Mark Webber was left questioning his future in the Red Bull team today after a controversial end to the Malaysian Grand Prix. Webber was on course to record a win, but finished second after Sebastian Vettel disobeyed orders and overtook the Australian against the will of the team in the closing stages of the race.
“Seb’s a world class driver,” Webber said after the race. “We’ve had a lot of history in the past — obviously its been very fine. In lots of situation its a very close fight and it doesn’t take much for the see-saw to go in one favour. I respect Sebastian. Its still very raw at the moment because we had a plan for the grand prix in terms of how things would be in a certain scenario.”
“I should stop now,” said a visibly upset Webber.
“Its very very very hard [to watch Vettel overtake] when we’ve got to bring the cars home safely.”
“Obviously I turned my engine down,” Webber explained. “I looked after the tyres and I was completely reassured twice that we weren’t going to abuse the cars on each other because it was very easy for us to not get any points for the whole team. Its very hard for everybody to understand the whole scenario. There’s a lot of people that think they know the whole situation but unfortunately its not possible for them to understand everything.”
“It puts a lot of heat on certain people for sure. Inevitably It does. Its three weeks to the next race so we’re fortunate I’ll have three weeks. I will catch some waves in australia on my board and I think this will be good medicine for me. But there was a lot of things on my mind in the last 15 laps for the grand prix to be honest so whether the medicine is enough we’ll see.”
This isn’t the first time Webber and Vettel have had on-track controversies. In July 2010, Red Bull famously gave Webber’s front wing to Vettel after the German had damaged his own during qualifying at the British Grand Prix. In the same year, both drivers blamed each other for a collision that ended their hopes of winning the Turkish Grand Prix.
Vettel has since apologised to Webber. The next event, the Chinese Grand Prix, is scheduled to take place on 14th April 2013.