Red Bull gives up on team orders as Vettel admits he would defy them again

2013 Malaysian Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Shanghai, 2013Christian Horner has confirmed Red Bull will stop using team orders at the end of the race following the row which broke out at the end of the Malaysian Grand Prix.

It came as Sebastian Vettel told reporters he would defy similar instructions again and felt his team mate did not deserve to win the race.

Horner told the BBC the decision was taken by Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz: “I had discussions with Dietrich and we agreed that Red Bull is not a fan of team orders.”

“Therefore we will not impose team orders at the end of a race. However, we expect the drivers to act on the information they have from the team.”

Vettel told reporters he did not immediately understand the order he was given during the race: “Had I understood the message and had I thought about it, reflected on it, thought what the team wanted to do, to leave Mark in first place and me finishing second… I think I would have thought about it and I would probably have done the same thing.”

“He didn’t deserve it,” Vettel continued. “There is quite a conflict, because on the one hand I am the kind of guy who respects team decisions and the other hand, probably Mark is not the one who deserved it at the time.”

“I don’t like to talk ill of other people. It’s not my style. I think I said enough. The bottom line is that I was racing, I was faster, I passed him, I won,” he added.

Vettel said he did not expect it would change how far his team mate went in supporting him because “I never had support from his side.”

“In terms of my relationship with Mark, I respect him a lot as a racing driver but I think there was more than one occasion in the past when he could have helped the team but didn’t.”

Both Red Bull drivers have openly disobeyed team orders in the past: Webber did so at Silverstone in 2011 and there was further friction in Brazil last year when Vettel was campaigning to win the championship title.

Webber said Red Bull choosing not to use team orders would make things “probably easier” in the future.

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282 comments on Red Bull gives up on team orders as Vettel admits he would defy them again

  1. Royal-Spark (@royal-spark) said on 11th April 2013, 14:42

    Bringing back team orders was the biggest mistake. It creates bad racing, tension among teammates and awkward situations like these.

    In a sport where teammates are actively competing against each other they should have every right to, I dunno, maybe COMPETE against one another and not just the other contenders. Team orders in a sport like this will not work. It’s like having an olympic sprinter or long distance runner in an athletics team conceive or hold position for the benefit of his/her fellow countryman to take gold because their manager told them so.

    It’s just incomprehensible!

    I’d rather see team-orders make a leave from F1 rather than Mark or Sebastian heading in that direction. I will not pick sides in this argument. I’d rather seem them RACE instead of bicker about ‘Who was told what’ after they’ve finished a race.

  2. TMF (@tmf42) said on 11th April 2013, 14:47

    Quite a twist – Webber being the guy dodging the confrontation and Vettel seeking it. – just adds to the show, so can’t wait for Saturday / Sunday.

  3. TimmyA (@timmya) said on 11th April 2013, 15:08

    Sry but who is going to want to be Vettel’s Team mate once mark webber leaves cause i can say with certainty no one from the top teams wants to be his team mate cause he is disrespectful.

  4. Lari Telaranta (@mangroove) said on 11th April 2013, 15:14

    This will make a very interesting rest of the season, as neither driver will help the other. Gloves are off.

  5. NathanT said on 11th April 2013, 15:16

    By being a racing driver you are under risk all the time. By being a racing driver means you are racing with other people. And if you no longer go for a gap that exists, you are no longer a racing driver because we are competing, we are competing to win. And the main motivation to all of us is to compete for victory, it’s not to come 3rd, 4th, 5th or 6th. I race to win as long as I feel it’s possible. Sometimes you get it wrong? Sure, it’s impossible to get it right all the time. But I race designed to win, as long as I feel I’m doing it right – Senna ’90

    Get over it, get rid of team orders, LET THEM RACE

  6. Spawinte (@spawinte) said on 11th April 2013, 15:41

    I have no problem with this apart from the fact that he should have come clean like this right after the race. The lack of RB team orders from now on is as it should be. I had to laugh at all the anger directed at Vettel for going in the face of orders when previously team orders were denounced as the worst thing ever. I guess team orders are OK as long as it benefits your favoured driver. So much hypocrisy….

