Vettel: “I don’t apologise for winning” in Malaysia

2013 Malaysian Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Sepang, 2013Sebastian Vettel said he does not apologise for winning the Malaysian Grand Prix after disobeying orders to finish behind Mark Webber.

“I think there is not much to add than what happened,” said Vettel in a video interview ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix.

“I told the team straight after I apologised for putting myself above the team, which I didn’t mean to do. But there is not much more to say really.

“I don’t apologise for winning, I think that is why people employed me in the first place and why I’m here. I love racing so that’s what I did.”

In the immediate aftermath of the race Vettel said “it?s not a victory I?m very proud of because it should have been Mark’s“.

Vettel said the row over what happened in the final laps overshadowed a strong performance by Red Bull: “I think unfortunately people didn’t see that we performed well on the day – as a team I think we did a very good job.”

“We got a fantastic result and I think we’d had a very strong weekend in Australia already, even if we didn’t get quite the result we wanted.

“But in Malaysia we were surprised again to be at the top and racing at the top and the whole race we worked excellently well with the tyres etc… I think that’s what people forgot and I think what stuck to their heads was the way the race ended.”

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180 comments on “Vettel: “I don’t apologise for winning” in Malaysia”

  1. Onwards and upwards!

    1. To infinity and beyond..

    2. Well with Mateschitz backing Vettel and banning any future team orders it would seem that Vettel doesn’t have to apologize for winning or for anything else for that matter. Mateschitz is pretty clear that it was Horner’s mistake for ruining what was a glorious victory by Vettel and one two finish for the team.

      1. @halifaxf1fan Mateschitz is a well-known Webber fan

        1. Its called respect

    3. Vettel should watch the racers edge by peter windsor and watch the F1 reviews so he can really complete his knowledge about F1.

  2. Fair enough. at least he’s being honest about how he see’s it.

    1. @bendana My only objection to what he did in Malaysia was the fact he apologised. If this is him retracting it then I’m not complaining.

      Team principals who think they can tell racing drivers not to try to win races are on a hiding to nothing. Vettel’s disobedience of his instructions was no different to Webber’s at Silverstone 18 months previously. Many other top drivers before them have done the same. Others probably would have but were never put in the situation.

      Vettel didn’t spend lap after lap on the radio whingeing about it – he handled it the way a real racing driver would and I’m glad he did. Nico Rosberg take note, please.

      1. Good point, well made! If it had been the other way round, no-one would have had an issue.

        The only thing that annoyed me was the technical disparity between the cars – I didn’t like the idea of one being in a lower engine mode than the other to influence the move, but the way Vettel peeled away after passing Webber indicated he had speed in hand anyway!

        1. You say there wouldn’t be an issue, the issue would have been why Vettel was getting team orders to keep him in front in only the second race of the season.

          The problem with the whole scenario is that it was the supposed number one driver sticking two fingers up to team orders and not the number two.

          1. Vettel showed the exact kind of person he is throughout the race in Malaysia, not only with his comments about getting Mark out of the way, but with his subsequent disobedience of team orders. Vettel only treats F1 as a team sport when he is the beneficiary, not when he has to help out someone else.
            The only reason he passed Webber was because Webber had been instructed to drive to a particular lap time to ensure he finished. If it wasn’t Vettel behind him, but say Hamilton, the instructions to Webber would not have happened.
            Vettel didn’t pass Webber because he was faster, he passed because he took advantage of a teammate who was following the team rules. It’s a low act, and shows a genuine flaw in his character.
            This is like a footballer not passing to an open teammate because he wants to be the teams leading scorer. Or a cricketer ensuring he scores a century, rather than chasing down a total and ensuring his team wins the Ashes. Or a swimmer going for the world record in his leg of a relay, instead of ensuring his team wins the gold. Or a basketballer going for the scoring title, rather than helping his team win.
            Vettel. Certainly NOT the type of person you would want to be in the trenches with.

        2. @bendana ah, but as later reports confirmed, Webber had used up more fuel and was actually more critical on fuel than Vettel was, at that phase. Meaning Mark was either fuelled less (and enjoying better tyre life, and pace, thanks to the lighter car) or Mark spent all that fuel to try and run away from Vettel.

          Given such context now – Vettel was genuinely quicker over the race distance. Despite an overly aggressive early switch to slicks.

          1. Fair point! In a way though, i can understand Mark being annoyed, especially if he’d been told that Seb was going to stay behind – He probably had the talking to after Silverstone!

          2. Given that they both knew that they were essentially racing to lead after the final pitstop, I would say that Webber was justified in using more fuel up until that point. He didn’t expect to need to reserve fuel for beyond that point. That’s the issue I have with what Vettel did- that the supposed agreement probably affected the way Webber raced. At least we saw some fun racing though.

          3. What people seem to overlook is the fact that Red Bull pitted Vettel before Webber, despite normal procedure is to pit the leading car first. This is HUGE as could be roughly 8 seconds difference between both cars.
            This season tyres are close to fous secs/lap slower on their last laps…
            Webber was 4 in front and after the stop he emerged with Vettel on his tail. If he would have pitted first would had probably emerged 8 seconds ahead.
            Red Bull has probably done this to give Vettel some breathing air to the Mercedes (up to that point close to his exhaust).
            Having changed the pit order in favor of Vettel, was probably why Red Bull asked him afterwards to hold position…

            I don´t like team orders neither, but when you have some deal with your team and teammate, then is really bad if you take your own path.
            Is not fair racing anymore..

          4. “As later reports show…..”
            The only one who would know Webber’s fuel load is RedBull. I wouldn’t take anything they say as truth regarding Webber vs Vettel. They’ve shown to be consistently biased towards Vettel for the past few years. Pffffft.
            Webber please lower your power.
            Webber, please give your nose to Vettel. Etc.

