Tension increases at Red Bull after Malaysian debacle
Although Red Bull Racing had both cars on the podium at the Malaysian GP, it was probably not the sort of podium the team would have wished for. Immediately after the race it was obvious that there was tension among the drivers.
It appears that after the final stop, the team told Mark Webber that positions were fixed. With Webber in the lead, this meant that the Australian could turn down his engine and save it a bit to ensure reliability in future races. Vettel was told a similar thing, but apparently the latter could not resist having a go at victory.
While it created a tense battle between the two team mates, 13 laps before the end of the race, it was not pleasing to Adrian Newey, who was obviously annoyed by the fight going on on track.
The podium ceremony was also awkward, with neither Red Bull driver happy with their finishing position. At least Mark wasn't as he felt betrayed by Sebastian. Vettel on the other hand felt the anger with Webber as soon as he saw him, with Webber clearly first avoiding eye contact, and then saying "huh? what do you want then?" while raising his shoulders. He also pointed out the order "multi21", which means driver no.2 can stay ahead of no.1.
A post race interview with team principal Christian Horner also confirmed that the team asked its drivers to maintain their positions after the final stops: "Sebastian just took things in his own hands".
A bit further after the race, Mark Webber mentioned in another interview: "I was reassured twice that we were not going to abuse our cars against each other. But there's no rewind button now".
All reactions eventually caused Vettel to apologise to his team, claiming "I have made a big mistake", but it remains to be seen how this will evolve during the next weeks.
Mark Webber has already repeatedly felt the no.1 status of Sebastian Vettel within the team, and may now just have had enough. Having team orders is one thing, but seeing your team mate ignore the team to go on and rob you from a victory in your 200th race entry is something else.
Read more in the team's reactions after the race: http://www.f1technical.net/news/18280