Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner has insisted that there are 'no team orders' at the energy drinks-backed outfit in Formula 1 - despite Sebastian Vettel having admitted to his 'surprise' at having been told to hold station behind 'faster' team-mate Mark Webber in the closing stages of the Turkish Grand Prix at the weekend.

Having begun from pole position around the technically challenging, physically demanding and undulating Istanbul Park Circuit, an opening lap error saw Vettel concede his advantage to current world championship leader Jenson Button, and despite an aggressive three-stop strategy, he would fail to get back on terms with his British rival for the remainder of the grand prix.

Indeed, whilst pleased with the performance of his car, the young German later revealed that he had been 'surprised' at the decision not to switch him across from a three-stopper to two once he had lost the lead - as he claimed had been agreed prior to the race. Leaving him on three stops put the 21-year-old under pressure to overtake Button on the circuit - something he was unable to do - and ultimately saw him lose track position to Webber, who he was told not to attempt to pass in the closing stages...to his evident frustration and incredulity.

Button too confessed that he had been 'very surprised that they went for a three-stopper', suggesting that 'maybe they thought that we were going to do the same...but we filled the car up after we saw what they had done and it worked very well'.

"I'm not happy," Vettel acknowledged afterwards. "If you start from pole you want to win - and we didn't. I made a mistake in turns nine and ten on the first lap - the wind changed for race day and that made it very slippery there all race and difficult to get the entry right. I think it was the most critical corner. There was a tailwind under braking, compared to other days when I think we had a head wind, which made it quite tricky too. There is a kind of a dip there that you go through and I lost the rear and went wide at turn ten over the Astroturf and nearly lost the car and a lot of speed also for the straight.

"I went more-or-less straight and lost a position to Jenson, but I think we weren't quick enough anyway to hold him for the whole race - I think it would not have made a big difference as Jenson was just too quick. I was quite surprised by his pace in the first stint - it wasn't nice to see. When I saw him flying away the first thing I thought was 'sh*t', because obviously we wanted to win and we were not quick enough. I think we have to accept that they (Brawn GP) were on a different planet. We thought we had a fair chance to beat Jenson and the Brawns, [but] it turned out not to be.

"After that I was quite surprised that we stuck to our three-stop strategy, as I thought from what we had discussed before the race, if it turned out that we were second, it wouldn't make sense to go for a three-stop. Jenson was not behind us and we were not opening a gap to him - it was the opposite - so I thought we were switching to two stops. As you saw in the race, I then caught Jenson massively because I was much lighter and much quicker.

"I nearly passed him - there was one chance in the last corner, but it was quite tricky and it would have been too risky. After that you kind of feel your tyres going off and then there is not much you can do. Obviously in the tow I was on the limiter for part of the straight, and it was not possible to catch up anymore and basically that's where I lost the race. I got stuck behind him and lost about a second a lap for three or four laps. Those were the seconds that put me behind Mark in the final stint, because he emerged ahead of me by quite a bit and then I wasn't even second anymore - I was third.

"Obviously you know what you are going to do in certain scenarios. You discuss strategy a long time before the start of the race, and it was clear that in the case that we were leading and had a certain gap to the car behind, because we were quite a bit shorter we would go for a three-stop. I don't understand why we were still on a three-stop, as from there onwards it did not make much sense; I think a two-stop would have secured second position. All-in-all we probably didn't do the best job there - it turned out that the three-stop possibly was not as quick as two stops here.

"The team didn't really say 'you're not allowed to race him' or tell me not to pass him; I just got the message 'Mark is faster than you'. I wanted to reply, but I thought I'd better keep that to myself! As a racing driver I tried to catch him up, which I did, but unfortunately I then didn't have any extra laps to pass him, so similar to what he did we just turned the engine down and drove the car home. I would rather go fast the last couple of laps and enjoy rather than just going around without any sense - in this kind of situation the last thing you want to do is just go round slowly and drive the car home. For the team it's the same result - second and third - but obviously as I said my target is always to win, and if you can't win you want to finish second, and in the end we were third... We lost the position to Mark because of the strategy.

"Nevertheless, [it was] a very good result for the team and a lot of points. Looking back one year, I think we're in a very strong position and it is getting closer, even though maybe this was the first day that Jenson showed what they (Brawn) really can do. I think we have reasons to be confident, though. I think we have a very good car, especially in medium and high-speed corners; I think [we need more pace] probably in the low-speed corners, but there are new bits to come at Silverstone, so let's see. I was happy with the car - I felt quite comfortable all weekend - but we're just not quick enough...yet."

Vettel's patent frustration mirrored that he had displayed when he had been similarly beaten on into third place on strategy by Webber in the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona last month, but Horner sought to swiftly rebuff any suggestions of favouritism or discontent at the Milton Keynes-based squad, arguing that whilst there was still a faint glimmer of going for victory, the team had to stick to its initial race plan.

"Jenson was just that little bit too quick," the Englishman contended. "Sebastian made a small mistake on the first lap and enabled Jenson to get into fresh air, which was exactly what we didn't want. We then decided to give it a go on a three-stop strategy, which meant that Sebastian had to pass Jenson; he closed up to the back of him, but couldn't quite make it through. Unfortunately, the mistake on the first lap and time lost behind Jenson was the difference between second and third. The engines have to do four races, and this was the first race for these engines so [in the closing laps] we just decided that the race was settled. The pace between the cars we could see was identical, so both drivers put it into a safer engine mode."

"I think obviously the perennial problem of following another car in high-speed corners is very difficult for the driver behind, so he could close right in on Jenson on a lighter strategy, but just couldn't quite get past. Sebastian drove a good race, Mark also drove a fantastic race without a single mistake, and it was a very strong team result. There was a huge effort from everyone at the factory in Milton Keynes and here, and 14 points is very healthy for the constructors' [championship]. Congratulations to Jenson - he drove a great race."

"We knew that it would be very difficult to beat the Brawns," he added, speaking to the official F1 website, "and Jenson was phenomenally fast. The only real chance that we had to beat them was a three-stop strategy for Sebastian - otherwise on lap 15 we would have conceded the race - but that relied on Sebastian staying ahead of Jenson, which unfortunately did not materialise due to his small mistake on the first lap that made him fall behind. That made things immediately a lot harder. It also relied on him passing Jenson again, which he did not quite manage.

"Mark's middle stint was very impressive. He was the quicker car in the middle stint - that's why he emerged ahead of Sebastian, so the mistake on the first lap, the time that he lost behind Jenson and Mark's very fast middle stint switched things around. [There were] no team orders. Both drivers had new engines and the temperatures were very hot, so in the last few laps they turned the revs down a little bit, as Jenson did. Sebastian wanted to have a go for fastest lap - he tried but missed it by one tenth."