Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Circuit of the Americas, 2018

Vettel given three-place grid penalty for red flag incident

2018 United States Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel has been given a three-place grid penalty for the United States Grand Prix.

The stewards found he failed to reduce his speed sufficiently when red flags were waved during the first practice session at the Circuit of the Americas.

“Vettel did, in fact, fail to stay above the minimum time set by the FIA ECU in marshalling sectors six and seven,” the stewards ruled.

“As the regulation states, [article] 31.6 was added this year to ensure that drivers reduce speed significantly during a red flag. Breach of this regulation is seen to be an extremely serious matter. To be consistent with previous decisions on similar incidents this year, the stewards assessed the penalty specified above.”

Asked if he felt he had slowed down sufficiently, Vettel said: “Yes.”

“The [stewards] were very specific, saying I took 27.7 seconds to slow down. I saw the red flag, I slowed down, had a look around where the car was potentially stuck in the wall if there was one around turn nine and 10 and then slowed down significantly to comply with the rules. They found it took too long.

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“I think it’s pretty straightforward. I don’t know, on top I think there was an issue with timing with the system, I don’t know. Obviously I was aware, I slowed down, not much more to say.”

Vettel said his penalty was “wrong”, and suggested the target delta time he had to hit was too low because of the wet conditions at the time.

“I slowed down, I had a good look around what’s going around. The rules are clear as well so we know. I think it’s the first time we’ve had this in wet and in wet the target is a lot slower so I literally had to stop to 30kph or 40, 50kph to bring down the delta which probably I should do next time.

“In my opinion it’s not the right thing if there’s a car behind might run into you but it’s more important that you don’t get a penalty.”

Vettel was also give two penalty points which puts him on a total of five. He was one of 14 drivers on the track when the red flag came out.

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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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92 comments on “Vettel given three-place grid penalty for red flag incident”

  1. Good. Rules are rules. You don’t slow down, you get a penalty.

  2. It’s bad for the show. But listening to Sky just now, it isn’t up to Seb to decide if it’s a valid red flag or not.

    1. No, it’s not. It’s up to the crack commentary team on Sky to decide all things valid or invalid – including breakfast fare.

      Hilarious (and sad) to watch their coverage of a non-event. How many insipid things can they say in 90 minutes of a washed-out practice? So many, lost count and switched off.

      1. @jimmi-cynic it’s something that appears frequently during races in those phases when nothing happens… it’s just gibberish, with “odd” opinions and comments to bring attention…

        1. @fer-no65: So much filler on Sky. Disappointed they didn’t pre-record a segment on F1 driver’s fav dancing cats. That would have kept my attention riveted.

          ;-)

      2. Not a problem for me this weekend. Thank you C4.

    2. Screaming commentary of the last couple of hundred yards of the race – to wake us up…? And burbling gibberish when there’s nothing to say… These are ‘professional’ commentators who, sadly have nothing to say other than to tell us what we can already see for ourselves… Not good.
      Why is it so difficult to find replacements for Walker & Hunt – why are newer people not given a chance, instead of being left to comment off-track at a monitor…?

  3. It’s made it a lot more likely that Vettel’s championship campaign finished here.

    1. Sadly, looking back Vettel campaign finished in Germany

      1. Yes, and what’s more annoying is that ferrari 2018 performance wise wasn’t any better than 2017, I was hoping they could bring more of a fight, especially if you remember they changed to a longer wheelbase, which should’ve made them better on power tracks; it probably did but they just lost it since singapore, so at this point you can’t even blame vettel any more, or at least not just him, cause even with alonso on the car, from what I’m seeing in these last races, the title would’ve been impossible as well.

      2. And it was further cemented in Italy(another German driver trait of hitting championship rival) and Singapore(messing up qualifying).

  4. Not the first time he’s failed to slow down sufficiently for a red flag. He also failed to do so in FP3 for the 2015 Canadian GP, and even overtook another driver (Roberto Merhi of Manor) in the process, which rightfully led to a quite a significant grid-drop penalty for him at the time.

