Ecclestone defends Vettel after latest apology

F1 Fanatic round-up

Sebastian Vettel, Bernie Ecclestone, Monza, 2011In the round-up: Bernie Ecclestone defends Sebastian Vettel as the Red Bull driver makes another apology to his team.


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Bernie backs Vettel decision (Sky)

“If I was Sebastian Vettel, having won three world championships for the team and somebody came on the radio and started giving me instructions, I’d probably do exactly the same as Kimi Raikkonen did when he came back and they gave him some instructions. I’d say, ‘I know what I’m doing’.”

Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel: Red Bull say row is settled (BBC)

Christian Horner: “He’s apologised to the team and to every single member of staff for his actions, because he recognises the team is vitally important and being part of the team is a crucial aspect to being able to challenge for those championships.”

Mercedes hails Rosberg’s team spirit (Autosport)

Toto Wolff: “Imagine the two Red Bulls crashing; you look like an idiot and he looks like an idiot. So we took a conservative approach. Because of where we were last year, it was a good call.”

On the pace and in the points (Toro Rosso)

Jean-Eric Vergne: “At the start I was blocked by everyone on the outside, so I had to take an inside line. At that point I decided to back it off. I knew I was going to lose a lot of positions but I just wanted to stay out of trouble. If I had held the position I would almost certainly have crashed.”

Marussia look to Russia to boost budget (Reuters)

Chief executive officer Andy Webb: “It costs us 1.25 million pounds ($1.89 million) per week just to stay in Formula One, to maintain this level. Obviously if you want to move up you need a much bigger budget.”

Born in the USA (ESPN)

Alexander Rossi: “The fight with Marussia wasn’t a major surprise, mainly because we knew that for the first four races we’re running a 2012/2013 hybrid car, one that realistically wasn’t going to be our full 2013 spec car that could possibly help us challenge the midfield until Barcelona.”

Thailand planning for 2015 (Joe Saward)

“The route agreed includes the main Ratchadamnoen Avenue, with the track using Din So Road to the Giant Swing and Wat Suthat Temple and then down to the Grand Palace and the Navy Club, with a run close to the Chao Phraya River.”

Silverstone works to avoid rain chaos (Crash)

“As well as improving the drainage systems, Silverstone has also worked to improve transport links and will improve the shuttle services for users planning to travel by train or by bus.”

F1 Engine Maps (F1 Framework)

“The engine torque map. This is a 2-dimension table with engine speed and throttle as inputs and torque as output. This map is defined point-by-point or by ramps at the test rig with the fired engine and the torque meter. Sometimes is trimmed on track if the car is equipped with torque meters on the transmission.”

The Finishing Line – with Sebastian Vettel (F1)

“The last time I lost my temper was??
SV: I lose my temper over small things – but calm down again very fast. A well-tempered personality…”

Vettel is true heir to Senna (The Telegraph)

“Why did he insult his inquisitors? intelligence by mumbling that the move was ‘not deliberate’, only then to shrug, ‘I f—– up’? Here was no ordinary competitor but a calculating marksman, far more of an heir presumptive to Senna and Schumacher than even his most strident advocates had imagined.”


Comment of the day

@Red-Andy on Mark Webber’s dissatisfaction with the current generation of tyres:

I remember Damon Hill saying that one of the reasons he fell out of love with F1 was that he couldn?t get acquainted with the change from slick to grooved tyres.

Webber?s a similar age now to Damon in 1998 when that change happened. Sometimes the rules change and the older drivers find it difficult to adapt ?ǣ some suggested that Michael Schumacher?s struggles on his F1 return were because he found it hard to get used to the way the cars had changed between 2006 and 2010 ?ǣ but I don?t think that?s a reason to go back to the old way of doing things.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Blake, Hatebreeder, thekingofspa and Fanl!

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On this day in F1

Mika Hakkinen made it two wins in a row at the start of the 1998 season by winning the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Team mate David Coulthard was second ahead of Michael Schumacher. But more controversially, the stewards ordered McLaren to remove a ‘brake-steer’ system they had been running since the season before.

