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Villeneuve: Vettel's actions deliberate and stupid

29 March 2013

Jacques Villeneuve has hit out at Red Bull Racing's Sebastian Vettel and has labelled his actions in the Malaysian Grand Prix last weekend as 'stupid'.

Vettel took the spoils at the Sepang International Circuit, venue for the second round in the 2013 F1 World Championship, but only after deliberately disobeying team orders and battling by team-mate, Mark Webber following the fourth and final round of pit stops.

It led to much controversy and now Jacques, who won the title with Williams in 1997, has weighed in, comparing it to what Didier Pironi did at Imola in 1982, when he passed his father, the legendary, Gilles Villeneuve on the final lap and 'stole' the win. Gilles was outraged by the incident and never spoke to the Frenchman again. Two weeks later, Gilles was killed in practice at Zolder.

“It is easy to make excuses [after the event],” JV told Auto Bild. “In the end, ultimately he has got the win and the points. Mark has got nothing. It was a deliberate decision by Vettel.

“The team give you the contract and pay and so you do what they want you to do. It is very simple.

“Ignoring is just plain wrong. The best example is my father and Didier Pironi. Just look at the problems that caused.”

“His behaviour was just stupid. Such negative energy does not help the team,” Villeneuve added. “[Also] if he now needs help from Mark, he cannot be sure he will get it.”

McLaren's Jenson Button meanwhile agrees that Vettel's actions could come back to haunt him.

“I think that it will hurt Sebastian in the long run,” Button confirmed to British newspaper, The Daily Mail. “We all want to win but Red Bull have to call the shots. So many times a team order has worked in his favour. It can cause an issue. Even if they sit down and discuss it, it is not going to change the outcome. What has happened is still in their minds. It does not go away.”

“Lewis [Hamilton – my old team-mate] and I had something like that in Turkey [in 2010],” Button continued. “He was told to turn his engine down but I didn't know. Lewis thought they had told me, I overtook him and then Lewis overtook me. It was all fine.

“But if you are told to do something by the team and you completely ignore what they said and it cost your team-mate a win - that's big.

“I find team orders difficult but to disregard one is something different. The issue here is that Vettel did not want team orders.”


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