    1. @jerejj Are you sure it was the 2015 Canadian GP? If memory serves, he had an issue with his power unit in Q1, and hence started 16th or 18th (can’t remember which), and finished 4th. I’m fairly certain it was at another race, and not this particular one, or at Canada altogether, as he started high up in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017, and received no penalty whatsoever in any of them.

      1. I stand corrected, he was issued a penalty, but due to others not even getting within the 107% rule, he started higher than 22nd.

        1. @mashiat Only one driver (Button) failed to get within the 107% rule, and that was because he couldn’t even take part in the session due to a problem. Vettel, yes, was issued a penalty pre-qualifying for the red-flag incident, but then in Q1, he suffered a problem which limited his running, and thus, meant he only qualified P16 which later became P18 (he just lost two positions on the grid from his provisional slot for some reason.)

  5. Seems the rule needs revising, but unfortunately the precedents have already been set. At the very least it was consistent, but it’s still a shame. I guess Vettel has to bear some responsibility too, considering again that previous precedents had been set, but it sucks nonetheless. I hope Ferrari’s lap times today aren’t indicative of their final pace, & Seb manages to at least qualify close to the front. So far pole seems out of reach though.

    1. The rule is there to protect the lives of stewards going onto the track. It’s too lenient if anything.

      1. You clearly have no idea what you’re talking about.

        1. And you obviously think you know everything mate

        2. @nase So you’d want a stewarding job running onto a track to clear up the mess, told that “It’ll be red flagged but the drivers might or might not slow down, kind of depends what they feel like, okay?”

          1. No, clearly not. Stop beating that poor strawman, he’s defenseless.
            The thing is, what you’re saying and reading into it, has nothing to do with today’s incident.
            What Vettel did was against the letter of the rules, therefore a penalty had to be applied. He did, however, not act against the spirit of the rules by driving fast or dangerously by any measure, and there were no marshalls around.
            Calling the penalty too lenient is wildly inappropriate, plain and simply.

          2. A safety measure can’t have margins for interpretation, that’s the point. It’s not up to Vettel to decide it was OK, nor for the stewards to decide so retrospectively. Given the purpose of the rule, a 3-place penalty is very little. What’s ‘wildly inappropriate’ is complaining about the rule as though it was some kind of injustice or ruining the sport just because Vettel and Ferrari are on the verge of losing the championship (which seems to be some people’s argument). Again he’s the one who’s messed up. And besides, a wet qualification and he’ll be lucky to higher than 5th anyhow on present form. That’s before the penalty.

          3. You’re on auto-pilot, mate. Still arguing against points I explicitly didn’t make, still accusing me of motives I do not have, still trying to ram a point home without taking the actual incident into consideration. Pretty tiresome, not worth my time.
            Anyway, have a nice flight, and don’t forget to de-activate the system before landing.

          4. @nase Are you always like this when you lose an argument? Must be really tiresome as you obviously lose them a lot.

          5. @nase you clearly have no idea what you are talking about… you probably prefer bianci situations to happen? or some stewards being hit/run over for the sake of the show?

      2. Red flags are serious orders to drivers and must not be ignored nor are they open to interpretation by drivers. No ifs, no buts, no leeway. Vettel, Hamilton, Verstappen…. whoever must obey.

        1. I don’t feel too strongly about it one way or the other, tbh. It’s good that they were consistent, & red flags aren’t trivial. I just think maybe the drivers could be allowed a wee bit more reaction time. Of course, all it would take for my opinion to be shot to hell would be one incident involving a driver who didn’t slow down sufficiently, so in the end it’s probably best they err on the side of caution. Still a little disappointed though, as I was for Ocon & Ricciardo when they got caught out. Probably more so for Seb because of the championship implications, but I sense his chances will be over soon regardless.

