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

2013 Malaysian Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

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”

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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

    1. 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 ….

  3. 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…

    1. 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..

  4. 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.

    1. @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.

      1. . . . 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.

    2. 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.

      1. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

    1. 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.

    2. 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)

      1. Why wouldn’t he.. the 3 championships speak for themselves..

  7. 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

    1. @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?

    2. @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?

      1. @guilherme @vettel1 Right? Oh, what a terrible tragedy it would be if Vettel had no choice but to stay at RBR and continue to win championships. ;__;

        1. @aka_robyn – exactly, he’d much rather drive a worse car and lose out on championships just to please a few Internet bloggers! After all, isn’t that all that matters: being a god in a bad car? ;)

    3. @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.

      1. 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.

      2. @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!

        1. @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!

          1. @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.

          2. @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.

          3. @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

          4. @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.

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

          6. @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!

  8. 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.

    1. Silverstone 2011 Mark held position in second

      Comical stuff.

    2. Silverstone 2010 handed over his front wing

      Even more comical. As if it was Webber’s choice to support his team-mate there.

    3. At Silverstone 2010, after testing them, Mark was happier with the old wing, Seb was happier with the new wing, that’s why they gave it to Seb.

    4. I actually cracked up at this.. thanks for the laugh!

  9. 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.

  10. 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!”.

  11. To be fair I have more respect for this version of Sebastian than the other. I’d rather he man up. And that is what the public want to see. If this gives us a decent rivalry to follow in the races to come than so be it. It is no less than what we want to witness.

    I think more teams should leave it at this. The whole point of getting two good drivers is to have both of them competing to win and not come 2nd. And if this does not spur Mark on to win and compete harder then I should say he needs to reconsider his future.

    1. TBH I’d have rather seen Kimi, Hulk or Hamilton in Webbers place this year. All Webber has done is made a massive mess within the team and created a crappy environment to work in. He hasn’t been able to challenge Vettel for the title since 2010 (where he himself fluffed it) and I can’t see him doing it this year either. All that is going to happen is him flouting his “unfair treatment” and then playing second fiddle due to his inability to be consistent and grind out results.

  12. Team orders are wrong, at least at this stage of the WDC, Vettel is faster than Webber. Webber never backed Vettel. The End!

    1. I’ve got to love this drama as this has been going on for weeks. Besides that Vettel driving the faster car, as from the resources that have explained in this forum pointed out that a lot of things crucially happened, and its not just the car. The fuel, the tyres, and the engine modes are one of them, which may resulted to the probability that they both followed orders but due to Vettel’s strategy, gave him the better advantage to finish the race.

      Of course I agree with you that Webber never backed him. In the end Vettel was faster and better equipped to finish first. The End!.

      LoL

  13. The tittle should actually read like this:

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

    1. @olivier
      As if Webber obeyed team orders…

      1. He may not but he’s expected to (at least by Vettel)

        1. And Webber didn’t expect the same thing when he showed him the finger?

  14. “on the one hand I am the kind of guy who respects team decisions…”

    Made me chuckle.

  15. No one ever ‘deserves’ to win, this is a sport, not a charity.

    They ought to have to fight for it but also respect their peers and employers. Anyone who believes Webber, or Vettel for that matter ‘deserved’ that win clearly doesn’t get competition.

    1. Agree, you have to earned it

  16. Have you guys seen Webber’s new haircut? He looks like a giant GI Joe doll LOL Maybe he’s going to shave his head totally and take a vow of celibacy until he can once again defeat the evil Seb! :-)

  17. Vettel was brilliant on his comments. People whine about team orders all the time and when onde driver ignores them he is wrong? Haha ludicrous. Vettel is right, and that’s great, now we will see if Mark can do something about it.

    1. People whine about team orders all the time and when one driver ignores them he is wrong?

      1. I whine about team orders – I hate them.
      2. But unfortunately we do have them, and so I believe in acting professionally and respecting your team boss if he gives an order.

      Does that explain ‘the whining’ for you?

      It’s the team bosses that are doing the wrong here.

  18. I admired Vettel’s skill as a driver and the achievment of winning three titles is quite something. As an individual I always thought he was funny and had time for the media and fans. I was not his greatest fan.
    I’m not sure that Mark Webber has the same skill but he’s a good guy, calls it the way he sees it and has demonstrated plenty of times that he is a team player. He was right to be ****** off in Malaysia.
    The bottom line is everyone is a member of the team and gets paid by the team. He was given an order and it seemed pretty clear to me and we only got a part of it – I don’t believe Vettel misunderstood.
    After the statements that Vettel has made today about doing the same thing again and not respecting team orders – he would not drive for me again, not in China or anywhere else!

    1. Is anyone forgetting that the TEAM could be wrong! What is the team was wrong, or is this a military outfit in which you act then object. Absolutely ridiculous reasoning!!! The team WAS wrong and the soldier defied the order, rightfully so.

    2. I’m not sure that Mark Webber has the same skill but he’s a good guy

      A good guy would back his teammate in the final race of a Championship deciding season. Webber is a two faced hypocrite IMO..

  19. hmm I wonder if Red bull will win the constructors champship now that both their drivers aren’t going to listen since they are too much of bunch of wimps to tell both their drivers whose boss. Cause if they wreck each other a couple of times thats points gone or mark webber doesn’t feel like racing his hardest a few times that some more points. Yet another example what if once mark realizes some where in the season he can’t win and starts to just try to sabotage seb. All Thoughts that redbull it seems redbull never thought about when they didn’t punish seb, like lets say docking him 1mil in pay or something stupid to show him that they pay him. Cause I will almost bet anything webber isn’t listening to anything especially if it helps seb.

    1. Nothing is going to change, because Mark already wasn’t listening to help Seb.

    2. what if once mark realizes some where in the season he can’t win and starts to just try to sabotage seb

      Like last season, you mean?

      I will almost bet anything webber isn’t listening to anything especially if it helps seb.

      Like last season, you mean?

      If five laps from the end of the Chinese GP the order is 1) Webber 2) Alonso 3) Vettel, is Webber really going to move over and let Alonso past? Really? I don’t believe that for an instant, but if he did that he’d be replaced by the next race. And short of doing stuff like that it is hard to see how Webber can be any less cooperative a teammate than he was last year.

  20. http://www.formula1.com/news/interviews/2013/4/14434.html

    I don’t know how people can misread this interview as him being an arrogant brat. My goodness! It’s incredible!

    1. Nothing surprises me anymore…

    2. “…get him out of the way” might have something to do with it. It’s similar to the “this is ridiculous” comments by Alonso.

      Vettel is a superb driver, and he’s certainly no arrogant brat… however, I think the above quote highlights why people have taken a dislike to him.

      1. No, it explains that people are trying to find REASONS to dislike him. I’m sure whatever driver they support has told this to their team 100 times over.. but it’s Vettel so “Open Fire” right?

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