      2. @keithcollantine

        I hope I’m not offending you any more with it, but ‘auto motor sport’ had a brilliant photo-gallery of previous incidents of team orders, going back to the dutch GP in 1978, when Peterson had to coast behind Andretti who had a broken exhaust.

        It is indeed nothing new to F1 at all. And not even crashs between team mates are. Shortly after the race this was completely blown out of proportion.

          1. @keithcollantine

            All three are in the gallery as well, but yours has of course more in depth discriptions!
            For the the sadest part was Mika Salo in 1999. Of course he had to let Irvine past, but he apparently said he felt that this might be his only chance ever to win a Grand Prix. And afterall he was right.

      3. @keithcollantine

        Totally agree! No one can put it better as you did!

      4. @keithcollantine

        Nico Rosberg take note, please.

        The two aren’t quite comparable though. A triple WCC shouldn’t have followed the team orders, however a driver with one race win should have, in my opinion. He doesn’t have the pull or power Vettel does. A 3-4 finish for Mercedes (their second best two car finish in the last 3 years I believe), was too valuable to risk, and again Nico isn’t a triple world-champion. Within the team he would have been seen as simply being selfish. A third place finish isn’t worth that kind of heat. Vettel however can brush it off due to his track record, and most likely decent future record. Rosberg has to be careful not to step on toes at this stage of his career.

        1. @timi

          Good point.

        2. I can’t agree with that – they’re both racing drivers, and should allowed to race. If Merc come on form, and Rosberg ends up leading Hamilton in a championship charge, how important could those points have been?

          I don’t think it matters if a driver has three WDCs or one win, Racers gotta Race.

          1. @bendana

            I don’t think it matters if a driver has three WDCs or one win, Racers gotta Race.

            And teams have to ensure a maximum points haul, both for their WCC (more important than the WDC), and for sponsorships/money.

            Heck, I dislike team orders. But every fans’ case is an entitled, selfish view of “let us watch them race”, forgetting there are literally millions riding on these situations. I’m simply bringing the teams’ perspective to light since everyone seems to ignore it.

        3. @timi Rosberg might have won just 1 GP but he’s been wiith the team since its latest incarnation was born. He should be the one Lewis gotta beat, not the other way around.

          It’s like Vettel moving to Ferrari and Alonso being told to stay behind because SV is 3 times WDC and Alonso “just” 2. It’s meaningless, the fact that Alonso’s the old fox in the team should prove enough of an argument…

          1. @fer-no65 You completely missed my WCC reference point. I’m saying Vettel can do what he wants, realistically there’s not much RBR will/can do. Rosberg on the other hand can’t, because he’s done nothing to stake a claim as being one of the best in the sport. Fact.

          2. @tim I didn’t miss your point, I just think that given that Rosberg has been in the team since 2010, they should know that he won’t spoil things up. He’s the leader, he should have the chance to fight for it, and Mercedes were very wrong in forcing him to stay behind.

            And as a sideview, ff teams have so little faith in their drivers, then they should force the Team Director to drive the cars. I mean, Rosberg might have won just 1 race, but he’s proven to be a reliable racer. So is Hamilton.

            They could’ve easily fought for the position without any risk. Just like Webber and Vettel did, even if there’s a lot going between the two. Appart from Istanbul 2010, they never crashed into each other and they battle hard a lot of times…

          3. @fer-no65 They could’ve easily fought for the position without any risk. Just like Webber and Vettel did, even if there’s a lot going between the two. Appart from Istanbul 2010, they never crashed into each other and they battle hard a lot of times…

            Does that mean they’ll never crash again? By utilising team orders, it eliminates risk and pretty much guarantees the points. It’s not about faith in the drivers as you put it. There is a possibility of a crash (or running out of fuel as Brawn has said but you and other fans seem glad to ignore) and thus a decision has to be made.

            The thing about your post, and pretty much everyone else’s is that your view is understandable as a fan. But having a go at the team boss or team just doesn’t make any sense. Would you as team principle let them race and risk losing the points, the money, and eventually in the worst case scenario your job (if season trgets are not met)?? If the answer is yes, you’re clueless. If the answer is no, then you realise there are two sides to this, but no-one wants to see the team’s side. I just don’t understand how so many people can argue a point without even considering the other side’s point, it’s naive at best.

        4. @timi i think that was said to be their best 2 car result since joining in 2010.

        5. @timi so you say that Nico must obbey what is said in favor of Lewis because he has never won a championshp? If for any reason Nico finishes this year with some possibility to win the championship (and loses it), the Malaysian race will be remembered.

          1. @omarr-pepper I didn’t mention Hamilton, don’t know where you got that from. This is about Rosberg and Vettel, not Webber and Hamilton. Re-read my comment properly, please.

        6. @timi I fully agree with your point and in fact this was something that was in my mind as well. The whole issue for me was not that Vettel defied team orders to take a win. However, if Mark Webber were in the same situation and had taken the win away, I am sure Vettel would have raised a storm. And even if he hadn’t I don’t expect Webber would have escaped being punished in some way. In Red Bull it is clear that there does not exist any parity between the drivers. Sure you would hedge your bets on a three time World Champ, but then that also implies that by being a world champ he oughtn’t be asking drivers to get out of the way so that he can take the win.

      5. My only objection to what he did in Malaysia was the comment over the radio. The “Get mark out of the way, he’s to slow”-comment and especially the way he said is was soooo condescending.. He started on pole and was overtaken by Webber because of a misjudgement concerning the dryness of the track. So the whining over the radio shouldn’t happen & the commanding tone was just unacceptable.

        1. @gdewilde

          That’s to your perspective, but in my world that comment shows Vettel isn’t afraid to express his emotions, which too me, regardless right or wrong, makes him more of a man.

          And it’s not any diffirent to Kimi telling his team. “Leave me alone. I know what I’m doing.”

          1. (@ivano)

            And it’s not any diffirent to Kimi telling his team. “Leave me alone. I know what I’m doing.”
            ReplyReport use.

