So, did Sebastian Vettel do the right thing as a racing driver?

Vettel 2Is anyone out there shocked, like really shocked, that Sebastian Vettel did what he did yesterday? And then tried, and failed spectacularly, to cover it up? The inevitable lines about Germans not following orders aside, should any of us be truly surprised? I know I’m not.

We posted early yesterday, as the story was still developing and before some pretty darn fine journalism from the BBC team was aired at lunchtime. The story developed, and you made your opinions felt. It brought out the best in you all, so thanks for the excellent ongoing debate.

I’ve never really bought the ‘lovely young man, that Vettel’ thing. Number one, he is a triple world champion at the age of 25. You can’t do that without what we’ll charitably call ‘a certain focus’. Number two, there are two Sebs; ‘Smiley Seb’ when he’s winning, ‘Sulky Seb’ when he’s not.

Maybe there’s a third now; ‘Shifty Seb’, the one who couldn’t hold Mark Webber’s gaze when Webber called him on his wilful disobedience. As things have played out, maybe he should have just come back with a “Yeah? Wanna make something of it?” The apology and the even more ludicrous ‘accidental overtake’ line have hardly done him any less damage. He’s a gifted racing driver, one of the very few greats. Of course he’s ruthless. So was Michael Schumacher and frankly, though we have largely forgotten it, so was Ayrton Senna. Both would have done exactly the same thing.

There’s a lot of chat out there this morning around drivers versus teams, that only by nailing your colours to one mast or the other can you decide where you sit on this. I’m not so sure. Ask me to decide whether in the public’s eyes it’s about drivers or manufacturers and I’ll absolutely tell you: it’s about drivers. Winning the manufacturer’s title might allow Ferrari and McLaren to stick a little badge on the dashboards of their road cars but it means very little else to the watching audience. Especially, to these eyes at least, when Red Bull win it. It’s a brand of over-priced drink, not a car.

However if it’s teams we are talking about, then I have a different view. Vettel needs to have a little more regard for Christian Horner and Adrian Newey. What they’ve done is remarkable. While never short of cash, remember this team was the very ordinary Stewart and frankly hopeless Jaguar before it was Red Bull.

And cash alone does not secure success. Horner and Newey have achieved dominance from a very ordinary little shed in Milton Keynes, not a crystal palace in Woking or a whole campus in Maranello. Their design, engineering and management genius is what really drives that team.

Vettel owes his current success, his fame, and his wealth to these two. There are three or maybe four drivers out there who could have done what he did in an RB6, RB7 or RB8. Necessarily, you can’t include Mark Webber on that list. Indeed this weekend Bernie claimed that one of those on that list asked for help in getting a move into an RBR chassis (a claim that was denied today). Still, it seems pretty obvious who would want to VET-o that one.

So whether you feel ambivalent about Red Bull as manufacturer, you may not feel that way about Horner and Newey. That especially applies to those of you reading this in the UK.

Do those two have any right to tell their drivers in which order to finish a race? Of course they do. It gets more tricky when you ask yourself: is that right a good thing?

Imagine none of this had happened. No orders had been made public, or no radio intercepted, or Mark Webber had saved it all for the debrief. We would have been contemplating a fantastic race, complete with a moment of madness from Fernando Alonso, a moment of misty-eyed nostalgia from Lewis Hamilton and a mind-boggling battle between two identical examples of the some of the most evolved engineering on this planet.

Ignorance would have been bliss, and the best racer would have won. The fact that in many people’s eyes he’s less of man isn’t really our problem. Vettel made his choices, and he has to live with them now, off the track and (where I suspect he cares more) on it.

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I agree, racers should race. But team orders have worked in Seb’s favour so many times before that surely he should honour them when the shoe is on the other foot. With the way these cars are developed throughout the season, a divided garage will only work against him in the long run. That said, team orders shouldn’t come into play until it becomes necessary for a team to win one or both titles, so at this stage no one is really entitled to a place.

One thing is for sure, with these new tires, coupled with fuel management, more and more racing will be done on the pit wall and less and less will be about drivers going to the limits of the car.

