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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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