Click to view our fantastic subscription offers

Instant access to the F1 paddock

You have 5 views remaining

You have read 15 stories this month. After 20, you will need to register or subscribe.

Register with us for free to view 30 stories a month.

Or subscribe to AUTOSPORT+ for unlimited news stories and access to our exclusive subscriber-only content.

Our commitment to quality journalism

We've introduced metered access to AUTOSPORT which will ensure that the majority of our visitors can continue to view the site for free. But we think that is worth a small investment from those who use it most, so that we can continue to send the leading experts in their field to motor racing paddocks all over the world to break the latest news and produce the most compelling interviews and race reports.

Every visitor gets 20 free page views per month. Once you reach the limit you can register to get 30 views or choose one of our value-for-money subscription packages to continue viewing and to get additional access to a range of features including:

  • Unlimited access to AUTOSPORT with news and views from the paddock
  • Enjoy AUTOSPORT+: subscriber-only analysis, comment and top-quality pictures
  • Get AUTOSPORT magazine in a digital format on your computer or iPad every week
  • Full access to FORIX - the world's best motorsport statistics website

We greatly appreciate your continued support to keep AUTOSPORT at the forefront of motorsport coverage, and we look forward to welcoming you as a new subscriber.

Andrew Van de Burgt
Editor in Chief
Find out more about our subscriptions

All eyes on Red Bull as Formula 1 season resumes in China

Formula 1 heads to China this weekend for the resumption of a fascinating on-track battle, but all eyes will instead be on the off-circuit relationship between Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel.

The controversy over Vettel ignoring the 'Multi 21' team order in Malaysia to steal the win from Webber may have died down in recent days, but it is certain to get reignited when the pair appear in public for the first time at Shanghai on Thursday.

Vettel: the monster Red Bull created

Interestingly, both of them will not face the media together as only Webber has been asked to appear in the regular Thursday FIA press conference.

While that means there will be little chance of the media stoking up tensions between the pair under the watching gaze of the television cameras, it does equally allow Webber a better chance to vent his own feelings.

Red Bull has obviously been eager to play down the matter since events in Malaysia, with its motorsport advisor Helmut Marko even claiming that the situation between Vettel and Webber was sorted out as soon as the debrief after the race when the pair shook hands.

Red Bull: Vettel's actions deliberate
Red Bull must lay down law say rivals
Brawn says team orders a no-brainer
Webber: Vettel stole the race win

Team principal Christian Horner also made efforts in the days after Malaysia to insist that he believed a line could be drawn under the controversy, after Vettel apologised to the team for what he did.

However, being sorry for a wrong in the private of your factory is one thing - it will be another matter completely when it comes to seeing how Webber and Vettel react in the heat of the battle when a team orders call is made again.

Vettel and Webber get closeBoth Vettel and Webber may be justified in feeling that neither can fully trust the other now, while the team will not want another embarrassing situation of having its orders ignored on the pit wall.

The likely focus on the Red Bull row will be welcome at rivals Mercedes, whose own use of team orders in Malaysia caused some controversy when Nico Rosberg was instructed to stay behind Lewis Hamilton despite believing he was much quicker.

The hidden fallout of Vettel's actions

That Rosberg understood and accepted the situation afterwards was clear, but equally he made it clear that the team needed to 'remember' what he had done, in case there is a payback opportunity later in the campaign.

Boss Ross Brawn has successfully dealt with the thorny internal politics of team orders before, both at Ferrari and at Brawn GP when Rubens Barrichello was upset several times at being told to hold position.

At Red Bull, the situation is not as straightforward to sort out, and it's one that will not only be probed in Shanghai but will also be tested to the limit with Webber and Vettel poised to fight it out for more wins over the remainder of the campaign.

  More news  
Read the AUTOSPORT Digital Edition
Visit the shop
See highlights from 60 years of AUTOSPORT
Paddock insight from group F1 editor Jonathan Noble
Grand Prix news updates from F1 editor Edd Straw
Breaking news feed
Live commentary feed
Vettel frustrated at team row reaction
Vettel apologises to Red Bull staff
Red Bull plans further talks with Vettel
Vettel apologises to Webber