Webber: Quitting over Malaysia ‘certainly not in mind’

2013 Malaysian Grand Prix

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Mark Webber, Red Bull, Shanghai, 2013Mark Webber says he never entertained the possibility of not seeing out the 2013 season following the team orders row in Malaysia.

Speaking to journalists for the first time since the race he said: “I’m definitely keen to finish the season.”

“Obviously a lot of people were even questioning that one which was certainly not something that was in my mind. I’m definitely keen to race this year and put together a very very strong campaign and challenge for more wins. You do enough of that and some more things can happen so that’s the first goal.”

Webber has had one-year extensions on his Red Bull contract in recent seasons and he plans to go through the same process this year:

“The next part is, yeah, year by year, that’s how it’s always been for me so come the summer I will talk to [Red Bull owner] Dietrich [Mateschitz] and then go from there.

“If I’m driving well, performances are good then we’ll make some decisions in the future. But at the moment it’s the second or third race. I’ve never made decisions on my career at this point in the season. Obviously it’s a bit of a topic at the moment for different reasons but I don’t see why I should make any decisions for the future.”

Asked how it would change things for him if Red Bull abandoned their attempts to enforce team orders Webber said it would be “probably easier”.

Vettel’s early stop to cover Hamilton

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Sepang, 2013Webber admitted it was “a little bit of a surprise” that team mate Sebastian Vettel was able to pit before him at the final round of stops in Malaysia. That advantage is normally given to the lead driver and it helped Vettel close on Webber to mount his attack.

Webber explained the team were trying to prevent Vettel falling behind Lewis Hamilton, who had got ahead of him through the pit stops earlier in the race:

The gaps were quite awkward, we were trying to manage the gap to Lewis as well which was three seconds,” said Webber. “I think Lewis had pitted on the previous lap, I’m not exactly sure, but Sebastian was exposed again to going behind Lewis, which the team were keen obviously not to have that scenario happen.”

“Four seconds is quite a decent lead but I was in trouble at the back part of that lap already with the tyres. Sebastian then obviously had some fresh tyres ready to go and the out lap was strong and my in-lap was quick as I could go with what I had. So like I said that dropped him straight back into probably a tighter situation than all of us had envisaged.

“I asked for that lap, I wanted that lap but I couldn’t have that lap. Because of the Lewis situation, I think if I asked for that lap I would get it if Lewis was not there, I think I get that lap.

“It was just frustrating margins I think between the three of us that was making it quite tricky management of that last stop window.”

“I was a little bit surprised when Seb went”

Webber added his first pit stop to switch to slick tyres, which allowed him to get ahead of Vettel at the first place, was partly the team’s call and he had been eager to pit later:

“I was not keen. I was a little bit surprised when Seb went, the first sector was late in terms of moisture compared to the rest of the circuit. I was definitely keen on the next lap, that that could work.

“We then got some information that it wasn’t quite right. Lap seven I think was super conservative but we could, also you come out in traffic if you pit like obviously Seb did. Also I think Nico was quite late.

“And this also helps with your slick management of the race as well so if you’re not losing too much… there’s so many scenarios now you’ve got to look at. You get the crossover right but you’ve got more of the race to do on your dry tyres. You’ve got to try to factor a lot of that in which is not easy when you’re in the car, obviously, to think about all that.

“I was surprised the slicks didn’t work as we ll in the first sector as we probably thought they would. But anyway, lap seven was OK, yeah.”

Webber said the Malaysia row was “not an unusual situation” for him. “I’m looking forward to racing this weekend and getting on with it,” he said.

“When you’re at the front in Formula One there’s always going to be stuff going down, it just depends on how much is going down that you’ve got to manage. In the end for me I’m looking forward to driving the car here. I want to put it in first gear and drive out of the garage and get down there and see what the car feels like on the circuit.”

