Red Bull will sit with Sebastian Vettel following reports the German deliberately ignored the team’s race instructions in Malaysia.
The team was heard on the radio instructing the reigning back-to-back world champion to retire his car, ostensibly because of dangerously high brake temperatures. So often were the calls unheeded that Vettel’s engineer Guillaume ‘Rocky’ Rocquelin ultimately declared it an “emergency”.
A late-race retirement, with Vettel definitely out of the points following his clash with Narain Karthikeyan, would have allowed Red Bull to install a new gearbox in his car for the forthcoming event in China.
Red Bull explained that Vettel did not hear the instructions due to a broken radio. But photographs have emerged that show those instructions were also reflected in Vettel’s end-of-lap pit boards.
And the 24-year-old let slip immediately after the race: “Of course you can save the car, but I wanted to see the chequered flag. I think that’s how it should be.”
Bild newspaper surmises that Vettel “ignored his bosses’ orders”.
Team boss Christian Horner commented: “We’ll talk about it.”
The German newspaper said Vettel is due at the team’s Milton Keynes headquarters at the end of this week, for time on the Red Bull driver simulator prior to Shanghai.
Italy’s La Repubblica newspaper said 2012 has been “a nightmare” for Vettel so far, as the once-dominant driver “has become just one of the other drivers”.