Vettel likely to get grid penalty at Suzuka

2017 Japanese Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel’s championship hopes may suffer a fresh blow in this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix as the Ferrari driver is likely to receive a five-place grid penalty.

Vettel is expected to need a replacement gearbox following the damage sustained in his collision with Lance Stroll on the slow-down lap following yesterday’s Malaysian Grand Prix. Drivers are required to use the same gearbox for six consecutive races, but Vettel only began using his current gearbox at last weekend’s race.

Daniel Ricciardo, Valtteri Bottas, Sepang International Circuit, 2017
2017 Malaysian GP in pictures
The impact tore the left-rear wheel and driveshaft assembly off Vettel’s car. As gearboxes must last for six races teams try to design these in such a way that minimises the possibility of driveshafts damaging the gearboxes.

As a full manufacturer, Ferrari has total control over this design as it builds its own power units and gearboxes. Nonetheless it is difficult to mitigate the effect of this type of accident. If the driveshaft has been pushed into the gearbox then a replacement will almost certainly be necessary.

Teams are allowed to change a limited number of internal parts of the gearbox without penalty. However any other parts which may need replacing cannot be changed without removing or damaging the FIA seals which are fixed to the gearbox, which means incurring a penalty.

The rules state teams can fit a new gearbox if the original is damaged “for reasons which the technical delegate accepts as being beyond the control of the team or driver”. Ferrari has already requested to take a penalty-free gearbox change, according to The Times, but the FIA has turned them down.

Ferrari may have made the request purely as a precaution. But if, as seems likely, Vettel does need a new gearbox, the subsequent penalty will mean he will not be able to start higher than sixth on the grid at Suzuka this weekend, a circuit where overtaking is particularly difficult.

That could hand Lewis Hamilton another chance to extend his championship lead. And if Vettel fails to take any points off his rival this weekend, Hamilton will be able to win the title by finishing second to Vettel in all the remaining races.

2017 Japanese Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 108 comments on “Vettel likely to get grid penalty at Suzuka”

    1. How did they crash on the slow down lap????

      1. I only saw Vettel’s onboard and it isn’t too clear if Stroll turns right too sharply, or at all. But Vettel didn’t need to have veered so much to the left, either way. Just one of those things, I guess!

        1. Looks like Stroll moves to the right.
          https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=fZ80ZLmhoFs

          1. Indeed he does! Nice catch, thanks.
            A shame for both of them. Stroll had a good race and Vettel did a tremendous job ending up where he did. This was completely unnecessary.

            1. Yes, even see the movement of the left front wheel. But… its a cool down lap everyone is weaving around and under caution ( even yellow at that moment) you should be very careful to overtake.

          2. @rvg013, if you look at the stewards report after the race, they concluded that both drivers were steering into the path of each other.

            Whilst Stroll did move a bit to the right – perhaps because he thought that Grosjean was about to try and pass him on his left – Vettel was, at the same time, turning slightly more to his left and therefore tightening the line that he was taking through that corner. Ultimately that put both drivers on a trajectory where they came together, with neither driver being judged to be wholly responsible for the crash.

            1. Fred Flinstone
              2nd October 2017, 22:20

              Vettel was only moving to the left because it was a left turn however I agree they should both be very careful because weaving while picking up Robert from the track is a very common practice

        1. It seems Stroll does open his steering slightly to go get some marbles, but Vettel’s line would have cut across very close in front of him regardless which he had no real reason to do. Vettel could have easily opened up his own steering as he had plenty of space to give Stroll a wide berth, but for some reason he opted not to as he cut through another driver’s blind spot.

          1. @Craig I think you’re using the luxury of hindsight. Why would SV think he needed to give Stroll more room than he already was, unless he’s a mind reader and knew Stroll was about to crank his steering wheel to the right, on a left hander? SV was doing nothing wrong whatsoever. Why is it ok for Stroll to not use his mirror before he veers right on a left-hander?

