Dr Helmut Marko has denied reports Sebastian Vettel was summoned to Red Bull’s headquarters this week to explain his behaviour at the recent Malaysian grand prix.
The Narain Karthikeyan-saga aside, reports suggested the German deliberately ignored his bosses’ instruction that he retire his RB8 – ostensibly due to a brake issue – so that he could fit a new gearbox without penalty in China. The reports suggested Vettel had confessed immediately after the race that he heard the instruction but chose to ignore it.
“That is all nonsense,” Red Bull’s motor racing consultant Marko told Sport Bild. “Sebastian did nothing – absolutely nothing – that was against our wishes.”
Marko said Vettel’s visit to Milton Keynes this week was scheduled long ago, adding that he will be working inside the driver simulator amongst other things. He also hit back at claims the 24-year-old could be penalised by the FIA for breaching the code of conduct when he showed the ‘middle finger’ to Karthikeyan.
“The matter was resolved during the meeting with the stewards (in Malaysia). For me, the case is closed.”
Speaking to Kolner Express newspaper, however, an FIA spokesman confirmed that the code of conduct forbids superlicense holders from insulting their rivals.
But he added: “I imagine the application of this paragraph was considered by the stewards in Malaysia.”
And Sebastian Vettel’s spokeswoman said: “We know of no investigation.”