Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Paul Ricard, 2019

Ferrari hopes to “bring information the stewards didn’t have” at Vettel penalty review

2019 Canadian Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel says Ferrari hope to present new information regarding the Canadian Grand Prix incident between him and Lewis Hamilton when the matter is reviewed tomorrow.

The team will be represented at tomorrow’s hearing by sporting director Laurent Mekies, who joined them from the FIA last year. Vettel said Ferrari has requested the review “to open the case again and have another look”.

“We can bring some information that maybe the stewards didn’t have at the time and we’ll see,” Vettel added. Asked what new evidence Ferrari might be able to present he said: “Ask the team.”

Vettel was given a five-second time penalty after he was found to have rejoined the track unsafely when he went off at turn three on lap 48, having braked later for the corner than he had on previous laps. Prior to the incident he had been told on the radio: “the numbers on the steering wheel are correct, take actions”. He confirmed he was having to save fuel around the time he went off.

“Some laps I was saving fuel, some laps I wasn’t because obviously I had to adjust the gap that I had,” Vettel explained. “I don’t remember, we did so many laps, I don’t remember the lap before and the lap before.

“But certainly I had to react on the gap that I had so when Lewis was close I didn’t fuel save, when he was a bit further away I had a tiny little push and was trying to harvest and save as much as I can. I pretty much had to freestyle in terms of fuel saving to make sure I finished the race with some fuel left.”

“Maybe the lap before I was lifting off because he wasn’t as close,” he added. “I didn’t try to reinvent turn three after 50 laps.”

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20 comments on “Ferrari hopes to “bring information the stewards didn’t have” at Vettel penalty review”

  1. “We think that you should consider that Seb’s going bald. He’s quite open about this and not at all embarrassed, whereas Lewis, well nobody knows what goes on with Lewis’s hair, so the penalty was obviously unfair.”

    1. Garbage comment

      1. Well it is certainly a strange comment and totally irrelevant.

    2. @inkpen99 quality r/formuladank material

  2. We are bringing someone who worked in the FIA last year as we are hoping the old boys network is still alive and kicking?

  3. hopes to “bring information the stewards didn’t have”. And I hope Vettel explains why he drove behind the kerb, missing the apex. The rejoining is questionable, but shortening the track seems like an easy call.

  4. So the information (excuse) is about why he went off the track? That seems to be what the comments about lifting and fuel saving imply. If so, can’t see why that’s at all relevant.

    1. It isn’t relevant

  5. So that’ll be the same Mekies who was Deputy Race Director under Charlie; and would be doing Charlie’s job now if he hadn’t jumped ship to go to Ferrari. Whats that smell?

  6. Sebastian Vettel says Ferrari hope to present new information regarding the Canadian Grand Prix incident between him and Lewis Hamilton when the matter is reviewed tomorrow.

    Forgive me, but don’t the team have to bring new information if they are to have a hope of getting anything out of this process? My understanding is that if Ferrari just present information the stewards already had the stewards should send them packing.

    1. @geemac, there has been a suggestion that Ferrari intend to present a statement from Vettel which is combined with a comparison of GPS and telemetry traces.

      It appears that Ferrari are trying to argue that, at the point where Vettel was in the process of rejoining the track and at which Hamilton was rounding that corner, Vettel was sufficiently far over to the left hand side of the track, compared to where he normally would have been, and that Hamilton was sufficiently far back enough that, at the point where Vettel rejoined the track, he technically didn’t impede Hamilton.

      However, as far as I am aware, that GPS data should already have been available to the stewards – it is, after all, one way that they help identify whether somebody has stopped on track or not – so I am not sure whether that really adds anything new to the debate, other than simply the way in which it might have been combined with other bits of data.

      1. SV can verbally guide them through the video and GPS frame by frame if necessary, and tell them what he was feeling in his butt and when he had to crank the wheel to retain stability while getting back on the power ahead of LH. He can convey the ‘data’ that they cannot have had at the time of their ruling, that being his actual experience as it relates to what the stewards can only relate to, that being raw data, and only surmise from their chairs beyond that.

