SEBASTIAN Vettel's 27th victory in Formula One didn't earn him a lot of admiration. He even had to apologise for it.
The three-time defending champion ignored team orders Sunday and overtook fellow Red Bull driver Mark Webber toward the end to win the Malaysian Grand Prix, having been told to stand down and cruise to a 1-2 finish.
The German's move left Webber fuming and had team officials remonstrating Vettel publicly after the race. Vettel apologized, but said he didn't realize he had been told to hold back.
"Mark should have won," said Vettel, who now leads the championship standings by nine points ahead of Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen. "I made a big mistake today and we should have stayed in the position. I messed up in that situation and took the lead from Mark and can see now he is upset. Apologies to Mark. The result is there and all I can say is that I didn't do it deliberately."
Webber refused to acknowledge his teammate after the race, and said he had been told by the team to keep a slower pace to save the tires to the end.
"Seb made his own decisions and he will have protection as usual and that's the way it goes," Webber said. "It's still very raw at the moment."
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