    I still maintain that this controversy is being fuelled by Vettel haters (I’m not a fan either) and the media wanting to stir up drama. I was against team orders in 2010 and I’m still against them now, even if it means my favoured driver loses.

  7. Force Maikel (@force-maikel) said on 11th April 2013, 15:49

    It as I feared; Vettel is being protected by Red Bull. They now know that Webber is not going to give a hoot about driving for them in 2014. So they turn to the driver they most certainly don’t want to lose and cover for his treachery. There most definitely was a pre-race agreement between them and the team. Webber said so himself on the podium, why on earth would he have lied about it then. Red Bulls tweet about there being no such agreement just before the Chinese GP is all but to convenient to be true. Them now turning away form team orders is something all F1 teams should do for the sake of the credibility. But I just can’t get over the fact vettel screwed over his teammate like that. He now knows he can get away with anything so he retracts his apology and throws in some more disrespectful quotes.
    I have said it numerous times Vettel is a great driver who has achieved so much in so little time but he is a lousy champion.

    • There most definitely was a pre-race agreement between them and the team. Webber said so himself on the podium, why on earth would he have lied about it then.

      Yeah, why on Earth would Webber lie about that? That’s a real head-scratcher right there. What could be the reason ….

  8. The Blade Runner (@thebladerunner) said on 11th April 2013, 15:53

    Kimi to Red Bull next season, head-to-head with Vettel. If the finger wagging German comes out on top then my increasingly intense dislike of him might just morph into begrudging respect. Until then…

    • Roberto (@roberto) said on 12th April 2013, 5:10

      Even then, I think the urge to find a reason for his “winning” will be strong in you I suspect (be it the team favouring him or Kimi not liking the car).. the Vettel hate is a strong force my friend lol..

  9. Timothy Katz (@timothykatz) said on 11th April 2013, 15:55

    Oh how I wil laugh, chortle, chuckle and guffaw if the Red Bull boys race each other from China onwards to the end of the season, use up all their engines and gearboxes, take grid penalties and then lose titles as a result.
    This is where the continued use of racing components (engines, gearboxes) required by the rules meets naked ambition head on.

    • Mads (@mads) said on 11th April 2013, 16:13

      @timothykatz
      Since when has racing your team mate worn engines more then racing.. anyone else?
      The teams and drivers know the limits of the engine and gearbox and they will make sure to make the equipment last regardless of who they are racing. A racing driver don’t just forget fuel, tyres, engine or gearbox when they race each other. They are actually able to think about what they do and why.

      • Timothy Katz (@timothykatz) said on 11th April 2013, 17:24

        . . . when both RBR’s are way out in front and not having to race any other team. If they were not going to be racing *each other*, they could afford to turn the performance down and save the strain on the engines. But as they will be racing *each other*, the team will not have that luxury.

    • Churaragi (@churaragi) said on 11th April 2013, 16:15

      You are pretty deluded if you think the 2 drivers competing against each other will have any impact on reliability.

      Red Bull has shown and is constantly saying that for them the constructors championship is VERY important. Which means they need to finish well in every race regardless of the drivers championship. Which means you wont be seeing RBs getting DNFs just because they are not using team orders anymore. That is just silly.

      The team needs the drivers to finish well every race, and obviously so do the drivers themselves otherwise they can’t win the championship. So they will act accordingly regardless of team orders.

      • Timothy Katz (@timothykatz) said on 11th April 2013, 17:29

        See my reply to Mads (above).
        “The team needs the drivers to finish well every race . . .” but if the drivers within the team are fighting each other, the team will not have the luxury of conserving the cars when they are in a ‘Multi21′ or ‘Multi12′ situation.

  10. DaveW (@dmw) said on 11th April 2013, 15:58

    The title appears to draw one conclusion from a series of contradictory statements by the team and by Vettel. It’s not clear to me that Vettel has any intention of defying team orders again. And its not clear that Horner has any intention of stopping giving them, whatever the big boss man said.

    If RBR were to completely abandom “team orders,” it would be to the benefit of competitors, who could be sure that RBR would never be able to manage a marginal situation with tires or fuel if the cars are running close together. You will have too real men standing on the side of the track out of fuel while, say two Mercedes or Ferraris coast home to a 1/2. I will rate that race a 9, for the extra laffs.

