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VIDEO: Vettel ignores team orders, telling team “tough luck”

Apr 20, 2014, 5:47 AM EST

Sebastian Vettel endured a difficult Chinese Grand Prix today in Shanghai as he could only bring his Red Bull home in fifth place, finishing some 24 seconds behind teammate Daniel Ricciardo. However, he did turn some heads when he flouted team orders and refused to let his faster teammate through after the first round of stops.

Ricciardo was far quicker than Vettel in the race, but a poor start meant that he trailed his illustrious teammate. However, he soon closed after pitting, and was clearly quicker than the German driver. Red Bull gave Vettel the order to let Ricciardo past, but he quickly challenged it.

“What tires is he on?” Vettel asked his engineer, Rocky. When he was told that they were on the same tires and therefore the same strategy, he then refused to let Ricciardo past. “Tough luck” was the impetuous call from Vettel, who inferred that if Ricciardo was going to gain the position, he would have to overtake him without any assistance.

Ricciardo continued to close, and ultimately found a way past into the first corner. Vettel had asked about Ricciardo’s strategy, and was told that he was on a two stop, whilst the German driver was still able to run a three-stop if need be. He then backed off slightly to let the Australian driver through, and then saw little more of him for the remainder of the race.

Vettel was soon protesting over the radio again as Caterham’s Kamui Kobayashi unlapped himself. Despite being entitled to do so, it annoyed the Red Bull driver who complained to his team. With worn tires, he soon pitted and eventually re-lapped Kobayashi later in the race.

He may have won the last four world titles, but the cracks are beginning to appear in Sebastian Vettel’s F1 crown.

  1. huskyfrk - Apr 20, 2014 at 6:48 AM

    sounding more like Senna everyday.

    • redrock81 - Apr 20, 2014 at 6:50 AM

      not really. Senna was demanding but he was an exceptional driver. I think we are finally starting to see what kind of a driver Vettel is… and frankly he’s not that great after all.

      • fireblade22 - Apr 20, 2014 at 10:13 AM

        “We” must be exceptionally stupid if “we” don’t know what sort of driver Vettel is after watching him for the last seven years in F1.

      • barroneo10scuderia10 - Apr 20, 2014 at 11:46 AM

        “We” have never seen Vettel struggle before, “we” are now seeing Vettel actually challenged, and “we” are amused by his complete lack of composure.

  2. brookwell2013 - Apr 20, 2014 at 9:29 AM

    Ahhhhhh, the real Seb. Is anyone really surprised? Total jerk and a lousy sportsman. A pox on you Seb.

  3. fireblade22 - Apr 20, 2014 at 10:10 AM

    Why is this a story? Many drivers don’t obey team orders. Mark Webber never, ever obeyed team orders and was a hero for it! Massa was praised for ignoring team orders. The only driver in F1 who ever gets attacked for not complying with team orders is Vettel.

    “He then backed off slightly to let the Australian driver through”

    So, unlike Webber, Vettel actually complied with team orders. I say again, what was the point of this idiotic story other than to let some writer vent his anti-Vettel bias?

    • fireblade22 - Apr 20, 2014 at 12:59 PM

      You can’t change reality by clicking on a little symbol, you have to refute them with other facts. And the Vettel haters don’t have any facts on their side.

  4. barroneo10scuderia10 - Apr 20, 2014 at 11:30 AM

    The reason it is an issue with Vettel is the way he constantly pretends to be a team player, but forgets that the other driver in his team is ALSO his team mate (most other drivers don’t pretend to be team players). Massa was praised because he’d followed team orders for such a long time, and it was refreshing to see him be his own man. The only time Webber didn’t follow team orders (to any consequence) was when he was fighting for the 2010 Championship, which he almost won.

    When you are a second a lap slower than your team mate who is right on your tail, why wouldn’t you let him by? Teams rarely give a damn about the Driver’s Championship, so it just goes to show Vettel’s true character, and if you watched the race you’d realize that Vettel never “let” Ricciardo by, he just got out driven.

    • fireblade22 - Apr 20, 2014 at 1:01 PM

      “The only time Webber didn’t follow team orders (to any consequence) was when he was fighting for the 2010 Championship, which he almost won.”

      Bull, and not Red Bull. Webber constantly flouted team orders. The most famous instance was Brazil 2012 when he very nearly managed to cost Vettel the title.

