Rivalry escalates between Webber and Vettel of RedBull F1 Team

Discussion in 'Sports' started by Daredevil, Mar 26, 2013.

  1. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

    Apr 5, 2009
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    Sebastian Vettel may have won the the Malaysian Grand Prix but the German driver has a lot of explaining to do to Red Bull and his Formula One team-mate Mark Webber.

    Webber drove masterfully on the Sepang circuit to climb from fifth on the grid to lead the second race of the F1 calendar, before both he and Vettel were told to ease off in the closing stages to protect their cars and tyres.

    The Australian led both Vettel and Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton with 12 laps remaining.

    But triple-world champion Vettel took matters into his own hands, ignoring Red Bull's orders and attacking Webber, engaging in a tense battle in the final laps to secure a 27th grand prix victory.

    The Australian gave Vettel the cold shoulder before the podium presentation, saying only "Multi-21, Seb. Multi-21" - a reference to Red Bull's race instructions.

    The pass was deliberate, obviously I wanted to pass him ... but I didn't mean to ignore the strategy or the call. I made a mistake.

    "It's still very raw at the moment because we had a plan before the race as we do for most grands prix as to how things will be in a certain scenario," Webber said.

    "I think this will be good medicine for me. But there was a lot of things in my mind in the last 15 laps of the grand prix to be honest.

    "So whether the medicine is enough, we'll see."

    Vettel apologised to Webber post-race after the Australian said Red Bull had assured him the two were "not going to abuse the cars on each other".

    "I am the black sheep right now ... all I can say is apologies to Mark," Vettel said after his win that gave him the drivers' championship lead and Red Bull a one-two finish at Sepang.

    "The pass was deliberate, obviously I wanted to pass him ... but I didn't mean to ignore the strategy or the call. I made a mistake, simply."

    What is Multi-21?

    The order for Multi-21 given to both Webber and Vettel was part of Red Bull's strategy to stop the two vying against each other for first place after the final pit stop.

    While nothing in race rules prevents members of the same team overtaking each other in a bid for the highest finish, team strategy comes into play, both to ensure a first-placed finish and to protect the car and tyres.

    Many teams, when faced with a one-two finish scenario, will opt for the leader to go for the win, while the second-placed driver is asked to protect his team-mate's lead by holding up the chasing pack.

    Instead, Vettel ignored the multi-21 order when it was issued and proceeded to speed up behind Webber and slip past him on a series of corners.

    Astonished Red Bull principal Christian Horner warned "this is silly Seb, come on" over the team radio as the German repeatedly attacked Webber.

    The drivers' interest became bigger than the team's and they took it into their own hands to start racing each other which was obviously uncomfortable for us.

    Red Bull team principal Christian Horner

    While the duel made for great viewing for the neutral, the risks Vettel took and forced Webber into endangered both cars and the drivers, while putting unnecessary strain and wear on the tyres.

    "As far as the drivers are concerned, we let them race up to that last pitstop and then from a team's perspective, with the issues we've had this weekend, we wanted to control the race and manage the tyres to the end of the race," Horner said.

    "But at that point the drivers' interest became bigger than the team's and they took it into their own hands to start racing each other which was obviously uncomfortable for us.

    "We'll sit down with them and discuss it as a team. They've raced each other hard before. They are very competitive. They are both race car drivers, it's difficult."

    History of the rivalry

    Photo: Istanbul crash ... Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber crashed out in Turkey in 2010. (Getty Images: Mark Thompson)
    Vettel and Webber have endured a strained relationship for much of their time as Red Bull team-mates.

    The drama between the two started at the 2010 Turkish Grand Prix when they crashed after Vettel tried to pass Webber for the lead.

    In the build up to Silverstone in 2010, Webber insisted the rivalry between himself and his team-mate was healthy and that the team as a whole had learnt from what happened in Istanbul.

    "It's unlikely to happen again. The whole team learnt from the incident in Turkey. It was a new experience for us. But 80 per cent of the grid would give their right arm to be in a similar position, with two guys fighting at the front.

    "Look, we're pretty good. If Seb was drowning in the ocean I'd go in and save him. But it's totally natural that there will be rivalry."

    But just days later, the situation reached boiling point.

    Look, we're pretty good. If Seb was drowning in the ocean I'd go in and save him. But it's totally natural that there will be rivalry.

    Mark Webber in 2010

    During practice for the British GP, Vettel broke his front wing and Red Bull opted to give him Webber's, against the Australian's wishes.

    The German took pole position but Webber forced his way past early in the race. When Vettel tried to fight back, he cut his tyre on Lewis Hamilton's wing and lost ground, allowing Webber to extend his lead and eventually win the race.