            I do get that this was just one of those things, and certainly not intentional on Stroll’s part, but for SV to end up with a grid penalty seems wholely unfair.

            1. Either way, we can all agree they were both missing some marbles, and when that’s the case, strange stuff happens.

            2. Thing is Robbie – if you have ever run slow down laps then you know that if your going to overtake other cars (rare) then you need to be careful because it’s the end of the race people are fiddling with settings (or the data logger and choke in my class – ha!) as well as picking up rubber.

              SV drove around Stroll assuming it was a live race and not thinking he would be busy finishing his own race.

              You can’t deny it – he ran right to the apex almost pretending Stroll was not there and clipped the front.

              On balance – you can’t deny SV seems to have some serious brain farts the last couple of years and a slight sense of entitlement (see Alonso part ten – blue flags again) and it’s just getting him into unnecessary strife.

              He knows Stroll is a Rookie – wide berth. If he thought it was Massa – wider berth as it’s not like there is love lost there.

              Change the regulations to assist Seb? Well see Baku – I think he did well enough out of that and just like Nico before him, there is a reason he has most penalty points for driving issues at the moment. Daft to assume he should have anything other than both Mercedes drivers have suffered this year through no fault of their own. This could have been easily avoided.

            3. Drg define rare and “right to the apex” (seriously have you seen any of the videos?)

            4. Why was it necessary for SV to overtake LS on the slow down lap?

              I’m not saying he’s at fault, just playing devil’s advocate.

              IMHO the rules should be updated to disallow overtaking on the slow down lap, using the same rules as the formation lap.

            5. because stroll is an inexperienced rookie and vettel should have used his better judgement and waited until a straight if he was so desperate to pass.

            6. @drmouse We cant trust F1 drivers to just drive around on a road and not crash into each other? “Overtakes” Happens all over on the slow down lap for multiple reasons and they are no big deal and theres absolutely no reason police it.

              You look into the mirrors before you go somewhere and everyone who can legaly drive a car knows this. This is not the first or even the second time for Stroll with a situation like this, Why he is even allowed in F1 is beyond me.

            7. @rethla
              Obviously not, just as we obviously can’t trust drivers to:
              * Drive without crashing under safety car conditions
              * Drive sensibly under double waved yellows
              * Safely defend against an overtake
              * Safely overtake
              * Safely drive in the pits

              There are rules covering all these situations.

            8. @drmouse All those are raceconditions, just driving on a road with other cars are not.

            9. @rethla OK, formation lap. That’s not race conditions, “just driving on a road with other cars”, but is still heavily regulated.

            10. @drmouse Theres pretty obvious reason why you normaly cant overtake others on the formationlap (Hint – they drive in formation) and none apply to cooldown laps. Why dont you take the warmuplaps as an example instead its more inline with the cooldownlaps.

            11. Yes mouse I have seen the entire race on a 60″ screen! As I do always.

              Look to the later part of the apex not where you obviously think it starts i.e. At 20′ of the corner. The fact is Seb was half asleep. In a mood and tearing around the track to get back. Light on fuel, cheesed off and not thinking.

              Otherwise he would not have collected a potentially championship ending clout on the rear of his car.

              But don’t worry – me not seeing the race must be the answer.

              Or could it be you have never run a race, picked up rubber and followed a field on the inlap?

            12. Apologies – David not whoever – not mouse…

            13. @rethla

              I think we’re getting hung up on this. It was only supposed to be a side note. We wouldn’t even be talking about it if there hadn’t been an incident.

              You are right: We should be able to trust drivers to negotiate a cool down lap safely.

              The point to note, though, was in the stewards’ decision:

              “The stewards also consider that even though the race has ended, caution still needs to be exercised by all drivers on the slow down lap.”

              If the drivers can’t do so…

            14. @Drg
              It is not rare at all that cars pass each others on the slow lap after the race.