      • barroneo10scuderia10 - Apr 20, 2014 at 1:49 PM

        Brasil 2012, Vettel had no need to pass Webber to win the title, his position was already good enough and the TEAM asked Vettel to take it easy and VETTEL decided he wanted past Webber. So how in the hell did that almost cost Vettel a title?

  5. testover6370 - Apr 20, 2014 at 11:35 AM

    If you’re going to talk a big game and throw down the gauntlet like that, best to not get passed within minutes anyway, and then get passed by a Caterham! Not Vettel’s greatest moment.

    • fireblade22 - Apr 20, 2014 at 1:03 PM

      He didn’t “get passed anyway”, you illiterate clown. Even Luke Smith has to admit that Vettel let Riccardo past. But don’t let pesky reality get in the way of your bigotry.

      • barroneo10scuderia10 - Apr 20, 2014 at 1:57 PM

        There’s a huge difference between letting someone by and realizing you’ve been out paced. Vettle didn’t cut across the track and block Ricciardo into turn 1, but I hardly call that letting him by. Ricciardo easily lost 2-3 seconds behind Vettel. If Vettel had listened to the team, Ricciardo would have been on the podium instead of Alonso. So again, Vettel cost his team today. What if Red Bull ends up losing the Constructors Championship at the end of the year because of those few points? Will you still defend the decision?

      • cobobbles - Apr 21, 2014 at 12:04 AM

        Damn dude dial back the small minded anger. He’s not illiterate or a bigot he just has a different opinion. It’s just a race but congratulations on being another angry internet cheap shot artist. You win… Nothing.

  6. bikingscr016 - Apr 20, 2014 at 2:42 PM

    Fireblade22, you’ve given 2 (albeit weak) examples of Weber “not following” team orders…including this Chinese GP, that’s 2 times this year Seb hasn’t followed team orders. Need I include Multi-21 in my argument as well?

  7. worknman24hours - Apr 20, 2014 at 7:52 PM

    Frankly,I like this stuff.

    The drivers should race each other regardless.

    The lowest competition point in Formula One history was the two prime examples of team orders, both done by the Ferrari team.

    Where Barrichello practically stopped at the finish line to give Herr Michael the race and where ,and I mean especially the lowest point was when Felipe Massa was about to win the same race a year later where he almost DIED and the Ferrari team simply could not contain their glee to give Alonso the race which later on meant nothing because they didn’t win the World Championship anyway.

    THAT day belonged to Felipe Massa and his family, fans and Ferrari faithful who had dreamed of the sparky Brazilian coming back from almost the dead to vanquish that terrible accident from his ( and our) memory.

    I hope all the employees riot and stand up for themselves in the race where the teams can’t do a darn thing about it.

    What was that Vettel said?

    “Tough Luck”

    Translation?

    “I DRIVE THE CAR-YOU DON’T.”

  8. bikingscr016 - Apr 20, 2014 at 8:06 PM

    I agree on the principle of let the drivers drive, but when it’s in the contract, just wait until a team takes disciplinary action on of the drivers

  9. redrock81 - Apr 21, 2014 at 3:44 AM

    Sebastian, Ricciardo is faster than you. Can you confirm if you understood that message? LOL schadenfreude!

  10. Luke Smith - Apr 21, 2014 at 8:08 AM

    Well that escalated quickly…

    Some interesting views there guys. The team orders debate is one that will never die in Formula 1, I think.

    To clear up my thoughts on Seb: I have a huge amount of time for him. I think he’s an incredible driver and a nice guy, albeit a little impetuous at times (case and point: yesterday).

    It’s really dependent on what side of the fence you come down, I guess. However, what if it had been the other way around? What if Dan said: “tough luck” to Seb? How would Seb feel? Would he be so passive about the incident?

    The big I find odd in this is that Seb then let him go when he asked about strategy – yet they were on the same strategy. Was the plan to three stop Seb? Did the medium tires hold up better than expected?

    Or did he just come to his senses that resistance was futile?

    It might have been a dull race, but it certainly had a few good storylines and dramas. Thanks as ever for your views!

  11. techmeister1 - Apr 21, 2014 at 1:17 PM

    It’s good to see Vettel humilated by his own lack of performance with equal equipment to his teammate. The golden boy isn’t as super human as he thinks he is. His arrogance knows no limits however.

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