Vettel given three-place grid penalty for impeding Sainz in qualifying

2018 Austrian Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel has been given a three-place grid penalty for impending Carlos Sainz Jnr during qualifying, the Austrian Grand Prix stewards have announced.

The penalty will drop Vettel from third on the grid to sixth. Kimi Raikkonen moves up to third.

Vettel has also been given one penalty point on his licence, which means he now has a total of three for the current 12-month period.

The Ferrari driver said he did not intend to hold Sainz up and had not realised the Renault driver was so close.

“Obviously I wasn’t meaning to block him or ruin his lap,” said Vettel. “I was looking in the mirror, I was finishing my lap. I checked my mirrors, I could see anything, after turn one I checked again, there was nothing to see. By then it was side-by-side so fair enough.

“Fortunately it didn’t make a difference for him. The problem is the mirrors, we don’t see straight back. It’s the same for all of us. It’s to do with where the mirrors are and they are more or less in the same place for all of us.

“When the rear wing is closed, which is was because I was closing my lap and not pushing any more, and it’s also a little bit uphill here, you literally see nothing.”

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Stewards’ explanation for Vettel’s penalty

The stewards reviewed the video evidence, team radio and heard from the driver of car five (Sebastian Vettel), the driver of car 55 (Carlos Sainz) and team representatives.

Car five had just finished a push lap and was on an in lap, travelling quite slowly into and around turn one, on the racing line. The driver conceded that he had passed car 55 between turns seven and eight but assumed it had pitted after. However, car 55 was actually commencing a push lap and closed on car five rapidly along the pit straight and into turn one.

During evidence, the driver of car 55 stated that he felt the driver of car five was completely unaware of his approach. This was confirmed by the driver of car five who stated he was unable to see car 55 in his mirrors and that his team had not informed him of its approach, by radio. The latter was confirmed by the team representative.

It is the belief of the stewards that notwithstanding the absence of a radio call, the driver of car five, being aware of the issue of rear vision with his mirrors, should not have been so slow and on the racing line, during a slowdown lap in qualification.

Having reviewed all alleged impeding incidents since the beginning of 2016, the penalty of a drop of three grid positions is consistent with all other similar incidents.

See the updated Austrian Grand Prix grid following Vettel’s penalty

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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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Posted on Categories 2018 Austrian Grand Prix, 2018 F1 season, F1 news

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  • 129 comments on “Vettel given three-place grid penalty for impeding Sainz in qualifying”

    1. Ben (@scuderia29)
      30th June 2018, 17:13

      “Ferrari international assistants” blah blah blah, mercedes should be unchallenged now

      1. Well, they did not impend anyone.

      2. Yea, because they gave Seb a penalty that somehow refutes that claim.

      3. It’s MIA nowadays

      4. There is obvious inention to prevent Ferrari to win anything this year. Starting with constant Mercedes bickering and complaints brought against technical innovation introduced by Scuderria and complaints lodged by Mercedes friendly Teams or drivers.

        We will see soon if new Malaysian Government , owner of PETRONAS- Mercedes sponsor, will allow sponsorship to continue. With corruption charges being prepared against former Prime Minister knows if Petronas sponsorship to Mercedes will continue and results could be on downward trend sooner than expected. PETRONAS Chairman has resigned recently.

      5. Matteo (@m-bagattini)
        1st July 2018, 7:22

        Yep exactly. I don’t remember the people goofing on that straight in Canada being dropped when they impeded Vettel. Imagine if it was Hamilton.

    2. Well, this is compensation for last week. But I still believe he will finish 3rd behind the Mercedes regardless of where he starts.

      1. @krichelle: Vettel committed an infraction and he got the standard penalty for that infraction (unlike so many other cases when he’s given too much leniency). No compensation here.

    3. Neil (@neilosjames)
      30th June 2018, 17:15

      Shame for us because it removes him from the lead fight, but it was deserved… there’s no real excuse for a driver of Vettel’s skill and experience to do something like that.

      1. I don’t think it will make to much of a differense. I think even if Vettel would start in third the merc’s will just drive off into the sunset.

    4. Having watched Sainz OnBoard it looked like he ruined his lap by lighting up the rear’s & oversteering into the runoff rather than because Seb was in the way.

      Had he not made that error he would have been held up by Seb but he made the mistake & blew the lap before he’d got to the point of Seb been able to actually hold him up.

        1. I think he ran wide to avoid him.

          1. I don’t know, It looks more like he loses the back end. You wouldn’t need to turn the wheel that far to the left to simply run off to avoid Seb… Looks more like opposite lock to correct a slide to me.

            1. yes you would he was going fast, and seb was near stand still comparing to his speed, if he took to the right he would spin the car, he went left and wide… to avoid collision… seb should have looked at his mirrors! and for the first time ever he got what he deserved!

            2. To me it looks like he would have been on the kerbing but more or less fine if not for Vettel being exaclty where he wanted to go @stefmeister

        2. Whats worse is you can see that petulant child coming back at Sainz after impeding. That 3 place penalty is merely a pat on wrist.

        3. Sainz obviously sees Vettel way ahead and really does not expect him to be sat on the corner still when he arrives there! A clear case of impeding, irrelevant whether Vettel knew he was there or not. Whatever action Sainz took was intent on avoiding a collision, he had nowhere to go except off track. You really are seeing what you want to see in that clip.

      1. In quali they drive these cars to the absolute limit of grip. So if another car just sits on the racing line it’s hard to keep it on the track.

        In fact if he staid on the track he’d had a massive crash.

        1. How much does Merz pay you for anti Ferrari comments, Patrick?

    5. That’s harsh, it really made no difference to the result. Sainz was never going to find 7 tenths for 8th.

      Also I was looking forward to another Vettel start on the US tyres vs Mercedes on the SS.

      1. Nothing harsh at all ! Even if there was no chance of Sainz improving he was still denied the chance of another lap. Vettel made the mistake and the 3 place drop is a fair punishment.

        1. @ju88sy Pretty sure this happened in Q2 & Sainz made it into Q3 anyway so long term it didn’t really cost him anything.

          1. @stefmeister My wife agrees with you! Thanks for pointing out my error! I would have been gazing along to T4 where I was enjoying watching the cars turn in.

      2. Michael Brown (@)
        30th June 2018, 20:05

        @ju88sy It doesn’t matter because impeding is impeding. Penalties need to be applied to discourage that.

    6. Wasn’t this during Q2 – if so, why the penalty? Sainz still got through so makes no difference

      1. I swear there have been a few times recently, I think Perez or Grosjean may have been involved in one, when they impeded a driver and didn’t get a penalty because they made it through. Inconsistency yet again. Baffles me that he got a penalty tbh.

      2. Yeah, In the race Vettel probably will still get 3rd so in your words “still got through so makes no difference”. If you commit a foul you get punished, you don’t use a crystal ball or chicken bones to decide on that. It is immaterial whether it makes any odds to the end result.

    7. In my opinion, Vettel’s three place griddrop is the stewards/FIA putting all drivers and teams on notice that “couldn’t see him” isn’t acceptable as an excuse for hindering (anymore); It is a reason to act as if someone behind you might be faster, until you know they are not.

      I think it might be a bit harsh here, but not really without reason.

      1. @bosyber

        Like we discussed on the other thread, this call is exactly in line with Magnussen’s penalty last year when he impeded Perez in a similar matter in Q1 USA 2017:

        The driver of car 20 admitted he had impeded car 11, and the team admitted it had
        inadvertently incorrectly advised the driver that PER was on an out lap.

        The driver and team apologised to the driver of car 11 for the error.

        MAG also got penalized for a “team error” and Perez went through just fine regardless.

      2. Mmmm, yeah, but why VET should do that on purpose to SAI, knowing he risks a penalty and given that SAI is not a title rival?! I reckon I don’t exclude any possibility – he might have been lazy, but for the moment I believe him and I think the team is at fault.

        1. @mg1982

          Mmmm, yeah, but why VET should do that on purpose to SAI,

          the team is at fault.

          I don’t think that mounts to any arguments against the penalty.

      3. But they forgave Hamilton last year when he intentionally impeded Grosjean! They say they reviewed all previous similar incidents? Apparently not that one!

        1. William Jones
          1st July 2018, 13:39

          Even if you are correct (and you’re not, unless you can back up the word “intentionally” and your assertion that Hamilton did cost Grosjean time against the data that the stewards had that say he didnt) do you want the stewards to intentionally get it wrong just because they have before? Should they take into account the times they’ve lied, or only the honest decisions they’ve made – make no mistake, you are straight up accusing the sports referees of lying.

