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F1 Reports 107

2013 Malaysian Grand Prix report

You half wondered whether the fight might continue in the weighing room – and if the contest switched to bare knuckles you probably wouldn’t back Sebastian Vettel. The controversial pivot was marginal, fleeting and thrilling to behold, the German all but brushing the pit wall as he dived past team-mate Mark Webber en route to Turn One at the dawn of lap 46, then finally making a move stick three corners later. Trouble was, they were supposed to hold order at that stage. “Come on Seb,” team principal Christian Horner had said via the radio, “this is silly…”

reports  2013 Malaysian Grand Prix report

Almost every team went into the race in an uncertain frame of mind with regard to tyre performance and durability – and they anticipated a free compound choice after rain affected Saturday’s Q3 session. They would start as the top 10 had qualified, however, intermediates being the order of the day after it began to rain about 40 minutes before the start. Parts of the circuit were almost dry when the lights went out, but others – particularly around Turn Three, where several drivers slid wide during the installation laps – remained sodden.

Sebastian Vettel made a clean start to lead away from pole, while Fernando Alonso swatted aside team-mate Felipe Massa to take second. Entering Turn Two, though, the Spaniard got a little too close to Vettel and snagged his front wing against the Red Bull’s gearbox.

reports  2013 Malaysian Grand Prix report

“It was a surprise to find him there, almost stopped,” Alonso said. “I don’t know what speed he was doing. It might have been better if the wing had come away completely. It drooped a bit, but the car felt OK through the first two sectors.” He was able to keep Mark Webber at bay until the lap’s end, but the wing slipped lower still approaching Turn 15, the final hairpin. “I couldn’t see that from where I was,” he said, “and the team had only a couple of seconds before the pit entry in which to make a call. It was a risk to continue, but we felt we’d lose less time by staying out and then replacing the wing when I stopped for slicks, which we knew we’d have to do after only a few laps.”

The fractured carbon gave way shortly after he’d crossed the line, however, depriving him of steering and condemning the Ferrari to the Turn One gravel.

That cemented an early Red Bull one-two, with Lewis Hamilton third from Jenson Button, Nico Rosberg and the slow-starting Massa. Rosberg gave the top four added symmetry when he passed Button on lap three.

Vettel and Massa were first to commit to slicks, on lap five, and the German conceded it was probably a lap or two too early. The first part of the track remained treacherous – and the move also dropped him into traffic. Webber delayed until lap seven and within another lap the whole field had switched, with the Australian now leading from Vettel, Hamilton (who momentarily paused at McLaren’s pit during his stop), Rosberg, Button and Nico Hülkenberg. Force India lost out during the pit sequence, the team being unable to secure Adrian Sutil’s front left wheel and obliging Paul di Resta to queue behind. It was the first of a chaotic series of stops for the team – and the cause was the same every time. The wheel-changing system has been the same since testing, with no previous hint of trouble, but after a few more fumbles both cars were retired as a safety precaution.

Webber continued to lead through the second round of stops, with Vettel and the Mercedes drivers in close attendance, but Hamilton managed to split the Red Bulls after the next pit visit, the Englishman coming in on lap 30, two before his quarry, and turning a one-second deficit into a slight advantage. It would be lap 39 before Vettel was able to reclaim the position, a squirt of DRS giving him the advantage on the run to Turn One. Both Mercedes were on the harder tyre at this stage and didn’t work as well as they had on the medium. Rosberg had already drifted a little and Hamilton would soon join him, not least because he was being asked to save fuel to counter unexpectedly high consumption.

reports  2013 Malaysian Grand Prix report

Hamilton made his fourth and final stop on lap 41, when still within three seconds of Vettel, and the German came in next time around to cover. Webber was far enough ahead for that minor disadvantage not to matter, but the cars were almost level following the Australian’s final stop at the end of lap 43. He was on hard Pirellis and Vettel mediums, but the long-time leader held his ground and edged his team-mate wide through Turn One before preserving his advantage into the left-handed Turn Two.

“At that stage,” Webber said, “I thought the race was over, so I turned down the engine and prepared to cruise to the finish, to make sure the tyres lasted.”

Horner: “We hadn’t expected to be in a position such as this, given the way things had gone on Friday, but we discussed such a possibility before the start and agreed the drivers should hold station if we were running first and second after the final stops. From a team perspective, we just wanted to bag 43 points and weren’t bothered which way around the two cars finished. It didn’t make sense to have one following the other too closely, given the potentially detrimental effect on tyres.”

The instruction was confirmed during lap 44 but, in Webber’s words, “Seb took his own decisions.” The Australian’s post-race demeanour left you in no doubt how he felt.

Horner confirmed that Vettel had simply ignored specific orders and that the matter would subsequently be discussed behind closed doors. For his part, Vettel apologised, accepted he’d done wrong and claimed the same wouldn’t happen again if he could rewind the clock. By then, though, he had the extra seven points he craved.

“We’ve seen it before, from both our guys,” Horner said, “and I’m sure we’ll see it again. Racing drivers and teams have different sets of perspectives.”

The Mercedes duo behaved slightly more obediently, Rosberg being told to hold station even though he’d demonstrated all afternoon that he could run slightly more briskly than Hamilton. Team principal Ross Brawn wanted to guarantee that both cars finished and reined in the German’s ambitions. “I feel a bit embarrassed to be standing here on the podium,” Hamilton said, “because really it should be Nico.”

Somewhere in a parallel universe, Massa made a late final stop (lap 47) and capitalised on fresh rubber to pass the three-stopping Lotus-Renaults of Romain Grosjean and Kimi Räikkönen, the latter made to fight hard for seventh in the face of fierce defence from Hülkenberg. Sergio Pérez and Jean-Eric Vergne completed the scorers, Vergne surviving a pit clash with Charles Pic’s Caterham. The incident cost both drivers their front wings and Toro Rosso a €10,000 fine for unsafe release.

Button might have finished fifth, but dropped from contention when he was sent on his way with a loose right front wheel after his third stop on lap 35. McLaren recovered the car and packed him on his way once more, but his left front later started to lock and triggered such a vibration that the team felt it prudent to stop.

Compared with events at Red Bull, ’twas but a minor tremor.

Add your comments

107 comments on 2013 Malaysian Grand Prix report

  1. Michael Spitale, 24 March 2013 15:06

    Webber always argues he will never help Vettel and adhere to team orders, but today when it is to his liking he cries foul that Vettel did not stop racing him with 14 laps to go!? Can’t have it both ways Webber. I am sick and tired of fans and journalist alike always saying “poor Webber” but not one of them says poor Massa who gets screwed by Alonso and Ferrari almost always. If things had been the other way around today Webber would have screamed murder that the team made him stop racing Vettel with all those laps left and being that close to Vettel.

    Very tired of all these “team order” arguments… Then I have to hear Hamilton saying he did not deserve 3rd Rosberg did… Then why on earth call in team orders? Let them race or let Rosberg by since he was clearly faster…. Inter team politics are the rage!

