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. For me, the fact that Vettel ignored team orders in today’s race isn’t that big a deal since both of them have ignored orders in other races. But I think Vettel had a bit of a diva attitude over team radio. He has showed he’s got what it takes to become a world champion, three times in a row even. So what’s with the attitude? Why didn’t he just overtake Webber since he was supposedly faster? I think it was really disrespectful towards his team mate and sounded rather desperate to me, I’m not really sure why. It’s not the first time he’s said more than he should’ve on team radio…

    1. Exactly correct Oana. If he couldn’t pass Webber in equal equipment then where does he get off railing on Webber?

      It’s seems obvious that Vettel is not just out to win .. he is also out to destroy Webber quite publicly, with things like the remark about Mark holding everyone up .. for knowledgeable F1 fans that was a laughable comment, showing far more about Vettel than Webber.

  2. The bottom line is this if Vettel wants to drive for himself and not take the team into account, he should start his own team and not rely on the resources of others to win his races.

    The team is bigger than the individual always!

    1. @maqashalala

      With the WDC holding more value for a team and especially the drivers you will always have these situations.

      There’s a reason Ferrari’s main goal is to win the WDC.

  3. The only thing I am sure is that Vettel today lost any possibility to get any help from Webber during the championship and doing that in the second race is simply stupid.

    1. The same help that Webber has given him the last three years? Vettel has proved previously that he can win a championship without Webber’s help. There is no reason why he shouldn’t be able to do that again.

  4. As I recall, Webber is on probation with the team for supposedly not getting out of Vettel’s way quickly enough in Brazil ’12. If Red Bull want to be fair, they’d do the same to Vettel now.

    And the comparisons between him and Senna are ludicrous. If Senna was stuck behind Prost, he would not have whined down the radio “Alain is too slow, get him out my way”.

    1. @jackysteeg

      Webber is on probation with the team for supposedly not getting out of Vettel’s way quickly enough in Brazil ’12

      According to who?

  5. Sometimes i feel that we are being robbed of true racing , we are so early in the season and to have such team orders by Red bull and Mercedes its not good for the sport they should have been left to race it out where are the days May the best Man win” Sebastian apologized and so did Hamilton however it should not come to this……… THEY NEED TO PRACTISE WHAT A GREAT DRIVER ONCE SAID

    “if you no longer go for a gap that exists, you are no longer a racing driver because we are competing, we are competing to win”

    1. @dexterous

      “if you no longer go for a gap that exists, you are no longer a racing driver because we are competing, we are competing to win”

      While I feel that, that quote is often used as an excuse to crash into someone, in this situation it makes perfect sense.
      If Vettel was prepared to let a victory go just because it would be nice of him, then he wouldn’t be a three times world champion.
      You just cannot have a driver who is both prepared to let wins and points go, AND be good enough to be on the same level as the best in their time. You just cannot have that in a single driver.
      That is why so many teams in the past have had one driver to do the winning, and one driver to “take one, and another, and another” for the team.
      I think Red Bull should realize that they have signed Vettel to do the winning, and Webber to do the hanging on.
      While that doesn’t mean they should force Webber out of the way to give Vettel what he want, I don’t like it when teams do that. They just cannot expect him to be the one to take one for the team.

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

    What repercussions can there be? The last time a team took matters into their own hands to deal with a matter like this was at the Hungarian Grand Prix in 2007, and the FIA did not appreciate they way they addressed it.

    So Red Bull are really damned if they do and damned if they don’t. Without some kind of visible consequence for Vettel, the public perception will be that the team will continue to favour him through hell and high water, and Vettel will probably feel that he carries enough clout within the team to ignore this kind of instruction again in future. But with visible consequences, Red Bull will likely open themselves up to sanctions from the FIA, and it will be very difficult to explain their actions away, even without the storm of negative publicity that is brewing. The FIA didn’t accept Ron Dennis’ explanation that their cars were out of sequence when Hamilton ignored an order in Hungary back in 2007, so I very much doubt they will accept any explanation here.

  7. Well one thing for sure .. Vettel couldn’t handle Webber today without adding more engine .. Webber had Vettel covered under identical racing situations.

    The real question is .. What is Horner and Co going to do to regain some team control? Perhaps wipe out any bonus for Vettel for the season should it happen again? I don’t know, but one thing is clear .. Vettel does not have the interest of the team at heart and they are going to have to reel him is somehow. They have got to find a way to make him hurt because they cannot afford a season to go like this race went. It’s unsustainable.

    1. @breezyracer

      Funny, you and I must have been watching a different race.
      In every stint Vettel was faster than Webber. He was so in the first on the intermediates but lost out to Red Bulls poor pitstop call.
      He was faster in the second closing the gap to under 2 seconds before being left to pit after Webber allowing Webber to pull away again. In the third stint he closed the gap again and got within the DRS zone. Hamilton and Rosberg also closed the gap and when Hamilton pitted Webber was allowed to react first leaving Vettel a sitting duck for both Mercedes’. Luckily for Vettel though, Rosberg hit traffic on his outlap and couldn’t quite jump Vettel and Vettel than began closing down on Hamilton, overtook Hamilton and closed the gap to 3 seconds on Webber before pitting. In no part of the race, engine up or down, did Webber have the advantage over Vettel. He had the advantage of superior pitstop calls and first come first serve.

