Vettel at risk of grid penalty after reprimand for missing anthem

2017 Japanese Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel has been given his second reprimand of the 2017 season after failing to arrive at the pre-race performance of the national anthem on time.

Vettel was previously reprimanded for crossing the pit lane exit line during qualifying in Monaco. Drivers receive an automatic ten-place grid penalty if they collect three reprimands during the course of the season.

2017 Japanese GP in pictures
According to the sporting regulations “the ten grid place penalty will only be imposed if at least two of the reprimands were imposed for a driving infringement”. Vettel now has one driving reprimand (Monaco) and one non-driving reprimand (Japan). If he receives another reprimand for a driving infringement during the next four races he will incur a grid penalty.

Ferrari’s pre-race preparations were disrupted when a problem was discovered on Vettel’s car which eventually led to his retirement from the race.

Vettel is the third driver to receive a reprimand for failing to arrive at the anthem ceremony on time this year. Daniel Ricciardo and Sergio Perez both received reprimands for the same error in China.

It comes after Vettel avoided an investigation for failing to replace the steering wheel on his Ferrari after his crash following the end of the Malaysian Grand Prix. Race director Charlie Whiting said he did not report that potential infraction to the stewards as the wheel was not needed because the damage to Vettel’s car meant it was not needed.

Only two drivers have previously received ten-place grid penalties for collecting three reprimands over the course of season. These were Pastor Maldonado in 2012 and Mark Webber in 2013.

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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    55 comments on “Vettel at risk of grid penalty after reprimand for missing anthem”

    1. And he will get away with it because…..

      1. Because he doesn’t have 3 reprimands yet? Did you even read the article?

        1. How did Vettel not get a reprimand for the Baku shanigans?!

          1. He got a 10 second stop and go, plus three penalty points for Baku. A reprimand is never given in addition to other penalties , it is at the bottom end of the penalty scale and is used when a more serious penalty is not considered appropriate. Would you have prefered him just to get a reprimand plus penalty points (unlikely to be more than 2 with just a reprimand) rather than the 10 second stop and go?

      2. Because the FIA is against whoever Vettel is fighting, obviously.
        That’s why Hamilton is 59 points in the le… Oh wait.

        Seriously though, what is a reprimand and a grid penalty going to do? The fight is over anyway. Or are you still so worried Hamilton won’t win that you’re desperate to see Vettel have a grid penalty for Austin? I mean I get with 2016 still in mind, Hamilton can be very inconsistent but even a trained monkey would be able to get this championship in the bag with that Mercedes.

      3. He hasn’t gotten away with it, he has a reprimand. As per the rules, one more and he gets a grid penalty.

        1. One more if it’s a driving offence. If he skips national anthem again he gets off.

      4. Because Ferrari

      5. You very right about that actually.

    2. These were Pastor Maldonado in 2012 and Mark Webber in 2013.

      Before I finished that sentence I must admit it was going to say Maldonado was the one twice.

    3. Well, I guess he should count himself happy he didn’t get a reprimand in Baku.

      Was it Ricciardo who previously got a reprimand for this? Anyway, seems consistent, though I fully agree with Rosberg that it isn’t great to give reprimands for missing the anthem.

      1. Wasn’t it either Perez or Ocon recently?

        1. @bascb @bosyber I think it was Ricciardo and Perez, but Ocon got away with it, because no one noticed he had arrived late.

          1. Right, that was it @fer-no65, @bosyber!

          2. @fer-no65, @bascb thanks for helping my memory. Lucky /ouch for Ocon just being forgotten!

    4. It keeps coming to Vettel and even I feel sorry for him a bit.

      1. For this? This was not bad luck, just stupid not to show up while you know it’s mandatory.

        1. Exactly my thoughts. He’s in F1 for like 10 years now, even if he doesn’t know the rules, he must have heard by now what can happen. Not to mention that every team must have some sort of employee that take care just of this kind of matters and make sure the drivers know what they’re supposed to do on a GP weekend. On top of all, this is a year where he was/is in the title fight, so one just should keep away from getting on-track penalties because of some off-track obligations.

    5. I was wondering what people would write about next week, finally we have an answer

    6. This makes me wonder why Vettel didn’t get a reprimand for doing exactly what Webber did to get his third and penalty-releasing reprimand in 2013, lifting back to the pits with another car. Webber lifted with Alonso in Singapore back then, just as Vettel lifted with Wehrlein now in Malaysia. I can’t remember hearing anything about suddenly allowing those taxi-lifts, anyone who knows?

      1. Wasn’t Webbers for crossing the circuit rather than actually for hitching a ride?

      2. Because Webber got reprimanded for entering the track without a marshalls permition. Vettel didn’t do that, so he didn’t get a reprimand.

      3. @oel-f1

        This makes me wonder why Vettel didn’t get a reprimand for doing exactly what Webber did to get his third and penalty-releasing reprimand in 2013, lifting back to the pits with another car.

        Webber’s reprimand wasn’t for getting a lift, it was for entering the track without the permission of a marshal.

        1. Seems my memory let me down, thanks for clearing that up!

    7. This is an absolutely ridiculous rule. The anthem has no sporting relevance, it’s a commercial matter. As it’s a commercial matter rather than sporting, the penalty should be commercial in nature, not something that can affect an actual result.

      Give them a fine or some other kind of sanction that doesn’t have an impact on any sporting results by all means. But this is a silly punishment.