Image ?? Red Bull/Getty

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119 comments on Ecclestone defends Vettel after latest apology

  1. celeste (@celeste) said on 29th March 2013, 0:05

    Ready to read the reaction to that telegraph article… how many will be calling sacrillege…

    • Sankalp Sharma (@sankalp88) said on 29th March 2013, 2:17


      As a neutral who is neither a fan of Senna or Vettel, I think the article entirely ignores some key issues of comparison. First of all, to be the heir of Senna you have to be on pole, multiple times during a season with the third best car on the grid ( circa 1986). Vettel although quite clearly already one of the greats, perhaps has yet to quieten some voices. These voices claim that he has done little with a poor/ill handling car. These become even more vehement when we use Senna as a reference point. Vettel would need to produce some spectacular seasons like Senna’s 86 or 92 to appease the doubters. When the car is no where near the best.

      The temperament needed, which the article addresses, is there but not quite. I don’t recall Vettel punching people in the face, just because they didn’t move out of the way on the track. And no I don’t mean backmarkers.

      Vettel is ruthless. As ruthless as Senna? Nope. Not yet anyway.

    • telegraph? No one uses that any more, useless.

    • kowalsky is back said on 29th March 2013, 9:47

      After the way he acted against team order in search of victory, and watching his rate of wins and poles against all time greats like stewart, prost or even senna. I think it’s time we can start comparing him with the great brazilian. You can argue he has the best car, but all time great always did. How he acts out of the car, after the malaysian affair will compare him as well, and that will be much more difficult for him to come out on top.

    • Traverse (@) said on 29th March 2013, 19:24

      Clearly Hamilton is the one true heir to Senna. Both are in a league of their own when it comes to skill, tenacity, speed and fearlessness.

  2. Giggsy11 (@giggsy11) said on 29th March 2013, 0:10

    far more of an heir presumptive to Senna and Schumacher than even his most strident advocates had imagined

    There is a difference between being an heir to Senna, and taking advantage of a slower, weaker team mate when he was told not to…

    • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 29th March 2013, 0:20

      @giggsy – the idea he was taking advantage of Webber may be flawed in itself, but besides that what it shows is that like Senna and Schuamcher he takes every opportunity that presents itself to him, not matter what the implications – they can be dealt with later. It is that attitude that allowed them to be as successful as they have.

    • ivz (@ivz) said on 29th March 2013, 0:23

      I can see this article sparking a lot of talk. So many people will have their opinion, which I guess is why we are allowed to comment. I mean for sure Vettel is a rare talent, which is why he is the youngest 3 time WDC (yes credit must also be given to Red Bull Racing), but there are links to the almost ‘win at all cost’ attitude that was Senna and Schumacher.
      Its just a shame that he won the race in such circumstances, the fight for the lead last year between Alonso and Perez was more interesting.

      • Iestyn Davies (@fastiesty) said on 29th March 2013, 15:54

        And in light of Perez’s admissions, who’s to say that the Sauber radio message was also a coded “do not overtake Alonso, from Ferrari with love”, i.e. we need this position, else we will be screwed over by Ferrari from now on for overtaking team leader!

        • @fastiesty – even as a member of the anti-Ferrari brigade, I found that claim nonsense. We have to remember also that both Ferrari’s were overtaken by Perez at Monza, the home race of Ferrari.

          • M Dickens (@sgt-pepper) said on 30th March 2013, 18:08

            (@fastiesty) Inclined to agree with (@vettel1) here. Although neither anti/pro Ferrari, I felt that when he said ‘we need this,’ he meant Sauber’s highest ever result. To a mid-field team I feel that there isn’t quite such a difference between a first and second to say RB or Mclaren, as they won’t be challenging for them regularly. It seems that getting on the podium is a high aim for them, a la a vitory for the front runners. To challenge for a victory is risking a podium and decent set of points, when they’re aware they won’t be able to challenge consistently for wins throughout the season.

          • Iestyn Davies (@fastiesty) said on 5th April 2013, 17:56

            True, I was probably stoking the pot a bit.. It’s just a shame however that Sauber were not a little bit more aggressive with their pit strategy to give Perez an even better shot at winning the race!

  3. nackavich (@nackavich) said on 29th March 2013, 0:13

    Not calling sacrilege, but my my, Vettel’s pockets are getting very full. Lucky Bernie is only small & can squeeze easily between Matesizch and Marko.

  4. Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 29th March 2013, 0:17

    I think the telegraph article raises a very good point: as a driver Vettel is incredbly talented, and as a consequence he has an element of ruthlessness in his approach: he has an overriding desire to win, which isn’t simply doused through team orders. Of course there will always be divided opinions in the matter of disobeying the team for personal gain, but that is all part of the thirst to re-write the record books, and I admire ambition greatly!