      1. Oh ! I thought vettel started from pole . So if he did , then how did he fall back ? Wrong pit strategy ? Vettel has a say in that too . When it rains you can make the calls . So what if he was faster , he still could not pass webber before the team orders kicked in .IMO webber drove a great race and deserved to win

        1. @hamilfan

          Wrong pit strategy ? Vettel has a say in that too .

          Yes he did. The team asked him to give them the shout for the crossover. Vettel called it right. But Vettel couldn’t possibly know there’s a group of cars some 20 seconds back that would have meant trouble if he pitted. The team does, they can see all cars on the track with timing. They deemed it safe to pit Vettel when it wasn’t safe. Therefore it was the teams mistake.

          In my race Webber kept a safe lead over whinners that complained Webber was slow but strangely couldn’t catch him

          Than you need new glasses fast. A safe lead is not letting your opponents (even if they are teammates) get within the DRS zone. In the first stint Vettel was pulling away. In the second stint Vettel reduced the gap from more than 4 seconds to under 2 seconds. In the third stint he got within the DRS zone and Hamilton and Rosberg managed to catch up as well. In the fourth stint he passed Hamilton and closed down to 3 seconds on Webber after being some 8 seconds behind on Webber after the stops.

          So yeah, Webber was slower. Especially in the third stint although that’s probably because Webber wanted Hamilton and Rosberg to jump Vettel. Then, when Vettel got close he ‘suddenly’ picked up pace. He allowed Hamilton to jump Vettel and probably felt the job was done at that point. Then he came out of the pits with Vettel right next to him and we know the rest.

      2. Yes, perhaps we were watching a different race. In my race Webber kept a safe lead over whinners that complained Webber was slow but strangely couldn’t catch him .. go figure ..

  8. “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.”

    Red Bullll

  9. TwilightBlues
    24th March 2013, 18:21

    Couple of comments: Webber has pushed a lot of people to the edge, and caused more than a few wrecks. His move toward Vettel on the straight was pretty touchy. Anything could have happened. He is slower than Vettel, normally, and if the team has to split them up, I submit Vettel will get the nod. My opinion is that he shouldn’t make Vettel pay during the race or after. He should take it up with the principals, after a cool down, with Vettel there.
    My dad was a race car driver, and got killed. I always think that people fail to remember that all these drivers are risking their lives, there are millions of dollars at stake, and emotions run very, very high. Unless you know what it’s like, it’s very difficult to see into their heads, and I submit all 4 of the front finishers wish they had handled things differently. As well as at least one of the Ferrari drivers.
    I love F1.
    –a follower since the 1950’s

  10. Other than a verbal reprimand, what sort of repercussions could Vettel possibly face?

    1. @schooner

      None, there are no rules against winning in F1.

      At least none that I’m aware of.

      1. Clearly you don’t work on Massa’s side of the garage…

  11. Honestly Mark, give what you get. Look at all the great F1 drivers, they take no quarter. What is the worst thing that tcan happen?
    1) You start winning and the public loves you because you have balls and Oh, you are winning.
    2) Red Bull tells you it is time to move on.
    At least you CALLED the game as you wanted to.
    Mark don’t drift into the hall of “gee I could have been if only”. Show you have the spirit of a greayt racer. We all know you are one of the best. Get over being the nice guy and it will start to happen, one way or another.

  12. Its not about the driver’s people… Its about the team… Can’t people understand that F1 is a team sport not an individual sport… These drivers get paid to drive… They are there to take orders, they do not pay the engineers or any costs for that matter… They are employees… They have no long to stand on. They must do as they are told… Just like in football and any other team sport…

    1. Hmmm, yes it is about teamwork but when one player does not play for the team do they get sidelined? No, they get to go down in the hall of fame for being a great driver.

      Look at all history, the great drivers were not all nice guys. They were hard edged competitors wanting to win at all costs. This is what it takes to be a great driver. Balancing the push to the limit in all aspects.

      Now if I were in the position I would probably push the limits and , please don’t tell me this does not happen all the time in motor sport. It is what fans look forward to!

  13. Callsemlikeiseesem
    25th March 2013, 17:42

    Webber is a nothing but a hypocrite.

    What about the last race in 2012? Vettel was racing for the title and Webber attacked him against the team’s explicit orders. Isn’t that, like, unfair and stuff? And that wasn’t the first time, either (e.g. Silverstone 2011). The only difference is that Vettel actually managed to pass Webber in Kuala Lumpur, while Webber spun out in Sao Paulo.

    So please, Mark, spare me your whining and bitching. If you’re not willing to stick to the rules, don’t expect others to. Actually you should be grateful that you didn’t get a penalty for pushing Vettel against the wall. Schumacher was penalised 10 grid places when he did the same to F1’s then resident cry-baby Rubens Barrichello…

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