    8. Makes no sence FIA! Unbelievable! It made no difference what so ever in the end…. worst call of the year…. who is the FIA steward (which former driver) this race??

      1. @fish123 No, it indeed was the right decision. Had they decided to not penalize him at all then that would’ve set an unideal precedent for the future.

      2. Vettel was on the racing line so it was a mistake by him. It shouldn’t matter if it possibly effects the WDC .. there should be consistency with penalties!

      3. @fish123

        Going by the last race.. It made a massive difference when Vettel took Bottas out at the start. He completely ruined Bottas’ race. Did the stewards give a 5 second penalty to Sebastian keeping in mind the effect of damage he had on Bottas? They gave him the penalty fit for the infraction. Which is exactly what they did this weekend. It is besides the point that Sainz got in to Q3. He blatantly blocked a driver on a hot lap.. that’s a 3 place grid penalty regardless of whether the driver was fighting for P19, Q3 or pole.

        1. @todfod but not specifically you, it could be asked to a lot of people here: vettel was unable to complete a q2 lap in canada (which anyway he had no intention of completing, but you said it’s beside the point) because there were 3 slow cars, 2 left, 1 right or something which were preparing to start their lap, that is impeding and there was no penalty, why?

          1. @esplorate exactly there is no consistency what so ever by these stewards

          2. @ads21

            Fair point. It looked like cars were just ambling on that straight. I think there was just one car that was clearly impeding Vettel’s entry in to the chicane.. and that was a Haas. As I said, I don’t think Haas and Ferrari would push unnecessary penalties on each other.

    9. Is there any possibility to punish Ferrari and Vettel in advance, for next week?
      Although today we do not reason, but it will be for sure something.
      For Kimi and Vettel forbid first row! It is booked for Merz already…

      1. Oh come on Ferrari have a great car. That’s not the problem.

        1. @patrickl
          god forbid, if ferrari win, it will be called dominating car, and despite merc PU and FIA ferrari beat them all… if ham win, it is a cruise in the park and if you put a capuchin in the merc, it can win with this car moto all over… /s

          1. @mysticus Well Ferrari keep showing better race pace during free practice, which would allow them to win the race. Vettel himself claimed he could/would win in Canada and now again the looked faster on the long runs and Vettel was very upbeat about his chances.

            Yet Vettel seems to keep finding ways making it impossible form him to actually show this. Just like last season really when he more often than not kept messing up his start and/or hitting other cars. Showing “great recoveries” instead of actually showing that fight for the win.

            1. Yes but if Vettel/Ferrari messes up their own races, it is always merc/ham fault for having good PU and not drivers driving without chaos… as in with mercedes, there is an AI soft driving the car drivers are just puppets, and in a Ferrari, it is drivers beating others… :)

            2. @mysticus Yeah I got the sarcasm, but still I genuinely feel we are missing out on some potentially good races because of the fact that they actually do seem to put capuchin in those Ferrari’s :)

              Imagine Verstappen and/or Ricciardo and/or Alonso in one or both of those Ferrari’s. Or say Ocon, Hulkenberg or … Bottas.

              Hamilton deserves to be at Mercedes since he took the chance on them and helped build up the team, from the midfielders they were, to a race winning constructor already in his first season with them. Before the whole powertrain change. Even taking P2 in the WCC in 2013 (up from P5 in 2012).

            3. @patrickl

              i hope vettel pulls himself together and we can enjoy some show… otherwise, it gets boring hearing people complain about merc winning all due to their PU, not their drivers… it gets boring because ferrari and its drivers manage to mess up everything on their own for some reason… distracted? not used to be able to compete for some time so they get over excited and forget how to drive or whatever it is… certainly it is not Mercedes’ fault but people think otherwise and complain…

            4. @mysticus Yeah, a lot can happen still.

            5. He actually won in Canada, but let me not interrupt your dislike for Vettel and Ferrari with facts.

            6. @rockie can you please enlighten us with your Ferrari facts? since you already interrupted our “supposed” dislike for Vettel/Ferrari, you should i think explain it to us.

    10. Can’t wait for 2019 now. At this rate, Alonso might as well just replace Vettel. This is so amateur from Ferrari/Seb. First, the lost of front row start now this penalty. Mercedes must be laughing on their way to their driver’s and constructor’s 2018 championship. Lost interest in 2018 championship.

      1. for a 3 place grid drop?

        1. Are you forgetting hissyfit over radio during of Mexico 2016(certainly a grid drop or black flag worthy incident of name calling race director)? Or are you forgetting Baku 2017(black flag and race ban worthy incident)? Or brake testing during Baku 2018(should have been a penalty since this was he accused of Hamilton a year before)? Or start of Singapore Gp(racing incedent started by uselessly aggressive move) 2017? Etc……. for a 4 time “World champion” this driver makes a lot of rookie mistakes.

          1. my question was: you do lose interest in championships for these reasons? Quite futile, if you ask me.

    11. Having reviewed all alleged impeding incidents since the beginning of 2016

      I guess that includes the 5 cars that impeded Vettel (without penalty) in Canada? The rules have to be consistent…

      1. +1
        Hardly consistent there

        1. Exactly, any explanation here from those who defend the penalty, and I’ve seen a lot?

    12. (It’s the first time I write here but I had to say it).Can anybody tell me then, what happens with all those drivers that were moving chicanes in the back straight during Canadian qualifying in one of Vettel flying laps? Are they gonna be penalized now? In that case, if my memory serves me well, there wasn’t even any kind of investigation opened… Oh, yes, it’s Vettel this time.

      1. @bruuuuum Because on the straight it doesn’t matter? He might have even gotten a tow. Ask Ricciardo.

        It’s not “impeding” when cars are simply on track, it’s when they are going slowly through corners on the racing line.

        1. They were moving left-right to get tire temperature, not only staying in racing line on a straight.

          1. That’s is not true. The car moving left/right was Vettel.

            1. To avoid them. The situation at Montreal was ridiculous

      2. Doesn’t the impeded driver / team have to lodge a complaint before the stewards will open an investigation? If VET was pitting anyway, Ferrari might have decided not to make an issue of it.

    13. Isn’t it amazing that a car costing 18 grand(probably the same price as an f1 mirror) has cameras and blind spot sensors and a bespoke multi-million dollar car only has mirrors? Seems like it would be real easy to install a camera on the rear crash structure and have a screen either in the helmet or cockpit.

      1. No, it is not amazing. Cameras weigh so putting blindspot mirrors could cost you a championship if no body else used them. Why not add air-con and padded seats so the drivers lose in style?

        F1 cars are stripped back as much as the rules allow so they go as fast as they can.

    14. Add a rear view camera to the car? :P

      1. @aapje if you put an xray camera, there will be excuses…

    15. I feel like Ferrari should’ve gotten some sort of fine because they did not inform the guy instead of him. You can only see so much through your rear mirrors. I don’t think he would intentionally impede someone who he’s not competing with, had he impeded Hamilton or any of the other top drivers, then I’d understand why he deserves the penalty. I have a slight feeling that this penalty has something to do with last week’s race.

      1. And straight away, you set a precedent for teams deliberately ‘forgetting’ to inform their driver on provisional pole one of their closest challengers is rapidly approaching.

      2. @lebz Magnussen got the same penalty in the USA last season and he also wasn’t informed by his team.

      3. Well, but if you know you cannot really see in your rear view mirrors, then the idea is that you do not get onto the racing line on your outlap just to be on the safe side @lebz, as simple as that. Had Vettel kept out of the way, he would not have gotten a penalty.

        1. @bascb not only he stayed on the line, he was so slow and didnt have any intention of moving out of the way, or he was busy checking his deltas? in anyway not a good reason/excuse… he would have caused a collusion had it been a little earlier…

        2. It is that simple. Don’t understand what the fuss is about.

          Poor judgement from Vettel and lack of concentration from Ferrari really

          1. And canada q2 5 cars impeding him is fine.

            1. Point to me where I said that in my comment.

    16. I wonder if they are getting biased against Vettel like they were in the past with Maldonado and Grosjean.
      Situations when the guy can’t put a foot wrong and gets a penalty.
      This indeed was penalty-worthy, but sometimes they let these things go diferently and i didn’t expect to see Vettel getting another penalty in less than a week.

      1. Maybe that’s exactly why he got it: he’s still under the heat from France.
        I imagine if that happened in 2 or 3 races, the outcome would be different.