            I’m afraid I couldn’t disagree any more strongly with this. I was utterly shocked when I heard that message while watching the race; the insolence, the lack of respect, the sense of entitlement, were utterly appalling. Kimi was simply saying he didn’t want to keep being pestered, Vettel was demanding in an extremely nonchalant way for the team to sabotage Webber’s race, while he had taken the lead through superior strategy as he felt he deserved the lead. Even Vettel fans must surely be embarassed for just how disgustingly he referred to Webber.

          2. @ivano, yes real men are always throwing their dummy (pacifier) out of the pram.

          3. @hohum

            And when exactly did he do that?
            He just told Mr Slow to get out of the way.

            People that drive have said worse in traffic.

          4. @ivano I agree, I have used every “bad word” that man knows while driving… That´s one of the reason my mon hates to drive with me ;p

          5. @sgt-pepper

            I can agree that I didn’t like hearing Vettel on the radio, wanting the team to move Webber out of the way.

            On the other hand, you claim that Webber took the lead through “superior strategy”, when this strategy left him with one set less of the option tyre, and in a higher fuel saving mode than Vettel. Therefore it is fair to assume that Webber’s tyre/fuel management/strategy was not superior to Vettel’s, and that a hold station team order served to disadvantage Vettel.

          6. @celeste

            I have used every “bad word” that man knows while driving… That´s one of the reason my mon hates to drive with me ;p


        2. Vettel’s “too slow” comment was a response to the team asking him to keep a 3 second gap behind Webber. Vettel was under increasing pressure from the Silver Arrows and wanted to increase his pace and run his own race strategy, not follow Webber’s.

          1. +1
            I thought so. I think he comment like that because he doesn’t want to wheel to wheel with Mark which it just can make a problem like Turkey 2010. But the team doesn’t hear him so he take his own way. (IMO)

        3. I think you should read a little less into the tone of voice at 300 kilometers per hour.

      6. Two weeks on and I still heavily disagree with your opinion on ignoring team orders: I love to see teammates battling for position as if they were from two different teams and therefore I think team bosses shouldn’t interfere if situations like Malaysia occur (or Silverstone ’11 for that matter). But this is someone’s boss we’re talking about: if a team boss gives you an order, then you should obey in my opinion. F1 is a team sport, and I think ignoring team orders is a very selfish thing to do – you’re the one driving the car, but that doesn’t mean you can do whatever you want.

        But I do agree: it’s good he doesn’t apologize anymore for the victory – at least it makes sense now.

      7. @keithcollantine Give yourself COTD, for once..

      8. @Keith

        You’re upsetting me. I want to hate Vettel with all my heart, i want him to be the evil villain and i want to have the proof of it but with that argumentation you are making it very hard for me indeed.

      9. @Keithcollantine
        Show me a driver who can design, fabricate, build, operate, and finance his own car, and I’ll show you a driver who is “bigger” than the team. Until then, racing drivers are employees.

        1. Well said. Seems everyone has forgotten the usual arguments about F1 being a team sport.

        2. @hairs I’m not interested in straw man arguments. I never said Vettel was bigger than the team nor something other than an employee.

          1. @Keithcollantine I’m merely pointing out that a team principal isn’t on a “hiding to nothing” by asking racing drivers not to race. A racing driver is in partial control for the duration of the race. The rest of the time, he has as much control as the team boss decides to allow him. You recently highlighted an anecdote about Bernie Ecclestone’s reaction to a driver who attempted to stamp his authority over his team’s orders.

            The fact that Christian Horner failed to do something similar just indicates that the team is likely to suffer.

        3. Drop Valencia!
          11th April 2013, 0:40

          you mean Brabham? He designed his own WDC engine too, but he did not consider himself bigger than the team, sure, he could have sabotaged Hulmes car, or simply fired him, for a 4th WDC, but didn’t.

        4. @hairs
          How does the name of Sir Jack Brabham sound? :)

      10. Antonio (@antoniocorleone)
        10th April 2013, 22:19

        Dont you feel like Seb had read our coments here on F1Fanatic and now he is trying to get us to like him by saying that (now) he isn’t sorry anymore. Sorry Mr. Vettel, not falling for it.

        1. @antoniocorleone – it does seem that way doesn’t it! He should’ve just said that in the first place, although he might’ve gotten a quick right hook from Mark “Aussiegrit” Webber ;)

      11. @keithcollantine

        That’s what I was saying from day one.

        Now people are turning around because they had some time to think about it.

      12. My only objection to what he did in Malaysia was the fact he apologised. If this is him retracting it then I’m not complaining.

        While its not my only objection to Vettel’s win in Malaysia, I also think him apologising was the wrong thing to do. If you’re going to do it, be unapologetic.

        I still object to the way Vettel did it, but definitely not the principle of doing it (I’d prefer they race always). As I understand it the team agreement was not to race after the last pit stop if they were 1 and 2. If this is the case, all Vettel had to say either during the race or preferably before hand was that he wasn’t going to do it. Then Webber may have made different strategy calls regarding tyre use, tyre choice and fuel use. And then we would have seen different racing strategy, Vettel would likely have won and would also have been the hero of the story to all but a handful of fans. As it stands, he knowingly or unknowingly let Webber pursue a strategy before the last pit stop that made him easy pickings, denying fans a potentially much more interesting finale.

        Now I don’t know if the same agreement was in place at Silverstone before the race, but if it was then the same argument would apply to Webber. If the call is made in the middle of the race I would hope any driver outright ignores it, although few drivers do with Rosberg being the most recent example.

        Thankfully Red Bull may have ditched the pre-race agreements, so Vettel’s actions have brought about a strategy closer to what he probably wanted in the first place, but also one that is more in tune with most F1 followers’ and drivers’ expectations of what racing should be.

        1. Obviously this argument only holds if there was an agreement pre-race, which was my understanding but I can’t know for certain.