  2. Scott Coe, 24 March 2013 15:07

    Defeat from the jaws of victory again from Red Bull “Racing”…

  3. hugh carlyle, 24 March 2013 15:09

    Vettel “won” the event but its a cheap, hollow victory for a driver who still doesn’t understand what sportsmanship or honour is. Red Bull management should recognize their role in what happened today.

    Mark Webber won the real race.

  4. dave cubbedge, 24 March 2013 15:10

    Wow! Shades of Imola 1982. Despite his obvious greatness and superiority over mortal humans, this is why I don’t care for Vettel. He’ll bag his eight or ten races this year. Great drivers don’t need to win like this.

    Alonso? Unbelievable. He won’t get to be champ making decisions like that….

  5. Michael Spitale, 24 March 2013 15:45

    Hugh, How can you say that? Last year Webber refused to play as a team and help his teammate to the title when he had no chance. The last few races saw Massa bend over backwards, but Webber said very publicly that he would not help Vettel win the title and he was out there to win regardless of what the team asked. So when the shoe is on the other foot and Vettel too ignores what the team ask then Webber CANNOT complain…. These 2 have butted heads forever….

    I am not saying either is right or wrong, just saying you can’t have it both ways…

  6. Jim Lynn, 24 March 2013 16:09

    Based on the above comments if there is any justice in f1 neither Vettel nor Webber would ever win again. I suppose one should go back and figure out who started it years ago,Vettel or Webber? It is obvious to me that Vettel wants to exceed Schumacher in all ways.Vettel for ‘Sportsman of the Year’?

  7. R.E.B, 24 March 2013 16:34

    I suppose I just dont “get” this modern F1 thing. It is so contrived and gimmick ridden normally with silly tyre rules, drs, kers etc etc and the one time we get some real excitement everyone seems to be complaining! I think a punch up would have been great! V entertaining as well watching Newey with his head in his hands. I hope some more drivers go renegade this season.

  8. Piero Dessimone, 24 March 2013 16:41

    Alonso: dedicated to all the people thinking that he never makes mistakes, what a stupid way to waste a race !

    Vettel vs Webber: after listening to all the interviews it is clear that within the team there is some rule stating that whoever is leading a race after the last pit stop stays there (unless a championship is at stake).
    Today Vettel has infringed that rule.
    I have read somewhere that it looks like Imola 82 to me is more like Imola 89 (Senna vs Prost) at that time there was no pit stops and the agreement was related to the first bend.

    Hamilton vs Rosberg: here is more difficult to understand why the team decided to froze the positions since they were battling for 3rd and 4th unless Hamilton contract discussed with Lauda with the blessing of Mr.E states that he is supposed to receive a priority treatment.

    In any case most of today happenings are due to silly tyres not lasting the whole race distance. So now the commentators have something to write or say till the China GP.

  9. Ray In Toronto Canada (Ray T (the other one)), 24 March 2013 16:42

    I don’t understand this bickering!!!

    Red Bull have said Vettel was wrong. Vettel’s apologised to both Webber and Red Bull…so, let’s drive on, shall we?

    In addition, whilst I understand RBR’s desire to bag a 1-2, irrespective of which driver takes the win…

    …Why should I tune in to see a manufactured, non-race at 4am my time?

    I tune in to see “racing” and, to me, I don’t have a problem with Vettel going for a win at 75% race distance…At a point when HAM-ROS were still a threat with over a dozen laps left.

    [As an aside, I didn't see Webber doing Vettel any favours at the start at Interlagos last November when he was under orders.]

    Time to move on…

    Alonso, as I said 2 days ago, doesn’t do well when the other car is too competitve. The pressure is tightening like a noose.

    That’s FOUR races in a row where Nando’s been out-qualified by the maligned Massa.

    BUT!!! But…What was truly appalling is that, given what happened with a detatched piece of Brawn to Massa at Hungary 2009, Alonso wasn’t black flagged for failing/flailing bodywork!!!

    Imagine if the wing had come away and hit Hamilton or Massa or Button or Raikkonen on the helmet and there had been an injury (or worse)!?

    Imagine if Alonso had collected Webber at the end of the straight!?

    Would we then be having this debate?

    The FIA should be handing Alonso/Ferrari a 10-place grid penalty in China for endagering the field.

    That was utterly dangerous and appalling!

  10. Phil Rainford, 24 March 2013 16:55

    Was was the call from Red Bull…

    ” The is silly Seb……….please let Mark back infront ”


  11. dave cubbedge, 24 March 2013 16:56

    I’m hoping next time Mark just punts him into the weeds!

  12. Piero Dessimone, 24 March 2013 17:15

    Can someone explain to me why my comment has been removed?
    Thank you !

  13. Terry Jacob, 24 March 2013 17:24

    My , my , wasn’t that all a bit of light-hearted fun………

  14. Rich S, 24 March 2013 18:08

    For those using the “Webber can’t have it both ways” argument, citing his comments about “I won’t help Seb win the title”, that’s not really the point. Webber would still have followed a team instruction in the race if it would have been to Seb’s benefit, even if he wouldn’t actively run his races for Vettel’s benefit, which is what Massa was doing for Alonso.

    The point is that Vettel ignored a direct team order, put the two cars at risk and could have caused both drivers to crash out. In the process he eroded any lingering trust that he and Mark had left, and has put his team principal in a position where he’s going to have to bat off questions, rumours and hearsay for the next 3 weeks until the next grand prix is run.

    Vettel didn’t seem to think he’d done anything wrong until he got to the podium ready-room and saw how ticked-off he’d made everyone, and even Helmut Marko, who would adopt Seb if he could, said that he’d done wrong.

    Silverstone 2011 – Mark started attacking Seb when he had a faster car, but backed off when told to. He had a grump about it but he did what he was told, even though there was a lot less at stake.

  15. Scott Coe, 24 March 2013 18:09

    By the way, congratulations to Toro Rosso on proving yet again that they are the most unprofessional team in Formula 1 today. Franz Tost should be sacked.

  16. Rich Ambroson, 24 March 2013 18:19

    At least Hamilton acknowledged that Nico had the pace (and actual position) to be third, I appreciate that.

    I wonder, will so many who pilloried Ross Brawn for his favoritism at Ferrari turn a blind eye on this occasion since the media darling of was given the benefit of team orders in this case?

  17. Bob, 24 March 2013 18:21

    Shall we start calling Mr. Vettel “Didier”? I will be curious to know Mr. Roebuck’s opinion of the two incidents.
    Dare I say Mr. Eccletone is right? The fans deserved all four cars racing at the end, but there is no way to do that with radios. Maybe we should turn them off after the halfway point in a race and go back to pit-boards! That would be fun. -RDM

  18. Rich Ambroson, 24 March 2013 18:23

    R.E.B., I completely agree about the dog and pony show that is labeled “F1″ by the BCE set. It’s a joke. A sad, not funny joke.

