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Vettel: 'Webber should have won'

2013-03-24 13:02

SEPANG, Malaysia - World champion Sebastian Vettel incensed Red Bull team mate Mark Webber as he pulled off a risky overtaking move to snatch victory in contentious Malaysian Grand Prix.

Vettel went wheel-to-wheel with Webber late in the race, earning a stern rebuke from team principal Christian Horner, before emerging in front and taking his 27th race win.

Former world title-holder Lewis Hamilton was third, claiming his first podium spot for new team Mercedes, after his frustrated stablemate Nico Rosberg was ordered not to overtake as they duelled in the closing stages.

'I'M NOT ENTIRELY HAPPY'


Ferrari's Felipe Massa finished fifth, stealing the limelight from Fernando Alonso after the two-time world champion went out on the second lap with a collapsed front wing.

Romain Grosjean was sixth, outshining his Lotus team-mate and last week's winner Kimi Raikkonen in seventh, with Nico Hulkenberg, Sergio Perez and Jean-Eric Vergne rounding out the top 10. McLaren's Jenson Button was a late retirement.

Webber and Vettel exchanged words in the team garage and the Australian was stony-faced during the victory ceremony, spraying little of the customary champagne.

Later, Vettel offered a profuse apology to his team mate. Both drivers had been told by their team to hold their positions until the end of the race.

Vettel said: "I'm not entirely happy, I think I did a big mistake. We should have stayed in the positions that we were in. I didn't ignore it on purpose but I messed up in that situation and obviously took the lead from Mark.

"I can see now that he's upset. I want to be honest at least and stick to the truth. I know that doesn't really help his feelings right now."

 "Apologies to Mark. The result is there and all I can say is that I didn't do it deliberately. Mark should have won".

'I TURNED THE ENGINE DOWN'

Webber commented: "Basically, I got myself into position where we were controlling the race," Webber said. "Had a pretty good situation. I was ready for a sprint to the end and the team rang up and said, 'the race pressure is off, look after the tires. Don't fight each other.' I turned the engine down."

A heavy tropical shower in the hour before the race greased up the track to such an extent that several cars including Webber's slid off in the pre-formation drive.

Massa dropped back off second place and Alonso damaged his front wing on the Red Bull of pole-sitter Vettel at an otherwise ultra-careful start.

Disaster struck Alonso when the wing folded under his front wheels as he duelled with Webber on lap two, leaving him sliding helplessly out.

Webber moved into the lead when Vettel pitted for medium tyres on lap six, quickly followed by Massa, and the Australian remained there after his team told him "stay out, it's too wet". He finally switched tyres on lap nine.

HAMILTON'S PIT FAUX PAS

Hamilton provided a moment of hilarity when he briefly pitted in the garage of his ex-team McLaren, before being waved on to the Mercedes crew by his bemused former colleagues.

Caterham's Charles Pic lost his front wing in a pitlane collision with Toro Rosso driver Jean-Eric Vergne, and Pastor Maldonado ploughed into a gravel trap on lap 14.

Webber regained a short-margin lead from Vettel after their second pitstops and the two Red Bulls battled with each other, with Hamilton close on the current world champion's tail, as the 56-lap race reached halfway.

Hamilton nearly clipped Vettel as he came in for his third stop and as he was soon followed by the other leaders, Button was briefly first before a botched pit stop, when an unsecured front wheel effectively ended his challenge.

Webber was now back in front and Vettel used his DRS to fire past Hamilton and re-form the Red Bull one-two on lap 39, ahead of the Briton and his Mercedes team-mate Rosberg.

'NOT THE BEST FEELING'

Webber then pitted after Vettel for his fourth and final stop and he managed to regain just in front of his team-mate as they raced neck and neck on lap 44.

Vettel threw caution to the wind as he tried to take Webber down the home straight, driving perilously close to the barriers and finally going in front after some hair-raising action around several turns.

"This is silly Sebastien," barked team boss Christian Horner over the team radio, as Vettel led with 10 laps remaining.

Hamilton was defending third from Rosberg, who complained he could go faster than the 2008 world champion -- but was also told to rein it in by team principal Ross Brawn. "Please look after the cars," Brawn pleaded.

