Webber, Vettel partnership doomed?

2013-03-27 07:41

Feuding team mates Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel will not stay together at Red Bull after the 2013 Formula 1 season, according to former Renault boss Flavio Briatore.

Briatore, who has been part of Webber's management throughout his grand prix career, said he had spoken to Webber after the 2013 Malaysian Grand Prix.

He said Webber was still furious with triple world champion Vettel winning at Sepang after ignoring team orders and overtaking him in the closing laps.


Briatore:"I don't think the relationship can be sewn together again."

Asked if he expected one of the two to leave the team at the end of 2013, the Briatore replied: "For sure. Last year already there were problems."

Webber is out of contract at the end of the season while Vettel is tied to Red Bull until at least the end of 2014.

He and Vettel have had several flare-ups since the start of their pairing in 2009, including a collision at the 2010 Turkish Grand Prix that cost Webber a victory and sent Vettel out of the race.

Webber has long maintained that the team favours Vettel, despite their insistence that the two have equal status.


Briatore said Malaysia had showed that Vettel was in charge at Red Bull, rather than team principal Christian Horner. Webber's father Alan calmed speculation that his son could stay away from the third round of the championship in China on April 14.

Alan said: "We'll be up in China for the next one. I think it will take a while (for Vettel) to earn the respect and trust again."

Vettel apologised to Webber after taking his 27th grand prix win and recognised he had made a mistake in going against the team instructions.

Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, who is close to 25-year-old Vettel, criticised Red Bull for causing the controversy.

Ecclestone said: "At this stage of the championship, I do not believe there should be any team orders. It does not matter who it is. Maybe there will be a stage when he (Vettel) would like Mark to help him, but I don't think Mark is going to come up front and do it.


  • RM Elegant - 2013-03-27 08:39

    Okay I'm officially confused now. Did Red Bull tell Webber to slow down only for Vettel to disobey the team and overtake him, or was Vettel simply too fast for Webber?? If it's the former, then Vettel has issues, if it's the latter then boo-hoo Webber, learn to drive faster

      Phoenixx - 2013-03-27 08:58

      It is simple, RB told BOTH drivers to turn their engines down towards the end of the race to conserve the engines for future races. At that point Webber was way ahead of Vettel and had won the race as far as RB was concerned. They wanted the engines turned down to give RB and their drivers the best chance to win the ENTIRE championship - versus just one race. Vettel overtook under these conditions, first lied about it and then apologised profusely and said that Webber should have won. He is reminding me more and more of the type of stunts Schumacher used to pull; and this incident has caused him to lose MANY supporters.

      Cobus Fenwick - 2013-03-27 10:43

      @Phoenixx: You are reminding me of people that still can't get over the brilliance of what Schumacher was and still is. Money is killing F1 and it became a game like chess. There are too many rules and less individual brilliance.

      Phoenixx - 2013-03-27 15:46

      I love Schumi and think he is fantastic. it does not mean that I can't objectively see what is going on. Just because I refer to his many unethical moves on and off the racetrack does not mean that I don't think he is brilliant!

      Louis Venter - 2013-03-28 08:46

      I agree with you. Even Bernie Ecclestone says their shouldn't have been any team order. It was wrong. I watched the race and it never seemed that the order was 100% CLEAR to stop overtaking. I think there was a half hart'ed order to start preserving the cars and Vettel didn't see that as an ORDER to stop racing. After the race Vettel said he only realised once the race was finished that it was PROBABLY wrong to overtake and apologised. SO NO CLEAR INDICATION OF TEAM ORDER!

  • Nishaam Ebrahim - 2013-03-27 13:38

    Champions Take Race Wins, No. 2 drivers settle for second place.

  • Kevin Williams - 2013-03-27 16:09

    I think F1 is full of rigged races....Too much money involved.

  • Ian Finch - 2013-03-28 10:12

    Guys this has been going on for decades Peroni pulled the same move on Villeneuve in 1982, its a scummy move and Peroni was never really forgiven for it, its a big betrayal of a tem mate. Its common knowledge to anyone who follows F1 that teams "take the car home" on the last stint, you dont race your team mate after the final pit stop. Its been going on for decades, its nothing new, its race strategy. F1 cars are stressed to the limit, if the race is 70 laps long the car is made to last 70 laps, teams dont want to risk breaking the car so the "take the car home" on the last stint. Vettel is a prat.

  • Kwashic - 2013-03-28 10:37

    blame the rules! anybody would bring in the orders when they know the engines must be preserved for next races. why waste them racing yourselves in the team? Maybe with the Hamilton / Rosberg issue it s different because we know Hamilton's cars was not up to it but Rosberg's could continue at speed and so they should have let him pass. But remember, the driver ahead in the the championship always has a better chance of bringing the driver's championship home. Though not this early in the year.

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