Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2019

Vettel given two penalty points for forcing Hamilton to take “evasive action”

2019 Canadian Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel has been given two points on his licence for the incident with Lewis Hamilton which cost him victory in the Canadian Grand Prix.

The Ferrari driver was given a five-second time penalty for forcing Hamilton to take evasive action when he drove onto the racing line immediately after coming off the track at turn three.

The stewards ruled “car five [Vettel] left the track at turn three, rejoined the track at turn four in an unsafe manner and forced car 44 off track.

“Car 44 had to take evasive action to avoid a collision,” the added.

Vettel has now collected seven penalty points for the current 12-month period.

Vettel’s post-race team radio

Vettel defended his driving as he returned to the pits after the end of the race:

To Vettel: OK and mode slow.
Vettel: No, no, no, guys. No, no, no. Not like that. Not like that. No, no, no. Seriously, you have to be an absolutely blind man to think that you can go through the grass and then control your car. I was lucky that I did not hit the wall. Where the hell I am supposed to go? This is a wrong world, tell you, this is not fair. Great crowd, great race, grazie ragazzi.
To Vettel: OK Seb I think you win the race on track, that’s more important. Grazie mille. We appreciate your efforts. Keep your head down.
Vettel: I’m not staying calm. This is not fair. It’s just not fair.
To Vettel: And cool the brakes, please.
Vettel: I am cooling the brakes.
Vettel: I’m angry. And I think you know why. And I have a right to be angry. I don’t care what people say.
To Vettel: And into the pit lane.
Vettel: Copy that.

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Keith Collantine
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80 comments on “Vettel given two penalty points for forcing Hamilton to take “evasive action””

  1. Cool.. and from next race Ferrari will run with Rain tyres because with them you have control of the car after you pass from grass cause they are radials

    1. VET was forced into a mistake and cut the corner, didn’t slow down but drove across the racing line into HAM’s path, not only keeping his position but forcing HAM to brake to avoid the collision. The 5 seconds penalty may have been too lenient.

      1. How are you meant to slow down on the grass? He’s lucky he didn’t hit the wall there. He also had some oversteer coming back onto the track so there’s no way he can avoid cutting across.

      2. @greenflag Yeah because slowing down on grass works real well.

        1. Stewart Moir
          10th June 2019, 5:34

          You actually speed up on grass. Less friction

          1. Um … No a car doesn’t speed up on grass unless the driver is adding energy by pressing the gas. Grass does have less friction than asphalt, but it doesn’t magically add speed to the car. If braking, the car will DECELERATE at a slower rate on grass than asphalt due to the lower coefficient of friction. When a braking car transitions from asphalt to grass the rate of deceleration decreases, giving the illusion of speeding up, but it is only an illusion.

          2. I think that only works when it’s under a sheet of ice. I’ll have to check next Winter.

        2. That’s irrelevant. Just because he can’t slow down doesn’t mean he avoids the penalty. He made the mistake of cutting the corner, he pays the price.

    2. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
      10th June 2019, 13:44

      Vettel’s defence was that he didn’t have anywhere else to go, intimating that he knew he was going to hinder Hamilton. He broke a rule. He drove onto the racing line after leaving the track and did not leave a cars width. This is a slam dunk penalty.

      The rule does not take into account mitigating circumstances and it does not take into account whether it is deliberate or not, it is a penalty regardless of intent.

  2. Next, trial by heavy stones. LOL

    This was not really fair for him. But the worst part for Ferrari is that it was normal service: Mercedes had blazing race pace, Ferrari drivers made consequential errors. This was pretty much as good as it’s going to get. This was a track like Bahrain suited to the car but they were just in a knife fight to win it and could not quite hold on.

  3. Vettel has only himself to blaim. Once again we see when placed under preassure he folds. In this case only good luck prevented a very serious accident. Vettel is arguing he had no control of the car, when that’s his job as a driver.

    Either way the error he made should benifit the driver who forced that error, that’s also part of racing. On any other track Hamilton’s momentum would have seen him take the lead.

    Unsafe entry after coming off the track shouldn’t be something you dismiss as just one of those things.

    1. I’m sympathetic to vettel. But if they had crashed (which is what I initially thought happened the way they cut the camera) vettel would have been accountable. Hamilton saved him really by not being 2012 Hamilton and backing out.

      1. Yep, have to agree with both of you; @dmw your above post as well, it does feel like this is how it is this year, Mercedes is strong, and to keep up, Vettel and Ferrari have to pull out all stops, and that leads to mistakes, and Bottas seemingly too, seeing how he ended 4th, dropped to 29 points behind in the WDC (WCC is almost five race wins/two 1-2, and a 1-3 ahead for Mercedes, barring some FLAP points).

