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Formula One’s Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber take feud to China

Formula One’s Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber take feud to China
Formula One drivers Sebastian Vettel, left, and Mark Webber during the introductions before the start of the Malaysia Grand Prix last month.
(Diego Azubel / EPA)

The family feud otherwise known as Formula One’s Red Bull Racing team heads to China, with all eyes on its drivers Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber.

Vettel, the reigning Formula One champion, and Webber could barely look at each other after the Malaysia Grand Prix two weeks ago, when Vettel snatched victory from his Australian teammate.

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Webber, 36, was leading Vettel in the race’s closing stages when, in one of the unique traits of Formula One, his team instructed the drivers to stay put and conserve their tires until the race was over.

The 25-year-old Vettel ignored the order, passed a stunned Webber for the win and in the post-race news conference awkwardly tried to explain himself. “I made a mistake, I’m not proud that I made it,” Vettel said.

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Webber, meanwhile, told reporters it was “probably not the best time to talk” about his reaction to Vettel’s move but that “we need to work out how the team goes best forward from here.”

Now it remains to be seen whether the drivers have made peace ahead of Sunday’s Chinese Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit, the third race of the Formula One season. The first clue will come Thursday, when Webber is scheduled to again meet the media.

In the meantime, Vettel -- seeking his fourth consecutive championship -- holds a nine-point lead in the standings over Kimi Raikkonen, who won the season opener in Australia, and a 14-point lead the third-place Webber.

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