Formula 1

F1 2013 review: The 'Multi 21' saga

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In a year of continued dominant success for Sebastian Vettel there was one incident at the start of the year that would change the opinion of many F1 fans around the world about the young German.

Back in Malaysia the Red Bull was far from the dominant car it would become but in the wet/ dry race at Sepang and after Fernando Alonso's early retirement the two Red Bull drivers were at the front and cruising to their first one-two of the year with Mark Webber ahead of Sebastian Vettel.

The radio call 'multi-21' was issued by team boss Christian Horner which was code for hold position for the rest of the race.

However ignoring that instruction Vettel began to close down Webber and proceeded to overtake the Australian after a close and incredible battle which continued for several corners.

Eventually Vettel got ahead of Webber at turn four and went on to win the race leading to the podium picture you see above.

Initially the 26-year-old apologised for ignoring the instruction but ahead of the following race in China took back his apology claiming Webber didn't deserve to win and he did it in response to the Australian not helping him win the title in Brazil in 2012.

As the season progressed we waited for Webber vs Vettel part two in response to the events of Sepang though Vettel's dominance soon meant it didn't happen.

It would be the last moment of controversy between the pair as Webber retired at the end of the season however I expect it won't be the last we hear of the incident.

At the time questions were being asked about whether Vettel was right or wrong by doing what he did with some arguing the true greats of the sport would have done the same if they sniffed a win.

Funnily the incident coincided with Mercedes issuing it's first team orders instruction between Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton with the German being told to hold station behind Hamilton with the pair running third and fourth.

Rosberg obeyed despite complaining on the radio that he would have been a lot quicker, indeed after the race Hamilton admitted he did not deserve the podium place, that in many ways added to the criticism surrounding Vettel's decision.

I asked whether the incident was simply a load of hot air, my conclusion - to completely ignore orders given by team boss Christian Horner as Vettel did in Sepang compared to Webber who did something similar at Silverstone at 2011 made it a more serious case for Red Bull to handle.

However with all rivalries, and Webber and Vettel was certainly one, you must never expect the driver to put the team first all the time, would Senna and Prost have obeyed a similar request at McLaren? Absolutely not and after all we were treated to two of F1's best driver's going wheel-to-wheel around one of the sports best venues for overtaking.

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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