Vettel-Webber fallout continues

2013 Malaysian Grand Prix

The media’s ability to take a topic, run with it and blow it completely out of all proportion has been in full effect in the wake of Sebastian Vettel’s decision to ignore team orders on the way to victory in the Malaysian Grand Prix fallout. Mostly, we’re concerned with the Australian media, because that’s where our little world exists. The amount of ill-informed quasi-F1 fans in the media who have the luxury of a platform to display their ignorance is staggering.

Although, even the German media is getting stuck into Sebastian Vettel, well, kind of. Frank Schneider a contributor to Bild, Germany’s largest selling newspaper, has called Vettel a “dirtbag”.

“Sebastian Vettel has said it himself—on the track you have to be a dirtbag,” Schneider said. “For his win in Malaysia that’s exactly what he did. He behaved like a dirtbag then apologised for it afterwards.

“Vettel appears as though he was surprised by his own brutality. His killer instinct won’t make him more popular with his Formula 1 colleagues. But it is also what sets him apart from middle-of-the-road drivers.

“Vettel increasingly mirrors his idol Michael Schumacher whose lack of mercy led him to seven titles. Schumi was loved or hated. Vettel is on the way to being the same.”

Three-time world champion Niki Lauda also weighed into the debate, in his role as a German TV pundit, “He forced the win against the team ethos and at any cost. That was a big mistake.”

Former racer Gerhard Berger finally added some calm and reminded us that what we saw Vettel do on the weekend has happened before and will happen again. “To be a race winner you need to be very, very talented but to be a world champion, or to be world champion three, four, five times, you need to be extremely selfish,” said Berger.

“So of course after the race he is saying he is very sorry about it and that he cannot sleep, but I think he sleeps very well because this is his nature. And nobody, no team, no team chief, no team-mate is going to change it.”

Meanwhile, in Australia much of the talk has been about Webber returning home to consider his future in the sport. Really?! C’mon guys Mark is made from sterner stuff than that. Thankfully, his old man has put things right this morning on ABC radio, confirming Mark will be ready to race in China.

And even Red Bull themselves have felt obliged to issue a team statement explaining that they’re dealing with the mess in-house (see below). Perhaps the biggest surprise in the fallout from Vettel is the gravity felt inside the walls of Red Bull. Publicly, at least, Sebastian hasn’t been given an armchair ride through this controversy from his employers.

Here at AUSmotive we’ve wanted to rant and rave at Vettel’s actions but just haven’t been able to find the anger within. And there’s two reasons why.

First, let’s assume Mark and Sebastian were free to race to the line at Sepang, at full pace with full engine power and scant regard for tyre wear. The chances are Sebastian would have found a way past.

Sebastian is a better driver than Mark, it’s that simple.

Secondly, is anyone surprised that Sebastian Vettel has proved himself, once again, to be a self-serving little prick? True, he has matured a lot in recent years and he does, at times, display a charming personality. But we’ve seen enough to know that nobody should have been surprised by Vettel’s actions.

So, let’s all move on shall we.

[Source: The Sun | Pic: Red Bull/Getty Images]


by, Mar 25, 2013

Following Sunday’s race in Malaysia, there is obviously a lot of opinion and comment.

As advised on Sunday, this situation will be dealt with internally.

It’s worth noting that this is not an entirely new situation for us. At Infiniti Red Bull Racing, we have two drivers who both want to win races and Championships and this has been the case since Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel started driving together in 2009.

Together, the driver pairing of Mark and Sebastian has achieved 35 wins, 80 podiums, 13 one-two finishes and six FIA Formula One World Championships. This successful period includes some spells of intense on-track rivalry between our drivers.

Each incident has been managed in our own way behind closed doors and this will be no different.