    17. With that, will Seb screw his start again?

    18. The right decision. Vettel should’ve stayed off the racing line.

      1. Yeah, but I think it was very unfortunate too, I mean SAI caught him right after the start/finish line. I think that nobody steers off the racing line immediately after the S/F line, but after the 1st corner.

        1. @mg1982 it could be true but not a good excuse, because he just finished his flying lap overtaking/passing sainz, while sainz was beginning, so vettel should have known/seen (or should have been informed by team) sainz was coming behind on a lying lap.

    19. This should be a team penalty as it’s up to the team to tell the driver to get out of the way. And I’m not talking about a penalty they can pay out of petty cash. Everyone knows the mirrors are all but useless on an F1 car, so it’s up to the team to provide the driver with the correct information and Ferrari failed to do so.

    20. Agree with StefMeister here, it looks like SAI’s car understeered and his lap was pretty much history exactly when VET started to be a problem. Actually, it seems that the understeer was some sort of a blessing, otherwise it looks like SAI would have hit VET had he taken the corner perfectly. Still, VET has some fault tho, he was on the racing line, he caused some impeding and also a contributor to a risky situation. Probably Ferrari should learn something from this and put a man supervize the situation around their drivers so that they won’t imped some other cars in the future and risk penalties again. They have radio contact and also know the position of every car on the track, so it’s easy to warn them.

      Overall it’s a shame, VET is making silly mistakes and throwing away good points. The WCC is lost anyway… Whenever HAM is not on top, it’s BOT. Whenever VET is not on top…. there’s Mercedes. RAI is simply inexistent in this battle.

    21. Well that’s a surprise. They actually did actually hand out a consistent penalty.

      Derek Warwick is one of the more strict stewards. Perhaps he made this happen.

      1. Oh and Garry Connelly was involved too. He was one of the stewards who penalized Magnussen for the same offence last season in the USA:
        fia.com: 21.10 – Stewards Decision Doc35 – K.Magnussen

    22. Then the teams want to keep their 20 people that are in the backroom watching the cars and build the strategy etc..
      Get rid of them then if they simply cannot provide a helpfull insight to their driver that i car behind them is approaching in a hot lap.

    23. It will be fireworks at the start for sure .. Does Vettel start on US or SS? If he starts on US then Verstappen will be in trouble with Grosjean and Vettel on US behind him!

      1. Michael Brown (@)
        30th June 2018, 20:10

        @arnoudvanhouwelingen Yes he does start on the US.

    24. He impeded Sainz yes. As a Ferrari fan even I’ll admit that.
      However.

      “Having reviewed all alleged impeding incidents since the beginning of 2016, the penalty of a drop of three grid positions is consistent with all other similar incidents.”

      Does that include Canada 2018 where Vettel had to slalom around five cars while on a hotlap and yet no one was punished for impeding on a straight while going slowly on the racing line on the fastest part of the track?

      1. There is no racing line on a straight.

        1. There is before the final chicane which cars were blocking him from taking at his normal speed.

        2. I sure there probably isn’t a racing line looking through your anti-Vettel glasses

        3. Of course there is a racing line on a straight. That is why we speak of “the dirty side” on the strating grid.

    25. This comes as no surprise at all. Vettel starts on faster compound and had better race pace then Mercedes drivers during P2 long runs. I can imagine Mercedes were concerned about that but now they aren’t any more.
      For gods sake FIA must have taken into calculations the fact that track is uphill on this part, makes sense that Vettel couldn’t see approaching Renault.
      Oh well I guess Ferrari had received assistance from FIA in past, only fair that is Mercedes turn. One thing I can’t understand is why bother complaining about procedural races and then make this decision, which in the end had no consequence at all?

      1. He didn’t. Mercedes were much more impressive on long run pace. The rest of your comment is just rambling nonesense.

      2. @geekracer2000

        Vettel starts on faster compound and had better race pace then Mercedes drivers during P2 long runs

        That’s completely untrue.

        One thing I can’t understand is why bother complaining about procedural races and then make this decision, which in the end had no consequence at all?

        It’s not about consequence. We found that out with the 5 second penalty last weekend. It’s about a consistent penalty for a particular infraction.

    26. It’s still relatively early but Vettel seems to coming unglued – the pressure is mounting and similar to last year, he is choking and throwing away valuable points. This kind of thing shouldn’t be happening to a veteran, similar to him crashing into Stroll on the cool down lap in Malaysia last year.

      I’m a bit surprised because he is a great driver, but it’s becoming apparent he’s no Schuey and not the savior Ferrari thought he would be. Now they have apparently signed unproven (at best) LeClerc and are giving the boot to Kimi who is having a good season.

      Meanwhile, RIC (or even ALO) is available but Maranello are not interested. Ferrari can’t seem to get out of their own way. It’s beginning to look like a repeat of the last few years. Perhaps McLaren isn’t the only F1 team that could use a reshuffling.

      1. Agree. And, as a fan, it’s not easy to see them wasting opportunities this way. I think ALO is completely out of question for multiple reasons (1. Ferrari-ALO history 2. hardly believe ALO and VET will agree to be team mates 3. both of them demand big salaries… and I don’t think even Ferrari can afford to waste 100mil on drivers without winning any of the champs 4. age = he’s almost 37… how many years can he be competitive anymore?!), RIC looks like a very good choice for the next 5 years, but Leclerc seem to have that special spark and he’s overall the best bet for the next 10-15 years. They should probably hire him for 2019 in order to be ready for 2021 and beyond. There’re more and more chances he will make Ferrari champs again rather than VET, providing they’ll still have competitive cars after 2018. They shouldn’t waste any more time with RAI and should also prepare to ditch VET in the next 2-3 years. He started to mess up exactly when Ferrari built a car capable to fight for the titles: 2017 and 2018.

      2. I disagree completely. The fault here didn’t lie with Vettel, it lay with his team, who didn’t warn him Sainz was approaching.

        1. So Vettel shoulders no responsibility for his crawling pace through the corner?

          Perhaps it’s Spooky Saturday, and he’s switched bodies with Verstappen to exhibit such rookie moves. Smh…

          1. So Vettel shoulders no responsibility for his crawling pace through the corner?

            That in itself is a non-issue (though yes what actually took place wasn’t quite that simple)

        2. OK, in this case maybe it’s more Ferrari’s fault than Vettel.
          But Vettel has made a bunch of errors the past 2 seasons that have cost valuable points.
          Couple that with Ferrar’s blunders and their chance of winning a WDC are slim.
          Vettel has not shown good leadership skills – Kimi is much more stable and mature.
          Depending what happens this year, Ferrari would be wise to have RIC on standby.

    27. Well Vettel has admitted on behalf of Ferrari that the car does not comply with Tech Regs 14.3 through 14.3.4.
      It also shows that the FIA scrutineer did not carry out the test properly as in 14.3.4 else the car would have been disqualified.

    28. This bodes well for the race.

      1. Drivers cannot see overtakes comming.
      2. Vettel will have cars to overtake.
      3. Bottas won’t get rear ended by Vettel and can fight Hamilton for a win.

      1. Botas will fight Hamilton for the win … ahahaha. Really? You should win comment of the year award.

        1. Well, if you look at abu dhabi 2017, you’ll see there’s races where bottas is straight up faster than hamilton and stays in front all time.

          I’m not saying he’ll necessarily win but he’s been unlucky this year, he’s due a win, he might be unlucky still but I really doubt in normal circumstances he’s getting a team order to let hamilton through.

    29. It’s possible he did bot see him, however, i’d say a driver of his caliber could anticipate a car being behind him and get off the ideal line… or maybe his team could tell him

    30. Why is car number 55 written in numbers and car number five in letters? This is just the epitome of inconsistency. Oh, the stewards wrote that, nothing unusual.

      1. Indeed odd that on this blog it’s written in text. The actual stewards decision only uses numbers:
        https://www.fia.com/file/70080/download?token=E4AcLJQN

        The Stewards reviewed the video evidence, team radio and heard from the driver of car 5 (Sebastian Vettel), the driver of car 55 (Carlos Sainz) and team representatives.
        Car 5 had just finished a push lap and was on an in lap, travelling quite slowly into and around turn 1, on the racing line. The driver conceded that he had passed car 55 between turns 7 and 8 but assumed it had pitted after.
        However, car 55 was actually commencing a push lap and closed on car 5 rapidly along the pit straight and into turn 1.
        During evidence, the driver of car 55 stated that he felt the driver of car 5 was completely unaware of his approach. This was confirmed by the driver of car 5 who stated he was unable to see car 55 in his mirrors and that his team had not informed him of its approach, by radio. The latter was confirmed by the team representative.
        It is the belief of the Stewards that notwithstanding the absence of a radio call, the driver of car 5, being aware of the issue of rear vision with his mirrors, should not have been so slow and on the racing line, during a slowdown lap in Qualification.
        Having reviewed all alleged impeding incidents since the beginning of 2016, the penalty of a drop of 3 grid positions is consistent with all other similar incidents.
        All Competitors are reminded of their right to appeal certain decisions of the Stewards, as set out in the International Sporting Code and related regulations, including the time limits for such appeals.

