Vettel suspended for Chinese GP, replaced by Buemi

This entry is part 117 of 158 in the series Real Motor­sport Insight

Red Bull has elected to “rest” Sebas­t­ian Vet­tel for the Chi­nese Grand Prix, the team has confirmed.

The seat will be filled by reserve dri­ver, Sebastien Buemi.

All smiles: Sebas­t­ian Buemi replaces Sebas­t­ian Vet­tel at China after Red Bull elected to “rest” the German.

This comes after the Ger­man defied team orders at Malaysia to over­take Mark Web­ber for the lead eleven laps from the che­quered flag.

The out­come led many to believe that Vet­tel, in con­junc­tion with Hel­mut Marko, is the de facto leader of the Mil­ton Keynes outfit.

The deci­sion to sus­pend the 25-year old is as much about Team Prin­ci­pal Chris­t­ian Horner reassert­ing his author­ity, as it is to pun­ish the three-time World Cham­pion for his actions.

Horner remarked “We needed to let the dust set­tle on Malaysia. After con­sult­ing with Mr. Mateschitz, it was decided that Seb needs a rest to calm down a lit­tle, so he won’t be rac­ing at China.”

The Briton said “Sebastien Buemi will take Seb’s car for the week­end. Seb (Buemi) is a great tal­ent, he’s done a superb job in the sim­u­la­tor since he joined us, we feel hav­ing a fresh face will ben­e­fit the team positively.”

Horner emphaised that Buemi will “enjoy the full back­ing of the team to fight for vic­tory”, elab­o­rat­ing “as Seb (Vet­tel) is lead­ing Mark (Web­ber) in the stand­ings, he’ll (Buemi) have access to the new com­po­nents and first call on strategy.”

Pressed on whether Buemi’s call up is an audi­tion to replace Web­ber, per­haps dur­ing this sea­son, Horner said “Mark knows his posi­tion within the team, this was made clear at Malaysia, if he doesn’t wish to ful­fil his role, then we will re-evaluate the situation.”

Buemi made his debut in 2009 for Red Bull’s junior out­fit Toro Rosso, where the Swiss remained for three sea­sons, until he and team-mate Jaime Alguer­suari were dis­carded in favour of Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniel Ricciardo.

Series Nav­i­ga­tion« Mark Webber’s future

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