        2. Couldn’t agree more @david-br

          Nase – it’s good you see the penalty was justified. You say “He did, however, not act against the spirit of the rules by driving fast or dangerously by any measure” but he did. That’s the exact reason why he got the penalty.

          The fact no one was around is irrelevant. If there’s no one crossing at a red light is it ok to go through because no ones around ?

          1. @ Tom

            You say “He did, however, not act against the spirit of the rules by driving fast or dangerously by any measure” but he did.

            He did what exactly?
            – Act against the spirit of the rule? That’s a clear no from me. The spirit of the rule is: “When red flags are shown, stop racing. Don’t put anyone in danger.” And there was nothing dangerous about his driving. He slowed down immediately, just not enough to make the delta time.
            – Drive fast or dangerously? Again, a clear no from me. See above.
            The exact reason why he got the penalty, was his infringement against the letter of the rule. Not that there is anything wrong with that. Rules are rules. However, rules are, by their very essence, arbitrary. Which means that they can always be reconsidered to make sure that they’re a suitable implementation of the spirit of the rule.

            The fact no one was around is irrelevant. If there’s no one crossing at a red light is it ok to go through because no ones around ?

            That’s not what I meant …
            Look, the red light isn’t a great analogy. But if we stick with it, for the sake of an argument, I guess you’d be inclined to agree if I said that there are different degrees of severity when car goes through a red light:
            Scenario A: If a car goes through a red light at 3 a.m., without endangering anyone, and the police catch the driver in the act, he gets a hefty fine, and his driving licence is revoked for a month or so.
            Scenario B: If a car goes through a red light during rush hour, provoking an accident in which someone is badly injured, the driver loses his licence, pays a hefty fine, has to appear in court
            and might end up spending time in prison.

            Yes, going “too fast” under red flags is never okay. But the circumstances do play a role. And failing to slow down enough to stay over the delta time (but not failing to slow down altogether) when there is no one around who could be endangered by that, is clearly Scenario A.

          2. Hi ‘nase’ – all that can be surmised from your bullying conversational approach is that you like to have the last word, and that you will persist until everyone agrees with you…
            A tad immature, if you ask me… which I do realise you are not… as you clearly have no interest in anybody else’s opinion…
            Or so it would seem… ;-)

  6. Damn it.
    Come on Seb – keep the race alive.

    Imagine the howls of indignation if this had happened to Max ;P

    1. @nullapax, oh, we’ve already seen Max’s fans making up conspiracy theories about why the FIA didn’t instantly impose a penalty on Vettel.

      It’s rubbish given that, when the FIA investigated Ocon in the previous race for speeding under a red flag, they spent about three and a half hours reviewing his case before imposing a penalty, a fairly similar amount of time to that taken to decide on Vettel’s case.

      Unless somebody is going to claim that the FIA was somehow “trying to protect Ocon” by delaying a decision on his case, I think that it is clear that Vettel was being treated fairly similarly to any other driver for that same breach of the regulations.

  7. Unfortunately, that’s the correct decision.
    But as the Sky commentators said: This is something the FIA might want to look at for 2019.

    1. nase, Vettel’s penalty is exactly the same as was handed out to other drivers for the same offence, such as that given to Ocon in Japan in the previous race or to that given to Ricciardo during the Australian GP – it is also in line with previous decisions before that, such as Bottas getting the same penalty for overtaking during a red flag period in FP2 for the 2015 Brazilian GP.

      What, therefore, should be looked at? The penalty is consistent with that imposed in the past and was introduced because drivers abused the flag rules before and would drive at high speed during a red flag period even whilst passing track workers. Why should the penalty be made more lenient (which seems to be what you want to see happen judging by your other responses, though have not explained why you think it should be more lenient)?

      1. Did you even read the article? nase is right on in saying this is fair, but they may want to make sure the wet deltas are the safest solution, because, as Vettel opined, there is a danger from going too slow and getting nailed from the rear, given how extremely slow the wet red flag times are. No one said anything about the consistency of penalties, so your response is totally irrelevant!