  11. Vettel after the race: it’s not a victory I’m very proud of because it should have been Mark’s

    Vettel 3 weeks later: He didn’t deserve it … Mark is not the one who deserved it at the time

    Gotta love the spine he has.

    • Makana (@makana) said on 11th April 2013, 17:17

      He clearly didn’t know all the facts. He could’ve found out that Webber had to tune the engine down as he used more fuel during the race, and that makes him unworthy of staying up front. The fact is that after the race Mark went all out and gained sympathy in the direct aftermath; but after looking at the facts – and today – he was pretty “happy” with the way the situation was handled. While Seb did the opposite; tried to contain the incident after the race and after three weeks moved clear with a determined decision: Mark did not deserve it, the team screwed up.

      Had Mark not made such a big fuss and came back the next day with his “raw emotions” bundled with race facts, I am sure he would have said many different things. And the “no ********” Aussie said today no team orders would make things easier… pointing to the fact that the TEAM (aka Horner) created this mess and while he relied on the team for a victory, Seb defied it for a victory of his own.

      He also said he reflected on past incidents and some were “negative some were positive” so he recognizes in past incidents he was to blame also… So all in all neither Mark or Seb were to blame for the Malaysian drama, it was team orders at this stage that were ridiculous; we want to see a fight, a clean fight where Seb and Mark respect each other. Why Seb is the villain in all this is still what boggles me.

    • Jono (@me262) said on 12th April 2013, 0:56

      Vettel after the race: it’s not a victory I’m very proud of because it should have been Mark’s

      Vettel 3 weeks later: He didn’t deserve it … Mark is not the one who deserved it at the time

      Gotta love the spine he has.

      he dosent need a spine, Marko has his back (pun intended)

  12. karter22 (@karter22) said on 11th April 2013, 16:11

    Well I for one feel happy about SV making these type of comments! It´s excellent news for Ferrari. It just goes to show what a “team player” this guy is! This certainly earned him points with the guys at Maranello! XD

    • Guilherme (@guilherme) said on 11th April 2013, 17:41

      @karter22 Yeah, because the team that has won 10 races in the past four years is soooo worthy of having Sebastian.

      What’s with all this entitlement Ferrari and Ferrari fans have where the best drivers shall race for them by default?

    • @karter22 – quite frankly I don’t think he gives a toss about what Ferrari think of him: he’s made it quite clear he’s happy at Red Bull and why wouldn’t he be since they’ve been the better team of the two these past four years?

    • karter22 (@karter22) said on 11th April 2013, 19:12

      @guilherme , @vettel1 . @aka_robyn

      Well, if you all feel that way, why then did Domenically and Luca hint not to long ago that there were approches from the SV camp lobbying for him to go to Maranello?? hahahaha. Say what you will but the boy was yearning to go to Ferrari.
      It doesn´t matter if Ferrari have only won 10 races in the last 4 years, everybody has and will always dream of driving for Ferrari wether you guys like it or not.
      IMHO, I hope that SV never gets to drive a red car but that will most likely never happen. As soon as Fernando retires, you´ll see SV jumping ship to Ferrari as well as Newey!
      And all of you are right! He should stay at RBR (fad team of the moment) since he´s just wining so much! Why would he ever want to leave? You guys are right!

      Just remember one thing, F1 is all about cycles as in every sport. Sooner rather than later, RBR´s cycle will end just as FC Barcelona´s cycle should come to an end. Just give it time.

      • Say what you will but the boy was yearning to go to Ferrari.

        Yes, I think he’s had a desire, at least on some level, to drive for Ferrari ever since he was a kid and Michael Schumacher was his idol. People grow up, things change, and I think most people would agree that a move like that anytime soon wouldn’t make a lot of sense for him. Yes, of course that could change in the future. At the moment, though, I think (a) he’s probably not losing much sleep over what Ferrari management thinks of him and (b) recent events have probably made less of an impression on Ferrari management than you imagine.

      • @karter22 – I think they were just media rumours really and an attempt to destabilise Red Bull.

        Of course he may want to drive with them in the future if they become more competitive, but I don’t think he’s giving it much thought currently!

