Jenson Button says Sebastian Vettel’s decision to ignore Red Bull’s team orders in Malaysia will come back to haunt him.
“I think that will hurt him in the long run,” said Button. “I am surprised he did that.”
Button said Red Bull’s instructions had helped Vettel in the past so it was wrong of him to disobey them on this occasion.
“I find team orders difficult but to disregard a team order is something different,” he explained. “At the start of the race, they knew they had team orders. That’s the bigger issue.”
“I am not a fan of giving a driver preferential treatment but the issue here is that Vettel did not want team orders.”
He added it was unlikely Vettel would return the favor to his team mate any time soon: “How is he going to give that win back to Mark? I cannot imagine him leading the race and going to Mark and say ‘here you go’. That’s very difficult and I could not do that.”
Button said he had experienced a similar situation with Lewis Hamilton at McLaren during the 2010 Turkish Grand Prix – ironically, after both Red Bull drivers had collided while leading.
“[Hamilton] was told to turn his engine down but I didn’t know. Lewis thought they had told me, so then I overtook him and then Lewis overtook me.”
“As soon as we got out of the car we discussed it and when I said that I wasn’t told anything, it was all fine.”
More on the fall-out from the Malaysian Grand Prix