    When drivers get penalized because an engine or transmission breaks (due to “cost cutting”) it’s a joke that the tire regs are such as they are.

    And the DRS didn’t do Nico any good, since team orders apparently outweigh any technical goodies or actual drivers skill. I remember folks being hugely upset at Ross Brawn in the Ferrari years. Will they pillory him for so totally stuffing (not the most appropriate verb here, but the most polite) Nico today?

  19. Scott Coe, 24 March 2013 18:24

    Signor Spitale, team orders were issued to both Vettel and Webber, to the effect that they should hold station once the final pit stops were completed. It is hardly fair therefore if, while in the lead and having been ordered to comply, Webber should then become the victim of his team-mate’s duplicity. If the orders had not been given at all, then even had Vettel still passed Webber, I very much doubt that Webber would have been anything like as piqued. Losing the lead because your team-mate races better than you is one thing; losing the lead when you are told to run to a pace is something else again. Remember Brazil ’81? Or Imola ’82 and ’89? Really to blame here are bumbling Red Bull “Racing”, who – especially at this early stage – should have let both drivers race, mano a mano…

  20. Rich Ambroson, 24 March 2013 18:25

    I hadn’t watched many “F1″ races over the last two or three years, as the “show” didn’t do much for me. My Tifosi buddies would sometimes tell me that the racing is much better lately, and even if the cars are ugly and don’t sound as good as they used to, there is good on track action.

    Well, I was hoping to see Nico and his teammate have a nice bit of dicing, but apparently that wouldn’t have been good for “the show”.

    That my friends, was most definitely, 100% honestly, the LAST “F1″ event I watch from start to finish.

    What a very bad joke that was.

  21. john miller, 24 March 2013 18:53

    Vettel was obviously encouraged by Dr Marko’s remarks and as a three-times world champion considers himself invulnerable from censure by the team. But that isn’t his problem. Anthony Davidson’s analysis on Sky showed that Webber was scrupulously fair in his fight with his team-mate. Now that Vettel isn’t his team-mate who knows what Vettel may reap from this?

    And all those who think Rosberg is not the real deal may have to think again. Swallows and summers and all that, but in the last two events there’s only a fag paper between them.

    (Sadly, I realise only Mr Roebuck will understand that last phrase).

  22. John B, 24 March 2013 19:07

    As an Australian I am a Webber fan and clearly biased.
    They should have been lower to race and I’m sure Webber would have been ok with being beaten but he was told he would it be attacked and was – simple.
    I wonder if Wevber could have held him back if he knew he had to I’d like to think so
    Why did Sebastian pit first on the last round of stops – shades of Alonso and Massa in Melbourne with the team trying to reverse the order if the cars there.
    All I could think of last night stewing over this in bed was the classic line;
    “He’s nor the messiah – he’s a her naughty boy”

  23. John B, 24 March 2013 19:09

    Or even “very”

  24. Mikey, 24 March 2013 19:26

    Kimi pushed back after Q3, Red Bull, Mercedes, team orders and so on. Engineering clearly still at the heart of F1!
    The uncomfortable whiff of treachery hangs like a memory of Austria and Imola. All grist to the mill.

  25. Rich Ambroson, 24 March 2013 19:29

    John B, always enjoy “Life of” quotes. Good stuff.

  26. Rich Ambroson, 24 March 2013 19:33

    I think Webber handled things with a lot of class today.

    I used to be a fan of Vettel. After today, I find myself leaning with those who might nickname him “Didier”.

  27. Alex Harmer, 24 March 2013 19:34


    Your comments haven’t been deleted, they were in the moderation queue. Sorry that I didn’t get around to them, but it is Sunday evening.


  28. Pat Kenny, 24 March 2013 19:54

    It was a very disappointing end to the race. Would have been much better if Alonso had not knocked himself out of contention and was splitting the Red Bulls. I didn’t see the analysis at the end but Weber seemed to do a Schumacher on Barchiello on Vettel. You can argue that Vettel should not be trying to pass but someday something is going to go horribly wrong. Red Bull has very hard decisions to make.

  29. Ray FK, 24 March 2013 20:04

    Is is just me or is Formula 1 in a mess?

  30. CH, 24 March 2013 20:14

    “don’t be silly….” My, such a strong tone. If really seen as such a violation of orders why would Horner not ask Seb to give it back? (Maybe a further loss of face, risking that Seb would continue to disrespect him?)

    And if Mark had done that what would Horner have said?

  31. Rich Ambroson, 24 March 2013 20:19

    To one of the Rays, Formula One was in a mess when they let Senna get away with Japan 1990. It was further sullied when Mosley took away the ability for the engineers to develop the engines.

    What is in a mess right now is not Formula One, which died a while back, but some sad dog and pony show that BCE and his cohort would have us believe is “F1″®™. The sooner it is tossed in the bin and a proper Grande Epreuve type racing series is resurrected the better.

  32. John Read, 24 March 2013 20:51

    RBR team orders are completely logical and necessary to ensure maximum team results and equality for both drivers.

    Except that one driver is more equal than the other.

  33. Alastair Warren, 24 March 2013 21:04

    It reminded me of Austria 2002. Schumacher didn’t need to take that win from Barrichello so early in that season just as Vettel with that podium from Melbourne would still have been ahead of Webber on the table if he’d finished second today.

    Was there a reminder of that Grand Prix from the way Brawn was telling Rosberg to maintain position behind Hamilton?

    What has Vettel gained by that? He equalled Sir Jackie Sterwart’s record of 27 GP wins by going against team orders and robbing Mark Webber? Another nod to Imola ’82?

    Cheeky chappy or duplicitous double crosser? In this digital, two position age someone can be both?

    I don’t know about Hungry Heidi. She seemed positively ravenous today.

  34. Tony Geran, 24 March 2013 21:42

    At least Sebastian ” I was just disobeying orders” Vettel didn’t claim his radio wasn’t working……

  35. Michael Spitale, 24 March 2013 22:47

    As a fan I left today’s race offended. I watch a sport to see people compete. However, Mercedes gave us a contrived ending but making a faster Rosberg back off and Red Bull tried to give us one by making Vettel and Webber not race the last 14 laps.

    and we are all arguing who is right and wring. What is wrong is that we are essentially watching a fixed sport. I have not even gotten to Ferrari yet, who of course is the king of team orders. I guess I can see a teammate aiding a teammate when they are out of the title… but should any one be doing team orders this early in the year?!

  36. dave cubbedge, 24 March 2013 22:58

    Funny, in today’s NASCAR race, Tony Stewart became incensed with the ‘sporting behavior’ (or lack thereof) of Joey Logano. Something about the white line and an agreement made between drivers. The only difference between the end reaction was that Mark Webber, probably thinking of his retainer, towed the company line while Tony Stewart, being ‘owner’ of the company, told the media that he was going to kick Loganos’ arse! Had to laugh at that one. It’s been one of those kind of days in motorsport…..

