Vettel gets three-place penalty for Rosberg crash

2016 Malaysian Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel has been given a three-place grid penalty for the next race at Suzuka for triggering a crash on the first lap of the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Nico Rosberg said Vettel was “out of control” when the Ferrari driver hit him at this first corner.

“I just got T-boned by a four-time world champion out of control,” said Rosberg.

“I though it was all over, so I’m really happy to be able to fight back in such a way all the way to the podium. That’s been great.”

Vettel was on the inside of Max Verstappen when he ran into Rosberg.

The stewards deemed Vettel was responsible for the collision:

“Having thoroughly reviewed the video and having spoken to the driver concerned, the stewards determined that although the cars involved in the incident were all moving at relatively similar speeds, the driver of car five [Vettel] made a small error entering to the inside of turn one that led to the contact with car six.”

“As a consequence, car six [Rosberg] was caused to spin from second place and loose multiple positions, which the stewards determined was predominantly the fault of the driver of car five and therefore ordered the penalty above for causing a collision.”

Vettel apologised to Rosberg for the collision, but said Verstappen had squeezed him approaching the corner.

“We had a good start, then I was going side by side with Max,” said Vettel. “We were both battling for position into turn one. Nico in the front was turning in and he obviously decided to pick his line, which is absolutely fair and in his right.”

“At that point with the speed I had I couldn’t slow down anymore and I was also pushed by Max to the right. I did my best under braking but I couldn’t avoid the impact. It was an unfortunate chain reaction which ruined my race and Nico’s one.”

“I can’t do more than apologise to Nico, because the accident had nothing to do with him being in front. I think it was different to the case in Spa with Max and Kimi, as Max and I were trying to fight for turn one, and Nico was trying to do a different thing ahead.”

Vettel was also given two penalty points on his licence for the incident.

2016 Malaysian Grand Prix

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    67 comments on “Vettel gets three-place penalty for Rosberg crash”

    1. How about Max at spa?

      1. Vettel turned in on two cars, squeezing his teammate, who would have otherwise goten though the corner perfectly well. Verstappen didn’t T-bone anyone, unlike Vettel today

      2. That was a racing incident and more Vettel’s fault than Max’s as well.

        1. Seb deserved it, max has been very very lucky with the stewards this year

      3. That was a defending move, this an attacking move. Vettel torpedoed himself past Verstappen and into Rosberg. I think a 3 place grid penalty is too light.

    2. What a joke. I’m so frustrated by the inconsistency of this. I agree with Brundle that it’s a racing incident. 😕

      Clearly none of the stewards watched the Spa opening lap. Verstappen’s ‘gap’ into which he dived (significantly contributing to a pile-up) wasn’t even on the track!

      Saying nothing of the fact that during the SkyF1 coverage of Brundle’s grid walk the FIA Racing Steward interviewed said he hoped Lewis would win – how’s that for impartial?

      Given F1 fly the same guy around the world to hand out water in pre-podium room, perhaps they should do the same for stewards?

      1. +1 The turn one crash was a racing incident. Vettel missed his braking point by a few meters, and Rosberg took a tighter than usual line. Both contributed to the crash. The stewards love making these decisions on the whim. Derek Warwick’s a plonker; how can you expect a Lewis fanboy to give Lewis a penalty if one needed to be applied for whatever reason?

      2. @jaysee Yeah, because FIA Racing Stewards should be robots without an opinion. Ridiculous statement if you ask me. It’s one mans opinion, not that of the FIA or the Stewards as a whole.

        Look at football: ball boys are almost always invited on behalf of the home team. Nobody complains about that. And even the ref probably has his favourite team, he’s just professional enough not to let this get in the way of his judgment on the field. And I know there’s a lot that can and needs to be improved regarding the race stewards, but this is not one of them.

    3. It was a risky move that went wrong. Still, if you look at the build-up, there weren’t too many options there…

      1. Still a fair penalty.

      2. That was not a risky move. That was a me playing f1 2005 on the ps2 level of stupid. At least he managed not to whipe out his teammate for once.

        1. Agreed.

          For a 4 time DWC Vettel is making a lot of mistakes this year, costing him (and often times his teammate) a whole heap of points. China, Canada, (Hungary?)Silverstone and today come to mind spontaniously. Not his best of seasons.

    4. Ok, i guess that is ok. He certainly was overly eager here again. After complaining about Verstappen and Kvyat earlier this year himself, now he shows that it’s not about experience per se, but rather about considering your moves.

