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.”

2013 Malaysian Grand Prix

Browse all 2013 Malaysian Grand Prix articles

Image ?? Red Bull/Getty

Advert | Go Ad-free


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

  1. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 24th March 2013, 17:25

    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.

  2. BreezyRacer (@breezyracer) said on 24th March 2013, 17:36

    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.

    • F1fanNL (@) said on 24th March 2013, 18:05


      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.

      • Hamilfan (@hamilfan) said on 24th March 2013, 18:23

        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

        • F1fanNL (@) said on 24th March 2013, 21:57


          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.

      • BreezyRacer (@breezyracer) said on 24th March 2013, 18:48

        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 ..

  3. Hairs (@hairs) said on 24th March 2013, 18:00

    “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

  4. TwilightBlues said on 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

  5. schooner (@schooner) said on 24th March 2013, 21:17

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

  6. Rick Gell said on 25th March 2013, 8:25

    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.

  7. Akona Maqashalala (@maqashalala) said on 25th March 2013, 10:10

    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…

    • Rick Gell said on 25th March 2013, 22:27

      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!

  8. Callsemlikeiseesem said on 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…

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments must abide by the comment policy. Comments may be moderated.
Want to post off-topic? Head to the forum.
See the FAQ for more information.