Asked for his view on Vettel’s remarks yesterday that he did not feel the need to apologise for winning Webber said: “If that’s what he thinks, that’s what he thinks. That’s his position on what happened in Malaysia.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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80 comments on “Webber: Quitting over Malaysia ‘certainly not in mind’”

  1. Being chucked out of the team over Malaysia, on the other hand…

  2. Asked for his view on Vettel’s remarks yesterday that he did not feel the need to apologise for winning Webber said: “If that’s what he thinks, that’s what he thinks. That’s his position on what happened in Malaysia.

    Sure enough it would not have been a surprise for Webber that he really felt it that way. And it certainly looked far more genuinely close to describing his feelings than the haphazard excuse Vettel made in Malaysia after the podium.

    From the tweets Brundle has been posting from a Vettel interview in the last couple of minutes, Vettel is pretty clear that he will not respect such orders, and did feel there was no reason why Webber would deserve such protection (after not being of any help to Vettel when it mattered for the title).

    Interesting inner team dynamics are back then :-)

    1. @bascb

      From the tweets Brundle has been posting from a Vettel interview in the last couple of minutes, Vettel is pretty clear that he will not respect such orders

      I find this to be rather odd – why does Vettel suddenly feel the need to ignore any and all team orders? The team has regularly given orders that favoured him before Webber, but now his comments suggest that he thinks more orders will be issued that favour Webber. What has changed within Red Bull to warrant this?

      1. I think its more Vettel has not often been in a position to experience that side of team orders @prisoner-monkeys, and its possible that experience helped him actually form an opinion he did not have before?

      2. Give us a list of team orders going his way with the intent of favoring him over Webber, PM.

        1. Pitting Webber early at the 2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

          Asking Webber to hold position at the 2011 British Grand Prix.

          Asking Webber to move aside at the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix.

          Once is an accident, and twice might be coincidence, but three times is a pattern. And before you say that the last two don’t count because Webber didn’t obey them, the important point here is that the team issued an order to Webber that favoured Vettel in the first place.

          1. @prisoner-monkeys

            Pitting Webber early at the 2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

            Wasn’t that to help Webber though? Webber had a poor qualifying, poor start, poor pace, and was many positions behind the race leader- Vettel. What else could have been tried?

            And the final one you mentioned (Brazil 2012) was in a scenario where it was the final round of the season, and Webber wasn’t in contention. If Vettel wasn’t in contention for the championship, and MW was, then surely, similar team orders would be applied to favour Mark Webber.

          2. This coming from the guy who says Silverstone and Brazil don’t count because Webber didn’t obey them :lol:

            Also, you’re conveniently forgetting that the first ever RB teamorder between them two favored Webber and that the team gave two teamorders in favor of Webber in Malaysia.

            I see you’ve found your double standard again.

          3. I disagree that Webber didn’t obey team orders.

            In 2011, when everyone was saying he disobeyed team orders at Silverstone, I don’t think he did.

            He was told to hold position and that’s what he did. He had the opportunity to overtake Vettel and didn’t, as was pointed out by Jonny Herbert on the F1 show I think it was. He got up the outside of Vettel and could have kept his foot in it and overtaken Vettel but he didn’t, he backed out of it. Herbert pointed out that Webber was simply showing he had the speed to do it but held back anyway.

            Besides which, that incident was completely different to Malaysia. Vettel caught Webber in Malaysia because Webber was told that he wouldn’t be attacked so slowed down. At Silverstone, Webber caught Vettel simply because he was faster than Vettel, not because Vettel slowed down deliberately.

            In Brazil in 2012, Webber did not break any team orders. He moved over for Vettel and was even thanked over the radio for doing so.

          4. @nick101 Webber himself said “I ignored the team and I was battling to the end.

            Herbert appears to believe that Webber is pretending he was trying to pass Vettel when he wasn’t, even though he failed to, which strikes me as utterly preposterous. Who would make something up that reflects badly on them?

            Besides which if you watch the video it’s clear Webber was trying to pass and the only reason he didn’t get through was because Vettel defended his position.

