Watson: Red Bull has shown weakness

Watson: Red Bull has shown weakness

6 May 2013 – Ex-Formula 1 driver John Watson says Red Bull has displayed "incredible weakness" by failing to penalise Sebastian Vettel for his actions in the Malaysian Grand Prix, during which the reigning World Champion repeatedly ignored instructions and overtook team-mate Mark Webber for his first victory of the season.

Watson, who has reignited the team orders debate, believes that the outfit faces a severely challenging situation over the remaining 15 Grand Prix weekends, with the 67-year-old anticipating further issues between the pair as the year progresses.

"The whole Malaysia thing has been swept under the carpet," former race winner Watson explained to BBC Sport. "I don't know how long it can stay there. I suspect we will still see ructions at races later in the year. There will be occasions where Webber and Vettel will be running in a one-two situation.

"What authority does the pit wall now have to control certainly one of its drivers but most likely both of them? I can imagine Webber will think: 'I did the right thing and was prevented from winning that race and now I find myself with a team-mate who doesn't obey team orders and doesn't receive any sanction or penalty - so why should I bother obeying team orders?'"

Watson reckons team boss Christian Horner's decision not to rebuke Vettel in the aftermath of the battle sets up a concerning prospect for the rest of the campaign.

"I think the team have shown incredible weakness by not penalising their number one driver and they have now created a rod for their own back," explained Watson. "They have, in effect, let him run roughshod over the authority of the Team Principal. Red Bull have opened Pandora's box. How can anybody control Vettel from now on?"

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