    • M Dickens (@sgt-pepper) said on 29th March 2013, 0:42

      (@vettel1) Read CavallinoRampante’s comment in the Telegraph article on the Newey cars, beautifully succinct.

      Comparing Vettel to Senna is sacrilege, and in many ways I admire Prost more.

      The only trait they share is a certain level of ruthlessness.

      Senna was an extremely complex, perhaps obsessive but mystical man, and certainly one of the greatest drivers to have ever lived. I don’t condone some of the things he did in the slightest, but he was an extremely complex and layered man.

      Vettel is a spoilt child who thinks he has the innate right to win, something he can’t do without a Newey car, and has virtually no wheel-to-wheel ability. He’s simply a guy who got lucky by rising up the ranks of a team that happened to have the best car at the time he arrived in it, but now he has to be touted as a ‘driving great,’ or it makes a mockery of the sport by showing it’s too machinery based.

      Painted on top of this is his ‘happy-go-lucky’ jovial nonsense he’s told to spout to desperately try mediate the inevitable loathing from another German ruining the sport in a dominant car.

      And if I hear someone compare Monza 2008 to Monaco 1984 I’ll be physically sick.

      • @sgt-pepper – the response to that comment highlights it’s flaws.

        Vettel is a spoilt child who thinks he has the innate right to win, something he can’t do without a Newey car, and has virtually no wheel-to-wheel ability. He’s simply a guy who got lucky by rising up the ranks of a team that happened to have the best car at the time he arrived in it, but now he has to be touted as a ‘driving great,’ or it makes a mockery of the sport by showing it’s too machinery based.

        There are so many things wrong with that statement, namely the idea that he can only win because of Newey, that I barely know how to begin.

        Every great driver has a lust for winning, so point one irrelevant. Point 2 is also irrelevant, because you can’t say that simply for the reason he hasn’t driven anything else in his short career, and also because it’s based on the assumption everything Newey designs is the fastest (we only need to look to last year to dispel that notion).

        The major flaw here is the machine-based comment: I will simply respond with “would you say Jim Clark was making a mockery of the sport”?

      • Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 29th March 2013, 12:18

        I not a huge fan of Vettel, but I disagree so strongly with your assumptions of Vettel.

        You say he has no wheel to wheel ability, when that notion has been proved to be complete ********. The boy can race, if you watched anything from last season, then you’d know full well that Vettel can overtake. And even this season too! His move on Sutil into T3 in Australia was a balls out move. Much respect for that move.

        You also say he’s a spoilt child who thinks its his innate right to win, when in actual fact that also is complete ********. Vettel is a student of the game. (I.e. Japan 2011, BBC forum)

        IMO the boy is going equal if not better Schumachers records.

        People shouldn’t be hating him, he’s achieving something special that isn’t seen in sports very commonly, we should be embracing it and enjoying seeing history in the making.

      • David-A (@david-a) said on 29th March 2013, 13:24

        @sgt-pepper – That is one of the most laughable comments I’ve read on this website! So full of double standards and nonsense, I really commend you.

    • Mike (@mike) said on 29th March 2013, 1:48

      which isn’t simply doused through team orders

      Which falls down when you consider he only realized the situation after he’d left the car.

      • Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 29th March 2013, 2:03


        Vettel knew exactly the situation the entire time he was attacking Webber. 100% no confusion. He knew what he was doing; getting the best result possible now that Alonso was out of the race.

        He just said he was unsure of the situation to make it seem like he’s innocent. But really, he had worked it all out in his crash helmet, and took the opportunity when it came.

        He’s ruthless and that’s a good thing for him, he’ll most probably equal if not best Schumachers records if he has that attitude.

      • @mike – I think that was a reaction more so to the unexpectedly vocal complaints to him, but I highly doubt he didn’t know what he was doing. He has expressed genuine sorrow though.

        I think @tophercheese21 has hit the nail on the head.

    • Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 29th March 2013, 4:36

      Yeah the big thing I’ve taken out of this whole situation, without passing opinion on who was right or wrong, is that Vettel undoubtedly has a ruthless streak.