      13. Yes Keith, we know you are a huge Vettel fan. Vettel is always right in your eyes. If he worked for me I would have fired him.

      14. As far as his un-apology, Vettel looks like even more of a tool for now retracting his apology. How exactly does he get his man-privileges back for retracting repeated apologies in public on some obscure radio show? Sounds like rank cowardice to me.

      15. @keithcollantine

        Your opinion makes Vettel look like a brave hero who opposed the unfair orders from the team management and did what a racing driver does best – race and win. Yet it kind of omits the fact he blatantly wanted the team to make the same kind of decision you criticize, only in his favor. Don’t you think this changes things, and Vettel doesn’t deserve the praise for ignoring orders because of this hypocrisy. And that apology is due for the fact he wanted to take out Webber with orders, not with his racecraft, yet he dares to say he’s a racer? Also he claims Webber did not deserve the Malaysia victory because… he did in the past exactly the same thing as Vettel did in the last race. Sorry but this is so much hypocrisy and spoiled kid attitude I really can’t handle.

    2. @keithcollantine you deserve the COTW today, don’t feel bad to give that honor yourself

    3. Vettel has put it out on the table for all to see. Webber won’t back down, especially now. Brawn says he hates team orders and there is no number one. Sounds like everybody is going racing now! This next race should be interesting to see some clean racing between teammates, as it should be if you are a race car driver.

  3. Too much hate on this guy.

    Alonso had did much worst stuff for god sake.

  4. further down in my estimation…

    1. artificial racer
      10th April 2013, 19:50

      But further up in the world championship! Your estimation won’t be remembered in the history books.

  5. How classy

  6. Good on him, I think after the Malaysian GP he should have simply reminded everyone (including his team) that he is a 3 times world champion and Mark is the oldest driver on the Grid, if the two of them can’t race each other fairly then who can! The team should either appreciate that or get two drivers that they can bully or who put just being in a Red Bull above fighting for victory.

    1. @asanator

      he is a 3 times world champion and Mark is the oldest driver on the Grid, if the two of them can’t race each other fairly then who can!


    2. @asanator

      Would have been a diffirent story if Mark was leading the championship with 3 races to go. Then Mark would have had a case.

      1. @ivano like in 2010, you mean?

        1. @raymondu999

          There Seb didn’t overtake him while Mark was leading a race from what I remember, nor was Seb a 3 times WDC at the time, and nor were there team orders.

          1. Well Brazil is definitely one of the Achilles’s heels for Seb. At least for the last 3 years

          2. @omarr-pepper he did beat Webber in 2010 and 2011 though. Webber outfinished Vettel in 2011, but that was either:
            a) team orders to give the faithful #2 a “thank you” victory
            – OR –
            b) a gearbox problem Vettel had to nurse

            So Vettel was beat by Webber in 2009 and 2012, and beat Webber in 2010 and 2011. I wouldn’t say 2-2 is an “Achilles heel.”

            Even in qualifying they line up 2-2.

          3. @raymondu999 you are so right, thanks for the facts i have forgotten

        2. Antonio (@antoniocorleone)
          10th April 2013, 23:20

          +1 million

  7. Shame this quote isn’t from a certain three-time championship winning Brazilian racing driver, otherwise it would have been legendary.

    1. @tommyb89

      Well, that Brazilian a year later after Suzuka 1990, did admit he purposely took out Prost to win the championship, and for taking so long to admit it, somehow made him more legendary.

      1. @tommyb89 @ivano maybe Vettel should’ve waited till Sepang 2014 then! :P

        1. @raymondu999

          That would have been fantastic. :)

      2. One can just imagine what a legend Prost would have been had he adimited to what he did in Suzuka 89 to deserve what came his way the following year…. but sadly, to this day he denies the fact…. and don’t even get me started on Shumi the Cheat.

    2. Maybe it just needs a bit of time @tommyb85 and our grandchildren will quote the legendary “Finger” Vettel on this (lets just hope it does not need an untimely death though) :-)

      1. ehm, not sure where the 85 came from, sorry for that :-) @tommyb89

        1. I already feel old enough thanks :)

        2. @bascb
          21(from Multi21)*4(no.of on-track controversies b/w Vettel and Webber-Istanbul ’10, Silverstone ’11, Interlagos ’12 and Sepang ’13)=84.
          84+1(Vettel’s car no. and no. of fingers he shows while celebrating)=85.
          I had a lotof time to spare..:)

          1. :-) Must be it @wsrgo!

          2. @wsrgo

            Haha nice on!

  8. I’m not Vettel’s biggest fan, but I don’t think he should be getting as much negative press as he is. Yes, he went against team orders and took matters into his own hands. However:

    1) it’s only the second race of the season, RB should not have given the orders in the first place
    2) RB still walked away with the same amount of points had Vettel not passed Webber
    3) Most importantly, there were 7 points on the table for him to grab, and he grabbed them. Two out of his three championships he won by a margin of less than 7 points. No wonder he went for the win…

  9. Seb, I respect the decision to race for the win in Sepang, and didn’t enjoy the “apology” afterwards, but now you’re confusing me man! :P

    1. @david-a he’s hinting that the one in Sepang post-race was a prototype PressBot clone

      1. (@david-a)(@raymondu999)

        he’s hinting that the one in Sepang post-race was a prototype PressBot clone

        This. He’s basically openly admitting the apology was as fake as everyone knew already, and is trying to regain some of his support base in the PR war that he’s already lost against Webber.

    2. @david-a Probably the first comment was with a different PR assistant, now he hired Kimi for that role :P

    3. @david-a – my initial reaction was it was quite hypocritical actually! I do admire though he’s clarified that he saw the win and took it – I just now wonder why he didn’t do that in the first place!