            15. @Drg I think he means https://streamable.com/yxg48 video, not the useless video shown on your big 60″ screen after the race.

          2. i think there is a lesson for Vettel to learn here !!
            STAY THE #$%@^ away form other people/drivers!!!! he does this all the time MR. Belly button of the world

        2. …and Vettel turns unnecessarily sharply to the left…….!
          Result……..exactly the kind of thing that can happen when,
          having been under enormous stress in hellish hot conditions
          for more than two hours two drivers lose a little concentration
          and momentarily put their cars in the wrong place.

          I am no Vettel enthusiast, but I feel very strongly that any
          penalty he is likely to be on the receiving end of because
          of this unfortunate incident would be crass, stupid and dead
          wrong !

          1. @loen The penalty likely to be received will be a result of replacing the gearbox or further engine components, not something leveraged as a result of his driving – that’s cut & dry, as the meeting has finished.

            1. Yes, I know that (@optimaximal), and really, I was just
              reflecting a view that perhaps there ought to be the
              possibility of cutting a guy some slack after a tough race
              in scarely bearable conditions. But rules are rules
              and as others have pointed out, the race rules don’t end
              until the car is safely in parc ferme.
              And I can hardly be accused of favouring Herr Vettel
              with my record of criticism. As someone else has pointed
              out, there have been some very odd outbursts from
              this guy. Does he need some help ?

      2. Stroll drifted wide while fiddling with his steering wheel.

        Vettel assumed Stroll could see him, and wouldn’t hit him.

        Not saying Vettel was at fault– but he could have prevented the incident by paying more attention.

      3. O hell, they were still racing after the results were already known..

    2. It’s a crazy amount of damage for such a slow speed collision, considering the at speed wheel bangs and shattered front wings we usually see.

      1. @ju88sy Its not slow speed. The speed difference between the cars are much bigger than normal raceincidents. There is also no wheelbang but the powered wheels of both cars are working directly against each other and Vettel is climbing up on Stroll with great force, way to great for the suspension.

        1. I’ve not actually seen external footage of the incident yet, just Vettel’s on-board cam.

      2. @ju88sy the left rear tyre of Vettel touched the back of front right tyre of Stroll. Both rotations add up with an immense velocity and the tyre which comes second always end up in the air.
        Like Alonso crash in Australia 2016 against Gutierrez; Alonso front right jumped into the airs.

        With a good grip the tyre jumps to almost one meter in a fraction, sometimes nothing could be solid enough to prevent that (it would be the car that would flip entirely – that’s what happened in the Maldonado – Gutierrez crash Bahrain 2014, Gutierrez rear tyre ran over the rear tyre of maldonado while turning and the car flipped).

        1. .. Gutierrez rear tyre ran over the front tyre of maldonado ..

          1. @spoutnik Ahhhh good old Maldonado memories.

      3. Remember that the wheels are turning in the opposite direction at the point of impact, so despite them moving very slowly relative to each other and quite slowly on track, the contact point had huge potential energy

    3. One word……..KARMA!
      Got away too lightly in Baku for his impetuous behaviour

      1. I have another word. Boring championship fight.
        Ah well, three words.

        1. tesla (@thedogjustpukedonme)
          3rd October 2017, 1:44

          With the pace of the Mercs being less than Red Bull and Ferrari recently? No way is this championship over.

    4. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      2nd October 2017, 13:52

      I can’t help but wonder what’s going on with Sebastian. He calls everyone an idiot, he somehow runs into cars on safety laps and slow down laps.

      His statements about Alonso, while partially justified, are words he will regret down the road.

      I really believe that he needs professional help – I think the 4 championships he’s won have given him a false sense of entitlement that simply doesn’t exist in F1.

      On the other hand, he’s capable of moments of greatness such as going and congratulating each member of the team for all their hard work to get his car out in qualifying even though it didn’t work out in the end.

