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“I didn’t do it deliberately” claims Vettel

Mar 24, 2013, 7:00 AM EDT

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After passing his teammate against the wishes of Red Bull, Sebastian Vettel has apologized to Mark Webber following the Malaysian Grand Prix.

“I did make a big mistake today,” said Vettel after the race.

“We should have stayed in the positions we were in. I didn’t ignore it [the order to hold position] on purpose but I messed up the situation.

“It doesn’t help his feelings right now. Apologies to Mark and now the result is there, but all I can say is that I didn’t do it deliberately.”

Vettel had trailed Webber since the first round of stops in Malaysia, but he closed on his teammate after the final pit stops towards the end of the race. Despite the team telling him to back off, the German driver took the lead from his teammate and then set off into the distance.

The tension between the two drivers was evident on the podium, and in the ‘cool down’ room after the race, Webber was seen shouting “multi 21″ at Vettel, believed to be the code used by Red Bull when they want to hold position.

As well as apologizing to Webber, Vettel also admitted that he put the 1-2 finish for the team at risk.

“I took quite a lot of risk to pass him and I should have behaved better.”

Webber made his disappointment clear at the end of the race, and Red Bull will be keen on repairing their drivers’ relationship during the three week break before the Chinese Grand Prix. However, playing ‘happy families’ is the last thing on Webber’s mind, who is keen on returning to his native Australia during the break.

“It is three weeks to the next race so we are fortunate,” said Webber. “I will catch some waves in Australia.”

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  1. thegadz - Mar 24, 2013 at 8:30 AM

    German TV said that they believe multi 21 means #2 in front of #1 (i.e. Webber in front of Vettel).

  2. martinpruss - Mar 24, 2013 at 10:40 AM

    Vettel apologize? – only under instruction from Marco. Marco’s puppet did what he did for himself. He’s a pathetic little loser (obviously not in the sense of World Championships) as a team player.

    And what will happen from a team perspective? Absolutely nothing – as Mark said in the interviews – Vettel has protection from within the team – he can do whatever the heck he wants and nobody – especially spineless Horner – will do absolutely anything.

    Horner was no good as a driver, and apparently isn’t that much better as a team principal. At least Brawn told his drivers what to do on multiple occasions. Maybe it’s time for Horner to step down and let somebody who has a spine run RBR.

  3. manchestermiracle - Mar 24, 2013 at 10:45 AM

    Apparently “multi 21″ really means “multi-pass” because Vettel tried more than once to get around Webber. Team orders were to maintain position, yet Vettel took an admitted risk in passing Webber. How the hell Vettel squares that with claiming he didn’t do it “deliberately” is beyond me. Maybe the car Vettel is “driving” is really in control and Vettel is just along for the ride…

    Webber got screwed and it seems Red Bull is okay with that. I can’t root for any team that treats one of its drivers like dirt. Webber deserves better and Vettel is an egotistical fool. It will be interesting to see how Red Bull “repairs” the relationship between its drivers when it has so often in the past gone out of its way to favor Vettel over Webber.

  4. surly1n1nd1anapol1s - Mar 24, 2013 at 11:20 AM

    I can BS on Seb.

    • boosterrocket - Mar 24, 2013 at 12:16 PM

      Vettel has no class. His claim of “I didn’t do it deliberately” is an insult to the intelligence of anyone who watched the race.

      • krt88nc - Mar 24, 2013 at 1:24 PM

        Completely correct here, this could have easily been Turkey 2010 all over again. He thinks of himself first and the team second and Weber does things correctly. Kids a punk and deserves to get suspended by Red Bull but it’ll never happen.

      • sterling50 - Mar 24, 2013 at 9:20 PM

        Agreed. I’m done with Vettel as a fan. What gets me are F1 fans who do not like Team Orders. Team Orders are part of F1. Saying you don’t like them is nothing different than saying you don’t like open cockpits or standing starts. Vettel proved today he is nothing but a selfish child. No class. Webber….eh….unfortunately he really doesn’t have much to bring to the table…but he should have taken the win today.

        The class act today was Hamilton and his gesture/comments towards Nico. Nicely said. Good for Hammy to get on the podium even if he got a bit confused for what team he drives for today. LOL.

      • manofadvntr - Mar 26, 2013 at 12:49 PM

        Yes booster., krt88nc and sterlin., I really can’t add or say much more useful about Baby Vettel. :)

  5. icemanpjn - Mar 24, 2013 at 12:17 PM

    People hate team orders but the fact is that the drivers are employees driving for a team and as such are obligated to comply with team orders, no matter how much they might hate it. Vettel failed to do his job.

    • krt88nc - Mar 24, 2013 at 1:26 PM

      What is the Turkey 2010 had repeated itself. He screws the team and himself. Punk act but he seems to get away with it too often. Next time Weber has to protect his teammate he should do what’s best for himself because that’s all Vettel ever does.

  6. apm - Mar 24, 2013 at 1:30 PM

    “Multi 21″ is a detuned engine mapping… Webber basically had one arm tied behind his back when Vettel passed him. Cheap move by Vettel.

  7. Mr. Briano - Mar 24, 2013 at 1:32 PM

    Vettel is a Formula One racing driver; the pinnacle of motorsport. I should hope every move he makes is “deliberate”.

  8. kristensenmichael - Mar 24, 2013 at 4:31 PM

    Vettel will obviously have a successful career in spite of his reckless, selfish and childish behavior. The team principals are as much to blame as Vettel as they allow this to continue season after season which really is a slap in their face in front of a worldwide audience. I do believe that at some point what goes around comes around so I will stay tuned!

  9. juliath83 - Mar 24, 2013 at 5:48 PM

    This is why I don’t watch F1, despite their obvious technological and driving talent advantages over other series. Team orders are not racing, they are politics.They also dilute the product. Fans do not want to watch a race that is in some way “rigged”, by the series or competitors themselves. Team Red Bull was trying to rig the race, any other argument insults our intelligence. Vettel should be trying to win races. If he is faster than Webber, he should pass him. End of discussion. If Webber is too sore of a loser to accept that, he should either be driving faster or find a different profession. Team orders not to wreck a teammate? Sure. Orders not to pass? That’s BS. Both men are professional racers and grown and shouldn’t stand for such childish antics from their team.

  10. worknman24hours - Mar 24, 2013 at 8:47 PM

    Why even waste the time to apologize.

    Vettel did as he has been told since he came there.

    Vettel is allowed to pass Webber on track to get up front any time he can regardless of team orders given over the radio.

    Vettel is the number one driver on that team and always will be.

    Webber knows that and must simply accept it.

    • bblack187 - Mar 25, 2013 at 7:24 AM

      As I have said Workingman, I have no problem of Vettel passing Webber, as long as it is done on track, it a bunch of bull for the team to order Webber to move over for Vettel…..very nice rare start for Webber by the way, lets see how that works out next race….I think Webber will suffer from another bad ECU from Mclaren…..hahaha

  11. sabatimus - Mar 24, 2013 at 10:15 PM

    What an absolute bald lie. Anyone who watched the race could tell you that.

  12. jezza819 - Mar 24, 2013 at 10:24 PM

    “Didn’t mean to do it” yeah I’m sure that’s what he said as he went by. Let’s see if Webber doesn’t mean to do it the next time he is told to stay behind or turn the engine down.

  13. dkaye1198sdkaye1198s - Mar 25, 2013 at 5:46 PM

    The fastest car/driver won plain and simple, screw team orders. It wasn”t too long ago F1 complained of not enough passing, team orders to take away passing is rediculous, let them play!!

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