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

2013 Malaysian Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

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”

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  1. “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…

  2. “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!)

  3. 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.

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

      1. 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?

        1. 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

    2. 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!

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

      1. @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 …

        1. @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).

      2. 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 ..

  4. 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?

    1. @Pockets – It is as they said and i Quote “Mark turn down your engines…”

      1. @jjjj – so now Mark Webber’s car has more than one engine?! Wow!

        1. Ben (@scuderia29)
          24th March 2013, 18:02

          no…Webber was backing off, vettel chose not to

    2. Horner told Webber “I bet you 5 mil that you can’t be 5 seconds slower this lap”…
      true story …

      1. heh
        being a vindictive man, i’d be very tempted to back vettel into traffic anytime i was infront of him from this point on. unlikely given webbers usual position

    3. The older tyres were going off, at that point it looked like pitting earlier was the better strategy.

  5. 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”!

  6. 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.

    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.

  7. 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.

    1. @klaas

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

      1. @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.

        1. 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.”

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

    1. @91jb12 The lowest-rated race we ever had on F1 Fanatic was when Massa was ordered to give a win to Alonso:

      Rate the race: 2010 German Grand Prix

      So I don’t agree “there’s only outrage here because its Vettel”.

  9. ShaneB457 (@shaneb12345678910)
    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..

    1. @shaneb12345678910

      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.

      1. 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

        1. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    24th March 2013, 11:44

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

    Annnnnnd once again, Helmut Marko proves that Red Bull shouldn’t allow him near a microphone.

    1. @tophercheese21
      I agree. I have no idea why Dietrich Mateschitz hasn’t already taped him to a char in the back of the garage.

  12. Funny thing is there are so many people supporting Vettel today and yet if the had the positions been reversed and had it been Webber who overtook Vettel, people would be crying foul like hell.

    1. Look at the comment section on this article.
      Mostly its supportive of Webber’s actions.

    2. Funny thing is there are so many people supporting Vettel today

      What? Where are these masses you speak of?

  13. Mark lost it all by himself with that awful in lap. I was pro Mark whenever he ignored orders, so Vettel did the only right thing he raced. Though Vettel haters gonna have a field day with this race.

  14. Disclaimer: I am a Webber fan. I HATE team orders!!!!!

    Usually Malaysia is one of my favorite races of the year- 6pm Sunday night in Australia- social.
    I was disgusted by the last 15 laps today. At the time Vettel passed Mark i was unhappy, but well within his right and faster- or so I thought! These guys need to be able to race. BUT if the guys (and I dont see why not to believe so) were told to turn down the engines and then Seb ignored and went by anyway it proves my thoughts and why SO MANY people respect his driving BUT NOT his morals as a person. He is normally a real bubbly guy on the podium- Today he was not. Horner was not happy and while Newey did not yell, that was easily the most unhappy I have seen the guy!!! VERY POOR FORM SEB!! Dont like team orders but do as you are told!!

    Lewis & Nico- I hate this one as much!!!!!!!!! If Lewis needed to preserve fuel and Nico not- TOO BAD!!. This was worse I think and was very happy to see Lewis acknowledge the fact on the podium – but not Seb.

    I have no issue with Seb winning but they way he went about it- as said if Mark did that today Marko would call for a public hanging!

  15. Stop Mark. Please. Stop.
    Yes Vettel took advantage of the situation, but so did he in Silverstone 2011. Where Webber had been given the priority at the pitstop and therefore had better tyres, but even when the team told him to hold back he certainly did not. He even admitted it afterwards, and seemed proud of it. And he wasn’t, at least not publicly, punished for it.
    Now Vettel disobeys team orders and it’s oh so unfair apparently.
    Hypocrites are everywhere, but I thought that Mark Webber was better then that…

  16. I found this race to be very gripping and at times too gripping that it left me strangled for words . Then, I thought about it for a while . On one hand I liked the action that was displayed by the “bullfight” on track but on hindsight disliked the “PR like” comments from Vettel . Having said that , I disliked the Mercedes issue as well . I thought that Rosberg should have been allowed to pass hamilton in the drs zones . I really don’t know why Ross behaved like that . OK, so you may be questioning me saying that I contradict myself . Here are my points
    1) I don’t like double standards . If both webber and vettel were allowed to race without anybody moving over , I would have been ok with vettel winning. But , having asked webber to move over using your team’s influence on him and then disobeying your team is much more like ” taking advantage of a person when you need them and then dumping them later “.
    2) I hate Lies. As someone put it earlier , why tell Rosberg that Lewis could go faster when he clearly he couldn’t and why can’t Rosberg just pass Lewis on the straights ? Where is the danger in that . What was the point ? Had Mercedes made the mistake of fuel allocation and hence saw right to give Lewis the position ? If it was Lewis’ mistake , then Rosberg deserves better.

