Formula 1 - Red Bull must lay down law say rivals

Red Bull has no choice but to lay down the law to Sebastian Vettel over his team orders defiance at the Malaysian Grand Prix, say rival team bosses.

As the fallout from Vettel disregarding Red Bull's 'Multi 21' team order so he could beat Mark Webber continues, the squad issued a short statement on Monday night.

"It's worth noting that this is not an entirely new situation for us," said the statement

"Each incident has been managed in our own way behind closed doors and this will be no different."

As Red Bull prepares to deal with the situation internally, Lotus boss Eric Boullier and McLaren chief Martin Whitmarsh both think that the team's management must show its driver who is in charge.

Speaking about what he would do in the event of a driver breaking team orders, Whitmarsh said: "You don't have a choice, you have to sit down and deal with it.

"The driver is putting himself presumably in breach of contract and the team is bigger than any driver, isn't it? At any team.

"With a team having 600-700 people in it, you have really got to remind them. But drivers are competitive things, and it is a challenge."

Boullier said: "I don't know the whole story but it looks like with Red Bull in the past, Vettel already had some favours compared to Mark.

"It is not easy - but then you have to sit down with the people. The team was thinking about the constructors' championship, which is why they asked Webber and Vettel to keep their positions.

"So they need to have a proper discussion about the reasons behind it.

"Obviously I understand Seb wants to win, just like Mark, but perhaps already he is thinking about the championship - because he knows it is going to be tough.

"But as a team principal, except if you favour one driver clearly, you always need to do what is best for the team."

Whitmarsh said the handling of team orders in F1 was a difficult one, and he accepts that his outfit's decision not to favour either Lewis Hamilton or Fernando Alonso in 2007 cost it a world championship.

"It is very easy for me to get pious that we don't do it, and condemn others - but I don't want to do that," he said.

"Anyone can turn around to us and say in 2007 you threw away a championship: you didn't give team orders, you could have favoured either driver and they would have been world champion.

"That is the truth, but it doesn't feel right that we could have sat arbitrarily in an office in Woking and said: 'right, we are going to have Alonso as a world champion or Lewis as a world champion'.

"There is a part of me that says, 'bugger we should have had the championship', but overall I don't feel right about it.

"If I was in the same situation I hope I would do the same again."