Afterwards, Hamilton admitted he didn't feel "spectacular" to be on the podium rather than his team mate Rosberg. "It isn't the best feeling to be up here," he said during the victory ceremony.

AP

Comments
  • Phoenixx - 2013-03-24 13:51

    Hmmmm I totally lost respect for Vettel today.

      Johan Pretorius - 2013-03-24 19:13

      Completely disagree. There is a reason why certain drivers in F1 never win a championship, while others do. Nothing against Webber, he is good, but Vettel is better and has a stronger will to win. Team orders are just an “acceptable” term for match fixing. Rosberg is the one that really lost out today. He should have ignored the orders and passed Hamilton as it would have resulted in “racing” instead of the “farce” during their last couple of laps. Yes, a pass could have resulted in a crash, but at least it would have been genuine. Kudos to Vettel. It’s great to know that there are still some “drivers” left in F1.

      Gary Bhengu - 2013-03-24 19:53

      That Vettel is a ruthless driver ,

      Werner Pagels - 2013-03-24 20:28

      Well said Johan, could not agree more. In cricket any form of "team order" would be called match fixing and result in a life long ban. Let the best man win, that is what the public deserves. Any pre-determined outcome is nothing but match fixing!! All those calling for team orders are no better than bookmakers in for the kill...

      Bertus Horn - 2013-03-24 20:53

      What is the use o hosing a 56(FIFTY SIX) lap race if you only race for 42 laps?????????????????????????

      Warren van Wyk - 2013-03-24 22:29

      @ Bertus: Why call it a race at all when all we're seeing is tyre conservation?

      Sipho Marete - 2013-03-25 07:24

      He's becoming a cheat like his compatriot, Shumacher. Scoring points and winning in an unsporting manner. I'm getting to dislike him.

      Christopher Tarboton - 2013-03-25 08:15

      I dont see it as racing when the one driver has been told to turn his engine down and relax the race pressure is off and the other then takes advantage of that. Thats not racibng at all. Its a win by any other means and he is an arrogant SOB that needs to be taken down a peg or two.

      archmichael - 2013-03-25 16:29

      Silverstone 2011.

  • Mohamed Faheem Sader - 2013-03-24 14:02

    A thousand apologies cannot undo this, he fully knew what he was doing. This is obviously the team trying to limit damage

  • Willem Vd Hoven - 2013-03-24 15:23

    Fire him.. if you have the guts.

      Jackie Dee - 2013-03-24 15:40

      Vettel, was racing not cruising, he took advantage, Mark was being molly coddled to win.

  • Kwashic - 2013-03-24 17:04

    Team orders suck... these guys should be able to dice without wrecking the cars. Scripted!

      Sipho Marete - 2013-03-25 07:29

      Team orders have a purpose and must be obeyed. The drivers agree to this upon signing a contract. So, race according to the rules. Not every man for himself.

      Erik Poncho's Van Wyk - 2013-03-25 09:39

      Sipho if thats the case what is the use of a Driver Championship then? To me orders like that is a slap in the face of the driver.

  • Jannie Kroese - 2013-03-24 17:26

    Bull. Vettel raced and won. That what we want to see. Well done Seb.

  • Johan Kruger - 2013-03-24 19:43

    Racing is racing. There is a construvtors title and a drivers title and each driver should balance this out. Webber backed Verttel into the two Mercedeses and then pulled away. He had his own race strategy to throw Vettel to the competition. Vettel was frustarted by Webber's slow pace during the race and Webber is now using the team principal to make Vettel the bad boy. Step up your driving, Webber and stop making excuses.

  • Sandor Lajos Varga - 2013-03-24 20:24

    Another german jackar*e...

      Werner Pagels - 2013-03-24 21:08

      Hate the Germans or not, it's called culture. Grow up and challenge rather than expect the Alpha's to lower their standardsn to your....Nothing in life is for free. If you want it, fight for it, otherwise be content with second place! There are do-ers and talk-ers, that's why some people are simply born losers and the "German Jackar*es" will naturally be your superiors! Get rid of that chip on your shoulder, jealousy will not get you anywhere. Don't cry if you back a loosing horse ;-)

      Justin Rose - 2013-03-25 00:31

      Slagging nation slicker are not really on. The germans invented/discovered the combustion engine,the first jet, rocket, nuclear energy, magnetic levitation.... So you are entilted to your opinion, but what has your nation done - fkall

  • Bertus Horn - 2013-03-24 21:02

    Suggestion to FIA - Why don't they half the race distance of all events???? That way MARK WEBBER and Lewis Hamilton won't have to rely on TEAM ORDERS to achieve anything. Just brown nose to the bossboy and you are on your way to glory. Watch out SEB, the bossboy will have you disqualified the next time you dare overtake MARK WEBBER!!!!