  37. gsinky, 24 March 2013 23:09

    Sounds like I am in a minority, but the only thing that disappointed me with Vettel was his post race ‘admittance’ that he was wrong. Sebastian is a born racer who, when in the heat of the moment CANT settle for second. It’s in his DNA. No apologies needed Seb. If I wanted to watch choreography I would tune in to Strictly Come Dancing.

  38. David H, 24 March 2013 23:23

    Character. Hearing Seb’s petulant ‘get him out of my way’ and the ending had me appreciating again on what a man and a sportsman Moss was.

    And kudos to Lewis for being man enough to acknowledge why he was on the podium and not Rosberg. He sure went up in my estimation with that.

  39. Frank, 24 March 2013 23:46

    @Rich Ambroson – you must be joking. You’re disapointed because the MB driver’s didn’t race each other to your satisfaction? Did you see the wheel to wheel action between the red bull team? Not to mention the other races going on up and down the field. What do some people want? A demolition deby?
    And while I am a Webber fan, and I think Vettel did the wrong thing, I still have a grudging respect for the guy. Why finish second?

  40. Michael, 25 March 2013 00:19

    If Webber wishes his team-mate to adhere to team orders when they are issued for his benefit, then perhaps he should do the same when they are not. Mark clearly disregarded team orders not to race Seb in Brazil last year (when Vettel was fighting for the title with a damaged car), but he ignored it completely … so it is difficult to feel sorry for him now that he has gotten a dose of his own medicine.

  41. John, 25 March 2013 02:57

    Frank, Rich Ambroson is quite right, in my view. There isn’t any real racing in F1 these days, just superficial artificially created overtaking which, on the face of it, looks a bit like racing. If it wasn’t for the Vettel / Webber thing, there’d be far fewer comments under this article, because there just isn’t much racing to discuss. The drivers at the press conference after the race were quite right to bemoan the fact that they’re basically trundling around the track at about 80% in an attempt to conserve tyres and fuel. That’s not motor racing, not as I unsderstand it.

  42. John, 25 March 2013 03:58

    Ray in Toronto, you ask “…Why should I tune in to see a manufactured, non-race at 4am my time?” and state that you “tune in to see “racing””. Odd that, because that’s exctly what we didn’t see at Sepang. A lot of people across the internet are praising Vettel for giving us a “race” to watch (though not as many as are condemning him, I’m glad to see), but in reality, Webber was effectively running to a different set of rules in the last third of the race, having turned his engine down on the orders of his team. Now, whether or not team orders are in the spirit of F1 or not, and whether or not the racing is best served by them is another matter, but for better or worse, they are there and whichever way you dress it up, Vettel chose to deliberately ignore very definite orders from his employers. For this – apology or not – he should be sanctioned. I was pleased to see his demeanor change very quickly when he realised he had actually annoyed a lot of people, senior team members included. The usual gushing radio messages were conspicuous by their absence. Red Bull need to reign Vettel in for this, he’s clearly beginning to think he’s bigger than the team. A race on the pit wall watching Sebastian Buemi race Hungry Heidi around in china would do him the world of good.

  43. Paul from Sydney, 25 March 2013 06:17

    Today’s Australian press has run an on line opll saying that 79% of respondents are opposed to team orders. From a racing perspective that has to be right but without them things can fall apart in a team. Williams in 1986 is a good example: best car by far, 2 great drivers beaten by Prost in an inferior car. RBR can anticipate the same unless they get team functioning as a team. If they don’t Alonso and Hamilton will most likely benefit

  44. Andrew Scoley, 25 March 2013 07:29

    I think David Coulthard puts it best when, several times, watching replays of overtaking moves, he descibes them as another regulation DRS move, which the driver in front can do nothing about. You can hear the exasperation in DC’s voice.

    These are two car teams and there are millions of $ at stake for the points on offer. We may not like it, but that’s the way it is. It was like this with Ronnie and Mario, with Gilles and Jody, with Carlos and Alan, with Rene and Alain, with Gilles and Didier. As far as the teams are concerned, it is the team verses the other teams and in order to maximise revenue with minimal risk they are perfectly entitled to ask their drivers to hold station once they are established at the front. It doesn’t matter to the teams what order they are in, constructors points are everything.

    How can you obey a ‘hold station’ signal if your team-mate doesn’t? Most posters on this site probably don’t need reminding, but Gilles said that if the slow sign at Imola had come out with Pironi in the lead, too bad for me. I would not have tried to take it away from him. I would have been mad at myself for not having driven hard enough, but second because the bastard steals it, that’s something else.

    I think Mark has good reason to feel very pissed off.

  45. Jack Hoey, 25 March 2013 11:22

    it’s all showbiz,smoke and mirrors,tv wrestling with as much substance as a shovelful of roasted snow and it has made the “ringmaster” exceedingly rich. good for him.

  46. Rodriguez917, 25 March 2013 12:20

    I wonder how many times Mark has been given the Multi 21 message in the past, a lot of times I would say. If Mark had turned down the engine and was cruising to the finish then what Vettel did was one of the most unsporting acts I have ever seen in F1. The fact that even Helmut Marko was struggling to defend Vettel after the race says it all. Nothing will happen though, he’s won 3 titles on the trot for the team afterall

  47. Ray In Toronto Canada (Ray T (the other one)), 25 March 2013 12:30

    I don’t like all the whining from those in “Fleet Street” and those crying crocodile tears.

    Webber, it MUST be noted, hasn’t done any favors for Vettel in the past (most notably at T1 in Interlagos in the 2012 Championship finale’) … AND…and how many seconds was Hamilton behind when Vettel put the hammer down on better tyres?

    A 1-2 wasn’t guaranteed on lap 43 for Red Bull given how Hamilton had been able to split the pair – and run AHEAD of Vettel – in an earlier stint.

    And, it wasn’t as if Webber didn’t fight as he would have fought Alonso or Hamilton or Raikkonen. Webber gave it everything during his defence…as he did at Silverstone when he disobeyed team orders not to attack Vettel.

    Has everyone forgotten?

    Lastly, look at the race at which these two tangled: Turkey 2010…

    …Hamilton was told by McLaren to turn down the engine and that Button wouldn’t attack.

    Well, Button attacked and Hamilton defended. Vigorously!

    I’d bet every penny I have that Webber also defended. And, it was vigorous. Happily for RBR the defense, although vigorous. wasn’t stupid.

    I don’t see a problem here.

    The enemy is Alonso – and, possibly, Raikkonen or even Hamilton – as far as RBR should be concerned and Vettel is their most consistent driver and their better Championship hope over 19 races.

    In my opinion, Vettel is one of the All Time Greats and nothing from this race will change that opinion.

  48. Michael Spitale, 25 March 2013 12:34

    Something no one has brought up was how Alonso/Ferrari were not forced to come in and fix that busted nose. He could have easily taken out a couple of cars as he had ZERO steering once it went. US tv said the team was in the pits with the nose ready to go until Alonso drove by pit in… I know Ferrari are taking the blame for him as a team should, but I assume he made the call. We all gave Alonso credit for the great pit call the race before so I guess he gets blame for the bad call here….

    but no fine or penalty from FIA for the team?!

