Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel attacks again with Mark Webber revenge mission still in his sights

 

Shanghai

Sebastian Vettel undid much of the damage limitation work he has being doing so assiduously since stealing victory from Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber in the Malaysian Grand Prix two weeks ago, with a fierce attack on the Australian that made it clear he still intends to win at all costs.

Having spent much of the interim apologising personally to everyone at Red Bull after the acrimonious race, in which he ignored the team principal Christian Horner's order not to pass the Australian, the triple world champion went on the offensive again in Shanghai.

Asked if he would act differently if the circumstances were repeated, Vettel replied: "In the moment it might be different, but I would probably do the same.

"Had I understood the message, thought about it, reflected on it, thought what the team wanted to do, to leave Mark in first place and me finishing second, I would probably have done the same thing.

"I was faster in the end. That is why I was able to overtake, and overtaking in Formula One is not easy, let's not forget that. I realised at that moment there was quite a conflict. On the one hand, I am the kind of guy who respects team decisions and, on the other hand, probably Mark is not the one who deserved it [to win] at the time. The bottom line is I was racing, I was faster, I passed him, I won."

Vettel could not resist drawing attention to past spats with Webber – notably when they collided while battling for the lead in Turkey in 2010. Later that season, despite giving up a superior front wing to Vettel, whose own had been damaged, Webber turned the tables by winning the British GP. At the Brazilian GP in 2011 Webber did nothing to help Vettel's quest for the championship either.

"There was more than one occasion in the past when he could have helped the team and he didn't," Vettel said, before admitting that was "indirectly" why he had ignored orders after the final round of pit stops in Malaysia: "Being completely honest, I've never had support from his side."

Vettel admitted that he also would probably have ignored any further order – had one been given by Horner – to hand the lead back to Webber, revealing the true depth of the rift between the two drivers after desperate team attempts to play it down. Vettel had paid lip service to humility and contrition in the days after Malaysia but sources close to Webber say he had no contact from anyone on the team until he drove the simulator at the Milton Keynes factory last Monday.

Despite the latest furore, Webber looked relaxed. The Red Bull energy drink magnate Dietrich Mateschitz must have helped bring that about, becoming the first to offer condolences to the Australian by phone in the immediate aftermath in Sepang. Mateschitz has since told his managers that he does not want to hear about team orders again this season and Horner conceded their emphasis will be reduced.

Horner said: "I had discussions with Dietrich and we agreed that Red Bull is not a fan of team orders. We will not impose orders at the end of a race, but expect the drivers to act on the information they have from the team."

Webber conceded that his history with Vettel had left a bitterness. He said: "If that's what Seb thinks, that's his position on what happened in Malaysia. Second was still good but not the result I would have liked. We know what happened, but Malaysia is not just one event in this scenario. We know we've had many scenarios in the past, so there's a lot of things which then come into your mind – positive, negative, whatever. You've still got to drive the car, that's my job."

Webber scotched fanciful rumours that the events in Malaysia might prompt him to quit on the spot, as other rumours suggest that he might yet conclude a deal for Ferrari for 2014, or spearhead Porsche's imminent return to long-distance racing. And he did not deny that he would be interested in another Red Bull contract.

"I'm definitely keen to finish the season off, race this year and put together a very strong campaign and challenge for more wins – you do enough of that and some more things can happen. So that's the first goal. The next part is, year by year, that's how it's always been for me. Come the summer, I will talk to Dietrich and then go from there. I've never ever made decisions on my career at this point in the season."

Lewis Hamilton under doctor's orders

Lewis Hamilton was ordered to return to his hotel in Shanghai after feeling unwell.

Although he made a number of commercial appearances on Wednesday for Mercedes in the city, the 27-year-old is believed to have fallen ill overnight.

Hamilton showed up at the Shanghai International Circuit to carry out his media commitments ahead of Sunday's Chinese Grand Prix but they were soon cancelled. It is understood that Hamilton should recover to compete alongside Nico Rosberg.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Actor, model and now record breaker: Jiff the Pomeranian
Video
News
REX/Eye Candy
science
News
i100
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring his first goal for Arsenal in the Champions League qualifier against Besiktas
sportChilean's first goal for the club secures place in draw for Champions League group stages
Arts and Entertainment
Amis: 'The racial situation in the US is as bad as it’s been since the Civil War'
booksAuthor says he might come back across Atlantic after all
Extras
indybest
Life and Style
Google Doodle celebrates the 200th birthday of Irish writer Sheridan Le Fanu
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Vinyl demand: a factory making the old-style discs
musicManufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl
News
i100
News
In Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Jim Carrey and Kate Winslett medically erase each other from their memories
scienceTechnique successfully used to ‘reverse’ bad memories in rodents could be used on trauma victims
Arts and Entertainment
Singer Pixie Lott will take part in Strictly Come Dancing 2014, the BBC has confirmed
tv
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?