Red Bull Racing's Sebastian Vettel has said he would 'probably' do the same again and ignore team orders if he was told to hold station behind team-mate, Mark Webber.
Vettel caused much controversy in Malaysia last month, when he disobeyed the 'Multi 21' instruction and overtook the sister car to claim the victory.
Speaking ahead of this weekend's race in China, the third round in the 2013 F1 World Championship, the German added that in way it was 'indirect' pay back for similar situations in the past, when Webber has also ignored commands from the pit wall.
“I respect Mark a lot as a racing driver but I think there was more than one occasions in the past when he could have helped the team but he didn't,” Vettel told reporters in Shanghai.
“Was it payback? Probably you could say indirectly so. But as I tried to explain after the race in my opinion it's always best to be truthful. Maybe sometimes the truth is not what the people want to hear because as you can see controversy is more popular than the truth. I told you after the race what happened; I was racing, as a racing driver I was solely focused on winning the race. I got a call on the radio which I heard but I didn't understand at the time.
“I should have understood, that's why I apologised to the team because in my action I put myself above the team but that wasn't my intention. Whether you believe me or not is up to you.”
Pressed on if he would do the same again, he replied he would and that Webber didn't really deserve the victory.
“I'm not sure I can give you a proper answer because in the moment it might be different but I'd probably do the same," he admitted.
“I think if I had understood the message then obviously I would have thought about it - I'm not sure I can give you a perfect answer on this - but thinking about it I probably had realised at the moment that there was quite a conflict. On the one hand I think I'm the kind of guy that respects team decisions but on the other hand Mark is not the one that deserved it at the time.”
“I think being completely honest I never had support from his side,” he added. “I have got a lot of support from the team and I think the team is supporting both of us in the same way.”
As for suggestions he should have been sanctioned by the team for failing to respect team orders, Vettel replied: “Sanction, as in punishment? What do you expect? Maybe it's a little bit of a dreamland you all live in but what do you expect to happen? Make a suggestion...
“I think we dealt with it internally. As I said, I did apologise to the team, I took it very seriously. I went to see the team as soon as I could - the whole team, not just the people working here,” he concluded.