  49. George Haws, 25 March 2013 13:15

    I am in NO WAY a Vettel fan, and I think what he did was wrong, but be sure and read this. Maybe not the exact same circumstances, but close enough…

  50. Ray T, 25 March 2013 14:16

    Someone should check Vettel’s urine for traces of Michael Schumacher.

    Regardless, this is what I saw of the “pinnacle of motor racing” this weekend:
    An interesting start, then DRS was allowed resulting in a bunch of fake passes.

    Ferrari needs another $500,000 engineer to say, “hey, da wing, she’s a broke, come to da pits”.

    Lewis Hamilton has a nostalgic pit stop, showing us where his concentration is. This is the F1 equivalent of drunk-calling an old girlfriend.

    Team orders, and a “mail it in” procession for the last part of the race while teamates fumed -guess what, it wasn’t interesting to watch.

    Reality to F1: the Indycar race was a better sport spectacle this weekend. 2013 is looking like one of the lowest points in recent F1 history.

  51. Terry Jacob, 25 March 2013 14:44

    Pit Boards . No radios , no telemetry – what a great idea . Love it . Do that , get rid of KERS and DRS and these ugly cars and I might just fall back in love with Formula One .

  52. Ray In Toronto Canada (Ray T (the other one)), 25 March 2013 14:49

    Needless to say, I don’t share many of (the other) Ray T’s views!


    Part of F1′s appeal (for me) is the intra-team dynamic and ‘drama’ as there will never be pure parity between teammates. Never was. Never will be.

    Ask Messers Moss, Stewart, Andretti, Prost et al.

    Thank heavens we don’t have a Lotus 25 1 minute ahead of the field situation or a 2002/2004 scenario where the Scuderia had it all it’s own way and Rubens was asked to give way to Schuey at meetings in early Spring!

    I suppose we’re allowed to disagree.

    In addition, *if* Vettel has traces of Schumacher in his urine, then I suppose he also has some traces of Fangio and Prost and Senna in there somewhere.

    Lastly, Webber has ignored RBR team orders before. More than once.

    So let’s not be the Pot Calling The Kettle Black.

  53. John Saviano, 25 March 2013 14:51

    It’s hard to understand some of the comments made here, but at some point the question needs to be asked, is RB Christian Horner’s team to operate, or it is SV’s? Regardless of all the brouhaha over team orders, over who did what when, and which historical parallel is most similar, the real question is who runs the team? I understand what was supposed to happen, and it seems SV deliberately disobeyed Horner’s instructions. I don’t think Ross Brawn would be very tolerant of such actions.

  54. Michael Spitale, 25 March 2013 15:14

    great post George…. Many Webber and Alonso fans will ignore what you just posted because they hate Vettel… your point however is PERFECT!

  55. John, 25 March 2013 16:13

    Michael, no one here “hates” Vettel or any other driver.

  56. dave cubbedge, 25 March 2013 16:41

    I don’t hate Vettel, just am hoping that someday he’ll grow into the champion shoes that he wears. At the moment, he isn’t the ambassador the sport needs.

  57. N. Weingart, 25 March 2013 17:13

    Team orders have always been in racing and will always be. The issue is honesty. Vettel lied to his team and teammate saying he would hold station after the last pit stop. He could have told his team that he would race for victory but he chose to lie. Why? He wanted to gain an advantage over Webber, his teammate. he must have believed he could not beat Webber without this advantage. so Webber did not defend as he normally would and Vettel not only cheated Webber but also all of us. he cheated us of an honest race. He thinks that if he wins the championship by less than eight points nobody will remember, or care, that he lied to win. The character of a champion?

  58. ChuckB, 25 March 2013 17:14

    Racing is racing. Only Hamilton showed the right spirit greeting his former mates in the pits.

  59. N. Weingart, 25 March 2013 17:16

    I’m embarrassed for my grammar. I should not write when my blood is up!

  60. zantimisfit66, 25 March 2013 17:28

    Vettel apologised – knowing in the same circumstances he will, of course, do exactly the same thing in future. That ruthlessness maybe makes him more of a driver but less of a man than Webber. He’ll be champion again I guess but he’ll also always be a silly spoiled little boy. I also guess in future if Webber is instructed to drop his pace he’ll ignore the message and take the risk.

  61. Justin Rose, 25 March 2013 18:01

    Seb didn’t listen to RB so he should get an internal punishment. Eveyone is on the bandwagon. Here are some facts that should be questioned of MW and CH at RB.

    MW says he turned the engine down and was cruising, really!. When he came out of the pits, after final stop, he was only 0.2 ahead of Vettel. He then proceeded on lap 44 and 45 to put in his fastest laps of the race 1.40685. Pity SV was a tad faster at 1.40446. Lap 46 is the overtake. It is clear (from the lap charts) that neither car was turned down and that implied they were racing

    MW in 2011 Brit Gp was asked to back off (go see the videa)and didn’t and in 2012, specifically at the BRL GP, ignored team orders – so why should it be any different. Has said on a number of accossions he would not help Vettel in a WDC, so is that not a breach of team orders.

    so MW get off your high horse you have selective memory. What stopped MW of attacking back, instead of sulking and flicking the bird – maybe that was the character Marko was talking about

    Excuse my ignorance,

  62. Michael Spitale, 25 March 2013 18:45

    I am not sure how any of you supporting Webber can do so with a straight face…. You all stand up and cheer when he spits in the face of team orders which is your right to do. However, with the shoe on the other foot you claim Vettel to be a bad sport, not a proper champ, blah blah blah… Can’t have it both ways folks.

  63. Ray In Toronto Canada (Ray T (the other one)), 25 March 2013 19:00

    I will come to Vettel’s defence!

    It is the ONLY way for the World Champion to fight against Alonso/Ferrari. That pairing will do anything -including breaking a seal on Massa’s car and penalizing it – to give the Spaniard any edge possible.

    At least RBR haven’t broken a seal on Webber’s engine deliberately.

    As for those who think that Webber was disadvantaged and turned everything down, please think again.

    I’d said that Webber’s defense was “vigorous” (as it clearly was) … and the previous post by Justin Rose, (25 March 2013 18:01) said it better than I could:

    “…When (Webber) came out of the pits, after his final stop, he was only 0.2 ahead of Vettel. He then proceeded on lap 44 and 45 to put in his fastest laps of the race 1.40685. Pity SV was a tad faster at 1.40446. Lap 46 is the overtake. It is clear (from the lap charts) that neither car was turned down and that implied they were racing…”

    Again, Alonso/Ferrari play by their own rules and, so, what Vettel did is fine by me. If it means beating Fernando to the title whilst giving Webber a dose of his own past medicine, then so be it!