      1. Ridiculous rule, I totally agree. It just feels like a reminder of Bernie and his desire to suck up to politicians.

      2. @philipgb COTD, an excellent point.

      3. Miss the anthem it is a penalty. Hit another car on purpose? There’s you 2nd driving infraction.

        But I guess it works out, I’d hate to see an anthem infraction be the thing that triggers a grid drop.

        Hope they cant give repremands for skipping press debrief. Having to talk to the press after every kick in the pants must suck.

      4. @philipgb

        This is an absolutely ridiculous rule. The anthem has no sporting relevance, it’s a commercial matter. As it’s a commercial matter rather than sporting, the penalty should be commercial in nature, not something that can affect an actual result.

        I agree completely.

        1. I agree too, especially if the reason he was late was the distraction of the potential spark plug issue, ie. something legit and not borne of disrespect.

        2. May I disagree nearly completely, please? The anthems are not commercial, they’re national. The world is made of different nations (now, maybe not in the future.) F1 (and just about all sports that are international) involve pride. Traditionally F1 has respect for the different nations, the spectators demonstrate it, look at flags and more. We are dumbing it down — remember when cars had national colours? British Racing Green, Bugatti Blue, German Grey for Autounion and Mercedes (“silver” arrows), now only Ferrari remains true to tradition?
          F1 is an international sport (with some blurred edges) and keeping some national pride is not trivial. Where I agree with you is that if Vettel was late because of a sparkplug problem, he should not get a ten place grid penalty.

          1. I think we have more than enough nationalism. We are good enough at identity politics and patriotism.

          2. @paul-a

            Drivers being present for the anthem is a commercial responsibility. It’s part of the presentation and showcase for the event. It’s not a sporting activity, An infraction such as missing it or taking a knee which we might see in Austin isn’t related to the actual sporting competition and shouldn’t carry a penalty that could affect the results.

            As it’s part of the show it’s fair enough that it’s a driver responsibility and give them a sanction such as a fine by all means. But don’t interfere with the sporting results for the sake of commercial interests.

            1. @philipgb
              You seem to make TV “commercially responsible” for pride, honour, respect and tradition. I feel that you are pushing the envelope too far. But I’m probably of an older generation (first F1 race, Silverstone 1953) and try and understand that the world is now rather different. I don’t like it (or at least parts of it), but respect the opinions of my grandchildren (and my first great-grand child — but he’s too young to speak about it!)

              To me, recognizing the nations that participate in sports is important. We don’t necessarily need an Olympic ceremony, but I would not want to see either “anthem before the event” or “flags and anthems after the event” disappear.

              As to the current “on your knees”, possibly at Austin, that is purely political b.s. for which I have no time or patience whatsoever. Publicity stunt only fit for lesser minds.

            2. @paul-a

              I’m not really debating the issue of national pride, respect, or the validity of having an anthem. Those are separate issues to my original point.

              My point is result affecting sanctions should be limited to sporting infractions. An infraction during the ceremonial parts of the event, which is fair enough the driver should be obligated to participate in due to commercial interests, shouldn’t have the potential to interfer with sporting results.

          3. GtisBetter (@)
            8th October 2017, 19:07

            That anthem show is a reaction to some countries who use f1 to paint a pretty picture of it, and complained that it wasn’t clear enough. So Bernie made sure we know now who is paying for the show.

      5. Agree entirely. And remember, we have this role of the drivers having to go to the front because of the first race in Sochi when Putin insisted.

      6. Agreed. Seems wrong that Vettel should be penalized for trying to help get his car on the grid. That should be more important to FIA than singing an anthem.

      7. It’s not too difficult to prevent this reprimand though.

    8. The new Maldonado.

    9. Ridiculous. A reprimand for missing the anthem?

    10. Drivers lining up for the anthem always looks too flat or contrived. OK for Putin, he likes that sort of thing and Bernie obliged, but it isn’t necessary. Missing it shouldn’t affect the race though, that’s 1 million times more ridiculous than grid penalties for engine component changes.

      1. Playtime Fontayne
        8th October 2017, 22:52

        I’d go a step further and say not only is it unnecessary but also a ridiculous nationalistic anachronism that belongs in the landfill of history.

      2. Why just name Putin? I could add a few dozen more.

        1. Because I believe it was Russia where this idea was introduced first.

    11. I am waiting to see if the fine SV for skipping the press after he retied.

      1. @blueruck He did speak to some of the broadcast media before leaving, as Hamilton did on at least one occasion last year (though I think on those occasions Hamilton had also been in the post-race press conference).

        Incidentally today Hamilton did the press conference and broadcasters but didn’t do his usual post-race media briefing, so he could fly back to Europe.

        1. Thanks, USA broadcast kept saying he walked out without speaking.

        2. I read more about this on Twitter, it appears SB did a quick interview behind the Ferrari garage with selected journalist and didn’t go over to the press area. Which caused some issues with the remaining journalist.

          I assume this means we need another rule :)

      2. GtisBetter (@)
        8th October 2017, 22:40

        They didn’t give Verstappen one after his no show in baku, so I doubt they will give Vettel a fine.

    12. This championship becomes a worse joke every day

    13. Hey Keith. The picture in the linked article under “Heartbreaking Vettel snap sums it all up” would be good for a caption contest. I’d offer ” Why don’t I have any friends?” as a suggestion. Vettel is hell bent on self destruction.

    14. I want to thank Vettel for having a faulty engine.

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