Sebastian Vettel v Mark Webber: Team principal Christian Horner confident Webber will 'see out season' at Red Bull

Vettel has apologised for his actions at the Malaysian Grand Prix

Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel has apologised in person to Red Bull staff for ignoring team orders in a controversial Malaysian Grand Prix last weekend.

The team said the 25-year-old German had also spoken to aggrieved team mate Mark Webber, who had victory snatched away in the closing laps, after the race at Sepang and the pair had shaken hands.

"He's said he can't turn back the clock but he's accepted what he did was wrong," team principal Christian Horner said of Vettel, who visited the Milton Keynes factory on Tuesday to address employees.

"He's apologised to the team and to every single member of staff for his actions, because he recognises the team is vitally important and being part of the team is a crucial aspect to being able to challenge for those championships."

Vettel had also apologised to Webber in a news conference after Sunday's race, saying he had made a mistake.

The German has won the last three drivers' titles with Red Bull, who are chasing their fourth successive constructors' championship.

The German had qualified on pole position in Malaysia but found himself behind his team mate after the pitstops with the team instructing the pair to hold station to save fuel and prevent excessive tyre wear.

The new Pirelli tyres for this season are quick-wearing and, with a comfortable time cushion between them and Lewis Hamilton in third place for Mercedes, the team wanted to safeguard the one-two.

Webber turned down his engine and eased off, assured that Vettel would do likewise, but Vettel seized the opportunity to overtake with both drivers going wheel-to-wheel as they battled for position.

"It was the intent of the team that Mark should win that race," Horner told Sky television on Thursday, also ending any doubts about Webber's plans for the rest of the year.

"He's big enough to know that there was no malice, no intent from the team to create any situation like that. He's in a car that's capable of winning grands prix and hopefully going for a championship so I've got no doubt that Mark will see out the season with us."

Horner recognised that the fans wanted to see drivers racing each other but said his responsibilities were to the 600 people employed by the team and whose bonuses are dictated by the position in the constructors' championship.

"The responsibility is to make sure that the team achieves its maximum," he said.

Reuters

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones