Amid Controversy, Vettel Wins In Malaysia
SEPANG, Malaysia — Sebastian Vettel led teammate Mark Webber home to what should have been a celebratory Red Bull 1-2 in Sepang on Sunday, but the success was sullied by a post-race argument between the two drivers.
All through the race the radio messages between Vettel and Red Bull’s team management told as much of the story as the on-track action.
Webber led much of the race after a timely switch to dry tires following the use of intermediates on a wet surface in the opening laps. Vettel complained for much of the time he was following Webber, and continually asked his team to tell him to move over.
As far as the Australian was concerned, he had the race in the bag and Vettel was bound by team orders to follow him home as they conserved tires and fuel. But Vettel launched a huge attack to take the lead on the 46th lap, and pulled away after a brutal bout of side-by-side running which enthralled the crowd.
Eventually, Vettel was able to pull away to a triumph, which equaled Sir Jackie Stewart’s 27 wins. Later Vettel claimed to have realized only when they removed their helmets in parc ferme that he had made a mistake in overtaking Webber, but he had been warned on that 46th lap by team boss Christian Horner that he had a lot of explaining to do after the race. Vettel apologized to Webber and admitted that he had got it wrong, but the Australian was unimpressed.