      1. Well, he didn’t run into Stroll, Stroll ran into him. And he will not regret his ‘statement about Alonso.’ He does not need professional help. Your last paragraph I can go along with.

        1. Errr – who was overtaking who?

          Difficult to run into someone driving past you at speed!

          1. Stroll did. Well sort of – certainly not in a way that got him penalised, I haven’t fogtotten :)

          2. Seb was overtaking him at speed on a corner during a in lap?

            How on earth can you say that Stroll entitled to do whatever ‘ran into Seb’ when Seb drove past him at speed made a complete misjudgement and collected strolls front with his rear?

        2. @robbie The stewards ruled that both drivers were effectively to blame – Stroll turned right whilst Vettel also turned left & two cars don’t go into one.

          Vettel immediately pointed the finger at Stroll over team radio, saying the rookie hadn’t been looking where he was going, while Stroll intimated that the German had sideswiped him. However, after examining video evidence the stewards determined neither driver could be considered ‘wholly or predominantly to blame’.

          “On the approach to Turn 5 during the slow down lap after the end of the race, Car 18 (STR) was towards the middle of the track, Car 8 (GRO) was closing from behind on the inside of Car 18 and at the same time, Car 5 (VET) overtook Car 18 on the outside and in doing so, turned in slightly towards the apex of Turn 5,” read the official FIA report.

          “Simultaneously Car 18 was moving slight away from the apex. This resulted in contact between the left rear tyre of Car 5 and the right front tyre of Car 18.”

          Source – https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/headlines/2017/10/vettel-stroll-clash-malaysia-no-action.html

          1. Exactly – but Seb was the experienced racer…

            Stroll – well not so much so a bit of a wide berth given the situation is hardly too much to ask…

          2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            2nd October 2017, 18:25

            @optimaximal thanks, so it was Grosjean who pressured Stroll to move to the right? He got away scot-free:)

            1. I wouldn’t say ‘pressured’. It was an exceptional situation where a rookie possibly got overloaded and two more experienced drivers exacerbated the situation.

              I’m definitely more inclined to believe the stewards analysis of the situation rather than armchair/keyboard analysts who are 100% exonerating Vettel, especially since I don’t think we have footage from Stroll or Grosjean to make an overall judgement.

        3. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          2nd October 2017, 18:23

          @Robbie I do agree that Stroll drove into him but Stroll had another car behind him (they showed the camera and the other driver had to slow down). Stroll it seemed was getting out of the way so it’s not entirely his fault either.

          It’s one of those 50% Stroll, 35% Vettel, 15% 3rd driver in the back. You have to point fingers at 3 drivers for creating the circumstances.

          Nonetheless, Vettel seems to find himself in situations that he shouldn’t find himself in.

          1. when you have someone closing in from behind and want to let him through, the worst thing is to change your line at the last moment.

        4. @robbie keep affirming things happened how you would like them to… maybe you’ll convInce someone.

        5. @robbie
          It wasn’t a racing incident or other calculated risk. There is just no excuse for it for either driver. Not even fatigue. The very least you can say is Vettel didn’t give enough caution.

      2. that wasn’t a moment of greatness it was a contrived event for cameras that emulated Schumacher doing exactly the same thing at suzuka many years ago. vettel did this as a public relations exercise after his gross error at the previous week.

      3. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        2nd October 2017, 16:39

        I personally mainly blame Vettel, but both played a part in it. Vettel risked an overtake when drivers often go all over the place at this point in time. Many seem to say Stroll turned right. But he clearly didn’t. He just stopped turning left as much and slowly went towards the right side of the track. But Vettel could have gone round the corner without turning towards the apex as tightly as he did so that is why I mainly blame Vettel. But the stewards gave a reasonably clear explanation that they didn’t really think either was more to blame than the other and they left it as a racing incident. But I think Vettel will unfortunately just have to accept that he suffered the consequences.

