Red Bull team orders row: Vettel apologises to team staff
|Thursday, March 28th 2013, 14:48 GMT|
Sebastian Vettel has apologised in person to Red Bull staff for ignoring team orders at the Malaysian Grand Prix.
The German visited the outfit's Milton Keynes factory earlier this week for preparation work for the next race in China, but also used the opportunity to try and draw a line under the events in Sepang.
Team principal Christian Horner has revealed Vettel said sorry to team personnel for what happened, and vowed that he would never repeat such actions again.
In an interview with Sky Sports News that was broadcast on Thursday, Horner revealed: "He's said he can't turn back the clock but he's accepted what he did was wrong.
"He's apologised to the team and to every single member of staff for his actions, because he recognises the team is vitally important and being part of the team is a crucial aspect to being able to challenge for those championships."
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Vettel had already apologised to team-mate Webber for ignoring orders to hold position in the closing stages of last weekend's race.
Webber was furious at what had happened, gesticulating to Vettel in the car and then angrily swerving towards him after the pair crossed the finish line.
Although there has been speculation that the incident could be the catalyst for a parting of ways between Webber and Red Bull at the end of the season, Horner said he was hopeful his Australian driver understood the team had not done anything to try and hurt his victory ambitions.
"It was the intent of the team that Mark should win that race," he said. "He's big enough to know that there was no malice, no intent from the team to create any situation like that.
"He's in a car that's capable of winning grands prix and hopefully going for a championship so I've got no doubt that Mark will see out the season with us."
Red Bull is eager to move on from the events in Malaysia, and issued a statement earlier this week stating that it would sort out the matter behind closed doors.
The energy drink's motorsport advisor Helmut Marko, who is known to favour Vettel, said this week that as far as he was concerned the matter was closed after the world champion and Webber shook hands in Malaysia on Sunday night.
"They don't have to be completely on the same page, but it must be a solid working partnership," he said.
"Sebastian apologised in the press conference and I think that was the first correct step to make.
"There was a debrief afterwards with the relevant discussions about the race and then there was a handshake between the two drivers. For us now the issue is settled."