The international press suspects Red Bull imposed team orders during the season ending Brazilian Grand Prix. Despite the Red Bull team strenuously denying the claims, many press reports feel that Vettel’s gearbox problem was a ‘phantom’.
“Webber gets the loyalty prize,” said Italy’s La Gazzetta dello Sport.
Agreed Corriere della Sera: “Vettel gave Webber the gift of the last crumbs after a huge feast and saved him a trip to the psychologist.”
Spain’s Diario Sport added: “Nobody believes Vettel really had a problem with the gearbox.”
Austria’s Der Standard said the team order “made sense”, given Webber’s mathematical chance of finishing the drivers’ championship in second place.
Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali is quoted as joking to La Stampa: “Maybe they forget that team orders can now be issued freely.”
Agreed Fernando Alonso: “I don’t care, except to say that they were bothered with certain behaviours when we did them.”
Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport, however, reported that Vettel personally watched when his gearbox was taken apart after the race and confirmed that “there was almost no oil left in it”.