Sebastian Vettel v Mark Webber: F1 world champions must be 'extremely selfish' says Gerhard Berger

Vettel ignored team orders to win the Malaysian Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel's blatant disregard for team orders during yesterday's Malaysian Grand Prix was an indication of the “extremely selfish” streak the very best drivers need, according to ex-Formula One star Gerhard Berger.

Vettel deliberately ignored instructions from his Red Bull pit bosses by overtaking team-mate and race leader Mark Webber on lap 46 at Sepang before going on to claim the 27th victory of his F1 career.

The three-time reigning world champion, whose win sent him nine points clear at the top of the drivers' classification after two rounds, initially showed no remorse for his actions but later apologised.

The incident has caused a major stir but Berger, who won 10 grands prix during 14 seasons in F1 up until 1997, pointed out what Vettel did was nothing new and feels the 25-year-old German was merely showing the natural instincts that are required to get to the top of the sport and stay there.

The Austrian also believes no one will change Vettel.

"If you remember back in history these things always happen," he said.

"To be a race winner you need to be very, very talented but to be a world champion, or to be world champion three, four, five times, you need to be extremely selfish," said Berger, recalling past tussles including the famous rivalry between Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost.

"What I want to say is these boys have such a big killing instinct. What leads them to three, four, five-times world championships. In these moments they are stressed by the situation, they just cannot follow their brain, they just do what their instincts are telling them," he told BBC Radio Five Live.

"So of course after the race he is saying he is very sorry about it and that he cannot sleep, (but) I think he sleeps very well because this is his nature.

"But on the other side, this is part of his success. And nobody, no team, no team chief, no team-mate, nobody is going to change it."

Berger concedes Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has a "hard job" to manage the situation between Vettel and Webber but feels it is not necessarily a bad thing for the team to have two drivers pushing each other on.

He said: "It's a very good thing for a team to have two strong drivers and sometimes you have to manage it.

"At this stage it's a hard job to manage this, they are never going to be in love with each other, but at the end of the day over the whole season it's not a bad situation to have two drivers pushing each other.

"I think the team is playing a very fair role," the 53-year-old added.

"These are the normal games you play between drivers and teams, it's part of the success, part of losing.

"I think both are great drivers. We know Vettel is an extreme competitive guy.

"I think maybe he's the best guy at the moment in the field. He has all the things what you have to be to be the world champion, world champion again and again world champion."

PA

News
Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
news

New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

Voices
Left: An illustration of the original Jim Crowe, played by TD Rice Right: A Couple dressed as Ray and Janay Rice
voices

By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen

Arts and Entertainment
music
Life and Style
fashion
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Hand out press photograph/film still from the movie Mad Max Fury Road (Downloaded from the Warner Bro's media site/Jasin Boland/© 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)
films'You have to try everything and it’s all a process of elimination, but ultimately you find your path'
Arts and Entertainment
Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
books

New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning

News
people

Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

Travel
travel
News
people
Voices
Jules and Delaney
voices
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

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes