I hear now that VET, in post race interview, is denying he knew that WEB had turned down his engine. VET is, if you choose to believe him, the only member in that team, that did not know… Obviously, not only does he actively take an unfair advantage in order to get in front, he will also lie while looking his fans in the eyes. Way to go “champ”!

  11. AlokIn (@) said on 24th March 2013, 11:24

    Webber is an always looser either because of bad luck or team politics or his own mistakes.
    This is his own mistake, there was no need to continue with a team where Seb is clearly no 1.

    • @alokin – I disagree, he just hasn’t been able to cement himself as the lead driver because Vettel is better. And lets be honest, he’s finished after he leaves Red Bull – he won’t get another seat that’s capable of winning the title as the Red Bull has been the past three years.

  12. Klaas (@klaas) said on 24th March 2013, 11:25

    So after the last pit-stop the RedBull drivers got the following messages from the pit-wall:
    Mark – turn down the engine, save tires, save fuel we’re gonna finish in this position
    Seb – push push push you can get him!
    I don’t know if this is so much Vettel’s fault as it was the team’s. Maybe they were given completely different messages. Although Seb was ‘good’ too: “Get him out of the way!”. The same man who was mocking Ferrari for this now does exactly the same. What a hypocrite.
    And then comes Marko and puts the icing on the cake – accuses Mercedes of having a clear No1. RedBull should stick their noses into their a…s right now not finger-point at other teams.

    • F1fanNL (@) said on 24th March 2013, 11:36


      And now the hypocrites who said nothing when Alonso pushed Massa into the gravel are screaming at the top of their longs…

      • Klaas (@klaas) said on 24th March 2013, 11:57

        @f1fannl I think every team has the right to adopt which driver policy they want to, but they shouldn’t finger-point at others and accuse them of playing the same tricks as they do. It’s called hypocrisy and in RedBull’s case it’s growing out of proportion. All their succeses are being marred by their stinking attitude. They are no better than Ferrari after Hockenheim 2010. At leas Ferrari admit they have a No 1, but here you get Horner and Marko lying without blinking.

        • F1fanNL (@) said on 24th March 2013, 17:32

          At leas Ferrari admit they have a No 1, but here you get Horner and Marko lying without blinking.

          No they don’t! They even went as far as to say Massa gets equal treatment. And lets not forget the “for sure we don’t have teamorders.”

  13. 91jb12 (@91jb12) said on 24th March 2013, 11:28

    There’s only outrage here because its Vettel…
    Kubica got given a win over Heidfeld in Canada 2008- no-one complains

  14. ShaneB457 (@shaneb12345678910) said on 24th March 2013, 11:30

    Webber said that he was told twice that the cars were saving tyres and that he was safe from attack, and Vettel said that he wasnt told at all? Whats going on? I’m not into conspiracies or anything, but why didnt Red Bull tell both drivers that they had to settle down and maintain position?

    Yes I want to see two teammates battle each other, but over the years Webber has had to put up with so much. Being told to maintain position in Silverstone 2011 and of course the front wing incident in 2010. Not to mention how he was largely blamed for the incident in Turkey 2010 while Vettel had Horner’s and Newey’s arms around his shoulders on the pit wall after the incident. Ugh it is frustrating..

    • F1fanNL (@) said on 24th March 2013, 11:38


      Vettel never said he wasn’t told… Also we could hear during the live feed Red Bulls instructions to Vettel. They were very clear.

      Vettel did a Webber @ Silverstone 2011. He ignored the orders. Just like Webber would have done.

      • Pockets said on 24th March 2013, 11:46

        er, webber was a tool in that race to disobey
        however vettel was 80 points clear in the championship, and webber fighting for 2nd spot (equal with button at the time)
        this just leads onto how much you can trust your team. why would you trust your team telling you to save fuel later on, if it places you under pressure. 5s lead on your teammate with 10 laps left is game over

        • F1fanNL (@) said on 24th March 2013, 17:39

          Webber was going slower throughout the race, not only the stints where he was told to look after the car. He never had any advantage over Vettel and he would have never been in front if Red Bull had done a better job with Vettel’s first pitstop. It was the right time to change to slicks but pitting him so he would rejoin just in front of a group of cars on cold tyres on a cold, damp track was stupid really. They know exactly hoiw much time a pitstop costs (save for problems during the stop itself of course) so this was all on the team.

          At the end Vettel was always going to attack because he felt, rightly so, that he was the better driver and more deserving of the race victory.

  15. Robert (@rob8k) said on 24th March 2013, 11:44

    First of all, I don’t think that it is fair to judge drivers comments so soon after the race. I have never been a fan of interviews straight after the event, it’s unfair on the drivers as they are either on a high or a low. I think there should be a cooling off period before any interviews are allowed to take place to let drivers calm down and analyse the situation.

    Regarding said incident, many comments say Mark is weak number 2 driver for doing as team told. Do these people hold Gilles Villeneuve in the same regard? Also you have to remember that both Webber and Vettel are employed by Red Bull Racing and thus if told to obey an order then they should.

    Following Mark’s interview, I have to say it sounds like he has had enough and it sounded very much like an admission of retiring but that may just be the raw feeling of what has happened and hope a few days of relaxation might calm him down and defuse the situation.

    The bigger question should be, does team orders help F1? Should we just get rid of the WCC and just have a WDC? Should we just have the WCC and be gone with WDC? Team orders will always apply in F1, we just have to hope these instances don’t occur to often because in my opinion it damages the sport more than it helps.

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