Sebastian Vettel shouldn’t worry - as Ayrton Senna said ‘we are competing to win’

Senna Prost

Team orders or individual brilliance? Which should come out on top?

Formula 1 has come to the forefront of the sporting spotlight in recent weeks after the amazing scenes in Malaysia a fortnight ago.

Sebastian Vettel, the world champion, defied team orders to overtake Mark Webber and claim the victory for himself.

In doing so he disobeyed the orders of the team that has put together for him undoubtedly the best car in recent memory. The team that has backed him with millions and millions of pounds, the best pit crew money can buy and in doing so handed him a silver spoon in regards to winning F1 titles.

Some would say that makes his actions wrong. Eddie Jordan is one of them. Others would say if he wants to race without team orders … go join McLaren. The fact remains this is motor-racing.

As much as people tell you it is a team sport once you get out on the tarmac that goes out of the window. These are individuals putting everything on the line with one goal in mind; victory.

It transcends two and four wheels. I will never forget Dani Pedrosa sideswiping Nicky Hayden in the penultimate race of the 2006 MotoGP season. If Valentino Rossi hadn’t of made a rare mistake a fortnight later it would have cost the American the title.

Who can forget Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso’s toing and froing whilst McLaren team-mates. It makes the sport just what it is.

Then of course you have the greatest inter-team rivalry of all time; Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost.

As David Coulthard has just said on BBC’s coverage of the Chinese Qualifying their rivalry was as toxic as anyone’s during their time together at McLaren; but together they won 15 of 16 races that season. Having two racing drivers going out on the track ready to push each other to the upward limit of each other’s ability can only be a good thing for the sport, team and both as individuals.

As Vettel said ‘‘I was faster, I passed Mark, I won the race’’.

Isn’t that what racing is all about?

For let’s not forget; the moment you do not go for a gap you are no longer a racing driver.

image: © senna.org.br