        • karter22 (@karter22) said on 11th April 2013, 19:40

          @vettel1

          I think they were just media rumours really and an attempt to destabilise Red Bull.

          Doubt it, @keithcollantine covered it somewhere here in the site. There was a story on it here. Too bad I do not know how to search for articles here.
          They were not rumors though, and it makes sense since it was while Felipe´s future was still uncertain. Once Felipe was confirmed, a few months later the article came out, it was near the end of last season if I recall correctly. It was also around the time before Mark signed for RBR.
          Definitely not rumors! That is why Luca came out with the whole 2 roosters in the hen house thing!

          • @karter22 – I thought they were genuine initially also, but then Vettel came out and said he’s not interested and is staying with Red Bull until at least the end of 2014, so I kind of changed my perspective after that.

          • @vettel1 I think he’s genuinely happy where he is right now (well, for the most part…), but I do have a feeling that sometime after Alonso retires, he’ll leave RBR for Ferrari.

          • karter22 (@karter22) said on 11th April 2013, 20:19

            @vettel1

            I thought they were genuine initially also, but then Vettel came out and said he’s not interested

            Well Max, I guess that´s what one does when he/she gets turned down.
            It´s like if you´re courting a fine looking redhead, and she shoots you down. Of course you´re gonna say that to save face in front of your mates right? ;) At least I´ve done it once in a while when a lady has done that to me. I say ***k her in front of my mates but deep inside I would hurt, I just don´t let it show!

            @aka_robyn

            I do have a feeling that sometime after Alonso retires, he’ll leave RBR for Ferrari.

            Exactly! It´s inevitable! It will happen and I´m at a crossroad with this, because I truly hate Vettel but love Ferrari so it´s really hard to admit this.
            I just wonder if all the RBR/SV fans will change their tune about Ferrari when it happens though XD

          • @karter22 that’s assuming there was something in the works in the first place though, which I’m not so sure of!

            I just wonder if all the RBR/SV fans will change their tune about Ferrari when it happens though

            Well actually I don’t really hate Ferrari that much: I don’t like them, but it’s hard to ignore against the fact they are the greatest team in F1 history. It’s just Alonso I have a strong detest for, and since Ferrari is linked to him I don’t like Ferrari currently!

            I do feel though that Vettel is inevitably not going to see his career out at Red Bull, so Ferrari is a very likely proposition.

          • @karter22 Well, as a militant Vettel fan, I can tell you I’ll suddenly be wearing a lot more red when that happens. ;-)

          • karter22 (@karter22) said on 11th April 2013, 21:04

            @aka_robyn
            LOL!

            @vettel1

            I don’t really hate Ferrari that much: I don’t like them, but it’s hard to ignore against the fact they are the greatest team in F1 history

            That is what makes them the team that everyone loves to hate! ;)

            @aka_robyn
            Lol, might as wel start buying some red just so get used to the idea!

  13. nivek252 (@nivek252) said on 11th April 2013, 16:20

    Vettel said he did not expect it would change how far his team mate went in supporting him because “I never had support from his side.”

    Silverstone 2011 Mark held position in second, Silverstone 2010 handed over his front wing. If thats not support from his side i’m not sure what is.

  14. Here’s the deal – Dietrich Mateschitz, the man who owns the company, is against team orders. Horner and perhaps Newey, favor them. So we’ve seen Red Bull “officially” claim many times in the past that they don’t do team orders while in fact they at least attempt to have them. This is called “hypocrisy” by some people but its really not – its the team owner and the team manager being at cross-purposes.

    Incidentally Mateschitz is also mates with Webber, which explains why Webber has been able to defy team orders with impunity for several years.

    It is not Vettel or Webber undermining Horner and making him look weak – the man doing that is Mateschitz.

  15. Horner told the BBC the decision was taken by Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz: “I had discussions with Dietrich and we agreed that Red Bull is not a fan of team orders.”

    That’s not actually a new development though. Mateschitz has always been against team orders – the reason why RB were going through that silly “multi21″ coded nonsense was presumably so they could do one thing while telling the boss they were doing another. I’m sure that the “discussion” involved Mateschitz giving an order and Horner saying “Yes sir!”.

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