    2. But it wasn’t his fault, the way he returned to the track! He didn’t have the car under control, so how can they say it was unsafe?! <– Basically the commentary during the race and the discussion after…

      1. SV should have given up the place

        Agreed i think he couldn’t do much but his entry was unsafe and he gained an advantage from it.

        He gives up the place then its race on and i doubt the Stewards would have done anything.

        5 sec penalty just ruined the whole race

      2. @[TR] He should’ve/could’ve kept as left as possible when rejoining the track, i.e., rejoined from the edge of the tyre barrier/trackside wall instead of jumping across the track straight onto the racing line.

        1. I suggest you try it in a simulator on that narrow track before assuming what he should’ve/could’ve done. The car was over steering at the same time he was turning the wheel right. By the time he had the wheel back left he was already in the racing line.

    3. He lost downforce due to the backmarkers dirty air. It wasn’t for lack of skill that he lost grip.

    4. Yeah, but Hamilton cracks under pressure too. How many times did he lockup his tyres? 4? 5?

  4. criminal, this sebastian fella. in true f1 style we rob and then give you a beating so you don’t speak, it is ironically very italian mob style.

    1. and i think he got called to the weight bridge, a then fled the podium, unwise man… dont break more rules

  5. davey (@djdaveyp87)
    9th June 2019, 21:16

    Nobody here, or on TV has seen the telemetry that the stewards have seen. Heavy analysis or not, the stewards must have seen something to force them to penalise him.

    My OPINION is that he once he knew he was going to miss the corner, his mindset was on rejoining the track as quickly as possible with no thought to safety. He skitted across the grass without trying to slow down.

    1. @djdaveyp87 If he knew he was going to lose the car he wouldn’t have lost the car… The stewards saw that trophies are silver.

      1. @peartree your thinking seems flawed and reading it seems too… try again.

        1. @ivan-vinitskyy I got the trophy part wrong, it was a red and yellow maple leaf, how fitting. don’t listen to me, my predictions championship is going great I’m happy.

          1. Yeah, noticed that are you still in 2nd after today?

    2. Matteo (@m-bagattini)
      10th June 2019, 9:05

      @djdaveyp87 F1 is becoming so safe that the one day the cars will stay in the garages and no one will be hurt

    3. @djdaveyp87 I couldn’t agree more. He should’ve/could’ve kept as left as possible when rejoining the track, i.e., rejoined from the far-edge of the tyre barrier/trackside wall instead of jumping across the track straight onto the racing line.

  6. That Mg11 guy Vettel was very superiour today lol…

    Another mistake under pressure time and time again. He should of been there behind Leclerc in Bahrain when he had an issue. Vettel should be on 2 wins by now. Ferrari have not been bad atall in Bahrain Baku and Canada 3 races they were as quick, Bahrain they were way ahead.

  7. None of us are racing drivers, or at least not of F1 calibre but it sure looked to me like Vettel was racing even when he was on the grass. He pointed his car to the right to get on track as quickly as possible, knowing very well that at that angle he’s be thrown to the right, on the racing line but went anyway. Think both points and penalty were fair.
    1. He failed to lose a position, by illegally blocking.
    2. He made it dangerous

    1. @ivan-vinitskyy
      Kinda like this?

      Yes, deservedly both were equally penalized. Oh, wait….

  8. Victor (@victorandrei1999)
    9th June 2019, 21:18

    They should have simply disqualified him. Next time when a crash happens, they should ban for a race all the drivers!!!

  9. Sonny Crockett
    9th June 2019, 21:23


    1. Agree. Should be 2 more points for messing with the cones.

      1. @david-br

        2 more points for the cones? That’s nuts. Should be a 2-race ban

        1. Really rubbing it in with all the “2s” :D

  10. I am wondering if Hamilton did this mistake, he would have said: “ I should not have made that mistake”.

    1. Hamilton made several errors, mostly in the hairpin. But he did not obstructed other drivers doing that.
      Vettel really had nowhere to go and did not had any other options.
      A wonder he kept the car out of the wall.

      1. Vettel really had nowhere to go and did not had any other options.

        Lift. Brake. Steer left. Not difficult.

        1. Clearly someone who’s never driven a performance car at the limit on a track. You don’t brake in the grass. Once you’re off, you don’t add any heavy inputs to the car – gas, brake, steering. You let it calm and then once under control you keep going. Any other maneuvers would have resulted in both cars in the wall.

          Oddly I’d actually be OK with cutting the line penalty but unsafe rejoining the track is just ludicrous.

        2. Matteo (@m-bagattini)
          10th June 2019, 9:07

          @david-br you forgot “look left, look right and adjust your mirrors while you’re at it”

      2. “Vettel really had nowhere to go” because he told you that? I bet if it was faster to go to the left of the track he’d have found a way.

  11. Panagiotis Papatheodorou (@panagiotism-papatheodorou)
    9th June 2019, 21:25

    What a joke. Max said it last year and he was right. They are killing racing.

