Vettel was right to pass team-mate Webber, says Ecclestone after Malaysia controversy
18:46 GMT, 27 March 2013
23:40 GMT, 27 March 2013
Formula one chief Bernie Ecclestone has backed three-time world champion Sebastian Vettel and said the German was right to ignore team orders and pass Mark Webber to win the Malaysian Grand Prix.
Webber led his Red Bull team-mate Vettel on Sunday before being told to turn his engine down, save his tyres and coast to victory in Sepang.
But world champion Vettel defied team orders and squeezed past Webber on the pit straight in the dying stages to win the race.
Tight: Sebastian Vettel ignored team orders and squeezed past Mark Webber to win in Malaysia
Authority: Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone
Vettel later admitted he was wrong to
pass Webber, but Ecclestone disagreed and claimed that the German did
not undermine team principal Christian Horner by ignoring the radio
He told Sky Sports News:
'If I was Sebastian Vettel, having won three world championships with
the team, and somebody came on the radio to me and started giving me
instructions I’d probably do exactly the same as Kimi Raikkonen did when
he came back when they gave him some instructions the other day and say
“I know what I’m doing”.
'I don’t think he’s (Vettel) undermined
Christian’s authority at all because Christian knows exactly what should
have happened and didn’t happen.
'Put yourself in Christian’s
position. What should he now do Did he give orders in the first place
and if he did how could he then give more orders
'I think what you have to do is think
very carefully and I always say “show me a good loser and I’ll show you
a loser”. Sebastian is not a loser. Sebastian is a winner.'
Stare: The tension between Webber and Vettel on the podium was clear for all to see
Ecclestone also laughed off any suggestions that Red Bull would suspend Vettel from racing in the next grand prix in China.
He said: 'Leave Sebastian out No I
don’t think I’d give that any consideration! I’d say to Sebastian,
“Sebastian – just don’t make me look an idiot”.'
The Formula One boss does, however,
believe Vettel and Webber can race as team-mates again after speculation
that the Aussie was considering his future with the team.
Ecclestone said: 'Yes, of course they will, obviously they will. I don’t know about (beyond 2013).'
Tension: Webber refused to celebrate with his team-mate on the podium