  10. I’m glad he’s retracting his apology for winning, he got most points. However, I still have issues with him dishonourably passing Webber. The fact he knew it would be an easy win with Webber’s engine being turned down, isn’t cool.
    I also don’t agree with going against team orders. Rules are rules. (For example, I wouldn’t ask for video links on the F1Fanatic Live section as it says not to).
    One thing I do see a point with though is as suave above said, he’d have been thinking about the gap to winning for sure. If he wins this one by that margin or less, he’ll have made a good choice.

  11. Glad he made that clear.
    Btw, today I heard the German “Sport-Bild” printed an interview with Helmut Marko and from what I understood, he said there won’t be any further team orders.

  12. Either Vettel was sorry or he wasn’t. It was clear he didn’t overtake Webber ‘by mistake’ and as a driver his instinct is to try and win. So why the crocodile tears afterwards?
    I think where many people lost respect for Vettel was not the underhand way he took the win, after the team made it possible with the final pit stop undercut, but by the disingenuous apology.

  13. Let’s separate the three issues:

    1. Legalising team orders in F1.
    2. Team bosses giving team orders.
    3. Disobeying a team order when it is given.

    You may disagree with 1&2 (as do I), but advocating 3 and justifying it because of your disagreement with either 1&2 does not really wash.

    Vettel had taken matters into his own hands and I agree with Button that it will cost him in the long run. So Nico Rosberg, let’s see whether or not he should have taken note at the end of this season.

    The Mercedes team order was ****, but once given Nico’s actions were in my opinion those of a professional and he will benefit from them longer term.

    Aim your arrow at Brawn, not Rosberg.

    1. @john-h

      Aim your arrow at Brawn, not Rosberg.

      It’s OK, I have two :-)

      1. Ha, you got me @keithcollantine !

        I guess we will have to stay in disagreement on this one!!

        1. @john-h I’ll concede that Brawn was wrong in the first instance. Without Brawn being wrong, Rosberg wouldn’t have had an opportunity to be wrong.

          1. @ [eith, i wonder what your opinion would be if Rosberg attempted a move, Hamilton blocked it knowing Ross’ orders stood and then the two came together and lost all points as a result?
            Would you say Rosberg did the right thing? Or the wrong thing by costing the tea potential points. Or that Hamilton was right/wrong to cause the collision, knowing the team orders stood and he would have the high ground, not to mention showing his ruthless streak etc etc?

            Im very curious to know your response, as I was very surprised by your opinion of what Rosberg should have done.

          2. This is the problem with hypothetical questions: you can’t pass judgement on an incident that never happened.

            But we have a very good model for what might have happened had Hamilton come under attack from a team mate he thought had been told not to pass him: Istanbul 2010.

            Hamilton was passed by Button then stuck a re-pass on him at the very next corner. They raced each other hard but cleanly, much as Vettel and Webber did in Malaysia.

            So my answer is I think Rosberg should have tried to overtake Hamilton, partly because I think both drivers are competent enough to avoid the scenario you describe.

    2. I think we should actually be positive about Vettel ignoring the issue @john-h. Sure he might be ruing that decision later (this year or further in the future), but if it helped making Red Bull cut back on their use of team orders (reported today in the German press), doesn’t that show it helped get rid of overusing them?

      I do agree with you that Nico heeding them can not be taken as easily as something bad. Or even comparable. After all both were in different situations.
      Vettel and Webber go a long way, both have ignored instructions from their team to slow down in the past without much obvious punishment, and above all Vettel is the de-facto no.1 driver and multiple champion in the team. In contrast, Nico has one win, while his top drawer team mate has far more and a Championshop too boost. Also he has a new situation in the team and a boss who is likely to have not been as weak as Horner if ignored.

    3. My thoughts exactly

  14. Very strange comments from Vettel. He says he is sorry for putting himself above the team, but then says he isn’t sorry for winning, which was the direct product of doing that. Are you sorry or not, Sebastian? Also, I highly doubt the team employed him to go against direct team orders to win.

    As for his actions, the win was never his to take. Due to the unusual situation of the race, with both drivers in a close battle with other cars for the win, the best result for the team (a 1-2 finish) required both cars to finish very close on track. Webber had built up a 4-second lead before the final stops, but Vettel got the earlier pit stop to cover off Hamilton. This allowed him to close the gap with the undercut. Had the Mercedes not been there and the Red Bulls been allowed to race fairly, Webber would have got strategic priority as the lead car and Vettel would never have got a sniff at victory. Vettel took advantage of the team’s need for the cars to be close to take the win for himself.

    1. Webber had built up a 4-second lead before the final stops

      It takes a certain willful denial of reality for people to keep repeating this. Webber had not “built up a 4 second lead by the final pit stops”. Webber was ahead by the final pit stops because RB spent the previous 20 laps ordering Vettel to hold station behind Webber and be patient. It is not in fact the case that prior to the final pit stops the two RB drivers were racing freely.

      1. @jonsan not even that much: Webber got ahead on strategy, so Vettel returned the favour later by saving fuel behind Webber so be could crank his engine up to attack Webber with a fresh set of tyres. I don’t see how Webber was the victim here…

        1. If the leading driver is allowed to stop first, then he increases the gap using the undercut. I believe Redbull expected Vettel to come out ahead after the final pit stops but it went wrong by a few milliseconds, which is why they gave Vettel the undercut.

      2. Then again, if you read what Webber said today in the press conference, Vettel would not have been as close had the team not allowed him to pit a lap earlier than Webber to make sure of keeping him in front of Hamilton (which lost Webber some time) @jonsan, @vettel1, so it was more or less equal for them, and doing a good team job that far, until the moment came they called a stop to racing.

        So all in all, its clear the early first stop was not a good idea (I think that was Vettels call), although that was only clear after it happened. The team reacted well to keep Webber out for another couple of laps, and kept a good strategy to get/keep him Webber in front, then to get Vettel back in the top 2.