      1. Funny thing is i feel all three incidents were mainly vettels doing. The respective red bulls were never darting into the racing line like that, rather he was just turning into kimi as if there was no 22 car field trying to make the corner. And today that videogame move of completely outbraking everyone including himself and then stopping by hitting another car. So, even if not technically his fault, just shockingly unwise from a 4 time wdc who should by all accounts know better

        1. The first one with Kvyat was Vettel’s own mistake more than Kvyat, in Russia, Kvyat misjudged the first move, but the second was caused by Vettel suddenly slowing down to avoid hitting Perez ahead there. In Spa, Vettel set off the mayhem by not leaving enough room and hitting Kimi. And here, yeah, he certainly was not in control of that car when he hit Rosberg @mrboerns

          1. I was actually referring to the Spa 0.1 in china featuring Kvyat as Verstappen

            1. Yes, @mrboerns, that one, where Vettel blamed Kvyat unfairly the first time.

          2. LOL! I agree with your 1st comment, but not with this one. In different situations you seem to find the problem being Vettel. I think you lack consistency. You blame him for crashing into the front guys, but also for others crashing into him when he also had to avoid a crash. If Kvyat did nothing wrong by hitting Vettel 2nd time because Vettel slowed down when trying to avoid another car, then the same thing Vettel can say too. He was doing his race, but suddenly Rosberg decided to turn in, closing the door in his face. Anyway, in my opinion, in most cases the driver at fault is the driver behind. That’s because the driver in front has more rights to choose the racing line, then he doesn’t have eyes at the back to see and make a proper judgement about what’s going on behind. So, yeah, Vettel was totally at fault here, just like Kvyat in Russia, just like Raikkonen when he hit Bottas etc.

            1. Some situations are different than others @corrado-dub so I don’t really think it shows much for @bascb to think so: in Russia, it was unexpected for Kvyat because he couldn’t see Perez ahead – still, Vettel had to avoid that car, so not someting to really blame him for; Today, Vettel knew Rosberg would be turning into the corner, he had to at some point and there was no car beside ROS, as he had just made sure HAM ahead was clear so as not to hit him, making it more so causing a collision.

              Personally I also didn’t think they needed to penalise VET, but I can see it. Maybe even more so after his attitude about Kvyat earlier in the year, and against VES in Spa, they thought he needed to take more responsibility, as a four-time world champion.

            2. I didn’t say that Kvyat did nothing wrong, but it was not his fault either @corrado-dub. Just one of those things that happen in a close up pack (or maybe we should put it on Tilke for the stupid corners at that part of the Sochi track, when did that ever go right) in the first lap.

              Kvyat did clearly cause the mayhem with his overly optimistic move in Russia, that set the string of events in action that caused the second one too (Perez got the puncture from debris that made him go slow and then Vettel slow down and avoid.). And yes, Vettel was the one who did so here.

    5. Why wasn’t Rosberg given the same penalty for causing a collision with Kimi.

      1. Because he got a 10 second penalty? You can’t give Vettel a time penalty when he is already out.

        What really disappoints me is that Vettel is blaming the collision on Verstappen, due to ‘moving in the brakezone’. Come on Seb, that is just salty and unfair. Verstappen did nothing wrong, he actually avoided the accident you caused and prevented a bigger penalty for your next race. It’s not a game of chess, it’s F1. You braked too late, trying a opportunistic dive into the first corner. That’s basicly what most people do when the drive in online race games. This would only have worked when both Verstappen and Rosberg missed their apex due to braking to late.

      2. Because “they” want him to win…

      3. Agreed, or worse. Vettel was being silly, but Rosberg decided to use Kimi as a brake.

      4. Evil Homer (@)
        2nd October 2016, 14:04

        Seb couldn’t the same penalty as Nico as he was out the race. Nico needed a time penalty to keep it equal(ish)

    6. Do not agree with this penalty. Yes, I do think it was Vettels fault, but come on: it is the first corner and overtaling means taking risk. If all drivers stop taking any chances because of possible penalties the races will be even more dull.

      1. Most sane comment here. Racing incident.

    7. Seems Coulthard called the stewards right after the race (he expected certainly penalty points, but probably a grid penalty too) – seems they were quite punchy for driver moves this weekend.

      1. Why would Coulthard call the stewards? He made the right call, IMNSHO, during his commentary (“racing incident”) and I’d add that losing a potential podium is punishment enough… Or did you mean Vettel?

        1. I rather meant to say that he predicted their verdict right @paul-a (like mentioned under #9 here after the race when they discussed it on C4.

          1. Thanks @bascb — gotcha. That would have been quarter past five this a.m., I’d been up since 2, and I’m not even sure that we get “C4” here in Canada on the Sky? TSN feed (we certainly get some “talking heads”, but I don’t think that includes Coulthard after the race.) Anyway, I turned the boob-toob off and snoozed for an hour…
            Why did Coulthard change his mind? He’s normally pretty consistent (even if you don’t agree.)

            1. WEll, I hope that when you read this, you have had a decent amount of sleep. Over in the Americas the calendar must be pretty tough with how often you have to watch the race at a great time, and with the lacklustre coverage @paul-a!

              I don’t get anything close to the coverage of C4, or even Sky where I live either (an expensive pay channel studio comments from rather ill informed and non observant ppl), have been relying on streaming for agas now!

      2. Coulthard has nothing to do with racing stewards or their application of penalties.
        He is there as a journalist.

    8. But this incident very similar to Max vs two Ferraris.
      Rosberg did what Vettel did but left even less room. Vettel did a Max, but only he wasn’t on the Kerbs. And Max got to be Kimi for a change, squeezed.
      It was more a racing incident than anything else.
      Rosberg took a very wide line then cut off everyone suddenly.

      1. in Spa there were three cars more or less alongside into the 1st corner, here Rosberg was clearly ahead, that is a very big difference OOliver.

    9. dayyuum tough life for my nicca Seb recently.

    10. A joke. Tell me again how many Max got this year for similar recklessness?

      Whatever. Ferrari have their own methods to screw their drivers. This ain’t gonna affect them.

    11. Not apportioning blame to him, but I don’t understand why Rosberg didn’t stay further left.

      1. He was trying to do a switch back on HAM to take the outside in T2 which then becomes the favoriete inside line for T3

        In any case, blame in a T-bone accident isn’t really up for discussion period. It’s the guy doing the boning who ‘ s to blame (That’s what she said, I know)

        That said, it was Seb’s fault but it was also a lap 1/T1 incident and he’s out of the race himself already, I think a reprimande and/or points on his license are enough (plus it looks really bad on and 4 DWC imho). No need for the grid penalty.

    12. As a moderate Vettel fan I have to admit… Entierly his fault.

      But pretty much same thing was done by Max in Spa, yet no penalty there. Stewards are somewhat inconsistent.

      Also Rosberg, finaly shows some wheel to wheel action and gets penalized for it.


      I guess drivers should get prnalized according to damage they deal.

      Vettel ruined roughly 20 places for Nico Rosberg. Thus deserves a penalty, despite ot being a first lap.

      I tink everyone agrees we need more consistency, and today stewards were stricter than normal.

      1. finally ? lolz. I guess Barcelona, Spa and the Austrian GP never happened.

    13. If you don’t see the difference between this move (which Vettel way overshoots, thereby hitting Rosberg) and Verstappen and Spa, then nuance isn’t for you.

      1. I see the difference, I just don’t see it a major one. To me, a racing incident is two drivers having contact with no or almost even amount of blame. The moment you compromise an innocent driver’s race in the process takes this to penalty area. Here it was Verstappen and to a certain degree Rosberg, in Spa it was Kimi.

        The root cause for both incidents, and the one between Rosberg and Kimi, and many others is the same: ridiculous late braking and dive-bombing into one side leaving yourself at the mercy of the other driver’s a) be aware of your move and b) being capable of avoiding the contact (take Kimi in Spa as an example).

        I hate this sort of ‘racing’, if you can call it that, because it kills the kind of wheel-to-wheel racing like we got from Verstappen and Riccairdo yesterday.

        1. But in Spa Verstappen didn’t dive-bomb. He maybe used too much curb, but it wasn’t some late move into a disappearing gap, like this from Vettel was.

    14. I agree it was Vettel’s fault, but I think it’s too much for a “1st corner incident”. If this move deserved a penalty, how about VES at Spa for slowing down on the straight?! A move of that kind is dangerous too and could end with injured drivers, not only with a damaged car or DNF.

      1. @corrado-dub
        ‘how about VES at Spa for slowing down on the straight?’

        The answer is simple: He didn’t.

        He did close the door when Räikkönen wanted to DRS past him, but there was nothing wrong with this move. He started and completed the move before Räikkönen was alongside him, and the only reason why anyone’s talking about it at all is because Räikkönen freaked out and wouldn’t stop complaining about it for weeks. That’s a pretty bad habit both Ferrari drivers have taken up this season.

    15. I completely agree with this penalty. Vettel’s been overly aggressive in the first corner already a few times now, and this time was just a bit too much. Glad to see that the stewards have issued a clear statement in this case.
      Also, I’ve grown very tired with Vettel’s constant moaning about other drivers when he’s not behaving better by any means. This penalty should give him food for thought, even though I doubt his statements about it will be overly understanding.

    16. Would have called it a racing incident as no one did anything foolish.

    17. In China, Kvyat dove into the inside of the 1st corner with out penalty. At Spa,Verstappen did the same ,again without penalty but, when Vettel ,who have obviously t noticed that in 2016 its OK with the stewards if you dive aggressively into an inside 1st corner gap,does what the other did he ,Vettel ,gets a penalty. Why ?
      It,unfortunately, seems clear that this is part of F1’s “DRS” ( Different Rules System ) which F1 uses to encourage outcomes and thus mold its image.
      F1 has seen sagging popularity for years but, rather than face the truth that it is its own worst enemy and fix its failing ,like DRS and a lack of parity ,F1 has decided that one of the things it needs is a new ,young fan base and to that end is determined to help Verstappen become a star ahead of his time.
      When Verstappen employs double moves to block overtakes the stewards do nothing . When Verstappen cut off Raikonnen on a straight at 200 mph ( a potentially fatal as well as illegal move ) the stewards do nothing .
      Now ,where Vettel has publically challenged Verstappen to drive with safety and at least a little respect for those he shares the track with Vettel has set himself in opposition to F1’s plan : to build a young star as soon as possible and thus bolster sales and create a new ,younger fan base . What F1 has effectively said is ” what is good for Verstappen is good for F1″ and by calling out Verstappen Vettel has set himself ,as far as F1 is concerned, as an obstacle to F1’s economic plan . By doing this Vettel will now be penalized whenever there is even the slightest excuse to do so . Its “us” and “them” with F1 and Verstappen being on one side and Vettel and fairness and equal treatment of all drivers on the other side.
      So let me predict the obvious : Verstappen will never be penalized no matter how much he breaks the rules or how dangerous his tactics and Vettel will be penalized for doing no more than what other drivers do without penalty .
      This is the sort of thing that drives real fans away because all real fan demand the essence of sport at all times : a level playing field for all.
      F1 has demonstrated that it is simply not willing to do this ( treat all drivers the same), because it is contrary to its financial plan .

    18. To me what happened was that VET was too ambitious on his move.
      VES and VET were negotiating the breaking zone and were fully aware of each other, they can know when there’s a car on your side. But VET was audacious breaking late to occupy the spot at the front, which is was exactly the apex of the corner. He forgot that there were two other cars in front fighting for the apex as well. And ROS couldn’t possibly be aware of VET. ROS checked and thought ok, I cleared VES so I’m going in. And then VET comes out of the blue. If VET and VES were fighting for the lead fair enough, but VET jumped in front hoping for the best, as if there would be space for him. He gambled high and suffered the consequences, so fair penalty.

    19. Vettel did nothing wrong – had position on VER but ROS turned in (too) sharply creating the incident.
      Pure racing incident – decision to penalize Vettel BS. No wonder F1 is tanking.

    20. I would like to see Max’s onboard as it looked like he gave Vettel a tiny nudge on the rear wheel which was enough to change his trajectory and push him away from the apex. Not implying malice, but another detail that adds up to it being a racing incident.

      1. Agree, I see Max losing control of the car when Rosberg squeezes him and hitting Vettel who was already clear. Race incident, not Vettel’s fault.

        1. Conspiracytheoriesmakesmelaugh
          3rd October 2016, 10:21

          Look on youtube for on board footage of RIC. You will see that VES does not hit anyone and that VET is the one to blame entirely for this collision. Did he deserve a penalty? I don’t know. One hand I like to see close racing with sometimes a undesirable outcome but on the other hand at what point becomes close racing stupidity and punishable? Was the move of RIC on VET in Barcelona close racing or stupidity? No punshiment was handed out at that time? RIC came from a long way but was never able to make the corner. Due to VET both could stay in the race.

          1. A link to that youtube would be awesome

            1. Conspiracytheoriesmakesmelaugh
              5th October 2016, 12:25

              A bit late but here you go:

              Adjust the playing speed to have a better look.

          1. That doesn’t show Sebastian’s back right we are saying that got hit.

          2. Good one, thanks!

      2. I think you’re right. That’s how I saw it watching it ‘live’ and was frustrated nobody said anything about it.

    21. So what happens now? If he does something similar in the next race, does he get to swap with Grosjean?

    22. I thought the turn 1 incident was Rosbergs blindly cutting in once again.

    23. This should not drag on to the next race, which is why we have the patently point system in place.

    24. Happy to see Vettel was finally penalized for his 1st turn incidents this season, well done stewards and FIA but it should have already been given in Spa.

    25. After seeing the accident a few times I think Vettel had a gap and went for it. Rosberg line seem oddly thigh. This was clearly a racing accident.

    26. Vettel is the definition of a carbabby, and has always been useless at wheel to wheel combat.

    27. While the contact at the start was Vettel’s fault I didn’t think there would be a grid penalty, a reprimand or some points on his licence at most.

      I thought more leeway was given for incidents on the first lap due to the commotion at the start.

      It is probably a case of only remembering high profile incidents from the first lap which resulting in a penalty but I can’t recall many in previous years, although there have been some.

      If something like this was the level for penalties to be handed out for first lap incidents we would have had hundreds more down the years.

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