          5. @nick101

            As @keithcollantine said, Webber said he tried his best to pass, but couldn’t since Vettel defended, despite having no KERS at that point. Why deny that, unless you admit that Mark is just faking his whole image?

            And in Sepang, Vettel was faster because he had an extra set of tyres that he saved from qualifying, and was in a less critical fuel state.

        2. There’s one in the story just above – pit a lap late to allow Vettel an advantage.

        3. Brazil 2012, Silverstone 2011.

      3. why does Vettel suddenly feel the need to ignore any and all team orders?

        I believe it’s partly down to the racing driver in him wanting to win, and I think it’s also down to a lack of respect for his team. Considering the fact Horner has admitted that both drivers have ignored team orders in the past, I think both Red Bull drivers lack respect for their team. However, if Webber and Vettel want to be like that then it doesn’t really bother me, although I hope we don’t see any more problems between the drivers because the whole thing in Malaysia was almost as bad as the crap you see on reality TV.

      4. @prisoner-monkeys

        Why would anything have to change? He might have just been fed up with Mark not listening to team orders. So when the situation would arise that the team asks him to stay behind…
        This is sort of the way I see his point. He’s apologizing to the team for ignoring orders, but Webber can go and… You know what.

        1. Why would anything have to change?

          Because the orders until now have always favoured him. So why did Red Bull issue an order that favoured Webber, and why does Vettel seem to think that more are on the horizon?

          1. I see. I think you interpret too much into that. If I remember correctly, this was the first time that Webber was infront of Vettel during the closing stages of a race and they are simply trying to find a way how to handle these situations in the future. IF they occur.
            I guess Vettel is optimistic about future incidents, seeing how Mark Webber hasn’t exactly made it easy for him anyway, despite team orders in Vettel’s favour.

  3. Okay so it was definitely Hamilton’s fault then…

    1. Hahaha! :D Great!

  4. I believe other drivers on grid deserve to drive Newey’s work than Vettel for sure.

    1. Yeah, like Mark Webber.

    2. “For sure” it is then. You are Fernando Alonso and I claim my 10£.

  5. This is getting more boring than people moaning about the Pirelli tyres. Has anyone’s opinion on the situation actually changed since the dust settled in Malaysia? Does this constant rehashing of the same incident add anything?

    Roll on the weekend and some (hopefully) actual racing.

    1. I guess not @red-andy, fully agree with you that we need a great race on track. With everyone dicing for position everywhere and to the end.

    2. @red-andy This is the first time Webber’s spoken about it since the race weekend, it was pretty clear he was unhappy after he left the track so I think it’s worth knowing that he’s not about to hang up his helmet.

      I’ve seen a lot of questions from people about the timing of Vettel and Webber’s last pit stops and the role that played in what happened and Webber’s quotes here explain that very well. If he’s satisfied that Vettel’s stop was to protect him from Hamilton rather than to facilitate him attacking his team mate I think that’s one in the eye for the conspiracy theorists.

      And he gave the team more of the credit for the pit stop which got him ahead of Vettel in the first place, which I think was pretty magnanimous of him.

      I don’t think any of that amounts to “rehashing”.

      1. @keithcollantine My post wasn’t a criticism of your editorial choices, more an expression of frustration that this is one of the few things of note to have happened in the last three weeks. The pre-race press functions, in my view, should be for the drivers and teams to look at the weekend ahead, not dwell on what happened in past races.

        It happened, we all formed our opinions and moved on. Vettel could give an interview this afternoon in which he says that he knowingly disobeyed team orders at Malaysia and then immediately travelled to Australia in order to bite the head off Webber’s pet kitten and the reaction would be the same as it’s been for the last three weeks: half the people saying that he should be taken into a dark room and beaten to death, and the other half saying that ruthlessness is the mark of a true champion and that Ayrton Senna decapitated household pets all the time and nobody ever complained when he did it.