      4. Geoffrey Winfield
        2nd October 2017, 18:39

        Whether or not there was any movement to the right by Stroll – SV just drove to the apex as though there was nothing there.
        I think he has always shown difficulty in accepting responsibility for his actions, and instinctively blames the other driver. When he drove into the back of LH in Baku, he immediately screamed “he brake-tested me” then proceeded to compound his error by pulling alongside and turning into LH. For me he comes across as arrogant and petulant, without the dignity one expects of a 4x World Champion, though there is no doubt he has talent.

      5. He is just a person trying so hard and it gets frustrating when people on purpose try to impede him.

    5. It will be a challenging weekend for Vettel if he get a penalty. Overtaking is pretty difficult at Suzuka in dry conditions.

    6. I have seen replays of the collisions from links in the comments but I still can’t decide if Stroll turns right or simply isn’t turning into the corner. Is there no footage from Stroll?

      1. more like stroll didnt turn it and the steering stayed straight

        but some people did say he drifted a lil bit, the way i saw it, it car was really quite jumpy there,

        he might have jolted his steering to the right

        but anyways, poor Seb

      2. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
        2nd October 2017, 14:34

        I think he drifts out to collect marbles. Don’t think he purposely steers but just let’s the angle of the corner take him out without checking mirrors @rob8k

        1. I think it is enough to see SV’s onboard which shows he is only holding his wheel enough to the left to negotiate the left hander. He does not make any move to the left otherwise, and it is Stroll who cranks it to the right on a left hander. Or he straightens out his wheel and goes across the track on a left hander. Either way, he took no precaution that a car might be to his right.

          1. he didn’t need to take precautions vettel shouldn’t have been so close.

            1. @steveetienne Is that how you change lines? This is the very purpose of his mirrors and he needs to take all availible precautions when driving just like everyone else. Just turning right on a road with 20cars which he apperently have no idea whatsoever where they are is not safe driving but its not his first time…

      3. Maybe he saw Grosjean closing in inside of the corner and giving him space there…

    7. Strange the way they crashed. I still believed it was Vettels own mistake..

    8. Sounds like the title of one of those awful clickbait articles you see; “Reckless Teenager SMASHES Into Priceless Ferrari”

      I’m sorry but that incident was all Stroll, the footage from the car behind is pretty damning.

      And I found it amusing Pascal was the one who stopped, seeing as his career is pretty much at the mercy of Ferrari at this point. He might need to do a little more than that..

      1. @offdutyrockstar

        Sounds like the title of one of those awful clickbait articles you see; “Reckless Teenager SMASHES Into Priceless Ferrari”

        OK I’m stealing that one :-)

      2. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        2nd October 2017, 16:52

        @offdutyrockstar

        I think it may be worth looking at this drawing someone did on this forum over a few pictures.
        http://forum.planet-f1.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=14515&start=120
        I thought it couldn’t possibly prove anything at first, but it shows Vettel clearly does moves left more than Stroll moves right. Stroll just didn’t follow the racing line which he didn’t need to at this stage. And Vettel had no need to pull back inwards before he’d completed the overtake. Stroll won’t have been expecting Vettel to overtake in the way he did. I can certainly agree that the verdict of it being a racing incident and neither being significantly to blame is the correct decision.

        1. @thegianthogweed sometimes it’s better to just call it as you see it, especially if its an incident involving two drivers you don’t support. I may not be a fan of Vettel but I do have a lot of respect for his talent and he is one hell of a head to head racer these days, I don’t believe it’s a lack of judgement on his part for those reasons.