    As he crossed the line, Webber quipped "not bad for a number-two driver" and used his post race media opportunities to intimate that Vettel was getting preferential treatment.

    Photo: British champion ... Mark Webber celebrates his 2010 Silverstone win. (Fred Dufour: AFP)
    The spat boiled over at the Brazil GP when Webber described his good form as "an inconvenience" to Red Bull.

    "I don't think I was meant to be in the hunt at all [in 2010], so it has been maybe quite inconvenient - but I've enjoyed every minute of it," he said. He also suggested the team had not been "emotionally behind him".

    On the same weekend, Vettel said that Webber could forget about his support in his bid for the title.

    "If Mark needs help then he should take the medical car," Vettel told German television.

    Famous feuds

    Many team winners of the constructors' championship have had to negotiate a constant battle between race strategy and drivers' ego.

    Senna and Prost

    Perhaps the most famous and bitter of rivals in Formula One history.

    Ayrton Senna joined McLaren in 1988 and took the title in his first year, but in doing so he pushed his team-mate Alain Prost dangerously close to the wall in Estoril.

    At Imola in 1989, Senna went back on a pre-race pact and overtook Prost to win the race. The Frenchman became convinced his younger team-mate was being given preferential treatment.

    Then at Suzuka, after Prost had announced he would move to Ferrari, Senna tried to pass him at the chicane, causing a collision that took both out of the race.

    The incident meant Prost took the title.

    Villeneuve and Pironi

    In 1982, Ferrari's team orders were the stimulus behind a rivalry which ended in tragedy.

    Didier Pironi ignored team orders at Imola in 1982, humiliating Gilles Villeneuve in the process.

    Villeneuve subsequently vowed to never speak to the Frenchman again.

    The bitterness Villeneuve felt post-Imola was evident on the podium. He did not even glance in the direction of his team-mate.

    Later, there were conflicting stories about whether or not the Canadian’s engine had a problem – Villeneuve strenuously denied what seemed like an attempt by Ferrari to play down driver unrest.

    In the same season, tensions between the drivers split the team as Villeneuve reportedly considered leaving to join McLaren.

    He never got his chance as he died as a result of injuries sustained in a crash at Zolder while trying to beat his team-mate's qualifying time.
    Infographic: McLaren's Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso (Getty Images: Mark Thompson)
    Alonso and Hamilton

    Spain's Fernando Alonso was said to be unhappy from the start of his McLaren partnership with Lewis Hamilton.

    In 2007, his nose was reportedly out of joint when the majority of attention at McLaren's pre-season meet-the-driver day was directed at the young Briton.

    Alonso felt the British team were biased towards the home-grown driver.

    The Spaniard won the 2007 Monaco GP, but Hamilton was unhappy with his team and suggested they had stopped him from winning by pitting him earlier than necessary.

    In post-race press, Hamilton said: "It is something I have to live with. I have number two on my car and I am the number two driver."

    Hamilton then refused to give way to his team-mate in qualifying at the Hungarian GP. Alonso subsequently blocked the Englishman in the garage which meant he could not complete his final qualifying lap.

    The two drivers were reportedly no longer on speaking terms and rumours of Alonso leaving began to circulate, before he ultimately signed for Ferrari.

    aragorn likes this.
  3. aragorn

    aragorn Senior Member Senior Member

    Nov 14, 2009
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    Vettel is a spoiled brat. He is just following other German's footsteps. Michael Schumacher. He too disobeyed team orders when he was in stronger position. But i guess scoring 25 points comes first for Seb then team.

    In that race, Exact opposite was happening in Mercedes team.

    Nico Roseberg asked his team principal Rose Brawn to pass his team member Lewis Hamilton telling he was much faster than him. He got the reply that lewis is deliberately holding the pace and he too can go faster if required. But he was preserving fuel and tyres. And Merc wanted both the cars to be in points. And that was the strategy. It paid off as both the merc were in points.

    I thought Team orders were banned in F1. I remember few years back they made issue when ferrari gave team orders to Massa to let Alonso pass so that he can be closer to Hamilton.
    indian_sukhoi likes this.
  4. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

    Mar 24, 2009
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    Why prevent aggressive driving with hold overtaking? It's the most exciting part of an F1 race. Even its healthy completion between team members. Team orders were banned long back especially after the blatant one where Ruebens Barichello was asked to slow down and let Micheal Schumacher pass a few years ago.

    To be honest I haven't followed F1 since Schumi retired which also coincided with growing kids for me who totally control the remote control.

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