Skip to content

Vettel apologizes to Red Bull team members

Mar 28, 2013, 6:45 PM EDT

F1 Grand Prix of Malaysia Getty Images

Sebastian Vettel has apologized to the entire Red Bull team, according to team principal Christian Horner.

After overtaking teammate Mark Webber against team orders during the Malaysian Grand Prix, Vettel has been criticized by many members of the paddock for making the move. During the race, Horner said that the move was “silly”, but the result stood as Vettel led Webber home for a Red Bull 1-2.

“He’s said he can’t turn back the clock but he’s accepted what he did was wrong,” Horner is quoted as saying by Reuters.

“He’s apologized to the team and to every single member of staff for his actions, because he recognizes the team is vitally important and being part of the team is a crucial aspect to being able to challenge for those championships.”

Despite apologizing, Vettel’s critics are still adamant that the Red Bull driver was well aware of what he was doing, even if the triple-champion claims that the move was not deliberate.

Mark Webber’s future with the team and in the sport has also been questioned, but Horner insists that he has no worries about the Australian driver seeing out the season with Red Bull.

“He’s big enough to know that there was no malice, no intent from the team to create any situation like that. I’ve got no doubt that Mark will see out the season with us,” Horner told Sky Sports.

The fall-out from Malaysia will take a while to die down, but in a recent interview, Sebastian Vettel stated that some of his most memorable overtakes happened “quite recently.” If the move was indeed intentional, Vettel’s reputation could be damaged heavily as he looks to claim a fourth consecutive championship in 2013.

  1. gbar22 - Mar 28, 2013 at 10:26 PM

    It’s absurd that he has to apologize for going for a win. This is why F1 will never be all that relevant here in the states. If any NASCAR team ever told its drivers to hold position their would be a boycott of the sport.

    • manchestermiracle - Mar 30, 2013 at 8:28 PM

      Really? Just how long have you followed that manufactured drama called NASCAR? It seems to me that there is little difference between ordering a driver to “hold position” (or any other team strategy) and the driver himself doing something to advance his team.

      It wasn’t that long ago that the icon of your sport, Dale Earnhardt, died trying to block for his teammate at the Daytona 500. I remember lots of criticism of Earnhardt for his foolhardy attempt to alter the finish, but none about him trying to help a teammate win. What is drafting strategy, whether with a teammate or a competitor, if not a type of holding position?

      If F1 never realizes the popularity of NASCAR in the U.S. (a small slice of the racing world) that would be just fine with me and I suspect just fine with other true aficionados of racing. Just because a certain type of racing is highly popular with casual observers doesn’t mean it compares favorably in any way with any truly competent form of pure racing. There are plenty of “popular” TV shows that have little redeeming value when compared to actual art.

  2. mcmillang2013 - Mar 29, 2013 at 1:09 AM

    Leave NASCAR out of this!! F1 will pave its own way in the US? How many people out there really like caution after caution for 3 hours!

  3. drewsylvania - Mar 29, 2013 at 9:50 AM

    Don’t apologize, just don’t do it.

  4. drewsylvania - Mar 29, 2013 at 9:52 AM

    Oh…and if you’re going to compare NASCAR favorably to F1, I’m not sure about your opinion of racing in general…

  5. drewsylvania - Mar 29, 2013 at 9:53 AM

    Again, Vettel won because his teammate obeyed the team. Not because he was faster.

  6. techmeister1 - Mar 30, 2013 at 3:11 AM

    Vettel is a spoiled brat. He was unable to catch Webber the whole race yet he asked the team to have Webber allow Vettel to pass. Vettel has gone from a promising your man to an egomaniac. An insincere apology doesn’t change vettel’s mindset or actions. red bull should park his arse for a couple races but they have no integrity either so Webber gets violated once again. There is nothing new with this unethical organization.

  7. manchestermiracle - Mar 30, 2013 at 8:17 PM

    No mention of Vettel apologizing to Webber. Vettel apologized to “the team” because “the team” has had his back since day one, preferring him over Webber. Vettel knew he could ignore team orders and do as he pleased without repercussions. The simple fact that Horner called Vettel’s potentially disastrous move “silly” rather than “stupid” is all the proof you need.

    The continued claim by Vettel that his pass of Webber wasn’t intentional is as hilarious as Horner trying to reassure himself that Webber wouldn’t leave the team in a heartbeat if he got an offer elsewhere. Unlike Vettel, Webber is a good team driver. Questioning his future with Red Bull is legitimate, but thinking another team wouldn’t want to have him is ridiculous.

  8. laguna4art - Mar 31, 2013 at 8:26 PM

    Nice site, true aficionados intelligent comments, except gbar22. I think there’s an appropriate word – chivalry I think? of which Mr Vettel has no clue whatsoever of its meaning. A small price to pay would’ve been for coming in 2nd instead of 1st for not only he’d still remain world champion but also a decent team player as well, I think Rosberg gained status for the same thing, at least in my eyes. But oh no, that wasn’t enough after 3 WDC and how many wins? This insatiable hunger, this kind of mindless ambition will sooner or later come to hunt him.

  9. techmeister1 - Apr 3, 2013 at 1:47 AM

    The fact is that Vettel could not keep pace with Webber all through the race and that like a baby he radioed the team to try and get Webber to allow him by with a false claim that Webber was “too slow” when in fact Webber was driving away by a half second per lap. Vettel has allowed his ego to take control and he’ll untimately pay a high price for such decisions. He would never have passed Webber had Webber not turned the engine down as instructed by the team. Vettel like Hamilton is not a team player. These two are very narcissistic. If you need to cheat to win, where is the satisfaction in that strategy?

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Video from NASCAR America

Which longshot will advance in Chase?
Top 10 NASCAR Driver Searches
  1. B. Keselowski (1877)
  2. J. Gordon (1467)
  3. K. Busch (1429)
  4. K. Harvick (1371)
  5. M. Crafton (1340)