      Looking through F1’s past, it’s littered with drivers who have gone above and beyond what is deemed fair or sporting or even legal in pursuit of victory…Vettel, Hamilton, Alonso, Schumacher, Senna, Prost, Piquet and on and on have all in one way or another brushed up against a moral or legal line in the sport and often smashed past it. There’s always those who defend them, and others happy to denounce their actions.
      Me? I can see why Prost used politics in his favour, why Senna used his car as a weapon, why Schumacher parked his car at Rascasse. In a way it’s an inalienable part of what makes them great. But in another way I’m also a bit disappointed that the men I spend so much of my time following don’t always live up to the lofty standards I expect of them in all areas, including often paradoxically their ambition and also their sportsmanship. Maybe I’m the one who’s wrong to expect these drivers to always be paragons of sportsmanship while at the same time being the most driven and ambitious drivers in the world, operating under huge pressure, acting and reacting in cars going hundreds of miles an hour.

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 29th March 2013, 12:33

        Well said @clossal-squid, I was equally outraged when Michael Schumacher rammed Damon Hill to win the championship, I later managed to accept that as a driver being paid multiple millions of dollars per year to put his team on top it was a business decision that overrode sportsmanship, after all if Hill had finished Williams would have taken all the glory.
        This incident goes even further than the one above in that it involves pure individual gain, it is not a “duty calls” incident, even Piquet jnr. had that excuse, not only was it not for the team, it was against the team and purely selfish.
        Little wonder Mark Webber says Sebastien will be protected, when even the man he defied is declaring it the action of all GREAT champions and Bernie E. of all people is trumpeting praise for the win at all cost attitude, but since Bernie has screwed every F1 team and fan to gratify his own limitless greed his praise should be seen for what it is.
        Bernie of course likes to take advantage of the rules of society and decency but if we lived by the law of the jungle he would have been picked up and thrown under a bus long ago.

  5. ScuderiaVincero (@scuderiavincero) said on 29th March 2013, 0:21

    Talent-wise, yeah I see something Senna-like. Behavior-wise, just as much. Charisma-wise? Sorry Seb, no offence :)

  6. Traverse (@) said on 29th March 2013, 0:28

    So Bernie isn’t (completely) senile after all.

  7. TimmyA (@timmya) said on 29th March 2013, 0:29

    vettel isn’t sry now he knows he can get away with it and hes going to do whatever he wants.

    And seriously when is bernie going to go away.

  8. leotef (@leotef) said on 29th March 2013, 0:38

    Hmm, Seb must be very happy and has every right to be arrogant ’cause so many big guys are standing behind him, has built a lot of records already with 3 WDC titles under his belt at the youngest age etc. Now that his childhood idols will soon be behind his name, then he can do whatever he wants, like crashing opponents, blocking race lines during quali, using launchers arguably, to name a few. Good for him though which means bad to everybody else lol.
    Personally I can’t help but thinking that maybe Bernie is marketing this biz by building a formidable villain character. If true, not that good to Seb a still young boy with fragile hissy fit, too young to know the balance. Sure the people shall be herded to believe in something or somebody they expect them to believe, and will cheer, praise, or even worship for the sake of their biz.
    Just like the world is heading into the dark-ish age, so goes F1 similar to the so far all time greatest of the great MSC era.

  9. vickyy (@vickyy) said on 29th March 2013, 0:57

    “Marussia look to Russia to boost budget”.. for a minute my eyes read “Marussia look to Razia to boost budget”, it would have a good joke had he stayed in the team.

  10. Joe Papp (@joepa) said on 29th March 2013, 1:29

    It’s impressive the cognitive dissonance manifest in fans like @hellotraverse, who continue defending Vettel even after Vettel himself acknowledged (albeit fatuously) the impropriety and shamefulness of his betraying Webber.

    At what point did F1 adopt a ‘I won’t overtake you because it might hurt your feelings’ policy?

    • @joepa – The main issue currently is not the fact Vettel was in the wrong in his disobedience of team instruction, but the fact that it appears to be taken as fact in certain camps that Webber was “caught off guard”; that is simply nonsensical. As racing drivers racing in current F1, the drivers must recognise everyone is out to win and some without care for the consequences – I believe Vettel is firmly in that camp.

      Webber will have seen Vettel was closing on himself, so he would not have been “caught off guard” as so many are proclaiming. He must realise that, as an advocate of ignoring team orders himself, Vettel was preparing for a strike. So the only way in which Webber was handicapped in this battle was from his own doing: he had used more fuel earlier in the race to pass Vettel, as Horner has already discussed. He then had to make up the difference in the last stint, in stark contrast to Vettel who had brand new mediums (which he had saved in qualifying for we can presume exactly this eventuality) and an engine on full attack mode with the extra fuel relative to Webber.