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Rubbish arguement, that it too early for team orders
Teams are still getting to grips with 2013 tyres and
their performace.

so I have, no problem with team orders being issued
this early on until the teams are confident that the tyres
are working perfectly.

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From a strategy point of view, SV is a champion and MW is not. It’s all that simple. RBR needs to throw its weight behind SV, and Horner didn’t do that. SV needs those 7 points and MW does not.

In addition, there is a mistaken understanding about the nature of a race driver and his team. The race driver is NOT an employee of the team in the same sense that a shopkeeper hires a checkout clerk. The driver signs a contract with a team (here, RBR) to provide racing performance for which he gets a stipend. He is far more autonomous than the checkout clerk, and is co-equal with his team. As with all “professionals”, he also has a career that is independent of his team and needs to watch out for himself. If SB felt that it was optimum to pass MW for both his own benefit and even RBR, then so be it. Ultimately, Horner has to respect that, and honor SV’s “smooth-it-over” apology.

And the fact that neither RBR nor Bernie Ecclestone have even dared mention any punitive action against SV confirms that, while it was marginal behavior, it’s way too early in the season for calling foul. The unfortunate reality is that F1 is Big Business, and it needs to operate to maximize income, which often works against good racing, no doubt frustrating drivers along the way, such as this whole concept of “team orders” to “preserve” a car and actually inhibit the best drivers from rising. Example: Hamilton himself said that Rosberg should have been on the podium…


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We all long for the good old days of the gladitorial wheel to wheel battles, but let’s face it. Today’s F1 team is big business with big rewards and big financial risk. Teams not only need to deliver results on the track but also in the boardrooms. And They have to work within (stretch the envelope whenever possible) the confines and rules as set by the FIA.

The Teams objectives are to bring both cars in with max points, the drivers is to win, when a a juncture occurs that could put either at risk the team has to make a call, if they left it to the drivers , Yes we would get the battles we all long for but The Team could risk not finishing the race with both cars when they can and collect they’re all so lucrative constructor points which is a business based decision . This SV furore is a great conflict story for now, but there is so much conflict always going on behind the scenes we are not privvy to (The Teams always have to brush this off and say it’s all sorted..see Helmut Marko’s comments yesterday) Media and especially competitoors will always try and keep the fires burning, it uses up the much needed oxygen/energies and resources that a team need to prepare for the next race. This boils down to one thing the strength or weakness of trust and future confidence in the team itself. This article tries to reveal what is at stake for todays F1 teams e.g RBR and SV .uk/blog/when-theres-an-i -in-team/ .

This team dynamic problem is always going to be tin F1 as long as we have the team orders in place. And drivers will handle it differently, take Nico for example, he probably hated every second he was behind Lewis when he knew he could pass, but a cooler head prevailed. It was of small comfort for Nico that Lewis acknowledged that, but the Team are not weaker for it. Can the same be said for Red Bull….time will tell in the races to come.

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RBR always had this issue, lets not forget the past. This incident only highlights the issues withing the team. Webber should be repromanded for that damgerous move pushing Vettel all the way into the pit out lane, very dangerous move and should be looked at. Webber disreagarded team orders before and the final blow tohis career was Brazil 2012. Vettel will continue o win many more companionships and rack more awards, Webber will be out of a drive soon enough. The pass on Webber IMO was Vettel putting Webber in his place, you are the lesser driver, know your place, get behind me,you are not going to win if i can do something about it.

Webbers tires were shot, had no more fight in them, he was lower on fuel, he had to tun down theengine and nurse it home. Vettel managed his tires so he could fight t the end and bang out fast lap after fast lap, end of story.

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See Bernie Eccelstone, is backing Sebestian Vettel
what a load of bollocks.
Simple Vettel is, Formula one golden boy and in
Bernie is the golden egg.

so off course, he back Vettel as he does not want
the apple cart upset.
if all about Vettel, would be lynching Alonso Bernie
Ecclestone if he pull that stunt.