        1. @chaddy, I don’t buy that argument because any other driver behind Vettel would also be receiving exactly the same red flag warning signal – when the red flag signal is shown, it is applied around the entire track simultaneously.

          That means any drivers who might have been behind Vettel would also be subject to those same delta time restrictions for the corners that they were in and should be slowing down at the same time. The argument that “there is a danger from going too slow” therefore breaks down in that situation, since every single driver on the circuit should be slowing down simultaneously and therefore they shouldn’t be going that much faster than Vettel to begin with.

          1. I do buy the argument, but not in this case – Vettel took over 20 seconds to come down to speed, had he taken two or three, I would argue that the stewards should show some discretion as he has a point.

            either way, I do support a rewriting of the rules to give them a half or full second longer than in dry conditions, assuming that isn’t already in place.

          2. *should = could!!!

          3. +1 @anon A moment of clarity in an internet debate is a rare thing indeed :o)

        2. Thanks @chad. I’m usually a fan of anon’s comments, but this comments section is out of control.

          I’m explicitly saying that the penalty is appropriate, I literally called it the correct decision, not a correct decision. Implying that there simply was no room for any other decision.
          I’m well aware of the precedents, especially Ricciardo’s in Melbourne, and Vettel’s mistake was a carbon copy of that.
          The one aspect in which I agree with Vettel is where he questions the safety of these strict delta times. If we forget these delta times for a second and re-watch the incident, there is absolutely nothing dangerous about Vettel’s behaviour. As soon as the red flag was shown, he immediately went off the throttle and started cruising at a greatly reduced speed. The one thing he didn’t do, was respecting the delta time. But then again, the question is: Are delta times for red flags strictly necessary? I’m inclined to say that there are situations in which they’re absolutely vital. However, I’m not sure about red flags. There is no advantage to be gained by going too fast, so why police the speed of the cars to the last decimal?
          Johnny Herbert argued for ‘common sense’ in such a situation, and frankly, I don’t see F1 becoming a more dangerous place if these delta times are scrapped and drivers can go back to using that common sense by slowing down, not driving erratically, being ready to stop at any given moment, not overtaking other cars. Vettel did all that. He respected the spirit of the rule. However, the letter of the rule forces you to abide by a very strict time limit, which, depending on the section of the track you’re currently in, and the timing of the red flags, may require you to drive erratically by slowing down massively and abruptly. This in itself wouldn’t be too much of a problem if there were a real hazard on the track. Marshalls, a crazy spectator, a wrecked car, large pieces of debris. In those cases, the drivers wouldn’t need a delta time, their spinal marrow would tell them to apply the brakes before the brain even has a chance of processing the information.
          But that’s not what the current rule is achieving. Those delta times mean that the drivers can end up in a situation where they need to apply the emergency brakes on very short notice, but on a portion of the track where there isn’t any danger. Having them brake abruptly without any visual cue is counter-intuitive and may end up creating dangerous situations that could be avoided with a less strict rule.
          Whether that means scrapping the delta times, or relaxing the way they’re enforced (I’m not arguing in favour of anarchy, just suggesting that a failure to respect the delta times needn’t always lead to a sporting penalty if the stewards come to the conclusion that the driver respected the spirit of the rule. In that case, a fine could do the job. After all, that’s the penalty for speeding in the pit lane as well, at least during practice. The spirit of the rule is the very same: Do not drive too fast in the proximity of people!), this is what I mean when I say the FIA may want to consider amending the rule for next season.

          1. @nase Certainly Horner thinks the rule is fine but the penalty should be a fine for the drivers that goes to charity, not a grid drop.

          2. @robbie

            the penalty should be a fine for the drivers that goes to charity, not a grid drop.

