Whoa, so, who caught the Malaysian Grand Prix aka F1 race in Malaysia yesterday? If you missed it, then you just missed the most awkward F1 race in the history of F1 races in Malaysia – ever. World champion Sebastian Vettel came in first with his Australian Red Bull teammate, Mark Webber coming in a close second while former world title-holder and now Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton bagged third.
But not without some drama.
Vettel took on Webber as they raced neck and neck despite being told by their boss, Christian Horner over the team radio, “This is silly Seb, come on”. They were told to hold their positions until the end of the race. But the German driver refused to follow orders from the Red Bull pit wall to remain behind Webber. So what does he do?
He barks back at the radio, “Mark is too slow, get him out of the way!”, throws caution to the wind, nearly plants a kiss on his team mate’s car a few times, drove dangerously close to the barriers, and finally overtook Webber in a swift move.
Afterwards, Webber didn’t quite manage to hide his anger at his Red Bull team mate. He took the time to gesture as Vettel with his middle finger after Vettel overtook him. Needless to say, the awkward race let to an awkward podium.
“The team told me the race was over and we turned the engines down. Seb made his own decision and he’ll be protected as usual”, Webber said during the podium interviews. Vettel, on the other hand, offered a profuse apology to his Red Bull team mate in the team garage.
He also told the media:
I cannot say much more than I did a mistake, I’m not proud I did it. If I had the chance to do it again I would do it differently. When I came back I saw the team’s reaction and I had a short word with Mark, it hit me quite hard that, language, I f***ed up.
We should have stayed in the positions that we were in. I didn’t ignore it on purpose but I messed up in that situation and obviously took the lead from Mark. I can see now that he’s upset. I want to be honest at least and stick to the truth. I know that doesn’t help his feelings right now.
Messed up. Sure you did.
Meanwhile, Christian Horner said the matter would be dealt with internally:
As far as the drivers are concerned, we let them race up to that last pit stop and then from a team’s perspective, with the issues we’ve had this weekend, we wanted to control the race and manage the tyres to the end of the race.
But at that point the drivers’ interest became bigger than the team’s and they took it into their own hands to start racing each other, which was obviously uncomfortable for us. But they are race drivers.
We’ll sit down with them and discuss it as a team. They’ve raced each other hard before. They are very competitive. They are both race car drivers. It’s difficult.
You are still part of a team and at the end of the day everybody has to do their bit within the team and it’s difficult to watch. And the risk in a situation like that is that you give up 43 points.
In other awkward news, is anyone else still laughing at the epic moment of hilarity when Mercedes’ Hamilton briefly pitted in the wrong pit box?
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