It’s the Monday after the Malaysian Grand Prix and across the globe, written media is hitting the shelves with reports about the “controversial Malaysian Grand Prix”, but what made it so controversial?
Obviously there is an unease within the team. You can’t go ignoring team-orders to such a large-scale. Even Dr. Helmut Marko who is infamous for his support of Vettel, admitted to the media that the team will be speaking to the young German in an attempt to slap some obedience into him.
But what made the fans so upset? Two completely different things happened at two different teams during the race. Red Bull had a leading driver whom they assured would be kept in front with team orders. So did Mercedes. Red Bull’s driver opted not to listen to the team orders, instead launching a vicious campaign against his team-mate, one he eventually won. Mercedes’ driver did quite the opposite, taking to the team radio to plead with Ross Brawn to let him pass team-mate Hamilton, but to no avail.
Both situations were met with criticism by fans, so why? Vettel, they claim, was wrong to defy team orders while Rosberg, they say, was victimized by the team imposing team-orders on him and that Nico should have ignored them. This makes no sense – one person making both statements is highly contradictory. So what’s the problem? Where does this contradictory nature come from?
I’ve decided it must be a personal attack on Sebastian Vettel. ‘Baby Schumi’ as he was called, is setting out in a similar path to his German idol, winning three consecutive World Championships – and making no friends in the process. It gets tiresome and boring to see the same man storming away at the front every Grand Prix and eventually, one gets tired of the driver himself.
What did Vettel really do? He fought his team-mate coming out of the pits and then challenged him again a few laps later – even though it did get close – and he made it past Webber and into the lead. Apart from that, he defied team orders from Red Bull while Christian Horner radioed the German with the words “This is silly, Seb. Come on.” Mark Webber has taken radio silence himself on some occasions such as the 2011 British Grand Prix, and he got away with it, the fans even siding with the Aussie and claiming it was unfair. Again, where’s the consistency.
Another account on Twitter made an interesting point claiming that if Ayrton Senna had done exactly what Vettel had today done, then it would have been legendary. And they were right! Think about if Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso or Kimi Raikkonen had made such a move, would it be met as harshly?
What do you think? Leave a comment or tweet me @BenSweeneyF1.