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
SAKHIR, Bahrain – Fernando Alonso will take his first step towards a possible entry to the 24 Hours of Le Mans when he tests an LMP1 car for Toyota on Sunday at the Bahrain International Circuit.
McLaren Formula 1 driver and two-time world champion Alonso is hoping to appear at Le Mans next year as part of his bid to become just the second man in history to complete the ‘Triple Crown of Motorsport’.
Alonso has already completed one leg by winning the Monaco Grand Prix twice, and made his debut at the Indianapolis 500 in May with McLaren-Honda-Andretti, retiring late on due to an engine failure.
Momentum is building for Alonso to make his Le Mans debut with Toyota in 2018, starting with a first sports car run-out in the FIA World Endurance Championship’s end-of-season rookie test in Bahrain on Sunday.
Alonso arrived in Bahrain on Saturday to watch the six-hour WEC race as an invited guest of the Bahraini royal family, with his participation in the test being confirmed after the race.
“We are very excited that Fernando will test our car. When he visited us in Cologne everyone who met him could sense his enthusiasm and passion for our sport; he is a true racer,” Toyota Gazoo Racing team president Hisatake Murata said.
“We very much respect his interest in different forms of motorsport and it is a pleasure to offer him this chance to drive a hybrid LMP1 car. It will be interesting to hear his feedback on the TS050 Hybrid.”
Alonso will share running in the Toyota car with 19-year-old Thomas Laurent, who received a test as a prize for his star display during his rookie WEC campaign this year, while regular Toyota racer Mike Conway will also complete laps.