Team orders saga very good for publicity claims ex-F1 driver

Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel battle during the Malaysian GP

Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel battle during the Malaysian GP

The Red Bull Multi-21 team orders saga  and Mercedes’ similar situation which came to the fore in Malaysia has been nothing except very good for Formula 1, according to former grand prix driver Alex Wurz.

The controversy surrounding Red Bull’s imposition and Sebastian Vettel’s defiance of team orders at Sepang has been the major talking point in the long gap between March and April’s rounds on the 2013 schedule.

Some believe Vettel brought his world champion titles into disrepute by dishonouring his team, while others say the mere imposition of team orders is an insult to fair play.

Asked what he thinks of the affair named after Red Bull’s team orders codeword ‘Multi-21’, however, Wurz insisted: “I see it as very good for the sport.

“These stories bring interest and boost ratings.

“The bottom line is that it’s good for business, even if it can be debated whether the actions of some teams is right for the sporting ideology,” he told Spox.

On that subject, Wurz doubts what German Vettel did was justifiable.

“It began on lap 28, when Sebastian said on the radio ‘Get Mark out of the way, he is too slow’.

“At that time, Webber had the tyres well under control and was able to respond by extending his lead to five seconds. Sebastian was not able to counter it.

“In retrospect, we now know what ‘Multi-21’ means. Had Red Bull not issued these team orders, for sure – with 99.9 per cent certainty – Webber would have brought it home.

“On the day he had been better with the tyre management. But he accepted the team’s instruction and turned his engine down.

“Sebastian didn’t, and couldn’t resist the temptation to drive past,” said Wurz.