Mark, you deserved to be a winner


Memo to Mark Webber: maaate, maybe it's time to think about giving the gig away. You shouldn't have to put up with this, but you've once again been relegated to second best.

The Malaysian Grand Prix was your race to win – a rare great start, good tyre choices, brilliant pit stops and centimetre-perfect driving. And yet, did we salute the Australian national anthem? Nope, once again it was that depressingly familiar German one.

It's never easy to share a garage with a triple world champion, and particularly one as brash as Sebastian Vettel.

But even the team bosses and engineers who work with him every day were shocked by the cavalier – read: dangerous – way he swept past you into the lead even after being told in no uncertain terms to "hold station" in second.

Team orders are one of the least savoury aspects of formula one, in which drivers can be instructed in what order the team wants them to finish. But once those orders have been issued, to do anything else but obey is tantamount to treason and deserving of suspension.

Except we know that won't happen, because you just don't take a defending world champion out of the game.Vettel knows well that he can do pretty much anything he wants save for spitting in Red Bull Racing team owner Dietrich Mateschitz's eye – and even then it would be a close call.

So with all that in mind, Mark, are you really sure you want to sign up to playing second fiddle yet again next year, after the latest one-year deal expires?

There has to come a time when you ask yourself whether it's really worth trading in your renowned Aussie pride for another shot at – on the weekend's evidence – the opportunity to be second best, at best.

Take your pride and talent and parlay them into sports car racing, or your charity work, or maybe come home and throw your hat into the political arena. I hear there's a seat up for grabs later this year at Prime Ministerial Racing.

This story Mark, you deserved to be a winner first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.