'Common sense' needed after 'wrong' penalty - Vettel

Published on 19 Oct 2018 23:23

Sebastian Vettel has called on Formula 1 to adopt more common sense following the three-place grid penalty he received on Friday afternoon in Austin. The German was deemed guilty of not slowing sufficiently when a red flag was deployed during FP1.

The red flag was deployed after Charles Leclerc spread stones on the exit of Turn 10 following a trip into the gravel trap. The three-place grid penalty has put a major dent in Vettel's title hopes, as rival Lewis Hamilton could seal his fifth championship on Sunday.

Despite being awarded a three-place grid demotion and two penalty points, the Ferrari driver is adamant that he slowed down enough to keep in line with the minimum delta time set by the FIA.

"They [stewards] were very specific, saying I took 27.7s to slow down,” said Vettel. “I saw the red flag and slowed down, had a look around to see if there was a car potentially stuck in the wall or if there was one around Turn 9 or 10 and then slowed down significantly to comply with the rules.

“They found it took too long and I think it’s pretty straightforward. I think on top there might have been an issue with the timing, with the system. I was aware I slowed down and not much more to say."

He continued: "I think there should be common sense with the rules that we have. Lining out 27.7s precisely as an act of not complying with the rules… I think it’s wrong, I think I slowed down, I had a good look around.

“I think the rules are clear as well so we know but I think this is the first time we had this in the wet and in the wet the target is a lot slower so you literally have to stop to 30kph or 40kph to bring down the delta, which probably I should do next time. But in my opinion, it’s not the right thing because if there is a car behind you it might run into you but it’s more important that you don’t get a penalty.”

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner defended Vettel, adding that he believes the red flag rule is "rubbish". He suggested that the ruling should be something less severe - such as a fine - as to not disrupt the competitive nature of the field come race day. 

"It is a rubbish rule but they have got to have consistency because otherwise it makes a little bit of a farce of all the regulations if you have a penalty for one race but not at another,” Horner told Sky Sports F1. “But it is not a good regulation. If a driver commits a crime like that, speeding under a red flag, the biggest thing that will hurt the driver is fining him.

“Give him a penalty, a wrap on the knuckles, a fine or something and give the money to charity. To give him a three-place penalty for – how much over the limit was he, not very much – similar to Daniel. It effects the race, effects qualifying and it is not a good penalty.”

Replies (5)
SE calle.itw 19 Oct 2018 23:580
Posts: 5891
You are calling for F1 to adapt to you, Vettel. And I may be a fan of you, but thats just diva talk. S**t, or get off the potty.
Posts: 572
What ever happened to "local yellow" flags ? Full on red because of stones on the track, seems kind of extreme.
NL KyalamiKid 20 Oct 2018 09:38+1
Posts: 146
He is of course right - I mean they had to give him the penalty in light of being consistent. But the sport is over-regulated. I, for one, would like to see way less penalties and way more racing on track. A few more hurt egos and broken bargeboards
Posts: 339
Couldn’t agree more. Have found all the penalty stuff this season including the engine limitations to be a real turn-off. Never seen a motor sport series so exasperatingly over regulated and that, linked to such woefully poor on track action at the front of the field has massively diminished the spectacle and enjoyment. All we will see if Lewis on Sunday is the 1st few corners and the chequered flag.
NL michielhimself 20 Oct 2018 15:080
Posts: 96
The fact they had to penalise Vettel now is the result of "better safe than sorry" penalties to others in similar past situations. The solution to this ruination of the sport:
1. Maintain current yellow and red flag rules
2. When they're being broke, add a race ban penalty point to the super license
3.Additionally IF and only IF that breaking of the rule leads to an ACTUAL dangerous to others or collision situation, give a grid penalty on top
Point 3 still leaves room for the stewards to pass judgement (dangerous to others or not) and otherwise the racing is only affected minimally, without any real compromise to the safety the rules are supposed to enact

        Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi
Local time
Give your opinion!
Which rookie do you think will impress the most in 2019?

Driver profile
Name GB Lewis Hamilton
Active As Mercedes Driver in Formula 1
Date of birth Jan 7 1985 (34)
Weight 66 kg
Length 1.75m
City Monaco
351,671 comments on Hamilton
51 members have this driver as their favourite
Tweets about Lewis Hamilton
Track Yas Marina Circuit
Track Yas Marina Circuit
Location AE Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Website Website
Team profile
Name IT Ferrari
Founding date Jan 1 1929
374,309 comments on Ferrari
203 members have this team as their favourite
Website http://www.ferrari.com
Location Maranello
Tweets about Ferrari
Formula 1 Calendar
Previous Grand Prix: 25 November 2018
AE Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi