Watson says Vettel should face one-race ban

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25 March 2013 by Ryan Wood

Former McLaren driver John Watson says the only suitable punishment for Sebastian Vettel would be to ban him for a single race.

The German ignored team-orders during Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix to hold station behind Mark Webber after both drivers were told to turn their engines down and bring home the maximum points.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner, clearly unhappy with the situation, says Vettel put his interests ahead of those of the team, which he said was unacceptable.

66-year-old Watson, who won five races with McLaren and finished third in the 1982 drivers' championship, told BBC Radio 4 that the only way they could teach the 25-year-old a lesson, would be to sit him out for a race.

"The only purposeful way to bring him to book is to say 'you will stand out one race'," said Watson.

"I know that if other drivers in other teams disobeyed a team order they would be suspended or even fired."

The Irishman believes a tough punishment is the only way Horner can make clear that he is in control of the team and his demands cannot simply be ignored by a driver.

"If Christian Horner doesn't reassert his authority in the team - because he has been totally subjugated by Sebastian Vettel yesterday - then his position in the team is not exactly the role it is designed to be," he added.

"The only conclusion I can reach is that Vettel should be suspended for the next grand prix.

"You can't take the points away from him and give them to Mark Webber. That's now history and Sebastian has the benefit of those seven additional points.

"You can't really fine him - it is almost irrelevant to fine him - so the only purposeful way to bring him to book is to say 'you will stand out one race'."