Surprised Horner says team orders was the right decision

Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner plans to sit down with Mark Webber behind closed doors to discuss his actions at the British Grand Prix, after expressing 'surprise' that the Australian ignored team orders at the end of the race

Surprised Horner says team orders was the right decision

Webber confessed that he had deliberately ignored instructions from the pit wall to hold his position behind Vettel in the closing stages of the race - because he was keen to keep racing his team-mate for second place until the chequered flag.

Horner said he did not expect Webber to have acted in such a way - and made it clear that he was unhappy the Australian had risked costing the team valuable points.

When asked by AUTOSPORT if he was surprised that Webber had ignored orders, Horner said: "Yes. At the end of the day the team is the biggest thing, and no individual is bigger than the team.

"I can understand Mark's frustration in that, but had it been the other way around it would have been exactly the same.

"It happened a couple of years ago in Turkey when exactly the same thing happened with Sebastian, so it makes no sense from a team point of view to risk both of your cars. It was obvious that neither was going to concede.

"And, as we saw with [Felipe] Massa and [Lewis] Hamilton at the last corner, who very nearly made contact, it made no sense from a team point of view to allow them to continue to fight over those last couple of laps.

"Mark obviously chose to ignore that and didn't make the pass in any event, but that is the team's position."

Speaking about how he will respond to Webber's actions, Horner said: "It is something that he and I will talk about in private."

Horner said the team decided for its drivers to hold position around four laps from the end of the race - and that it was based purely on the team avoiding the possibility of seeing its drivers collide near the end of the event while in a strong position.

And rather than being a statement that Webber is playing a supporting role to Vettel from now on, Horner emphasised that the team would continue to give both drivers the chance to battle for victory.

"He is free to fight for race wins. He qualified on pole position here. He had the ability, the opportunity to win this race. It didn't pan out for him today but we will continue to give him every chance to do so.

"From a team perspective, I made it quite clear in the drivers' briefing this morning in front of the engineers, that the biggest thing today was about getting a team result in front of all of the staff who put in so much effort into both of those cars, for the Constructors' Championship and the drivers' championship.

"Now both drivers have come away with Sebastian having extended his lead in the world championship, Mark having moved into second in the world championship and the team having increased its lead in the Constructors' Championship."

He added: "At the end of the day, the team championship is every bit as important as the drivers' championship to us. And we risked giving away 33 points today in the last three laps by allowing our drivers to fight it out.

"As we have seen previously, that can have dire consequences. We said okay, we have allowed them to race up until that point and, with three laps to go, rather than risk both of them being in the fence, it was the right decision.

"As a team it was absolutely the right decision. As we see in other sports, sometimes substitutions are made. But, from a team point of view, we were not going to risk the 33 points. Both drivers are now first and second in the drivers' championship and we are going to do nothing to jeopardise that."

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