            See here:

            I’m […] suggesting that a failure to respect the delta times needn’t always lead to a sporting penalty if the stewards come to the conclusion that the driver respected the spirit of the rule. In that case, a fine could do the job. After all, that’s the penalty for speeding in the pit lane as well, at least during practice.

            In essence, we agree on that point.

          3. “…this comments section is out of control”
            You said it mate… That’s one thing you got right… :-)
            See my post to you above… and this extra literary diarrhoea is just another example of your ‘bully-boy’ tactics to have everyone agree with you.
            You’ve stated your point(s) – some people agree with you, some do not… That’s how it goes. That’s life. Grow up.

          4. @BlackJackFan That comment had me laughing with the irony too. “This comments section is out of control! There are people disagreeing with me!!” We (humanity, well a big enough chunk of the planet’s human population) have had just a decade to learn to use the internet as a medium for interaction. Immediately insulting someone, as nase did twice here, and then going on to make your point now strikes me as kind of outdated behaviour. You can fall into the trap of responding in kind – I’m talking about myself here – or trying to deal with it in another way, as I tried, or simply ignore the comments, as I’ve done here with someone else who’s alias I’ve actually forgotten. The point is that as the internet ‘evolves’ – I mean, we get used to it – hopefully more civil behaviour, the kind we actually practice one-to-one, will become more of a baseline for interactions.

          5. Hi David – thanks for your comments – most welcome… ‘Irony’, where would we be without it…?
            I think your attitude is commendable (no irony or patronising intended) but, as I get older, and the weeds slowly seem to be taking over the garden, one thought keeps entering my mind:
            “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
            There is another:
            “To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.”
            I’m not claiming to be a ‘good’, nor bold, man but one must start somewhere… even on someone else’s web-site…
            Sorry Keith…

  8. Considering how the cars struggle to stay on track in very wet weather, I think the FIA just assume the conditions and impose a time limit they feel it’s safe. If everyone is doing 30 or 40, then there shouldn’t be any risk of someone taking someone out or putting them at risk, right? I mean, drivers have been very vocal about the problems in wet weather conditions… On the other hand, maybe slowing down so fast in some conditions could be a problem… but taking 30 seconds to do so seems a bit too long, doesn’t it?

  9. It’s his M.O. Just pay attention under every VSC, Seb is gaining time on his rivals

    1. And another one has squandered the opportunity to stay a philosopher.

      1. Yup, it must be painful to be a finger boy’s fun nowadays….

        1. Why does this protozoan retort not surprise me at all?
          Not only am I not a fan of Vettel’s, he’s one of the very few drivers I actively dislike. So much for that.
          So, why then has your comment elicited such a negative reaction? Because it’s hair-raising nonsense that makes it painfully obvious you simply do not understand what you’re talking about. That’s why.

          1. This man (or could it b3 a female) knows it all

          2. Protozoan retort???
            Nice!
            And hear I am eating a ham sandwich in my pants.. Cheers life!

          3. And hear I am eating a ham sandwich in my pants

            Tip: take the ham sandwich out of your pants first for better flavour.

  10. Rookie mistake really, a four times world champion must do better IMO.

  11. I’m not a Vettel fan by any means but this seems a bit ridiculous.
    He slowed down but it wasn’t slow enough according to officials? This seems subjective to say the least.
    What a flippin nightmare F1 has become. And they wonder why viewership is down.

    1. Like it or not, it is in no way subjective. The drivers are told exactly how fast they are allowed to drive, and Vettel drove faster than that limit through two sectors.

    2. There is no subjectivity here. His target delta time is objective and he should adhere to it like the other 13 cars on track at the time did. Being a Ferrari driver doesn’t make regulations optional or subjective.

      Another error from Vettel again. Talk about an absolute meltdown of a title challenge. I’m surprised Ferrari want to keep him on the roster for next year.

      1. +1 Precisely right. It is a very clear rule. The video shows that Vettel backed off to a speed that he considered safe, and only considered the delta at the last second when he approached the line.