      So Vettel was in a similar position to Rosberg – the only difference here is that he stuck the fingers up to his team, who seem to be forgetting there’s a drivers championship going on. Rosberg though was obedient, which made me as a fan disappointed because I strongly believe the faster driver should always be allowed to utilise his speed. Without Vettel’ actions, the last quarter would have been incredibly boring.

      • Joe Papp (@joepa) said on 29th March 2013, 20:10

        @vettel1 -

        The main issue currently is not the fact Vettel was in the wrong in his disobedience of team instruction, but the fact that it appears to be taken as fact in certain camps that Webber was “caught off guard”;

        For whom is this the main issue? B/c the main issue for me is most decidedly that Vettel directly disobeyed a valid order from his superior (sanctioned by his employer), and scores of people are rushing to defend the indefensible, even as Vettel himself acknowledges and admits to his own shameful treachery.

        • @joepa – I for one have viewed a whole heap of comments aimed at giving Webber moral high ground by portraying him as a defenceless bystander to Vettel’s shamefulness, which is misguided rubbish.

          I wouldn’t call it “shameful treachery”, rather racing driver instinct. As a fan of the sport (ignoring any driver preferences), I’d support team disobedience any day of the week if it meant we are saved from a formation-finish boredom fest.

          • Robbie (@robbie) said on 1st April 2013, 16:56

            Agree @joepa The main issue is not whether MW was caught off guard, and even if it was I don’t think @vettel1 is using it in the right context. If MW was caught off guard it was only because he had been told to dial the car down to a lower setting and didn’t expect that that would by default open the door for the team to allow SV to pass. He may have initially assumed that would mean SV would be having to dial it down too.

            In race 2 of the season, on a team that touts racing between their drivers, I would hope MW would be very reasonable in not assuming ‘dial it down’ means ‘SV is the teams number one and you will be subservient to him for this race and the rest of the season’. In fact, the team order did favour MW in that SV was to hold station behind MW.

            And after thinking about it I shy away from blaming MW (and LH) for wearing out their cars permaturely and therefore deserving to be passed. The first two thirds of the race also saw MW and LH driving according to team decisions on strategy visa vie tire wear and knowledge of fuel consumption at the time. Should MW and LH pay for doing as they had been told all day, including up until the controversial radio comms that we were allowed to hear and their timing thereof? It’s been team orders this, team orders that, for over a week now, but for the first two thirds of the race MW and LH were free to burn their fuel and tires prematurely all on their own like it was solely their decision on how to drive the first 40 laps?

      • Drezone said on 31st March 2013, 11:17


        He didn’t catch up to webber if you watched the race

        He was 4 secs behind coming into his last pitstop and came right our behind him and attacked him right away into the next slow corners which webber defended beautifully and for two laps whilst he was caught off guard and probably trying to work out what the #%# was going on

  11. wsrgo (@wsrgo) said on 29th March 2013, 1:50

    Hey, Keith, it’s my birthday today…

  12. Anyone else surprised by Rossi’s/Caterham’s plan for only really developing the car ‘spec’ by Barca? Obviously that’s when the first major upgrades come in, but to hear them put it as the first time they have a true 2013 car seems strange. I’d have expected them to put their efforts into the front of the season, try to snatch the high place early on while other teams have issues to work out for the constructor’s prize money, then shift focus to 2014 early on in hopes of making a dramatic jump on the rest of the field.

  13. celeste (@celeste) said on 29th March 2013, 2:48

    We could be here every minute, of every hour, of every day until next race an people who think Vettel did wrong wont be convinced that he did good; same as those who think Vettel was in the right, wont chance their opinion.

    So why don´t we agree to disagree and sing Kumbaya, and embrace as the F1 one community that we below to.

  14. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III said on 29th March 2013, 4:25

    (insert comment about toto wolff loving dorothy ross and hating the wicked lauda of west austria.)

  15. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III said on 29th March 2013, 4:49

    For just .25 million pounds a week you can make a real difference, you can give a formula one team with hopes and dreams a chance to fight for it’s first worldchampionship point and survive in the arid terrain that is elite level motorsport. Formula one teams aren’t asking for a hand out…they just want a colossal ammount of money to spend constantly like mr freeze living off diamonds in batman please…pickup the phone today….

    /Satire off

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