Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel has caused controversy at this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix after ignoring his team’s instructions to maintain formation and allow his partner Mark Webber to drive home to victory.
Webber led the race after the final pit stops and the drivers were told to hold position to the end of the race but Vettel passed Webber with only thirteen laps remaining. Britain’s Lewis Hamilton finished third ahead of his Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg, who followed the instruction of his team to remain behind the former World Champion.
Vettel has apologised for the situation saying he did not hear the instruction but it hasn’t eased tensions in the Red Bull camp angering both his team and his fellow driver Mark Webber who was supposed to win the race. The decision was made to keep Webber up front late into the race but Vettel went into business for himself needlessly challenging for first position.
Webber made no attempts top hide his frustration when interviewed by the BBC at the podium:
“After the last stop the team told me the race was over and we turned the engines down and go to the end. The team made their decision. Seb made his own decision and he will have protection as usual.”
Webber was of course referring to the fact that Vittel is the favoured driver of Red Bull’s Super Chief Helmut Marko and is likely not going to be reprimanded for his actions.
The self-serving result puts Vittel at the top of the Driver’s Championship ahead of Kimi Raikkonen with Webber trailing behind by 5 points with Hamilton in fourth. Although Red Bull have been quick to downplay any animosity between it’s drivers rumours are already circulating that Webber is looking to leave the team as soon as possible. It should be interesting to see how this affects the remainder of the season.
How do you feel about what Vittel did? Do you think it makes Formula 1 more interesting when driver’s take it upon themselves to win or do you think they should follow orders and manufacture the end results as they see fit? Have your say below.
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This article was first posted on March 25, 2013