F1

Webber 'standoff' caused by Vettel defects - Marko

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There would never have been a single mention of team orders at Red Bull had Sebastian Vettel enjoyed a run of technical reliability in 2010. That is the claim of Helmut Marko, Red Bull's ever-controversial driver manager and motor racing...

There would never have been a single mention of team orders at Red Bull had Sebastian Vettel enjoyed a run of technical reliability in 2010.

That is the claim of Helmut Marko, Red Bull's ever-controversial driver manager and motor racing right-hand man to team owner Dietrich Mateschitz.

Vettel, the new reigning champion, and his teammate butted heads last year when Webber led the championship and pundits pushed the wisdom of a team strategy in the Australian's favour.

There were claims of team favouritism in Vettel's favour but Red Bull clung to its stated policy of equality and the young German ultimately won the battle.

But speaking to Sport Bild, Austrian Marko hinted that Vettel's dominance last year was muted only by technical setbacks.

"Without the 66 points he (Vettel) lost due to technical defects, the standoff with Mark Webber would never have occurred," he said.

Team orders have been legalised for 2011 but Marko is adamant that Red Bull's policy will not change.

"We don't use them (team orders) because the sporting aspect should be the primary focus of Formula One," he insisted.

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