    1. F1oSaurus (@)
      9th June 2019, 22:05

      @panagiotism-papatheodorou Vettel sure is yes. How hard can it be to keep his car on track for once? Every time he is in a fight for position he spins or crashes.

  12. Well, respect to Seb for admitting it was his own mistake at the first place and for asking people to stop booing Lewis.

    About the decision – everyone who has driven anything with the wheels, be it a car or a bicycle, knows that when you lose control and bouncing on the dirt and grass – it is not you who in control any more, it’s that rocket science thing called inertia, who will take you on the straight path from this grass to the wall – of course across the racing line. I think they study it in middle school, of cource FIA stewards do not requred to have such major scientific degree. Actual racing drivers like Karun and Jenson also was speaking this, but who they are…

    1. “of course”. Maybe we should include in 2021 regulations the Edit button here, but I’m afraid it will be postponed again.

    2. He said don’t boo Lewis, boo the decision. And he didn’t admit his mistake.
      As for physics, there is grip on the grass…. just look at most drivers, they still steer. Yes there’s little of it, but it’s there.
      You have no idea yourself how much control he had, when he regained it, you haven’t seen the data. I’d rather trust those who have it than you.

  13. I believe the telemetry holds the answer here. If Vettel accelerated as soon as the rear wheels touched the track, then I believe he’s guilty. If not, he absolutely didn’t deserve that penalty!

    1. I was thinking exactly the same thing @carbon_fibre I’d love to see the throttle trace on Vettel’s car, I can only assume that is the reason for the penalty

      1. @carbon_fibre @3dom Yeah I was going to post a near identical comment.

        The way Seb applies the opposite lock the moment he re-enters the track suggests he was still applying some degree of throttle at this point, in which case I dont buy the “he had no other choice”/”he had nowhere else to go argument.

        If Seb keeps his foot away from the throttle until he has all 4 wheels on the track he will be able to stay further to the left and leave more room for Lewis. But of course doing that would have essentially guaranteed Lewis the overtake on track.

        1. Mark in Florida
          10th June 2019, 1:23

          @ninjenius You realise that had Seb slammed the brakes on in the grass that the result would have been a violent crash into the wall? Inertia would have caused the rear to overtake the front causing a wreck that would have probably taken Hamilton out. Martin Brundle even mentioned this in the broadcast. When you are plowing through grass you are pretty much a passenger. Your goal is to try and keep it straight until you can get it under control. This decision was robbery writ large. I’m not even a fan of Sebs but this was too much for me. They are killing good racing in F1 with these stupid decisions.

    2. Alex McFarlane
      9th June 2019, 21:44

      He had a second snap oversteer while rejoining the track, which would seem to suggest he put the power down a fraction too early.

      Fine margins, and a harsh penalty perhaps, but it was his mistake that put him on the grass. A shame for him as Lewis made more mistakes locking up at the hairpin, but Vettel makes the crucial one ending in a penalty.

  14. Only two years ago:
    No penalty was given.

    1. @me4me maybe you’re blind but Ham then didn’t rejoin dangerously. He may have pushed Ric into the wall, but today’s penalty is about re-joining the track.

    2. F1oSaurus (@)
      9th June 2019, 22:06

      That’s a completely different situation. Hamilton comes back safely in front of Ricciardo. Ricciardo then tries a pass and Hamilton takes the racing line.

      How about this for a proper example of unsafe rejoining:

      Verstappen unsafely rejoining track. Going all the way across (instead of staying on the safe side) with Raikkonen next to him. 5 second penalty plus point

      1. Verstappen intentionally steers right to block Kimi, Seb steers right to control a oversteer , but for you is the same thing . Wise man ;)
        You probably thing that Seb should have brake on the grass and at the same time mantain the control of the car …

  15. It was a thrilling race. Then the stewards decided to take action and didn’t let us see an epic last laps… That is not what fans was to see… so disappointing… Just let us see racing!

    1. +1
      Whatever the decision was gonna be, announcing it when they did ruined the end of the race (aka Ruined the Show!), because from that point, Lewis was never gonna remotely attempt to overtake. Therefore race over. They may as well have “accidentally” waved the checkered flag early again! :p

      1. “because from that point, Lewis was never gonna remotely attempt to overtake”

        Were you watching the race??
        Hamilton was trying hard and was within DRS over the closing laps but couldn’t quite pull it off.
        It was in Hamilton’s best interest to get by Vettel after the “incident” which would have made the penalty a non factor.

  16. Why don’t they bend him over a desk and administer six of the best, put him in stocks and pelt him with rotten fruit… Pathetic, it was a racing incident, stuff happens when two multi world champions are really going at it.

