Former F1 driver John Watson has urged Sebastian Vettel to apologise to fans for his actions during the Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang.
Vettel went against team orders and overtook Mark Webber for the lead of the race and went on to secure to victory – despite the pair being told to hold position following the final round of pitstops.
Webber was left furious following the race and despite Vettel apologising to the Australian afterwards, Watson said the defending champion owed it to fans to explain his actions.
“It is a great shame what Sebastian did in Sepang,” he told The Sun
. “The way he acted was dishonest. He should apologise to the fans of F1 and to the sport. He has not yet explained why he did not obey the team, apart from making some mealy-mouthed excuse at the time.
“Sebastian had come across as a well-adjusted young man who was also a three time World Champion. But we have had a glimpse of what he is truly capable of and a lot of people will not like the 2013 version.
“He needs to be grilled in China as to why he did what he did to Mark and the team. If you agree to a plan that after the last pit-stops then the drivers should hold station, then you should stick to that. He gave his word and then did what he wanted which is very poor really.
“What he did beforehand when he just told the team to tell Mark to get out of the way because he was slower was even worse. He should really have paid a penalty for what he did, but there was a snowball's chance in hell of that happening.”
Watson also warned Red Bull that the Multi 21 saga could ultimately cost it dear it the title race as the season wears on.
“Red Bull have used more bandages than the National Health Service trying to limit the damage,” he said, “but if you create the monster then lose control of him, you are going to pay the price.
“What happened in Malaysia showed that Helmut Marko and Vettel wield the power in the team. Christian Horner has done a good job as team principal but at the end of the day he could not control his driver.
“Mark knows his status in the team, but then he has known that for a while. But it is hard to see him trusting Sebastian anymore.”
Webber is amongst the drivers who will appear in Thursday's FIA press conference in Shanghai alongside Romain Grosjean, Nico Hulkenberg, Sergio Perez, Adrian Sutil and Nico Rosberg.