        But that does not mean that I see Webber as a “victim” here, nor Vettel as a villain. I want to see racing, and that is what they did. They still made it to the line, did not damage their cars so it just goes to show the team order was not needed.

        1. See Keiths article on that drivers press conference for the information on that last pitstop timing.

          Its clear that had they not feared Hamilton getting back into 2nd, Webber as the leading driver would have gotten his call, and stopped earlier. Then Vettel would have been further behind, maybe even behind Hamilton (could have given us a very nice fight too!), and he would likely have not even been able to charge for the lead, giving some background to why the team would want to protect Webber (as the earlier pitstop at Webbers cost was a bit of needed help for Vettel).

          It also shows what is troublesome if these guys do not trust each other to do what the team wants, because if Webber finds himself in front, would he not come in this time to avoid falling in Vettels clutches next time? Which would have made Vettel sit behind him, or lose time to Hamilton.

    2. If the Red Bulls had been allowed to race fairly, Vettel would have passed Webber in lap 26, when the team told him “to be patient”.

      1. To you and the other person who said something similar, both cars were managing tyres and other variables. Vettel was capable of going quicker and said so on the radio, but Webber was also capable of going quicker and did so when he was told that he was holding Vettel up. If Vettel really was quicker than Webber and capable of getting past he would have been on his tail the whole time, but he wasn’t.

    3. Are you sorry or not, Sebastian?

      Vettel: No.

  15. Wow… the subtlety of advertising in part 1 of this video is mind boggling!

    1. “I’m just hanging out, looking natural, on my garden furniture. Doesn’t everybody keep theirs on driveways?”

  16. Good for him. As a Mark Webber fan, I’m glad he battled that hard. Mark should’ve known… well, he defo knows now that Vettel won’t yield just like that.

    That’s what he always ask. Get on with it, end of the story ! It’s just that Vettel’s not really a likeable guy, for whatever reason… winning everytime probably made people hate him. So this is a big story because of that only thing alone… otherwise, people would all agree with him.

    1. It’s just that Vettel’s not really a likeable guy, for whatever reason… winning everytime probably made people hate him

      @fer-no65 So according to you, 601 members on this site are extraterrestrials, robots,ghosts… but not people.
      Me included

      1. (@omarr-pepper) Or simply fooled by a well crafted facade that’s started to slip in light of the events in Malaysia?

      2. @omarr-pepper Did… I… Ever… Say… That… No… One… In… The… World… Likes… Vettel??

        No, I did NOT ! I just said that he’s not really likeable, as that same article shows. Had Kimi refused to yield and passed his team mate, people would’ve applauded him saying “Ahh, Classic Kimi !”.

        So when you say that “according to me”, check again, because I said no such thing.

        1. LOL, so true about Kimi.

  17. I’m glad he make this subject very clear. He’s being fair enough and commited to what racing drivers want, that is winning.

  18. I think the important thing to note here is that the two comflicting messages were given in two separate states – an adrenalin-riddled racing driver just out of his car, versus a clearheaded young man who’s had time to reflect and think.

    It could be that Vettel was afraid of media backlash just after the race, and in a semi-panicked self-defense mechanism, apologised. Now though, with time to reflect and think through – perhaps he’s decided that he’s unapologetic after all.

  19. i can just say what the hell of all this “schizophrenia” in the F1 world.
    -Helmut Marko said that Mercedes has a clear policy of n°1 & n°2 drivers but in Red Bull they don’t
    -Christian Horner said that he is not quite sure about what Mark Webber means by saying Seb would get protection and then he said that Alonso & Hamilton would have done the same
    -Ross Brawn said that team orders are against his sporting nature.
    -Sebastian Vettel says that that he doesn’t apologize for winning but he already did
    -Mark Webber complaining about Seb ignoring team orders but he did the same in Silverstone 2011
    I’m just wondering is it too important to be hypocrite in F1 ? and what would have happened if these people told the truth?
    I know that it is a human nature to say that “It was better in the past”, but i do believe that these people will never be considered and respected like the old straightforward guys “Niki Lauda,James Hunt, Jochen Rindt , Gilles Villeneuve ,Enzo Ferrari Colin Chapman………” and forgive me because i didn’t mention all of them
    I just hope that this crap ends ASAP

    1. @tifoso1989

      I agree. Drivers and managers back then were more straight forward, and stuck to their views regardless how the public contested them.

  20. Pedro Sobota
    10th April 2013, 17:46

    Now is when I lost my respect for him. Not because he conceded to winning an artificial win, but because I see he still thinks that’s winning, when that’s losing.

    1. 25 points disagree with you :P

      We don’t like the end of a story, but it’s a story.
      People didn’t like in 2008 when Hamilton lost the victory in Spa by the penalty-added time. If Massa had won that championship, he would still be the 2008 champion, not the 2008 “loser” just because we didn’t like the way it was grabbed.
      If vettel wins this championship, his detractors will use the excuse of the malaysian race to say it was not deserved

    2. Who say it’s loosing, except from you?

    3. He probably hasn’t caught up to the news yet that both drivers were in the same engine mode.

      1. @mnmracer I cant wait until they both have the same engine mode next, now that Webber knows pre race agreements have gone out the window :)

        1. @me262 are you saying that Webber can’t finish ahead of Vettel on the same engine mode? He certainly hasn’t this season.

          1. … are you saying that Webber can’t finish ahead of Vettel…

            I think he’s saying the opposite (unless sarcasm). That somehow Webber won’t help Vettel and be Mr Nice guy anymore.. as if that was ever the case anyway lol..

  21. Vettel was right that he was fighting for first place with Webber.
    But why he is apologise if he thinks he did that he should as a race driver.

    Second case.
    He diobeyed team instructions but in the midle of the race HE EXCPETED AND WANTED team orders for Webber. He wanted from the team to move Webber away.

    1. Putting aside what actually happened halfway through the race, why would being denied a team order be a reason to listen to them? As a driver, if you are not given a team order, why would the other driver deserve it?

