Button surprised by Vettel's approach
11 April 2013 – Jenson Button says he has been slightly taken aback by the attitude of Red Bull rival Sebastian Vettel, who revealed earlier on Thursday that he would probably ignore team orders again if presented with a similar scenario to the Malaysian Grand Prix.
Addressing the media in China, Button argued that Vettel was wrong to disobey pit wall instructions and overtake team-mate Mark Webber for victory at Sepang, while the McLaren driver also expressed surprise at the German's follow-up comments.
When asked about Vettel's controversial claim that he would repeat his actions, Button commented: "Lots of people have won World Championships without being like that. I'm surprised he said that. He's such a talented driver and he seems like a driver that the team loves. And they should as he's very successful and seems like an easy-going character.
"It's surprising for him to say that. He knew what he was doing. We all want to win, but if you're told to hold station and you know that's the rule before the race then kick up about it before the race, don't just do the opposite in the race. I think that's the biggest issue. If we had that issue here, I wouldn't have agreed before we went racing. In the race, you have to do as you're supposed to do."
Although Button sees the need for team orders in certain situations, he believes it was far too early for Red Bull to be issuing commands to its drivers in Malaysia.
"I do not like team orders," Button went on to explain. "I've said that before, but they're legal. I would understand if I couldn't win the championship anymore and the team said to me 'Right, if you're leading this race and your team-mate is second and needs the points to win the championship' then I would let him past. I wouldn't even need to be told that. I would do it myself because it's the right thing to do, but in the second race of the season I don't think it's the right thing to do."
Button added that Vettel’s actions would be understandable to a certain extent if he misunderstood the 'multi 21' hold position order, but the 2009 World Champion does not believe this to be the case after the 25-year-old’s recent description of events.
"There's definitely the possibility of making a mistake [with team orders], and if that was the case with Sebastian then it's fair enough," said Button. "Maybe that was the case, but it just doesn't sound that way from what he was saying afterwards."