    Though I admired his guts last season(Brazil and the early races of the season) and always admit that he is a very good driver , I kind of hate his “stubborn” attitude . Vettel is a charm as long as he is on top , otherwise he has the attitude of a beast .I hope for the sake of staunch vettel fans like @vettel1 , that vettel becomes better with age like many others have. Maybe he can take a cue from his mentor Schumi on how not get agitated when one looses.
    My wishes for this year
    1) I don’t want Vettel as champion ( this is most likely though )
    2)I want Webber to beat Vettel at the final standings (as unlikely as ever )

    1. Team orders are a part of Formula 1 its nothing new. This is well documented in the days of Schumacher and Barrichelo in the hey days of Ferrari. So its nothing new. The key thing is this there needs to be a unity of vision within a team. The team is more important than the driver. The driver is only 1 part of the team. He is employed and paid a salary to do drive the car as he is told by the team principle. The driver does not own the car, he does not develop the car, he/she merely drives the car. To not obey your superiors is rude and is tantamount treason. (Excuse the emotive language)

      1. Exactly . But “using team orders” is by itself terrible , but using them when you want and then disobeying your team is terrible . what would have happened if RBR had said “No seb , We will not ask mark to back off , you see what you can do ” before the second stint . Would vettel have come so close to webber . Maybe. maybe not. That is why I repeatedly state that vettel is No.1 and Webber is No.2 for Red Bull. The reason why they did not want seb to close in on webber was that , he had done well in the race , led most laps,helped out seb to go ahead of the mercs and therefore deserved the win . More so , maybe because they knew that the chances for vettel to have a collision is high . He is terrible in wheel to wheel racing with a car with similar pace .SO they did not want to risk it.

  17. So. People who complain. Ask what Senna would have done.

    1. And being like Senna makes it right? Besides I be that if Senna and Prost had been given orders to turn the motors down (there was no such reason back then because you were allowed as many motors and tires as you wanted) I bet Senna would have complied, albeit reluctantly. Senna was enough of a MAN to want to win on even terms, not by out motoring his teammate.

      1. exactly . Besides he would have blitzed the field in such superior machinery . There would be no room for team orders

    2. They know what Senna would have done but will reply with “That was a totally different era and circumstances.” Or some other donkey doodoo that has nothing to do with the question.

      If it had been Senna he would have passed Webber, aggressively.
      He would have left Webber 2 options;
      – 1. Yield and live to fight another day.
      – 2. Make contact and take them both out of the race.

      1. Senna would not have said on the radio ” mummy ! please ask mark to slow down as he is slow already ” He would have **** , driven the wheels of the Red Bull and beat webber fair and square .

      2. Vic (@hendrix666)
        24th March 2013, 20:38

        Agreed @f1fannl. The real problem is its all about the money and glory nowadays. Too much at stake to let the best man win unfortunately.

        1. @hendrix666

          I agree, although the best man still won.

          If Webber had been faster up to the fourth stint I would have understood Webber´s anger. But he was not. In fact he almost cost Vettel the podium in the the third stint.

  18. For me, the problem doesn’t lie with Vettel overtaking Mark. It’s the fact Webber was told specifically to turn his engine down (and presumably, so was Vettel) and by obeying he lost out on a likely win.

    1. What do you want to bet that Webber didn’t turn his engine down at all.

      He came out of the pits and Vettel was immediately alongside him. At what stage could he possibly have turned his engine done during his fight with Vettel.

      1. Because webber isn’t a liar like vettel .He speaks the truth !

        1. @hamilfan

          He said he turned his engine down. He didn´t say when he did that.

          1. And you think vettel drove 5secs faster in the lap webber pitted? I know vettel is fast, but didnt know he was superman fast! :)

  19. I hate to say it, but I think Vettel will end up a 5-times WDC.

  20. Vettel will apologize all he wants but in his mind, he achieved a +14 turn around in points over a major rival. That is what is important to him. To hell with the consequences.

    1. He has lost the respect of his peers and his team based on today’s proceedings… I am not even bringing his fans into this….

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