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Sebastian Vettel angers Mark Webber with Formula One victory

March 24, 2013|By Dan Loumena
  • Formula One drivers Sebastian Vettel, right, and Mark Webber celebrate at the podium after their one-two finish in the Malaysian Grand Prix on Sunday.
Formula One drivers Sebastian Vettel, right, and Mark Webber celebrate… (Ahmad Yusni / EPA )

Sebastian Vettel has angered Red Bull teammate Mark Webber with a late pass and ensuing victory in the Malaysian Grand Prix on Sunday.

Vettel, the three-time reigning Formula One champion who now has a comfortable nine-point lead over Kimi Raikkonen atop this season's standings, collected his 27th career victory after evidently ignoring his crew to stay behind Webber, who was leading the race with 10 laps left.

Webber, who says he was told to keep a slower pace to save tire tread, didn't have anything positive to say after finishing second.

“Seb made his own decisions and he will have protection as usual and that's the way it goes,” Webber said. “It's still very raw at the moment.”

Vettel offered an apology.

“Mark should have won,” Vettel said. “I made a big mistake today and we should have stayed in the position. I messed up in that situation and took the lead from Mark and can see now he is upset. Apologies to Mark. The result is there and all I can say is that I didn't do it deliberately.”

Red Bull team owner Christian Horner attempted to ease tensions.

“It's frustrating," said Horner, who mentioned the two had tangled in the past over racing position and when to pass. "Formula One is both a team and an individual sport and sometimes there is a conflict between a driver's desire and a team's interest. What happened today is something that shouldn't have happened. It's something that Sebastian has apologized for and it's something that we will discuss internally as a team.

“Let's be honest here. There has never been a great deal of trust between the two of them since [a crash in] Turkey, but there is a respect. If you think of Brazil (in 2012), Mark was told to hold his position and started racing him. They are race drivers and they will push to the limit. That is part of what their DNA is, that is part of why we signed them to do the job, and why they performed so well for us as a pairing over the past five years.”

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