    1. Panagiotis Papatheodorou (@panagiotism-papatheodorou)
      9th June 2019, 21:34

      Don’t give them any ideas.

    2. Agreed, at last we have a real fight, but steward ing ruined it.

  17. Ferrari should leave “THIS” F1 … this situation makes no sense ..

  18. Is it Christmas already?

  19. I think he shouldn’t have been given penalty.

    But…Seb did make a mistake under pressure once again and he could have easily spun there or hit Lewis. He was both lucky and unlucky with that incident.

  20. Vettel made an error but that should have nothing to do with the penalty decision.
    Brundle and Jensen claimed he was on a grassy slope with and Vettel had no choice to re-enter the track any other way than he did.
    First F1 race I have seen this year and it was good up until the stewards cocked it up.
    Perhaps F1 should be more selective with stewards – only former F1 drivers or whatever.

    1. “Perhaps F1 should be more selective with stewards – only former F1 drivers or whatever.”

      ………… or maybe only stewards that make the kind of decisions you agree with?

      1. @stubbornswiss

        How about unbiased ones? I remember the Sky pre-race program from Japan 2016 and how one former driver who just happened to be a race steward for the event shared that they had a very clear preference for who the winner would be.

    2. F1oSaurus (@)
      9th June 2019, 22:08

      It was pretty clear from the footage that Vettel applied too much throttle coming back onto the track. The stewards would take that into account.

      1. @f1osaurus Yes, exactly. I just went off to look at it again, Vettel loses control on the stripes on the first corner of the chicane, which steers him into the grass. At that point he hasn’t actually that much speed, meaning he could have slowed and steered left, but (presumably) accelerated and veered right, cutting off Hamilton. He might not have seen him, but he knew Hamilton was close. So that extra throttle when he was on the grass looks like the decider.

      2. Talk about splitting hairs – it was racing!!

  21. If the time penalty wasn’t stupid enough…… here come the penalty points

    Really what are we watching nowadays

  22. David (@davidjwest)
    9th June 2019, 23:53

    Belgium 2008. The FIA are consistently dumb.

  23. roberto giacometti
    10th June 2019, 1:17

    Seriously , are they driving kiddy carts or something. This is Formula 1 (well supposed to be anyway). These guys are supposed to be the 20 hotshot drivers on the planet. They spend their time duelling at 300kmh and then sit there complaining about being “unsafe”. Surely Hamilton could figure out that , as the track was lined with walls on each side, there was only 1 direction Vettel was going to be heading in – forwards , not backwards – d’uh !!! They have the talent, balls and reactionary skills to handle these things (or so I thought). Just let them race for crying out loud. What next, 5 second time penalty for farting in the cockpit ???

  24. So when is Hamilton going to give up his previous wins/podiums gained by cutting corners or forcing drivers off track?

  25. Ferrari were happy enough to see Max Verstappen penalised for dangerously rejoining the track in last year’s Japanese Grand Prix.

  26. I wish we had the telemetry to see if he was hitting the gas as soon as he got on the track which when the back tires came back on causing him to drift far right onto the racing line. I suspect he wasn’t trying to “slow down” enough and that’s what the stewards can see and make their decision on. If I was him that’s what I would do knowing how Hamilton was breathing down his neck. Loss of control and intent is no is not a valid enough reason to not follow rules, consequences are still applicable. It’s these rules that have helped to reduce the deaths in a sport with severe consequences at times. I did appreciate his support for Hamilton after all the “booing” but we’ve seen him on track under safety car conditions playing “bumper cars” so his past behavior also comes into effect.

  27. Duncan Snowden
    10th June 2019, 18:29

    Although I think the 5-second penalty was absolutely ridiculous, this doesn’t bother me so much.

    The problem isn’t that Seb was penalized; it’s that the penalty ruined the race. In my opinion, in-race penalties should, in most situations, be imposed only to nullify any advantage gained. Seb, whatever he did, didn’t gain five seconds; he maintained a race position he’d otherwise have lost. If it were up to me, he would have been ordered to concede the position within two laps, and they could have continued racing to the flag. Maybe he’d have been able to regain the position and win, maybe he wouldn’t. But we’d have had a proper race. It’s absolutely absurd that towards the end there was a distinct possibility of him even ending up third behind Leclerc (not least because we know Ferrari wouldn’t have allowed that to happen on track).

    Now yes, it could also be argued that he put Lewis in danger. But – except in the most egregious cases, such as clearly deliberate and/or repeated endangerment of other drivers; in which case, a five-second penalty isn’t enough – questions of driving quality, i.e., whether it was unsafe, should be left till after the race and penalised like this, with licence points.

  28. Wonder where were these stewards when HAM forced RAI into taking evasive action in the 2018 Austrian GP. And RAI was even slightly ahead of HAM!

  29. Good lord. I hope they remembered to kick him in the crotch too!

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