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First of all, since there are some comparisons of Vettel with Schumi and Sena,
please remember how Michael won the championship when he had superior car like Vettel does, the championship was finished with 1/3 of races left or more.
And Vettel owes two of his 3 titles to Ferrari mistakes and plus one of those to mr Horner blindly favoring Vettel to Weber almost resulting in loosing title with far best car! Secondly, you all keep saying how Senna was rootless driver, and he was when he was racing, but he also came running out of the car in the middle of the race to help fellow driver in an accident, NOW DOES ANYONE THINK VETTEL WOULD DO SOMETHING LIKE THAT????? I MEAN REALY!
Completely other thing is that Senna would never agree to this deal, to start saving fuel and stop racing 20 laps before the end of the race. And this is my point, Senna as rootless as he was would never violate the agreement he made because he had integrity and character and that’s why he is a legend.
On the other hand Vettel is a very good driver in the best car, but he will always be a spoilt brat with no moral!

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At first I must admit when i saw it i was thinking Vettel you utter ****** but it’s suddenly just dawned on me that what everyone is complaining about here is an overtake being made in F1, that may potentially lead to one of the most exciting and fierce rivalries over the reast of the season since the Prost / Senna. Schumacher / Hill years We havn’t seen anything like this for a long time, and i think everyone should sit back and enjoy it. Webber with nothing to lose, and no drive for next year, Vettel with his reputation and champion status to lose, Alonso playing catch up, Hamilton apparently in with a chance, and Maldonado as the circus clown.

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Cpt Slow Malab, starts tonight at 8 pm Very Quicky
and fun to watch indeed.
love it when, he escaped from Dartmoor prison
with Oz Clarke using nothing but a map and a compass.

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This is only the second race of a very long season, No one is in a commanding lead which needs protecting, Everything is to play for, Vettel has every right to challenge for 1st place, risky or not, And let’s be honest, It was probably one of the best duels for a long,long time, Maybe racing would benefit from the annoying pit lane radios and processional instructions which make so many races so boring

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If you want to see people actually RACING (rather than just going round in circles), then you wanna have a look at MotoGP! Proper flag to flag, 200mph+ RACING, with real excitement and danger from the start! F1 is, always has been and always will be tedious – what sort of a ‘race’ is it when the bloke in second place is 45seconds behind? That’s not a race, you’re just looking at someone on an ego trip!

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Honestly, Seb should learn from Kimi on how to speak the truth all the way. Seb just needs to learn to express oneself truthfully with no holding back.

Seb should have said….

There was absolutely no mistake. I can’t hold back when I know I am faster. I deserve the win because I am faster.

The team should not have spilled out any holding back for Webber. They should have allowed us to deal with the 1 2 in our own racing manner.

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stop all the bitching ,its about racing, nobody races to lose, well done seb keep it up ???

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The point is that Red Bull told Webber to slow down because there was no way he would not win. Then Vettel thought that he can go faster without realizing that his team mate had slowed down because the team ordered him to do that. Everybody is now only speculating, that was it right, that the fastest guy won, while they are forgetting that Vettel may never had caught up with Webber if he hadn’t slowed down.

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Vettel managed tired better, had a fresh pair on while Mark has used worn tired. If Mark wanted he could have challenged Vettel but he didnt, why? He couldnt.

Read this article to get a better idea of what went on. ditorial/8609604/Was-Webb er-Goading-Vettel-

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Come on you all know what is racing… Racing is WINNING or do you forget the begining of 90’s when the HUGE SENNA and Prost were allways fighting for the first Place…

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@ f1 fan


thank you for this article: ditorial/8609604/Was-Webb er-Goading-Vettel-

that´s eye opening and everybody should thoroughly read it and THEn make up his mind.

I changed mine.

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First of the last thing needed are orders from the box in race two, secondly, those extra points for Seb might make the difference at the end of the season.
POINT 3; no more orders AT ALL

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Far too many spelling mistakes on this forum! Makes for painful reading.
On an actual racing note – Webber was told to slow down and so he did. It was then that Vettel decided to pass him. Whatever you may think about team orders is irrelevant in this discussion. The point is, either they both obey team orders or they do not, and actually race each other. In that sense, Vettel cheated Mark, his team let him down and he has every right to be angry.
Watching clips of Horner and Seb, it struck me that Horner would do just about anything to keep Seb happy. They have created a monster.

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