      Werner Pagels - 2013-03-24 21:19

      ... loosers will be winners, viewers wil be loosers.

  • Werner Pagels - 2013-03-24 21:49

    .. should have won? well, he didn't, Vettel did!! wish the same would apply throughout the rules of national economics and would supersede those of corruption. At least Vettel did not succumb to corruption and will try his utmost to n!

  • Wally Williams - 2013-03-24 22:17

    I honestly cannot understand this furore over proper racing. When it was clear Rosberg had the upper hand you make sure he gets in front of his team mate. Why should he be ordered to stay behind because of another racer's poor strategy? It would still be a 3rd and 4th but with honesty built into it. Same applies to Red Bull...Webber tuned down his engine? I doubt that very much! Have a look at the pace down the straight before the last corner; then Webber's pace down the main straight where Vettel used DRS to pass and got squashed against the wall...or didn't you see the Webber car push inwards? Webber gives him the lead through turn 2 and 3 and Vettel has to masterly and courageously fight into first place! Turned down engine...no way. This made me feel sick to my stomach today!! Vettel deserved the win...Rosberg deserved to be third but although he protested, he decided to be obedient. What a shame.

      Louis Venter - 2013-03-25 07:20

      Wally your reasons are 100% valid and true. When one remembers that this is how it happened and the situation was at that stage in the race then there can be no doubt Vettel definitely deserved to win. Great comment

  • Justin Rose - 2013-03-25 00:23

    “If you no longer go for a gap that exists, then you are no longer a racing driver” Ayrton Senna Schumi, Mika, Fernando, SV, Prost had it - MW doesn't. RB TEAM SHOULD HAVE A CLEAR #1 and communicate it as such Webber is full of it as well. He only came out 0.2 in front of vettel after last stop. So when was he cruising, like he claims? The team order thing mus have happened before the race and so if you were within even 1s of a win would you not try for a couple of laps, which SV did, its in his DNA. After SV passed, did MW try to get back? no he gave up - No Killer instinct. People should welcome this it is the evolution of F1, this causes friction, SV leaves to go to Ferrari or Mclaren, at the end of the year. RB despite having a great car will be less without him, then other teams will come up. It's the circle of life.

  • grant.henry1 - 2013-03-25 08:00

    Oh yes how quick we forget, when ferrari did this a couple of years back when ferraei asked michael team mate to slow down so michael could win everybody blew a casket saying team orders should be stopped. Even our commentators Sasha, Vic and Gary said it was wrong and team orders shouldnt be allowed. How things have changed now those same commentators said after the yesturdays race that Vetal should have listened to the team and team orders has been around for years, since the fifties. How there mind set has change. Guys thats racing, honstly who wants to see a race were they cruise to the end because they have to save tires or fuel. People pay alot of money to go to these race tracks and see a fight to the end not to see them cruise to the end, personally thats a rip off to see cars cruisinf to Ithe end.

      Phoenixx - 2013-03-25 08:10

      At that point team orders were illegal. In the current season; they are legal.

  • Jean Rossouw - 2013-03-25 08:32

    Isn't that FIXING!!!

      Cobus Fenwick - 2013-03-25 13:39

      It is a pitty, but it is and it is a shame aswell.

  • Erik Poncho's Van Wyk - 2013-03-25 09:31

    This is why I stopped watching F1 in the first place. No driver deserves to be favored to any other driver. They all worked hard to be there and each deserve a chance to win. This has become such a panzy sport.

  • Kwashic - 2013-03-25 09:36

    all this banter about match fixing... no its not the same... this is more akin to passing the ball to your team mate in front of an open goal mouth... but not as innocent since the drivers are competitors. You still have to understand it from a team perspective though. Why lose both drivers when you can bring both home? After all the rules of F1 force them to do this... they need to preserve their engines for more races so why waste them fighting it out among themselves? The drive that got to the home run first should keep it, though they should also have allowed Hamilton to make the call and allow Nico to pass without drama. Seems he would have accepted that. They should in future say the driver who gets to the last few laps in the lead without challenges from other teams)should be the one to benefit, but should make it his call to take one for the team. Also depending on championship points standings.

