Vettel thinks team orders row did not influence Webber's decision

Sebastian Vettel does not believe Mark Webber is leaving Red Bull and Formula 1 because their relationship was untenable after their Malaysian Grand Prix row

Vettel thinks team orders row did not influence Webber's decision

Webber announced on Thursday that he would switch to Porsche's World Endurance Championship and Le Mans programme next year, as was first mooted in the weeks following the Red Bull team-mates' Sepang spat.

Vettel passed Webber in contradiction of team orders in the closing stages of the Malaysian race, taking victory on a day when Webber looked dominant.

AUTOSPORT's Edd Straw assesses Webber's F1 career

But when quizzed about Webber's motives at Silverstone, Vettel said he doubted that the team orders flashpoint was a factor.

"I think we've probably had enough talks about Malaysia. I think both of us were not happy with what happened but I don't think that these sorts of things change the world from today until tomorrow," he said.

"I think equally we had different opinions three years ago in Turkey [where they collided] and we had a successful time after that."

The world champion said the relationship with his team-mate was far better than the media portrayal.

"I have enormous respect for him on the track as a driver," Vettel insisted.

"I think off track, a lot of it has been hyped more than it should have because there hasn't been that much going on.

"As a fact we are not best friends and probably never will be. That was reason enough for you [the media] to get excited in the past but it is not a reason for us to try and change it all costs."

Vettel admitted that after five seasons paired with Webber, any change would feel strange.

"When you move on to the next year knowing what to expect you don't really think about it; whereas now we are in a little bit of a different position," said Vettel.

"I would not say you are afraid, but it is unknown. Surely whoever comes in is new to the team in a way, so it will be difficult to know what to expect.

"So in that regard, it is much easier when you know who is racing with you, and the team knows who the drivers are for next season."

Kimi Raikkonen is among the favourites to take the ex-Webber Red Bull seat.

Asked if he had a good relationship with the Finn, Vettel replied: "Yes. I am sure he will answer in the same way with less words. But I think we get along."

shares
comments
Webber to retain Red Bull backing in Porsche's LMP1 programme

Previous article

Webber to retain Red Bull backing in Porsche's LMP1 programme

Next article

Nico Rosberg says F1 young driver test ban will hamper Mercedes

Nico Rosberg says F1 young driver test ban will hamper Mercedes
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Sebastian Vettel
Author Jonathan Noble
The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate Plus

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate

It's been a tough start to Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin F1 career, with a lack of pre-season testing mileage followed by an incident-packed Bahrain GP. But two key underlying factors mean a turnaround is no guarantee

The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition Plus

The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition

In 2017 new F1 technical regulations were supposed to add drama - and peg Mercedes back. STUART CODLING looks at the car which, while troubled, set the stage for the wide-bodied Formula 1 era

The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return Plus

The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return

Three weeks is a long time in Formula 1, but in the reshaped start to the 2021 season the teams head to Imola to pick things up after the frenetic Bahrain opener. Here's what to look out for and the developments to follow at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Plus

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. BEN ANDERSON looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

Formula 1
Apr 12, 2021
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Plus

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says NIGEL ROEBUCK

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Are we at peak F1 right now? Plus

Are we at peak F1 right now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021
How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021 Plus

How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021

The longer Red Bull can maintain a performance edge over Mercedes, the better the odds will be in the team’s favour against the defending world champions. But as the Bahrain Grand Prix showed, many more factors will be critical in the outcome of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship

Formula 1
Apr 7, 2021