It’s a measure of just how much turmoil Sebastian Vettel created in the Red Bull camp that even his number one supporter and mentor Helmut Marko was frustrated at the way the Malaysian GP turned out.
Intriguingly he tried to defend the team’s awkward situation by implying that Mercedes had favoured Lewis Hamilton.
“We have to go through everything,” Dr Marko told this blog. “Obviously it’s not what we expected. After the last stop we saw that Seb was very, very quick on his out lap, so it was obvious that they would come together, or side to side. That was the problem. Before then it was not necessary, because they were so much apart.
“The team did the right thing, we told the drivers to keep positions, and all of a sudden they were side-by-side, and at this stage it went out of control. But it shows that we don’t have this number one and number two like Mercedes. But it shouldn’t be like it was, because we were all worried about the tyre wear, and we were lucky to finish one-two.”
Marko admitted that it was not easy to manage two very competitive drivers: “We have to work it out internally. It’s a positive thing, it’s not like Mercedes where it’s ‘bang, you stay behind.’ When you do have guys like Sebastian and Mark in such a situation there’s no way of controlling it.”
He conceded that in an era where saving tyres is so important such situations are bound to arise.
“It’s very hard to manage, but in the end we were lucky, because the tyres stayed together much better than we expected. They both did very fast laps in the last stint, so maybe we have to be a little less critical to Pirelli.”
Marko said he had no problem with Vettel telling the team earlier in the race that Webber was too slow and they should “get him out of the way,” a message that led to considerable criticism of the German’s attitude.
“It was correct, because Hamilton was behind him, and was getting into DRS. Mark got the message and immediately went faster, so that worked as a team should work. He just said Mark is too slow. Look what was in the rear – it was Hamilton and Rosberg, not only were they coming into DRS, there was a danger that they could do an undercut.”