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. Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 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.

  2. Pinaki said on 24th March 2013, 11:54

    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.

  3. TMF (@tmf42) said on 24th March 2013, 11:54

    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.

  4. Garns (@) said on 24th March 2013, 11:57

    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!

  5. Mads (@mads) said on 24th March 2013, 11:59

    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…

  6. Hamilfan (@hamilfan) said on 24th March 2013, 12:14

    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 )

    • Akona Maqashalala (@maqashalala) said on 24th March 2013, 13:49

      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)

      • Hamilfan (@hamilfan) said on 24th March 2013, 18:06

        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.

  7. brny666 said on 24th March 2013, 12:18

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

    • BreezyRacer (@breezyracer) said on 24th March 2013, 17:44

      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.

    • F1fanNL (@) said on 24th March 2013, 17:46

      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.

      • Hamilfan (@hamilfan) said on 24th March 2013, 18:13

        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 .

      • Vic (@hendrix666) said on 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.

        • F1fanNL (@) said on 24th March 2013, 21:39


          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.

  8. electrolite (@electrolite) said on 24th March 2013, 12:20

    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.

    • F1fanNL (@) said on 24th March 2013, 17:49

      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.

  9. Martin (@aardvark) said on 24th March 2013, 12:28

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

  10. jvumix (@jvumix) said on 24th March 2013, 12:58

    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.

  11. Oana Cambrea (@cutteroz) said on 24th March 2013, 13:39

    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…

    • BreezyRacer (@breezyracer) said on 24th March 2013, 17:48

      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.

  12. Akona Maqashalala (@maqashalala) said on 24th March 2013, 13:43

    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!

    • F1fanNL (@) said on 24th March 2013, 17:52


      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.

  13. Paul 2013 said on 24th March 2013, 14:00

    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.

    • Mads (@mads) said on 24th March 2013, 16:55

      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.

  14. JackySteeg (@jackysteeg) said on 24th March 2013, 14:21

    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”.

  15. dexterous (@dexterous) said on 24th March 2013, 15:39

    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”

    • Mads (@mads) said on 24th March 2013, 17:08


      “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.

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