        Foolishness.

  12. Ferrari is a mess. The team should have told Vet to slow down no matter what immediately. However I believe Vet had a clear sight on the track and slowed down according what he observed. But the rules are there and must be enforced. That doesn’t mean I like it because clearly there is a difference how an experienced driver acts on the track based upon his observations and the clean and simpel fact. Congratulations to Ham by the way.

    1. @pietkoster

      The team should have told Vet to slow down no matter what immediately.

      The delta time target the drivers are shown on their steering wheels comes from the FIA, not their teams. If you look at the transcript of Vettel’s radio messages you’ll see the target time is never mentioned, because it’s shown on his display.

    2. @pietkoster
      Dude.. How can you blame Ferrari for this? Just another classic Vettel error.

      1. It is not just Vettel. Ferrari should be a team. On the track the team must always expect the unexpected. They know what is at stake and now they trow it away.

  13. Not slowing down under a red flag is pretty inexcusable, the session has been stopped for a reason and you have nothing to gain by going fast (especially during practice)

    1. This ^^^. I know these guys are always looking for a hundredth of an advantage, but it’s a Red Flag – no advantage – so even if the speed delta seems stupidly slow, stick to it – you have nothing to lose!

    2. My understanding is a Red Flag means all the cars have to come off the track and return to the pits. Does that mean the cars have to slow down, as under a Yellow Flag, while they drive to the Pit Lane entrance?

      1. 31.6 Should it become necessary to stop any practice session because the circuit is blocked by an
        accident or because weather or other conditions make it dangerous to continue, the clerk of
        the course will order red flags to be shown at all marshal posts and the abort lights to be
        shown at the Line.

        When the signal is given to stop all cars must immediately reduce speed and proceed slowly
        back to the pit lane
        . In order to ensure that drivers reduce speed sufficiently, from the time at
        which the “RED FLAG” message appears on the official messaging system until the time that
        each car crosses the first safety car line when entering the pit lane, drivers must stay above
        the minimum time set by the FIA ECU at least once in each marshalling sector (a marshalling
        sector is defined as the section of track between each of the FIA light panels).

        @drycrust – that’s right, they need to slow down. The rule for slowing down is that same (complicated, IMHO) marshalling sector rule as used for a VSC.

        1. Thank you for showing the exact rule.

  14. “where’s your head at? Where’s your head at, where’s your head at?”

  15. 14 drivers on track. 13 of them slow down as instructed. Driver 14 didn’t though because he thought there might be a driver behind him who hadn’t slowed down as instructed.

  16. You know what? Under race conditions, F1 drivers are far better drivers than anyone like you or I.

    Under safety conditions (yellow/red flags), they are probably worse than a typical motorway driver who drives defensively. F1 drivers can’t switch off their mental “race mode”, and are always looking for that little edge over one another, even under these conditions.

    While that is what makes them fantastic when racing, they do need to rein it in at times like this.

    I was hoping for a good weekend for Vettel, but this is plain stupid on his part. And his excuses are worse – he is not the safety car driver to assess which is the point at which he needs to be slow or can speed up. See yellow/red flags? Knock your speed off.

    I’m glad the stewards didn’t get swayed by “the show” or worried about “influencing the championship”.

    1. Also, none of the 12 others cars were rear-ended by anyone else, so Vettel’s excuse rings hollow.

    2. A few (quite a few actually) years ago, the Red Flag was an indication that the track was blocked and that everyone, and that meant EVERYONE was required to pull over and stop. Immediately no matter where you were.
      In the modern era, seems that it is used to stop proceedings when there is an incident that requires people or equipment in a hazardous location. In a race situation it would likely be a double or waved Yellow. For F1 practice sessions it seems to be used any time they decide to close the track to provide the same, people and equipment access.
      Allowing the drivers to return to the pits is a concession for the cars not being self starting and for the practical reason that they need to get back and they require special handling.
      Yes the drivers can return to the pits. They must do it safely (read as slowly) and as the stewards seem to have effectively stated, it isn’t up to the driver to say what is safe or where the incident is. Since he likely doesn’t know what is around the next corner, he can’t claim there was no hazard as he didn’t know if there was … or not.
      Unfortunate circumstance and disappointing result. He should have known better and yes, his team should have been on the radio to talk him through it. We know what Kimi would have said.