      2. @alfa145 There is no sinister intention here. The convention in written narrative English and in journalism in particular is that figures 0 -10 are spelled out (as in ‘five’), whereas above that they are written in (arabic) numerals, as in ’55’.
        Not sure if there are any similar conventions in other European languages . . .

        1. @alfa145 and @patrickl, see @nickwyatt‘s explanation which is correct.

        2. Thank you, @patrickl, @keithcollantine, very informative. Never knew this was the case; in Italy where I am from there’s no similar convention.
          Guess my attempt at sarcasm will need more fact-checking next time

        3. that figures 0 -10 are spelled out (as in ‘five’), whereas above that they are written in (arabic) numerals

          @nickwyatt I’m learning German and I’m instructed to do so when writing texts as well

    31. It doesn’t change anything for the race. We hardly ever see the front-runners swap places during a “race”. Seb will climb back to third after Kimi pretends to have an issue with his car and the procession will be the usual standard fare.

      1. It actually does, vettel only had 1 chance to get past hamilton: the start, now there’s raikkonen who won’t do anything, verstappen would try.

    32. Unlike other cases of impeding that didn’t get sanctioned, this one was very careless by Vettel, he had no reason to be crawling at that section of the track and was a danger to other drivers. This was the reason he got the penalty.

    33. “The problem is the mirrors, we don’t see straight back. It’s the same for all of us. It’s to do with where the mirrors are and they are more or less in the same place for all of us”.

      Perhaps Ferrari ought to design and locate their mirrors with the aim of informing their drivers what is behind the car rather than as downforce generators / air flow managers?

      1. @gnosticbrian Well, that’s what I thought too. But taking Vettel at his word, maybe there ought to be some kind of requirement that mirrors are actually placed so that they can reflect the track behind the car. Either that, or as Scotty and @aapje suggested above there should be some kind of rear-view camera on the cars, just like the parking camera I have on my cheap road car.
        I’m not over happy with blaming the pit crew for not telling their driver that there was someone on a hot lap behind; I think it’s up to the driver to drive once out on the track, but he needs to have the right tools to recognise and understand what’s happening behind him.

        1. @gnosticbrian and @nickwyatt I can’t believe he’s talking the truth really. It sounds like a seriously bad idea not to be able to see a competitor right behind you. They need to see them coming at them in the slipstream to be able to fend of attacks.

          Besides by the time he headed into the turn he could have seen Sainz “not straight” behind him, but more to the side and reacted then. In reality he didn’t react until Sainz almost hit him while coming back onto the track.

          Vettel was either napping or busy with something else, but either way he was clearly not paying attention at all.

    34. Stop messing your textbook with the championship… This is way too out of scope

    35. Would rather they had not given Vettel a 3 place grid penalty, as it would have been a great to watch battle….however who is Grosjean going to wipe out??

    36. Kimi should win the race tomorrow:)

      1. It’s gonna be a mercedes, roughly equal chances, unless something serious happens.

    37. Penalties are irrespective of team performance, otherwise we would be in the situation where Mercedes and Ferrari were blocking everyone behind them to gain lap position.

    38. YellowSubmarine
      1st July 2018, 1:16

      Good.

    39. There is obvious inention to prevent Ferrari to win anything this year. Starting with constant Mercedes bickering and complaints brought against technical innovation introduced by Scuderria and complaints lodged by Mercedes friendly Teams or drivers.

      We will see soon if new Malaysian Government , owner of PETRONAS- Mercedes sponsor, will allow sponsorship to continue. With corruption charges being prepared against former Prime Minister knows if Petronas sponsorship to Mercedes will continue and results could be on downward trend sooner than lexpected.

      1. You are truly hilarious.

        1. @patrickl Though certainly not less than you…I can find myself doubting if at all more.

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