Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin, Silverstone, 2021

Vettel, Sainz and Mazepin given formal warnings over practice starts

2021 British Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel, Carlos Sainz Jnr and Nikita Mazepin have been given formal warnings for performing practice starts in an unapproved fashion.

The trio were found to have violated the race director’s notes which required practice starts to be performed “as far forward on the grid as possible” and not while other drivers ahead were waiting to perform their starts.

The stewards noted the three drivers “did not conduct a practice start in the manner specified by the race director’s notes.” Although they were given warnings, the stewards added “future such infringements will likely result in a more severe penalty.”

Sainz was also cleared following another investigation into how he rejoined the track after he was hit by George Russell at the start of the race. Pierre Gasly took evasive action as Sainz rejoined ahead of him.

Despite the near-miss between the pair, the stewards were not convinced Sainz had done anything wrong.

“After being contacted by car 63 [Russell], car 55 [Sainz] left the track at turn six and crossed the asphalt run-off area onto the grass,” they explained. “From there, car 55 crossed the grass at speed and eventually regained the track in turn seven as a group of cars went through the turn.

“Car 10 [Gasly] took evasive action and narrowly avoided colliding with car 55 as it came back onto the track.”

Sainz told the stewards he tried to avoid creating a dangerous situation as he rejoined.

“The driver of car 55 described the actions he took to reduce the speed of the car in order to safely rejoin and mitigate what was a potentially dangerous situation. The stewards examined the video and the telemetry data and found no conclusive evidence that the driver of car 55 did not take sufficient action to avoid the situation.”

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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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10 comments on “Vettel, Sainz and Mazepin given formal warnings over practice starts”

  1. RandomMallard (@)
    17th July 2021, 21:37

    Before someone starts going off about this versus Hamilton in Russia last season, there are completely separate practice start procedures involved here. There isn’t enough space in the pitlane at Silverstone for a pit lane based practice start box, so the grid is used instead. In Russia, the practice start box was in the pitlane and as a result a pretty different procedure is outlined in the Race Director’s Notes. What is also interesting is that the stewards mention the ‘intent of those notes’ which suggests that there may have just been a misunderstanding or miscommunication somewhere. I haven’t seen the footage so I don’t know exactly what happened, but it seems to be quite an unusual incident (not many circuits require practice starts on the grid).

  2. I felt Perez rejoined the track in an unsafe fashion but since he’s starting last I guess it doesn’t matter.

    1. Yeah agreed, I was shouting no no no no watching him rejoin the way he did. Could have been a horrifying accident.

      1. A bit safer than Kimi did at the same spot, but worse than Vettel did in Canada.

    2. @jimfromus Same. Not far away from hitting one car.

      1. @juan-fanger Kimi’s incident occurred on the Wellington straight, but otherwise, I agree with you.

  3. Drivers every time they do, practice starts on starting grids, go against the note about pulling as further forward as possible, so weird that only now and only three get a warning.

  4. No better than the Hamilton practice start penalty last year, and the track rejoin (Perez too) was no better than Vettel in Canada.

    Very inconsistent, but I sense there is a push for more consistency now, so let’s see going forward

    1. @balue Apples to oranges because practice start requirements are different for Sochi Autodrom and Silverstone.

  5. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
    18th July 2021, 14:09

    Regardless of what the safety angle is drivers have conducted a practice start in the wrong place and deserve a penalty.

Comments are closed.