        1. @robbie, in theory he could, but it doesn’t sound as if he is actually going to do that – it sounds more like it will just be a written statement submitted by Vettel to the stewards, leaving Mekies to put forward his arguments instead.

          It is being suggested that it is coming down to Ferrari trying to argue that there were two separate actions – the act of Vettel rejoining the track, and then the subsequent move in Hamilton’s direction – rather than that sequence of events being one continuous sequence. That defence then relies on Ferrari arguing that Vettel’s second move in Hamilton’s direction doesn’t then fall foul of the rules on how much room a driver is meant to give to an attacking driver.

          If, as has been suggested, that is the potential counter argument Ferrari might be trying to put forth, I can see that being difficult given it then relies on Ferrari arguing that it was two separate acts, rather than one interconnected set of events. It depends quite heavily on a precise definition of when exactly Vettel has regained full control of the car, that they can split the whole incident into two separate actions and that the subsequent actions Hamilton took to avoid a collision weren’t as a direct consequence of unsafe or erratic driving on Vettel’s part.

          If that is the case, I suspect that defence will fail as the stewards are likely to take the attitude that the second incident – the move in Hamilton’s direction – wasn’t a separate incident, but part of the same original event (that of leaving and rejoining the track).

  7. I am a little worried that once again Ferrari are trying win by politics and pressure again.

    If they get anywhere with this review I shall know we are back in the bad old days of Ferrari International Assistance and whatever the FIA or Liberty says they have surrendered to the pressure.

    Give them more money, leave them with a veto, ensure stewarding decisions are in their favour. The powers that be haven’t exactly been tough or egalitarian with Ferrari recently.

    I hope not, but the politics of F1 are worse than Brexit.

  8. “We can bring some information that maybe the stewards didn’t have at the time and we’ll see,” Vettel added. Asked what new evidence Ferrari might be able to present he said: “Ask the team.”

    This is just nonsense. Ferrari need to reign in their petulant driver.

  9. A week after the race and finally there is some light being shed on that message “the numbers on the steering wheel are correct, take actions”.

    Up to this point the race was going in Vettel’s favour. Lewis was a fair distant behind. After that message Vettel appear to cuts his pace, so that Lewis was on his tail. Then we had that ‘apparent’ mistake.

    Lewis was still some distance behind Vettle, but had he been another yard closer going into that corner, he might have found himself with no way to avoid Vettel’s dash across that corner.

    If Lewis had ended up running into Vettel he would surely have come off the worst, with close to a full lap to limp back to the pits.

    Its interesting that after that near miss, the pace picks up and Vettel once again has a sizeable gap to Lewis. All of which would have been very intriguing to the stewards, if not the general public.

    I’m not sure theres much the Ferrari camp can say explain to lead to this incident, let alone that dramatic change in pace afterwards. Still i’d like to be a fly on the wall when they try.

  10. I think Ferrari – and others are forgetting that the penalty was for rejoining the track unsafely, not for rejoining the track unsafely when there was a way to avoid it. It doesn’t matter if he did all he could to avoid impeding Hamilton – he was put in that situation by his own mistake, not be a mechanical failure or being forced off the track by another driver.

    The very foundation of racing is the careful balance between going fast enough to beat your rival, but not so fast you go off the track. Vettel got the call wrong on the particular corner, and – due to the nature of the corner – the 5s penalty is the consequence.

    1. Forgot to add: as a result of this, the only evidence that should make any difference is that is WAS a safe rejoin. Simply saying Vettel did all he could shouldn’t be enough.

  11. G (@unklegsif)
    21st June 2019, 6:33

    This is all so boring now

  12. this is getting so tedious , so Ferrari think they deserve the win, if the penalty is revoked surely then Mercedes need to be involved as could Lewis have won otherwise …who knows
    I’m bored of it being poured over by commentators on tv its already taking time away from the French GP, is this really where F1 wants itself to go

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