We’re now two races in to the 2013 racing season, and after these first two races Sebastian Vettel is already making his intentions clear, trying to start the new season where he left off: with victory in the 2012 season. But it has not been without controversy.
After a podium finish for the Red Bull driver in the first race of the season in Melbourne last weekend, hopes were high when Vettel started the Malaysian Grand Prix this weekend from pole position. And it was looking good for a Red Bull 1 and 2, when after the final round of pit stops Vettel fell into place behind his teammate Mark Webber.
Radio orders from the team instructed both drivers to maintain their positions and carry on to the end, conserving their tyres and fuel. But, to great controversy, Vettel had other ideas. Always a competitive racer, he and Webber were engaged in a ferocious battle for first position, and Vettel eventually made the pass stick thirteen laps from the finish.
The race finished with Vettel in first position, Webber fuming in second (and his anger at his teammate was evident even whilst on the podium), and they were joined by Lewis Hamilton in third, his first podium finish for his new team Mercedes. The upshot of this is that Vettel is now nine points clear at the top of the drivers’ standings, clearly signalling his intent for this season.
But, even though Vettel has since apologised to his teammate, it’s clear that Webber and Vettel will be dealing with the fall-out from this incident for the rest of the season…
For the first English-language biography of Sebastian Vettel, read Meet Sebastian Vettel, published by Souvenir Press.