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Red Bull issues now 'settled', claims Marko

ESPN Staff
March 28, 2013 « Red Bull problems won't go away - Button | Ecclestone backs Vettel in team order controversy »

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has played down the rift between Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber and claims the issues resulting from the team orders controversy at the Malaysian Grand Prix are now settled.

Vettel disobeyed team orders by overtaking Webber for the lead after both drivers had been told to hold position at Sunday's race. The drivers were ordered to turn down their engines and ease their cars to the finish by selecting 'Multi-map 21' on their steering wheels, but Vettel ignored the pit wall and attacked Webber when the Australian's defences were down.

The incident has called into question who is really in charge at Red Bull, with Webber saying on the podium that he expects Vettel to receive his "usual protection" from within the team. Now Marko, who brought Vettel through the ranks to Formula One and criticised Webber pre-season in a Red Bull publication, insists the issue is closed.

"They don't have to be completely on the same page but it must be a solid working partnership," he said. "Sebastian apologised in the press conference and I think that was the first correct step to make. There was a debrief afterwards with the relevant discussions about the race and then there was a handshake between the two drivers. For us now the issue is settled."

Marko admitted the pit wall could do nothing to control Vettel once he started disobeying team orders.

"We told Sebastian to hold his position because we didn't know what the tyre situation was and both drivers need to bring home a good finish for the team. But then came the attack against that strategy and it got out of control. You couldn't control it over radio or anything like that. Sebastian the racer came out and took the lead."

Horner told Sky Sports that Vettel had apologised to the whole team back at the team's factory this week.

"He's said he can't turn back the clock but he's accepted what he did was wrong," Horner said. "He's apologised to the team and to every single member of staff for his actions, because he recognises the team is vitally important and being part of the team is a crucial aspect to being able to challenge for those championships."