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2014-04-20 13:26

HO HUM: Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel was not too happy when he was told for the second time to allow team mate Daniel Ricciardo to pass him. Image: MARWAN NAAMANI /AFP

SHANGHAI, China - Formula 1 World champion Sebastian Vettel was not happy on Sunday (April 20 2014) after being told for the second race in a row to let Red Bull team mate Daniel Ricciardo overtake.

Ricciardo finished fourth in the 2014 Chinese GP with quadruple champion Vettel, winner of the final nine races of 2013,fifth.

Vettel sounded reluctant to comply when he received the radio instruction on Lap 24, replying "tough luck".

Ricciardo went past on Lap 27 and ended the race more than 20sec ahead of Vettel with Ferrari's third-placed Fernando Alonso in his sights. Another lap and he might have passed the Spaniard too.


Team boss Christian Horner said of Vettel's response to the team orders: "Obviously he's going to challenge them, he's a racer, he's on the same tyres at that point and the guys want to race each other.

"We were looking at a different strategy for Seb... and then he's obviously moved out of the way and let his team mate through.

"From a team point of view we always want to get the best result we can. Seb's done the right thing for the team today. As he's said very honestly, he's let his team mate through. He (Ricciardo) was quicker today."

Red Bull has had a difficult start to the season but has picked up pace, with Ricciardo starting in China on the front row alongside Mercedes' race winner Lewis Hamilton.

He also finished second on his debut with the team in Australia, although he was excluded from that race after a fuel flow-rate controversy and has looked more at home in the new car with its V6 turbo-hybrid engine.


Vettel, always seen as No.1 at Red Bull when Australian Mark Webber was his team mate (up to the end of 2013), said of Sunday's race: "I think there was no point holding him back.

"He was quite a lot quicker. At that stage we were on different strategies. Once I was told that I decided to let him go. I also had to realise more and more towards the end that I couldn't hold him back."

Vettel famously ignored team orders in Malaysia in 2013 when he was behind Webber, overtaking the Australian to win in an incident that poisoned the atmosphere of their final season together.

The ever-smiling Ricciardo indicated he had barely noticed any controversy over the team instructions.

"I was told about the radio now so I wasn't really aware of it on track," he told TV reporters. "In Turn 1 I had a bit of a look; I don't know if he went deep or gave me a bit of room but I managed to get by after the lap so it wasn't too bad."

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