    Wonder why Hamilton left McLaren? I’m sure part of the answer lies in the fact that Ferrari are singularly united behind Fernando’s Championship bid.

    The only way to fight that is by doing what Hamilton did when he left McLaren and by what Vettel did on Sunday.

  64. C Casson, 25 March 2013 19:01

    If Seb says he misunderstood the “keep station” order, and would re-wind the clock if he could, Then if he and Mark were running 1st & 2nd in a future race, do you think he (Seb) would move over and let Mark through to take the win.
    A sort of “redress the balance” thing?…..
    Don’t hold your breath!!
    Seb had 14 laps to redeem himself if he wanted to, but he chose not to.

    If he is not carefull, he runs the risk of being another Michael Schumacher,
    Statistically a great driver…on paper, but not one held in the same esteem by the fans as other true greats in our sport, like Fangio, Moss, & Stewart etc.

    Can you imagine the likes of Mario Andretti, Ronnie Peterson,Gilles Villeneuve, Jim Clark and others, stealing a win like this?
    No…neither can I.

    Someone once said “It’s not what you win…It’s how you win”
    A concept that seems to be lost on some drivers.

    Also if he fancies playing hardball, he couldn’t have picked a worse driver to do it with, because I can’t see Webber letting him pull a stroke like that ever again …Period.

  65. Ray In Toronto Canada (Ray T (the other one)), 25 March 2013 19:03


    The Gloves Are Off!

    LOVE it!!!

    More please!

  66. John B, 25 March 2013 19:15

    I see Vettel claims that he misunderstood the need not to overtake Mark. I wonder what would have happened in the pre-podium room ( is there a name for that?) if Webber misunderstood the need not to punch him in the face.
    I agree it’s not racing and DRS would have made a true fight between the cars a joke but it still boils down to a promise being broken and a stolen win.

  67. John B, 25 March 2013 19:17

    Sorry – didn’t mean that to sound so aggro and Mark is too big a man to resort to violence – I was just amusing myself with the thought.

  68. dave cubbedge, 25 March 2013 19:30

    No worries Michael, my face has always been a bit crooked.

    I think we can agree to disagree, forever!

  69. Jaap Blijleven, 25 March 2013 19:39

    Give the drivers a standard retainer of let’s say 100 grand, and give them 50 000 a point. Then they will have to race to make some money and don’t want to crash. So the teams are also happy.

  70. John Read, 25 March 2013 20:08

    I think we need to apply some team orders to Ray T. and Ray T. I’m as confused as I am with the yellow helmets of Lewis and Nico.

    Ray T and Ray T seem to have different philosophies and I sometimes forget which Ray T. I am reading.

    Please Ray T. (one of you) change your posting name.

    This really needs to be sorted ASAP.

  71. Terry Jacob, 25 March 2013 22:23

    I ‘m quite enjoying the confusion caused by the Ray Ts ……..

  72. Simmo, 25 March 2013 23:12

    The only acceptable team orders at Red Bull are those that say Vettel #1, Webber #2. Any other just weakens the team’s chances of four titles in a row. Mark Webber should put up and shut up or go somewhere else.

  73. Hugo Boss, 25 March 2013 23:16

    I’m surprised that with all the focus on Vettel-Webber, no one has commented on Ross Brawn’s outright lie to Rosberg that Hamilton “could go faster, he’s being controlled too”. Clearly Hamilton was low on fuel and couldn’t go faster. If Rosberg had passed, as he could have, it would still have been third and fourth for Mercedes.

  74. Rich Ambroson, 25 March 2013 23:53

    Simmo, I believe Webber had some options with Ferrari for 2013, but opted for loyalty and continuity. So much for loyalty.

    As a Massa fan, I was glad that Webber chose loyalty. Now, I feel bad for Webber in a way… well, I fully feel bad for the guy. Hope he enjoys some good waves the next couple of weeks, and that that good medicine helps him come to peace with whatever was going through his mind the last 15 minutes of the race, and for a few years prior to that at Red Bull, as well.

  75. John Read, 25 March 2013 23:58

    G’day Simmo,

    But Webber didn’t sign-up to be a second banana. That’s why he is upset. Your theory makes sense if the number 2 driver knows the arrangement before the season starts e.g. Eddie Irvine, Rubens Barrichello, Felipe Massa.

    And if Webber was offerred a second-banana contract he wouldn’t have signed-up, so his contribution to the constructors championship and taking points away from cometitors would have to be done by someone else happy to be a second-banana and almost by definition slower than Webber.

    See, it’s not that straightforward.

  76. John, 26 March 2013 04:59

    The whole thing is bigger than Vettel and Webber, though, isn’t it? More serious than winning in a not – particularly – sporting way is the fact that Vettel has, very publicly, disobeyed Christian Horner’s direct and explicit orders in a very public way. He’s effectively rubbed Horner’s nose in it. Whatever Webber’s done in the past, he’s never been quite that blatant about it. Vettel clearly believes he’s bigger than the team now, but he needs to remember that he wouldn’t have won any of his championships had Webber missed out on a few points here and there. A race sat on the subs bench would maybe give him time to reflect on these things.

  77. Warwick Toleman, 26 March 2013 08:12

    Like John, after a couple of days since the excitement, I still can’t help thinking that the person who felt the most queezy to the pit of his stomach when he hit the sack Sunday night and will come out of this ‘Team Orders’ incident by far the worst is Christian Horner. It just further reinforces the impression that he (& to an extent Mateschitz even) are Dr Marko’s poodles.

  78. Charles Norman, 26 March 2013 09:44

    John you make some very sound and clear points. Personally I think Red Bull should sack Vettel with instant effect; where’s he going to go. If he did end up with someone else’s ride we would then see how good he really is wouldn’t we? Hopefully Marko would be included in the dismissal package!

    Unfortunately those who seem to want to place Webber in the “black hat”, but fail to explain the clear difference between Silverstone 2011 and Malaysia 2013. Did not Horner himself state after the race at Silverstone that the reason he asked Webber to hold station was down to him being concerned that Vettel would more or less take both cars out rather than cede his position.

    In the Malaysian race they had made the plan before the race that whoever was leading after the final stop that driver would lead home. All done because of serious worries about tyre degradation and the longevity of the engines.

    A big difference between both guys knowing the game beforehand, and on the other hand a guy having it dropped on him in mid battle!

    The real problem at RB would appear to be a lack of firm leadership. Mr Horner could well take a leaf out of Toleman’s Alex Hawkridge book when he heard Senna had signed for Lotus :)

  79. Frank, 26 March 2013 11:05

    Seb Vettel has shown his true colours. He is a nice enough guy on the outside, but a ruthless, arrogant and self-centered guy on the inside. He lauds and credits his team as long as the team helps him to win. If they don’t, they are an obstacle that must be overcome or ignored. F1 is a very expensive sport. As a driver, you are at the top of a 600 strong human pyramid. You are the team member who is in the spotlights most of all, but a team member nevertheless. Believing yourself to be more important than other links in the chain is killing for an organisation.
    Racing is a teamsport too. Everybody saying “just let the guys race” is very naive. Team orders from a pure racing point of view may be a nuisance to some, but they are a necessary and essential part of motor racing. There’s a tire strategy, a pit-stop strategy, there used to be a fuel strategy too, so it’s more than logical that there’s a team strategy as well. Why else bother to register two cars for a race? There’s a constructors championship too. Seb chose to forget that and focus merely on his own interests (the drivers championship). If I was Christian Horner I would give Seb a one race ban to help remind him that he is part of a team and not just the most privileged member thereof.