        The further we get from an incident, the less relevant any further reflection on it becomes. Like I say, I don’t blame you for reporting what the drivers say, I just wish the whole circus could move on to something else.

        1. @red-andy I think the media believe that what has happened in Malaysia will affect what happens in the future, and if Vettel is saying that he won’t adhere to team orders in the future, that it may very well prove the media right to press on this issue.

          I do however agree that people are not going to change their stance at this point, everyone has their own views and opinions formed by now.

        2. Surely the point is that although we’ve all formed our opinions, many of us are far from ready to “move on” – as indeed appears to be the case for the protagonists in this.
          It is surely news that Vettel has now publicly stated he will continue to ignore team orders if they don’t suit him ?

          It’s now

      2. It’s funny if you think about it. When Webber was cruising around, blocking Vettel and letting Hamilton come closer (to which Vettel asked the team to get Mark out of the way), he basically caused the situation himself in a way.

        1. But Webber was as we have already heard only cruising to conserve tyres/fuel the same as the others in top 4!!!

          1. Indeed he was. At the cost of his team mate. I wasn’t saying he slowed down on purpose to cause this, I’m just saying that this whole situation including Vettel’s early pit stop was caused due to this.

    3. About those pirelli’s…

    4. As Keith said, these were the first comments from Webber regarding what went down in Malaysia, and I think most of us have been waiting to hear what he had to say. Hopefully this will put a period on the episode, but I doubt it.

  6. Still no comment on Silverstone, but a down to earth reply. I say, good time to close this chapter.

    1. Why does he have to answer for Silverstone?

      All of Webber’s critics point to that race as a major flaw in his arguement, given that he willingly ignored orders there. But none of Webber’s critics have addressed the way that despite his ignoring orders at the time, Red Bull still got the result they wanted. How do you explain that?

      1. Even assuming the strange assumption that as long as you fail to do something bad, it’s ok. Mark Webber made his feelings about team orders very clear, but apparently he feels differently when the shoe is on the other foot.

        1. How do you know Webber didn’t make a carefully-calculated show of ignoring the orders just enough to appear independent?

          What Webber did or, in this case, didn’t do does not change what Vettel did. You can claim Webber hasn’t got a leg to stand on all you like, but the simple fact is that when he ignored orders at Silverstone, the team still got the result they wanted. When Vettel did it at Sepang, the team got a different result.

          1. @prisoner-monkeys – The “team” still got 43 points, which is what they wanted, and let’s face it, it doesn’t make sense to be so desperate for the order to favour the driver that hasn’t shown himself to be the best way forward for the WDC.

    2. @mnmracer In fairness to Webber, he wasn’t asked about it.

      1. True, though in that case I wonder why the journalist doesn’t ask that. He’s an Aussie Grit, he should be able to handle tough questions :)

    3. I’m pretty sure most drivers would act hypocritical in Webber’s position. I don’t believe it is such a terrible thing that Webber is upset about what happened in Malaysia, even though he was guilty ignoring team order himself in the past.

  7. I think body language during the press conference said a lot more than just reading the words Webber said. From the looks of it, I’d say Webber is still heavily frustrated with the situation – and who could blame him? Vettel has said he doesn’t apologize for the victory anymore and if the same situation would occur again, he would do the same thing. And so far there haven’t been any signs of criticism coming Vettel’s way from Horner or Marko, even though he blatantly ignored a team order.

    I still think the issues between Webber and Vettel cannot be resolved in the near future and therefore Red Bull will have to do 17 more GPs with two non-cooperative teammates. And to be honest, I think this might be costing them a great haul of points: probably not as dramatic as Turkey ’10, but more in terms of development. The drivers are vital for a team to point out what parts of the car need improvement, and if you have two drivers that are pretty much not on speaking terms, then this could become a real issue for Red Bull.

    1. there haven’t been any signs of criticism coming Vettel’s way from Horner or Marko

      Not publicly

      1. But they have @andae23 – I watched a video on Sport-Bild (at about 1:10 in) yesterday where Marko did criticize Vettel, even if not all that much, he clearly says that Vettel had some kind of brain fade and should put back his ego next time something like this arises.

        1. @bascb Whoops, I missed that one. I couldn’t quite make out what he was saying, but the sentence you quoted is easily recognizable. But it doesn’t really change my point: Webber is still frustrated and imo Red Bull wil suffer from poor cooperation between teammates.

        2. not “brain fade”. “The racer in him went through with him, or, whatever, this killer instinct” – “if something like this happens again, he needs to put back his ego”.

          1. yes, that is a bit more accurate, I wanted to keep it short @mike-dee

      2. there haven’t been any signs of criticism coming Vettel’s way from Horner or Marko

        Not publicly

        Nor should there be. that would be incredibly unprofessional. these issues shouldn’t be dealt with publicly unless they are FIA Disciplinary actions,.

        1. @bendana as unprofessional as criticising the team’s other driver in an in house magazine?

          1. Yes. I believe that is unprofessional. But the keyword there is “in-House.” If its an internal publication, then it is not subject to the same processes. I know this, because I work on my place of works in house publication myself. O n top of that, what the team have implied is that this is a disciplinary procedure internally, which is far different form an opinion piece in a magazine.

        2. The reason I said that is because pretty much this entire thing has been played out via the media: interviews with Marko, Vettel, Webber, the Infiniti video…

          1. But we’ve not been subject to the teams internal conversations. All we’ve had is the public face – which in this situation, is all we should see.

  8. I Can’t wait for Webber’s autobiography to come out.

    1. It will be number 2 in the book-charts.

      1. Oh for a like button…

  9. Vettel is now claiming that if the situation presented itself, he’d probably do it all over again.

    His justification? That Webber “didn’t deserve the victory”. Because apparently leading most the race doesn’t mean anything:


    Disgusting. Whatever respect I had for him – and let’s be honest, there wasn’t much to begin with – is now gone.

    1. You know – and this isn’t a knock on you, PM, just a comment in general – if many other drivers throughout the years had said that, we’d be applauding their honesty and candour. Bit strange really.

      Doesn’t apply to you though PM – just springboarding off your comment, because you’re always brutally honest about which drivers you like/dislike!

    2. +1

      Rediculous comment by Vettel.

    3. Disgusting to say the least, clearly shows Vettel’s true cunning cold character.

      1. @howard ‘@N- Hardly “disgusting” or “ridiculous”, when you’ve conserved more fuel and an extra set of tyres for that stage of the race.

    4. I’d say good for him, if he thinks that way. As soon as a driver accepts defeat he’s no longer a racer. That’s why Mark should and will never accept a #2 role and why neither of them should listen to the team manufacturing results if within striking distance.

  10. Apparently, Vettel has said he would disregard orders again as Webber didn’t deserve to win

    1. But we will never know who would have won in that situation as Vettel only got that close as Webber was told that they were both going to bring it in as they were so was not expecting the challenge from him. Add in the fact that they knew the 2 Merc drivers were doing exactly the same…

  11. I’ve refrained from commenting on this issue to date, I think you are in one camp or the other on this issue.

    But Vettel’s comments today that he’d do it again are just astonishing – a middle finger extended to Christian Horner, irrespective of whether you agree with team orders or not. I have no idea how Horner handles this, given that suspending Vettel or terminating his contract don’t seem to be realistic options.

    1. @tdog

      I have no idea how Horner handles this

      He doesn’t. Horner tries to appease everyone, and only succeeds in emboldening everyone.

      Perhaps he should be the Secretary-General of the United Nations, rather than a team principal.

    2. I don’t think he has any options but to a) take it on the chin and accept that he has two uncontrollable drivers or b) leave the team.

  12. It seems Vettel doesn’t get the issue. You stabbed your teammate in the back knowing you had a pre-race agreement with him. You’re the one going trough the dust not webber. Half of the f1 community has spit you out for your treachery. The other half is only happy you went against team orders. All that engine mode, fuel status and pit timing BS is irrelevant. You have shown the world (and future team mates) that you are a snake of a triple champion (every one deserved, I don’t argue that). You are a born racer, a man who wants to fight to the end to win a race, who can battle for all he is worth (and you showed it in Malaysia) and I like that but stabbing your team mate in the back is just WRONG. No argument in the world is going to cover that.

    1. All your Argument is Spoiled as RBR confirmed that,
      There is No Pre- Race Agreement.

      1. The tweet you are referring to mentions no agreement about the team order before the race. I wasn’t referring to that. There however were agreements about strategy. Webber said it himself on the podium.


        It says it himself at 0:36

        1. If it was the Strategy call then what is the use of Saving extra set of Option tire(The Medium) and keeping more Fuel back than mark but Not allowing him to race in the Middle by asking him to be Patient. I’m not arguing but i’m confused.

          1. That’s the RBR PR-machine for ya. They constantly chance their views on things. One week after the incident they suddenly come out with a weird story about fuel saving for Webber. At first they were all like: “you have some explaining to do” and now they are completely covering for him going as far as making team orders persona non grata. which is a good thing!

          2. You take the Point you need and leave other.
            All i’m asking is a Car which has More fuel means More pace and Having Faster Tire by the End can go Very quick then Why you hold the faster car with No Pre – Race Agreement. and just because he was Behind by 0.4 sec means he need to stay behind.

  13. Did they tell Webber that Vettel thinks Webber didnt deserve the win?? ;D

    1. I think Mark would have found out anyways,

      I’m hoping this turns into the Mclaren 2007 type of inter team rivalry… where they’re busy fighting among themselves… and Ferrari’s Alonso takes the championship.

      Hope Mark shows Vettel a little bit of what he deserves

  14. “There is quite a conflict, because on the one hand I am the kind of guy who respects team decisions and the other hand, probably Mark is not the one who deserved it at the time.”

    You would when the majority of them are in your favour!!

    His head is so far up his own **** he can’t seem to reason WHY it was he found himself in a position to be contesting the win in the first place!

    MW had comfortably managed the gap in the second last stint at around 4-5 secs (from memory). SV got the better last pit stop lap to prevent the Lewis undercut, which I completely understand and support. At this point the team obviously needed to point this out in more stronger terms to SV. MWs tyres were shagged and SV put in a quali style outlap on fresh rubber to find himself next to him. Based on standard team practice, MW would normally have had the stop and driven off into the distance. Combine this with whatever engine mapping/KERS settings instructions that had been enacted/ignored -which were all in SVs favor, PLUS the decision by MW to go to primes on the last stint under the mistaken impression there was no threat from behind and that tyre longevity not performance was the key consideration and you have the circumstances that allowed SV to be

    a) where he was on track in relation to MW as MW exited the pits
    b) apparently faster than MW for pace ‘at that stage of the race’
    c) easily able to pass MW with only a modest and inevitable fight
    d) convinced of his entitlement to the win

    The greed and arrogance and hollow apologies are secondary to his inability to recognise how the situation arose at all.

  15. The solution is simple (but longterm): dont allow kids race in F1 (and win 3 world titles), send them to the army first so they can mature there. And while they do that, we can enjoy watching men racing.

    1. Radical but how do you keep mommy’s litle angel from getting dirty ?

    2. What is more immature chaostheory ?-

      a) disobeying team orders, (a practice that is usually frowned upon by fans, even in the saem race with Mercedes) and overtaking your teammate, having conserved more fuel earlier in the race, as well as a set of tyres from qualifying, or; b) using your car to swipe towards your teammate after losing a race despite being handed it on a plate.

  16. If you look at this properly this couldn’t have happened at a better time for Mark as now he knows whats to come from Vettel and RBR for the rest of the year, Mark brain must be doing overtime thinking of way to return the favour.

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