Webber: Vettel has protection within Red Bull

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Mark Webber has made no secret of his disappointment after losing the Malaysian Grand Prix to Sebastian Vettel late in the race, claiming that he was told to ease off.

“After the last stop the team told me the race was over,” he said. “We turned the engine down to go to the end.”

With their cars in first and second place, Red Bull asked their drivers to hold position in order to secure the result. However, it would appear that Vettel defied the team, and went in pursuit of the victory which he claimed after 56 laps in Malaysia. Webber made it clear that he felt Vettel had acted against the interests of the team

“The team made a decision which we always say before the start of the race is how it’s probably going to be: we look after the tires and get the cars to the end.

“In the end Seb made his own decisions today and will have protection as usual, and that’s the way it goes. I’m disappointed with the outcome of today’s race.”

Red Bull have been accused of favoring Vettel in the past, with Webber being told on many occasions to back off so as to not pose a threat to the German driver. Helmut Marko, a Red Bull advis0r, has repeatedly supported Vettel over Webber, which has gone a long way to causing disharmony within the team. With their relationship at an all-time low, Red Bull have a lot of work to do if they are to stop this inter-team battle affecting their championship aspirations.

NEOM McLaren Formula E announces Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast for 2023 season

McLaren Formula E Hughes
McLaren Racing
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Doubling down on their commitment to electric auto sports, McLaren Racing announced Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast to compete in the 2023 Formula E Series (FE), which completes their driver lineup.

The NEOM McLaren FE team was formed by the acquisition of the Mercedes-EQ Formula E team that won the 2021 and 2022 championships with Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries behind the wheel.

“Today’s announcement feels like a long time coming,” said Ian James, managing director of NEOM McLaren Electric Racing in a release. “Since May this year, when we first announced McLaren Racing’s entry into Formula E, we have been working tirelessly to get in place the best possible team and structure for sustainable success.

“On the one hand, we have been working on the retention of the amazing talent that already was in place before going into the transitional phase. I’m proud to say I think we’ve done a great job on that front.

“On the other hand, we have been focusing on putting in place new processes and new talent – and the latter includes the drivers.”

The driver lineup clasps the two hands together.

Hughes brings 10 years racing experience in single seater cars, including a role with the acquired Mercedes-EQ team as a reserve and development driver for the past two seasons. He is the 2013 BRDC Formula 4 champion and has multiple wins in Formula 2, including two in 2020.

Announced in August, Rast joins the team after earning two podium finishes and six top-fives in 22 career Formula E starts for Audi Sport ABT before returning to the DTM Series last year. Rast’s best finish in Formula E came in the Puebla E Prix when he finished second to teammate Lucas di Grassi by less than a half second.

McLaren’s commitment to Formula E comes one year after they entered the Extreme E rally series in 2022 with Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour in the driver lineup. After a modest start to the season, the McLaren XE drivers crossed the finish line first in Round 4 in Chile, but were assessed a time penalty that dropped them to fifth. Last week in the season finale in Uruguay, they held onto a hard-earned second place finish.