    9. Business as usual: VET, VER and ALO can’t get penaltys…

      1. Is this your first race? Vettel gets penalties for things that other people don’t get penalised for.

      2. Not completely true. I imagine Alonso’s lack of points relates to the lack of reliability in his car. It’s hard to get penalties when you aren’t on track.
        Penalty Points:
        Sebastian Vettel – 12 total 7 current
        Max Verstappen – 11 total 3 current
        Fernando Alonso – 2 total 0 current

        1. Isn’t Vettel currently on 4 or 5?

    10. If SV wasn’t looking down his nose at everyone maybe he could have avoided this…

      1. Lol. Why don’t your try watching f1 without blinders on? He’s one of the most humble guys on the grid. People like you who should keep their comments to themselves

    11. Both drivers seem lost in their own world at the time of the collision. But whoever was most to blame, if anyone, it’s difficult to avoid the impression that Vettel seems strangely zoned out at critical moments this season. Colliding into Lewis in Baku and then losing it, the weird decision to risk everything with Verstappen in Singapore, this moment of distraction.

      1. I don’t think you’ve been watching for very long. He’s always been like that. Istanbul 2009? His behavior is totally consistent with the 4 times world champion he is.

        1. It was 2010. And all genius drivers are like that, where they seem to think they own all of the race track. And for the most part, I don’t blame them.
          That’s why I think Lewis is just an above average driver. He doesn’t have these moments where you ask:”What the hell was he thinking there?” like you do for guys like Michael and Senna. Lewis just turns the motor up and gets pole on a track where he’s 0.5s+ slower in the race.

          1. Yes, calm drivers who don’t have moments like Baku 2017, Monaco 2006, Singapore 2017 are surely not great. And Lewis’s lap was faultless which is the only reason Kimi did not get pole. Had Vettel been in Q3 and Kimi not made that mistake, he’d have started P3 or P4. Like it or not, Hamilton’s name is in the list of great drivers. So is Vettel, Schumi and Senna.

      2. Maybe Stroll annoyed Vettel at some point during the race? Not sure why else he would cut in front of Stroll so closely otherwise.

      3. The moment I saw this incident, it made me think about that remark from Mark Webber after Singapore about how “Seb sometimes forgets his car does not end behind his seat” when talking of how he closed the door without much thinking.

        To me it looked like he went for the racing line as if Stroll wasn’t there at all. Another example of him not thinking things through. There was no need to get that close on the cooldown lap.

    12. I’ve seen other suggestions that Stroll was not going left because a third driver was moving in on his inside. This third driver is visible just after Vettel and Stroll have hit each other.
      So Stroll is doing two things: Picking up marbles and making room for the driver behind him on his left.
      The Vettel comes blasting round the outside on the right.
      Almost certainly, Stroll did not see Vettel
      Vettel probably did not see that third driver (Singapore, again!) or certainly did not take into account that Stroll might veer a bit to the right because of that driver.

      1. @euitdebos
        A. Stroll has said no such things in his defence
        B. This is not a race so “third driver” doesnt apply
        C. Stroll aint trying to avoid a collision with no room to go hes just turning right without looking

        1. @rethla – read the official stewards report. They acknowledge Grosjean was approaching at a faster rate on Stroll’s left, so there’s a good chance he was moving out to avoid him.

          https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/headlines/2017/10/vettel-stroll-clash-malaysia-no-action.html

          1. @optimaximal According to Stroll he was doing nothing but minding his own business and gathering rubber. Personally i dont belive he was aware of any car at all besides himself but its doesnt matter. He had all the reasons, real and made up, for moving to the right but the problem is he has to look right and see its clear before doing so.

            1. @rethla, If only Vettel had done that in Singapore …

            2. @rethla If only Stroll had done what Verstappen did.

            3. @patrickl If only Vettel had done that in Spa last year … ;)

    13. This kind of bizzare behaviour this season isn’t what I’d expect a 4 times WDC to exhibit.

    14. In short. Teenager crashes in to a priceless Ferrari.

      1. Man writes off priceless Ferrari within TWO HOURS after leaving garage.

    15. Surely the guy overtaking has a bit of a duty of car to be careful as he can clearly see the car he is overtaking and cannot assume the other car has seen him.

      It’s nobody’s fault entirely but if you are in Vettel’s situation you think you might be a bit more careful.

      5 place penalty in Japan makes a tough task even harder. It’s not the points deficit so much as the lack of remaining races with which to make them up and it will be just 4 races to go to make up 30 odd points.

      1. On the track, just like on the street, when changing lanes you watch your mirrors and make sure there is no one coming. Vettel did not change lanes. Stroll did. If you did what Stroll did on the road, the cops would find you at fault, there is no doubt about that. I’m all for blaming Vettel when he deserves it, but c’mon now. Le’ts not let bias cloud our judgment completely.

        1. Vettel drove towards the apex of the corner at the same moment as Stroll drifted away from it – that is why the stewards came to the conclusion both drivers shared equal responsibility and wrote it off as a racing incident.

        2. xcuse me, but what lanes? I don’t see no white lines on the videos I watch of the incident. David’s first sentence sums it up. In 50 years of driving I have never assumed the car in front had seen me behind and I always give it a wide berth and drive well past before turning in.
          I am also staggered by the amount of damage to the Ferrari and, apparently nothing to Stroll’s car.
          Alternative headline: “teenager mobbed in road rage incident”.

    16. You Go Shave-z
      2nd October 2017, 18:04

      It would be a ridiculous decision to give Vettel/Ferrari a grid penalty for a gearbox change. Surely that would contradict the stewards decision after the Malaysia crash, in which they found neither driver at fault. Surely Ferrari just need to demonstrate the gearbox change is necessary due to the collision.

      However that said if i was a steward, i would lay fault of the drivers as 25/75
      Stroll 25% because he should have checked his mirrors.

      Vettel 75% because
      a. Coming from behind after a race he should have exercised more caution (drivers not expecting to be overtaken)
      b. He should have stayed wide knowing drivers are picking up marbles ahead of scrutineering of cars
      c. It beggars belief that he went for the apex, cutting across Stroll was totally unnecessary.

      Whilst i agree that there is a defence for him taking the steering wheel, unless the FIA respond that stewards could have guarded the car until recovery and preventing theft of the steer.

      I believe there was also a failure to return the car to parc ferme, for scrutiny. In that instance their could even be an argument he deliberately crashed the car maybe because Ferrari had underfuelled the car ? Far fetched i know but that is why the Parce ferme rule exists

      However it’s all academic because the stewards attributed fault to neither driver. Otherwise i think Vettel could have really been in trouble and the WDC truly over.

    17. Haha can’t stop laughing – this picture of VET sitting with his wheel on his back just look awesome! Thanks for saving my day! Idiots both of them…

    18. Vettel is one of the greatest ever F1 drivers in my opinion, but Baku, Singapore and now this mess are just plain rubbish, including the comments after these events. Don’t get me wrong, I like Vettel a lot most of the time but I sense the pressure of Ferrari is getting to him. To quote a team principal, “calm down”.

      1. pretty much yeah.

    19. Plenty of F1 components fail through no fault of the race team or the driver, and penalties apply. In this case Vettel was definitely not blame-free, that’s the second race in succession where he didn’t make allowances for the unexpected, he must therefore take the penalty that may result.

      Personally I’d allow changes of components outside the total stipulated in the sporting regulations, with the proviso that the car concerned cannot score any constructor points in the race following the change, but the driver can. Only if the constructors championship has already been secured should grid penalties be applied to the driver. Seems simple and fair enough to me.

      1. Stop applying measured logic to these things! This is F1, knee-jerk over-reactions are what we demand!

      2. Why apply a constructor’s penalty to a driver failure?

        1. Know what you’re alluding to, and it is a debatable point, but I resolve it by considering the part in question wasn’t strong to withstand other bits around it failing.

          Given that it’s difficult for a driver to cause an engine or gearbox failure like the old days, eg selecting 1st instead of 3rd on a downshift and over-revving the engine, the majority of PU failures will be beyond the drivers’ control

    20. The speed discrepancy between the 2 were so large. They are both at fault and reckless for what happened

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