  22. Despite wanting “racing” all the way; surely whatever sort of pre race agreement communicated by the team boss should be respected, be it “if you are leading after the last scheduled pit stop then your team mate will not overtake” or “if you are leading with 10/15 or 20 laps to go your team mate will not overtake” .
    Failure of RB drivers to folow team orders probably points to Horners weak position within a team that he is clearly not the BOSS of.
    Mercedes on the other hand had a lot to loose, (on the basis of last years progress they need to maximise early season points if they are available) and had been fighting hard with each other so some sort of team order seemed understandable to prevent a mishap; although whether the correct team order was given is probably open for debate

  23. I think things were not clear and Vettel took advantage of it because he thought he could get away with it. In fact he did away get away with it and 25 points. Given those circumstances Vettel should not have gone for the win as I believe that it will be very detrimental to his title chances this year.

    Do I want team orders so Mark can win? No I don’t. But I sure hope he beats Vettel this season.

    The only reason I can think of that Marko says no team orders is because he thinks Vettel can so comprehensively beat Webber. We might see a different Webber starting now, either totally beaten or dominating. Either way we are in for a cracker of season. I hope Mercedes also gives up team orders completely.

    1. We might see a different Webber starting now, either totally beaten or dominating.

      What you’re suggesting (that Webber will be incredibly focused to beat Vettel) has been the case for the last 3 seasons! Nothing has changed between these drivers since the last race and Vettel knew that before and after his move. He knew he doesn’t have Marks support anyway (as proven multiple times previously).

      Webber was trying everything in his power to beat Vettel and always came up short, even in 2010 when it was all in his hands in Abu Dhabi. He fluffed a WDC himself that day and could hardly blame Vettel or the team after that.

      What makes you think this is going to change all of a sudden?

  24. So basically he is saying he’s sorry that he had to defy and upset team orders in order to win, but not sorry to win. I think his comment is fair and that’s what he should have said right after the race in 3 weeks ago.

  25. Didn’t he apologize right after the race? Nice way to try to change your mind. I wonder if he reads these message boards and was hurt by the backlash, perhaps?

  26. I have mixed feelings about this whole situation. Webber was at a disadvantage at the time because he had his revs down and was not expecting a charge from Vettel (from what I understand). But racers are racers and should be allowed to do just that. If Vettel was faster overall he should have been allowed to pass Webber if he could. I believe given the circumstances, he should have obeyed the team, but I also think that Infinity Red Bull Racing should be the ‘Bad Guy’ in this situation, not Vettel. To protect your driver from an attack from his teammate is like giving them an undeserved victory. Winning a race also means beating your teammate and if you can’t do that, you don’t deserve to win. I just wish Red Bull would have given us a legitimate race, because had Webber know the entire race that there were no team orders, he would have race more aggressively and not been on the back foot when Vettel chased him down. Again, Red Bull should shoulder any blame being thrown around here.

    1. Webber was at a disadvantage at the time because he had his revs down and was not expecting a charge from Vettel

      None of that is actually true. It makes such a nice story that I can see why people are reluctant to give it up though.

  27. This site should be renamed Since when did Keith become such a Vettel fan that he injects
    Vettel-positive statements in all of his posts?

    Just one example of how Keith tries to skew perspective: Christian Horner mentioned that Vettel’s engine was on more power than Webber, but Keith only reported this news a few days later, and only included it as part of the daily round up and not even as the main story of that round up, even though this was important news. And in his daring fanboy-like defence of Vettel actually missed this point completely.

    I used to respect Keith for his total impartialness and professional journalism but I realised even he falls to being favourable to some drivers over some.

    I’m leaving this site, for good.

    1. injects Vettel-positive statements in all of his posts

      Can you point to where that has been done in this article?

      Christian Horner mentioned that Vettel’s engine was on more power than Webber, but Keith only reported this news a few days later, and only included it as part of the daily round up and not even as the main story of that round up, even though this was important news.

      The quote you’re referring to came from an interview Horner gave to Sky and was run in an article on March 29th, five days after the race.

      I think some other sites used the quotes several days later. It’s hardly surprising they would want to use a different headline to try to make them look like something other than old news, or to disguise the fact that they’d taken quotes from someone else without crediting them.

    2. I’m leaving this site, for good.

      Glad to hear it, now go enjoy ‘The Sun’ and other ‘impartial and professional journalism’ sites…

      1. I mean how DARE Keith not join in on the most deserved bashing of this DIRTY and disgusting driver.. shame on you KEITH!

  28. Eric Boullier will not expect you to apologise for passing a teammate.


    1. Not sure a man who says “I can’t remember a driver disobeying teamorders”, is a man you’d want to quote.

  29. A young man growing up :)
    Now next time stand by your choice straight from the car, and you’ll be a real man.

  30. This guy is just DEVIOUS, DISHONEST and INSENSITIVE.
    He’s neither here nor there, hence all these conflicting statements.

    1. @jason12

      This guy is just DEVIOUS, DISHONEST and INSENSITIVE.

      It’s so dishonest and devious to race someone who has come out of the pits near you, isn’t it?
      And insensitive? Maybe the tyres are sensitive, but no-one watches motor racing for sensitive people.

      1. Two more “ARROGANT” “DISRESPECTFUL”. Maybe you can give another Tyring explanation.

        1. @vishy

          Yes, it is so “arrogant” and “disrespectful” to race until the end, against someone who had no issue doing so the other way round back in 2011. If anything, Red Bull should show some respect to the oldest man on the grid, and a world champion, by trusting them to race in the second race of a season without telling them that it is “silly” to do so.

          1. @Dizzy-A

            I want them race too and not just be managed.

            But this is not the first time Vettle has shown he is an arrogant spoilt kid. Calling names and making rude remarks to other drivers during and immediately after a race is something he does consistently. You need to remove your rose-tinted glasses and see things for what they are.

            He is a great racer, probably the best in the current grid (along with Alonso) but he is also a kid and acts like one. Needs to grow-up.

  31. I love racing so that’s what I did

    Get Mark out of the way

    These two quotes go so well hand in hand with each other :)

    1. You probably missed the part prior to ‘get Mark out of the way’ where his team didn’t want him to race. But who needs context, right? Just spoils a nice bashfest…

  32. I see Red Bull have now announced that they will have no team orders going forward.

    I can’t see this making any real difference – neither of their drivers paid too much attention to team orders anyway.

    The manner in which RB employed team orders in Malaysia, attempting to micro-manage the race from nearly start to finish, was a black eye for both Red Bull and F1. I think team orders do have a place in F1, but trying to keep one driver behind another for the last 30 laps (thirty laps!) of the second race of the season on a dry track is just way out of order.

    1. I think team orders do have a place in F1, but trying to keep one driver behind another for the last 30 laps (thirty laps!) of the second race of the season on a dry track is just way out of order.

      If anything, Vettels actions brought this problem to light and everyone should thank him for him.. but as the poster above me said.. who needs reasons to like Vettel when bashing him is SO much more fun..

  33. In my opinion there shouldn’t have been team orders in the second race of the season. That being said, both Vettel and Roberg should have stayed put and then grumbled to the team internally.

    1. That being said, both Vettel and Roberg should have stayed put and then grumbled to the team internally.

      Yes, so that this issue stays hidden and we can continue to fall asleep during the last stage of a race when team-mates have a chance to make it more exciting..

  34. Come on why on earth should he be sorry? In Malaysia Vettel managed:

    1) The victory
    2) The points lead both in Redbull and Drivers championship
    3) The humiliation of his teammate
    4) A new found personality, that of a Rebel who ignores authorities – something only real racers would do “Senna or Schumacher would have done the same” people say
    5) And finally he tested the patience of the Redbull executives only to reconfirm the common knowledge that no matter what he does he gets away with it.

    See? Champion-deciders excluded could have any driver anywhere achieve so much in a single race?

    1. Seems to fit pretty well, yes. @philby

  35. He thought to himself “if Mark wants to hit me Helmut the surrogat dad will protect me”

    1. Agreed!
      Only knowing you have that sort of protection enable you to:
      ‘I know this wrong but whatever, I’m just gonna go ahead and do it anyway’

  36. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    11th April 2013, 1:20

    Ugh. Is all just a bunch of PR bull faeces.

    Vettel’s just saying it to repair his media image. He knows full well what he was doing at the time; taking advantage of Alonso being out of the race.

    There is no way in hell that after several radio calls telling him to essentially stop attacking Mark, that he realized n after the race that he did something non-sporting. Riiiiiight. And Kim Kardashian married for love…..

    Just stop son. Just stop.

  37. I dont think I have ever heard Vettel say ‘we’ and ‘team’ as many times in an interview….a new record smashed by Sebastian vettel ? :)

    1. He actually almost always says “we”; I found it weird at the beginning (after all, he is not the Queen).

  38. “I don’t apologise for winning, I think that is why people employed me in the first place and why I’m here. I love racing so that’s what I did.”

    That’s not a justification for what he did, and he shouldn’t be applauded for “being a racer” by doing it.

    1. Hear hear, at least someone still has his senses

  39. might be time for a new poll…..

    if you had to go into battle (with guns and bullets and stuff), who would you want as your buddy-in-arms?
    o Mark Webber
    o Sebastian Vettel

    be interesting as your choice would clearly be based on your perception of their relevant characters and how much you could trust them to cover your butt…..

    1. me, the aussie, every time!!!

    2. @spankythewondermonkey I’m going to have to report you to the analogy police I’m afraid :-)

      If you’re in a battle, you and your fellow soliders are all fighting for the same thing. Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel are not fighting for the same thing.

      Mark Webber is racing to win the world championship which means beating Sebastian Vettel. And Sebastian Vettel is racing to win the world championship which means beating Mark Webber.

      This is where we see how the “F1 is a team sport” line, which has been chirruped incessantly by some people over the past two-and-a-half weeks, is simplistic and flawed. Yes there is a team endeavour, but there is also an individual endeavour, and this controversy strikes at the heart of that.

      1. ahhh, but this is not an analogy based on malaysia, this is a simple question about which of the 2 you’d like to be your wingman when your life could depend on it ;-)

  40. I’m just stunned by some of the comments here made even by some of the people I have come to respect. Was Vettel right to disobey team orders? Yes, definitely if it is only about the matter of team orders he was absolutely right to disobey them because I HATE them. But what most people seem to be forgetting in their assessment is that both drivers made an agreement with one another and the team before the race. Now what Sebastian has done is something I cannot support; an a agreement needs to be honored no matter what. The fact that he now is retracting his apology makes it even more worse for me now. And still after all of this believe Vettel has become one of the greatest drivers of his time but I will certainly not be cheering him on anytime soon in this decennium or the next!

    1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      11th April 2013, 10:36

      This should be COTD.

  41. “Vettel told reporters including AUTOSPORT in China on Thursday that Webber had not assisted him in the past and was not entitled to the Sepang win.”

    So the “true racer” Vettel is now also the judge who decides who is and who is not entitled to win a race? Very sportsman-like indeed. Thumbs up Seb, you’re doing just fine.

  42. Sparks will fly, from here on. H. Marko already said earlier this week that no team orders will be given in the future. That is just a preemptive hypocritical comment since they know none of the two drivers will obey team orders, from here, on. I will be surprised if MW finishes the season driving for RBR. They will clash and crash and MW will be sacked. Fine by me.

  43. Shahryar Ali
    12th April 2013, 0:06

    He felt sorry for what he did but now he wants to take the pressure off and focus on racing. I wouldn’t have done what he did in Malaysia but i’ll do the same what he is doing now.

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