      1. @rekibsn – very good points, especially about being allowed to return being a concession to the complexity of the cars.

      2. Hi NS Biker – good comment… My memory is also long (and old) but I seem to recollect that red flags indicated all racing should cease immediately, drivers should be prepared to stop, if the track is blocked, but should otherwise return slowly to the pits. I certainly cannot recall the exact Rule but I have no memory of an entire field being abandoned on track. I do, however, recall often seeing cars being push-started (or running down hill) so did they all have starters…?
        Interesting, though… and good for pushing the grey cells.

  17. Everything else aside, that was not the way a guy who is trying to win a championship drives.

  18. His defence that he “had a look around” is pretty dumb to be honest. There might have been more than one car involved, he was not to know.

  19. Don’t know if anyone has noticed that Lewis always lose time to others during safety interventions. Somehow he goes even slower than is required and then say, “how did I lose time to X?” He’s super respectful and cautious under those conditions or maybe other drivers are abusing those conditions.

  20. And the 2018 title is LH44 to loose. No matter what Vetted thought by not slowing down sufficiently, it’s rather stupid of him as all other drivers slowed down. So what was different with him or does he get the instructions to slow down from somewhere else other than the FIA?

  21. I saw the onboard, he drove slowly after the red flag.

    But probably not slow enough for our micromanaging stewards

    1. He didn’t keep to the prescribed delta in two marshalling sectors.
      Other drivers with lesser experience somehow managed to achieve the same.

      1. I understand what happened

        I just think this has gone too far if you get a penalty for driving 120 with a F1 car

        1. Km that is

  22. That’s right Seb it’s all about the delta time. If you have to slow to a crawl, you’ll just have to accept that whilst it’s more dangerous, you won’t get a penalty. Don’t look for parked cars or danger, just watch your dash and make you you don’t get a penalty.

  23. For those suggesting that Vettel was moving slowly but not slow enough and that makes the penalty too harsh, would they also say that a driver doing the same thing in a race where there is a virtual safety car might also go faster because he could see no danger ahead and so he should not be penalised?

    The risk or reality of mashed Marshalls on the track as a consequence of one or several drivers doing this is just a price worth paying for “the show” and the conceit of one driver?

    1. During a VSC cars stay on track and the gaps need to be managed for a fair race.

      During a red flag all go into the pits.

      These situations are not the same at all.

      1. @anunaki You are right, they are not the same at all. Under a VSC, you’re trying to keep close to the delta. In a red flag situation, there’s no reason to try and keep your speed up… However, Vettel did. Again.

  24. It is a bad rule and the penalty is too hard. Vettel drove safely, reduced his speed. It is time to change this rule.

    1. Nope he drove faster than he was allowed to and since all cars are driving at same speed as prescribed by stewards there is no danger of being rearsided. Its just this petulant idiot not following rules and then whining when hit by a penalty.

  25. For him to say slowing down even more could result in someone crashing into him..

    Well no. Because they would/should have slowed down too sooooo…

    1. That’s not completely correct. He didn’t immediately slow down enough so I order to make his sector delta he needed to slow down extra

  26. Why don’t they have a remotely- activated engine mode that cuts power to a safe minimum within a few seconds when a flag warning is sent to the cars. Failing that I propose a “yellow card, red card” system for infringements. Anything really serious is immediate driver DQ and the reserve driver takes the car from the back of the grid. Maybe they’ll behave then. I do also think they should be allowed to race hard but fair.

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