  80. Rod Wiolliamson, 26 March 2013 11:57

    Disgraceful performance by Vettel and Hamilton. This pair of kart brats need to be taught some ethics. Obviously they seem to think win at all costs is the name of the game.
    The disgraceful apologies on the podium by Vettel and Hamilton took Formula1 to a new level of LOW, perhaps having all their points taken away would help them understand.
    This race was also very boring.
    Needs to be one set of real tyres for the whole race, no compulsory pit stops, no contact with their pits at all and absolutely no control of the cars from outside sources.

  81. Ray In Toronto Canada (Ray T (the other one)), 26 March 2013 12:11

    Readers who are bashng Vettel and say he should be “sat out a race” or “sacked with immediate effect” are loosing sight of the big picture.

    The BIG PICTURE is that Alonso/Ferrari are a threat to Red Bull’s aspirations of eight World Championships in four years.

    Look people, Ferrari and Alonso DON’T play by the same rules. They’ve made a mockery of Massa in the other car time and again.

    Breaking a seal to penalize it’s own car as Ferrari did at Austin tells you all you need to know what Vettel, Hamilton, Raikkonen are up against.

    Here’s the ONLT thing that matters:

    1. Vettel – 40 points

    6. Alonso – 18 points

    Let’s all get a grip.

    Lastly, Webber’s never helped Vettel in the past … so, it’s not as if the triple World Champion will be expecting any assistance now.

  82. MercedesSucksBigTime, 26 March 2013 12:23

    If it wasn’t for Vettel behaving like a “racing driver”, we would have had a painfully boring GP !
    The British press and Fans are so anti-german, it’s unbelievable. Don’t forget, “Webber” is essentially a german name too originally…lol

    If Hamilton had done something like this, you’d all be praising his initiative. I think Nico is a total wimp, and nothing like his badass father used to be…

  83. MercedesSucksBigTime, 26 March 2013 12:30

    At Ray In Toronto Canada: I agree.

    At Scott Coe: Yes, Franz Tost’s presence is questionable. Particularly since he forced the talented Giorgio Ascanelli out, who helped them to get that victory in Monza…

    For the “fans” who don’t know Ascanelli, he’s ex-Ferrari and ex-Mclaren (Senna’s race engineer)

  84. A.S. Gilbert, 26 March 2013 14:01

    “Vettel takes 27th GP win”, the headlines read.
    Quite so, and history will record Sepang that way.
    Ironic that in equalling Sir Jackie’s win total how the difference in personal qualities is so amplified.
    Part of the reverence in which Cevert, Peterson and Villeneuve are held historically are appreciations of self sacrifice in up holding team mate honour.
    Obviously, in spirit, this episode is where Istanbul a couple of years back was headed, and rightly since been in a corner of Webber’s mind.
    It’ll be a while before Seb is rehabilitated, beyond the “bandwagon” fan base, and his “side” of the team. Maybe the overhanging question about his in field dicing ability makes him churlish, so he takes the nearest unsuspecting to move on… I don’t fathom. He’s still a flawed talent.
    On the podium, it did look like reality was taking a bite, with Vettel.
    His “quoted” language in “regret” to Webber wasn’t very mature for a public figure either.
    Webber to his very great credit, holding obligatory propriety to the letter, with a sufficient amount of “you prat” evident.
    Lewis’ commentary about the nobiilty of Nico’s role, just twisted the blade a bit more, too. No less squirming from the top step I noted.
    Glad, I didn’t spent thousands, time and toil to fly half way around the globe to see it, and the shenanigans may affect my travel for F1 decisions for a while.
    Save of the day…. had to be Martin Brundle, wasn’t it !!!

  85. Warwick Toleman, 26 March 2013 14:08

    It would be interesting to know what Adrian Newey’s view is of the whole ‘soap’.

    If he is very unhappy about last Sundays events then he’s probably the only one who would get Mateschitz’s, Marko’s, Vettel’s, Webbers and Horner’s full undivided attention on what he believes should happen next.

    It would also be a way of finding out who Red Bull ultimately believe is more important to the team, Vettel or Newey?

  86. John, 26 March 2013 15:22

    Ray in Toronto … you really need to tell Christian Horner and Adrian Newey all that, since they clearly take a rather different view. And I don’t understand why you keep going on about Ferarri and the Breaking Of The Seal … how is it any different to what Red Bull did with Vettel’s car in Abu Dhabi the previous GP? All both teams were doing was interpreting the rules to help themselves, which is hardly a terrible crime.

    On a different note … this is quite funny. At least, I thought so.

  87. kevin dunbar, 26 March 2013 15:27

    I remember when drivers were sportsmen and trustworthy, they had to be when sex was safe and racing was dangerous.
    We do not want another Schumacher,big finger new boy.

  88. Ray In Toronto Canada (Ray T (the other one)), 26 March 2013 15:52


    Changing gear ratios on Vettel’s own car at Abu Dhabi (when he’d be starting from the back of the pack anyway) is the same as penalizing Massa and grid-dropping him to push an out-qualified Alonso up and to the “clean”/more grippy side of the grid?

    I don’t think so!

    What Ferrari did at Austin was deplorable.

    I have yet to see RBR grid-dropping Webber purposely after legitimately out-qualify Vettel.

    The two scenarios are like Night and Day.

  89. John, 26 March 2013 16:13

    Ferrari (and Massa) decided that the interests of the team (note that, Vettel) would be best served by having Alonso start on a particular side of the grid. Rather noble of Massa, I agree. Anyway, it transpired that the simplest way to achieve this would be to do what they did, which was within the rules even if it did strike a few sour notes.
    Red Bull, faced with a demotion to the back of the grid (not the pit lane … it’s important, that bit) realised that they could effectively avoid having their car placed under parc ferme conditions by electing to start from the pit lane. This meant that they could change all manner of things on it and as Nigel Roebuck pointed out in his column, start the race with a very different car from that which had been disqualified from the qualifying session. How is that any better or more laudable than what Ferrari did at the next race? As I said above, all that both teams were doing was turning the rule book around and playing it to their advantage. I don’t especially like it either, but it’s a part of modern F1 and for all you might like to believe differently, there isn’t a team on the grid that wouldn’t do something similar.

