Teammate Wars at Malaysian Grand Prix

To the readers of burnyourfuel, it’s good to back after a nice long break. With the motorsport season now in full swing, my contributions shall be far more consistent henceforth. I would like to kick things off by discussing the Malaysian Grand Prix that just took place. As you may or not may not have heard Sebastian Vettel won the race, his teammate Mark Webber was second and Lewis Hamilton took his first podium for Mercedes in third.

Sebastian Vettel Mark Webber Red Bull

For all the drama that occurred on the track, things were just as interesting once the drivers had gotten out of their cars. With teams orders now legal, both Red Bull Racing and Mercedes looked to implement a scenario where once the final round of pits stops were completed the 4 drivers were to hold their positions. This meant Red Bull would finish first and second with Webber and Vettel while Mercedes would finish third and fourth with Hamilton and Rosberg respectively. While the Merc boys held their position, Vettel had other things on his mind. On lap 46 Vettel made a lunge down Webber’s inside, deliberately ignoring team orders in the process. This led to some intense wheel-to-wheel racing with Sebastian eventually prevailing. Mark for his part let everyone know just what he thought once the race was over. He genuinely felt cheated and rightly so. Having been instructed by his team to turn down his engine in order to save fuel, the last thing he expected was for his teammate to challenge him so viciously.

Things weren’t a bed of roses at the Mercedes camp either. As we heard over a number car to pit radio messages, Nico clearly felt he had the measure of Lewis through the course of this race. Team principle Ross Brawn had to constantly intervene and insist the cars maintain position as the team were restricting Hamilton’s pace to save fuel. Though Nico was far more PR savvy than Mark in the post race interviews, one could clearly make out his frustrations.

They say the first person you have to beat in motor racing is your teammate. However on today’s evidence, you can’t help but feel Sebastian crossed a line in his determination to win. Considering the fact that his chief championship rival (Fernando Alonso) had put himself out of contention in the first few laps, the triple world champion should have really shown his teammate a little more respect.

At least Lewis Hamilton had the courtesy to admit Rosberg was quicker.