Vettel: Team orders never an option


As Sebastian Vettel closed in on teammate Kimi Raikkonen in the final stages of yesterday's Austrian Grand Prix, memories of an infamous incident at the same track almost twenty years ago sprang to mind.

Just hours after signing a new contract with Ferrari, essentially committing himself to a further couple of years as number two to Michael Schumacher, as he led a Ferrari 1-2 into the final corner of the final lap, Rubens Barrichello moved aside to let his teammate take the 'win'.

It was the clumsiest and most flagrant and unwarranted use of team orders seen for years, and the fans weren't happy.

On the top step of the podium, as fans booed their disgust, an embarrassed Schumacher hauled Barrichello up on to the step beside him, while Ferrari, managed at the time by Jean Todt, was hauled before the FIA in Paris where such team orders were subsequently banned.

Speaking in the wake of yesterday's race, where Mercedes double DNF, and Ferrari's 2-3, handed the lead in both championships to the Italian team, asked whether the Maranello outfit had considered asking Raikkonen to move aside for him, Vettel was emphatic.

"No, why?" he said.

"Max won the race because he deserved it and he didn’t make any mistakes," he added, "so that’s a strong performance from him, and Kimi did everything he could.

“I was trying to hunt both of them down," he admitted. "Kimi was pushing as hard as he could and I was pushing as hard as I could. Both of us were closing but it wasn’t enough."

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Article from Pitpass (

Published: 02/07/2018
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