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Watson: Red Bull has opened Pandora's Box

Former drivers Alan Jones and John Watson both claim that there is more to come from the spat between Red Bull drivers Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel.

Evaluation of the rift at Red Bull Racing continues apace as the F1 season prepares for its first 2013 race on European soil, with more than one paddock observer claiming that Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel will come together on track again.

The pair infamously clashed after the Malaysian Grand Prix, where Vettel defied team orders to hold station, passing Webber with a handful of laps to run to take victory. The fall-out has rumbled on ever since, with questions being raised over who exactly has control of the team, and whether Webber would be tempted to walk away from both RBR and F1. Vettel, meanwhile, has gone on to add victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix, strengthening his hold on top spot in the championship after four rounds.

Webber has vowed to see out the season per his current contract, but is not expected to make life easy for his team-mate should the pair find themselves disputing the same piece of track.

"Seb has proved he can't be trusted so, from now on, Mark must view him as just another enemy," 1980 world champion Alan Jones, who will be the FIA's driver steward in Barcelona this weekend, told Britain's Guardian newspaper.

Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz says that there will be no team orders in future, raising the prospect of another on-track clash to mirror that between the two drivers in Turkey during the 2010 campaign.

"I can imagine Webber will think 'I did the right thing and was prevented from winning that race and now I find myself with a team-mate who doesn't obey team orders and doesn't receive any sanction or penalty - so why should I bother obeying team orders?'," driver-turned-pundit John Watson mused on BBC Sport

"There will be occasions where Webber and Vettel will be running in a one-two situation. What authority does the pit wall now have to control certainly one of its drivers but most likely both of them?

“I think the team have shown incredible weakness by not penalising their number one driver and they have now created a rod for their own back. They have, in effect, let him run roughshod over the authority of the team principal. Red Bull have opened Pandora's box. The whole Malaysia thing has been swept under the carpet. I don't know how long it can stay there. I suspect we will still see ructions at races later in the year."

It has often been perceived that Webber has been the victim on team politics that work in Vettel's favour, and so-called Red Bull 'advisor' Helmut Marko did little to quell that suspicion – or questions about who really runs the team - when he decided to give his version of the RBR hierarchy.

"I am a director of Red Bull Racing alongside Christian and Mateschitz," he apparently told Spain's El Confidential recently, "Whatever happens in the team comes to me and, if necessary, I take it up to the owner - so I take the final decision."




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
17.03.2013- Alan Jones (AUS)
John Watsonn, Former F1 driver and Derek Warrick, BRDC Chairman
24.03.2013- Race, press conference;  Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB9 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB9
24.03.2013- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB9 overtaking Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB9
24.03.2013- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB9 overtaking Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB9
Vettel, Ricciardo
20.04.2014- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14T
20.04.2014- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10 during pit stop
20.04.2014- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10
20.04.2014- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10
20.04.2014- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10
20.04.2014- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10 and Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10
20.04.2014- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10
20.04.2014- Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10
20.04.2014- Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10
20.04.2014- Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10 during pit stop
20.04.2014- Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10
20.04.2014- Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10

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Owen Hamilton - Unregistered

May 06, 2013 10:37 AM

I can just imagine at the Brazilian GP, Vettel needs to win the race to win the title, Red Bull are 1-2 on the grid, first corner Webber does what Senna did to Prost in Japan all those years ago.

KevinW - Unregistered

May 06, 2013 1:25 PM

Red Bull is focused on winning the WCC, they consider the WDC a secondary issue. Horner has stated this on more than one occasion. He has also stated that the contentious relationship between team mates has been going on for many years, and is of no concern, as long as they are both scoring points for the team. In fact it appears to motivate Vettel. So, if the heat between MW and SV continues to produce team points, and pushes Vettel to perform at his best, nothing will be done to tone it down, end of story.



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