  90. Rich Ambroson, 26 March 2013 16:36

    John, it seems Ray in Toronto sees only Ferrari as a threat to Red Bull, dismissing such as McLaren. Interesting. What isn’t interesting is the selective focus on Ferrari’s enforcement of team orders (team strategy in some teams’ teamspeak) and utilization of the rules, when so many other teams have engaged in the same thing, sometimes even earlier in the season than Ferrari has… and I’m not just talking Oz 1998 (though that was the early one!), but France 1992, or Brazil 1981… many many more.

  91. Rich Ambroson, 26 March 2013 17:10

    John, the “unfixing probe” link was a good laugh. I enjoyed this part especially:

    “Drivers must remember that this is not a sport but a deeply weird and monotonous pre-programmed entertainment experience that is completely incomprehensible to sane people.”

  92. John Read, 26 March 2013 18:57

    The view that “Webber has never assisted Vettel in the past” is not really correct.

    Vettel is a worthy 3 time WDC but without Webber being so fast and consistent and taking points off other drivers e.g. Alonso, Vettel would not be a WDC. He should be grateful to have such a good team mate.

    That’s why teamwork is crucial. If RBR had only one car instead of 2 they would not win any titles.

  93. herbertobaggio, 27 March 2013 01:21

    Dont loose sight of the fact that SV repeatedly requested a team order to get MW out of the way long before 46. Its the disdain and disregard for the team that is riling the folks.
    RB should just do a Ferrari and declare SV will always get prefential treatment no matter what.
    Mercedes is a bit more interesting. Unless they made a mistake or there was a problem with HAMs car, no reason why NICO shouldnt be 3rd.
    The pot has been stirred, watch out for thh nsxt installment of the series.

  94. Antipodean, 27 March 2013 12:00

    I can’t buy in to the “oh, he’s a racing driver so winning is in his dna” rationale for Vettel ignoring team orders.

    Look at history and there are world champions with winning in their dna, but also more than their fair share of “class”.

    I think there is another recent multiple world champion whose achievements will always be diminished because of a similar lack of class in their dna.

    Seb has got time to wake up to himself…..

  95. dave cubbedge, 27 March 2013 16:00

    Jackie Stewart, one guy who always won with class. Even when his team-mate was quicker, i.e., Nurburgring 1973.

  96. Charles Norman, 27 March 2013 17:55

    Mr Cubbedge I would fully agree with you on that and how about adding Jimmy Clark in 1967 when on two occasions he was quite happy to let Graham Hill win (British and US GP’s); sadly neither happened as Graham’s car broke both times.

    I am certain that Fangio did the same when Stirling won the Aintree GP in 1955.

    Similarly we have Ronald moving over for Emerson in 1973 at the Austrian GP; and later we see Gilles doing the same.

    So what makes these guys different from the likes of Vettel, and other more recent World Champions? Without a trace of arrogance these men were totally comfortable in the knowledge that they were as good as it gets.

    That is why they are held in such reverence; and how many of these men went hell for leather trying to get the race fastest lap because he wanted it the record books.

    Some may say that Sebastian displays all the characteristics of a childish obsessive.

  97. Ray FK, 27 March 2013 18:07

    By reading the comments since I asked the question is Formula 1 in a mess? It seems to me that the current format of boring qualifiying,artifical “racing”,another team orders fiasco and my own personal bug bear of tarmac run-off on boring circuits,making them even more boring,I have come to the conclusion that Formula 1 is in a total mess and would like the contributors above to give me some remedies to cure this once great sport.Assuming that it can be.

  98. John B, 27 March 2013 19:55

    One hour free qualifying – no tyre limits
    Choice if two tyres for the race – one that can make the distance if you nurse it a bit and one that will require you to stop
    NO DRS
    Keep KERS – I like it – you can use it to pass if you want BUT the. Guy defending can use it too and so both cars can be equal at any point in time. If the target guy has used it up earlier in the lap defending and hasn’t got any left bad luck – that’s the choice you get rather than sitting back defenceless because your wing is closed.
    No fuel limit- it is supposed to be racing after all.
    No Hangers on in the pits
    No CVC
    That might be a start in the right direction

  99. Rich Ambroson, 27 March 2013 20:55

    I like the direction John B is going.

    I’d modify it so that the teams/drivers could mix the tire sets up before the start of the race, and be allowed one tires stop if they choose, and can put on whatever combo they wish. (or not stop at all)

  100. John B, 28 March 2013 02:20

    And no supermarket car park run offs.
    If you leave the track you are punished. (Race wise not physically)

  101. MikeB, 28 March 2013 14:41

    Why are people criticising Alonso and Ferrari for their call?
    Read the article!
    “It drooped a bit, but the car felt OK through the first two sectors.” He was able to keep Mark Webber at bay until the lap’s end, but the wing slipped lower still approaching Turn 15, the final hairpin. “I couldn’t see that from where I was,” he said

  102. bikingbelegana, 29 March 2013 02:15

    If it is a team sport shouldn’t it be scored as a team sport?

  103. Paul Chenard, 29 March 2013 03:46

    All members of a team work to the benefit of the team.
    They all function on trust. If the team leader gives a team direction or order, and someone within the team decides to ignore that order, that someone has undermined the team and it’s commander, and set a dangerous precedent … things can unravel quite quickly.
    Vettel is too immature and self-serving to be a cohesive part of a top level Formula 1 team. Give someone else the same car, and they can probably do as well … he should be reminded of that.

  104. P G H, 29 March 2013 10:03

    As someone pointed out, there are millions of $ involved and every point is vital. Teams are therefore highly motivated to ensure they bag maximum points and avoid anything that risks their points.
    However they need to remember and balance with this the fact that fans want to watch a grid full of cars racing not a fancy form of team relay event. If sufficient fans become disillusioned and stop paying to go to races and stop switching on the TV to watch etc. the sponsors will realise there is little point in spending millions for brand exposure that no longer exists. The money drains away from the sport and hey presto the whole argument becomes academic!
    Although not a direct comparison it’s perhaps an interesting thought – if a stable is running two horses in a race and gives instruction for one jockey to let another past ( or not) this would be construed as race fixing and those involved would not only be penalised with fines and bans, but would potentially be prosecuted as well !
    Come on guys sort the mess out and find a way of giving the paying public what they want (and believe they are paying for)!

  105. William Madan, 29 March 2013 15:52

    The name Didier Pironi ring a bell?

  106. Mario Pizzi, 30 March 2013 00:23


    Get over the gearbox seal issue. Doesn’t make any difference in your life.

  107. Martin Swann, 31 March 2013 17:01

    I think Vettel’s decision to overtake Webber was borne simply from the fact that his closest rival for this year’s driver’s title, Alonso, had already retired from the race, and he wanted no more than maximum points and distance between himself and the man who will challenge him this year in the Championship. Most hard headed racers, and indeed champions at any sport, have a ruthless streak. Last week’s race demonstrated Vettel has this in spades. His contrition was made public but, in the same circumstances I’d wager he’d do it again. Mind you, if I was him, I might not try it on with Webber.

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