  • Kwashic - 2013-03-25 09:45

    all in all.... blame the rules of F1 and the rubbish tyres. In the end the team principals also want the best for the team as a whole and not one man's glory!

      Cobus Fenwick - 2013-03-25 13:41

      Your statement = making more money and compensate for the Sport. Is that right?

  • Sameer Baijnath - 2013-03-25 11:43

    When all is done and dusted at the end of the season we will see a very similar trend, Vettel will be fighting for the WDC while Mark will be struggling to finish the season in the top 5 with the same car, a Chamionship winning car, similar to the case of Schumi and Rubens. While Mark and Rubens may have had their exceptional once off performances, that is exactly what they were while champions perform at that level relentlessly, once you get there you dont want to settle for 2nd. Everyone complained about team orders at Ferrari, why because Schumi turned F1 on its head, and the only way they could stop him and Ferrari from winning was to change F1 completely. Alonso was also assisted by Fisi to win both his WDC titles, as was Hill, Hamilton and of course Button (Rubens once again on the receiving end). The British drivers are all one hit wonders, flukes. When its British then its all good, wonder what the commentators would have said if it was Schumi in Lewis' s car and Rosberg wasn't allowed to overtake - Hmmmmm. Well the stats speak for them selves, Schumi 7 WDC, Senna 3 WDC, Vettel 3WDC and counting, Alonso 2 WDC and counting. 2008 Vettel 8th TR, Webber 11th RB, Coulthard 16th RB 2009 Vettel 2nd 9 points behind, Webber 4th 14 behind Vettel 2010 Webber 3rd could have won WDC if he drove like a Champ, instead Vettel rose up take the crown when the chips were down against all odds 2011 Webber 3rd 134 points behind, 2012 Webber 6th 102 points behind

      Cobus Fenwick - 2013-03-25 13:46

      Well said Sameer.

  • Francois Naude - 2013-03-25 12:02

    F1 is about racing. The best man wins the race. The fans pay to see cars race against one another .. not to see them ride in a procession of which the team management decides the order.

  • Peter Woods - 2013-03-25 12:03

    I don't know why Vettel has apologised to Webber when Webber was clearly holding him up. Team orders is a lot of baloney and neither Vettel nor Rossberg should have had to hang back for the likes of Webber and Hamilton, who have yet to prove themselves as the senior driver in both teams. Clearly Webber is a typical Aussie sore loser and if he wants to leave Red Bull Racing and F1, then good riddance. He is past his prime and only enjoys his standings in F1 due to the superior performance of his team. Give any other driver in F1 his seat and they will produce the same, if not more.

      Martie Smit Mulder - 2013-03-25 13:25

      Match fixing. Simple politics in sport makes it laughable Support Peter fully

      Cobus Fenwick - 2013-03-25 13:50

      @Peter: Please don't give his seat to Michael Schumacher, for Vettel would be ruined by Teamorders!!!!!!!!!OR Do that and see what Vettel is really made of?

  • Sameer Baijnath - 2013-03-25 14:28

    Webber should rebel by threatening to leave if Vettel is not fired from the team - wonder how that would play out. Nice knowing you mate - Bye. Vettel has literally given Redbull Wings since joining, they could never have dreamt of being in this position before he joined and took them to new heights. Webber has still not gotten over letting the 2010 championship slip through his fingers, it was there for the taking and he blames Vettel for stealing all "His" glory, you can see the resentment and envy even prior to this race, it just boiled over.

      archmichael - 2013-03-25 17:25

      Yeah, they should have let Webber go ages ago. His jealous rage fits and "vloer moer" tantrums is not helping the team at all. Even when he wins he still has the audacity to turn around and say "Not bad for a number 2" (Silverstone 2010 wasn't it?) etc etc. Always crying about something, his jealousy and his general lack of talent is starting to irritate me. A step forward for redbull would consist of letting Mark retire with the bit of dignity he has. Get a young gun in, think about the future.

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