Nikita Mazepin, Haas, Zandvoort, 2021

No penalty for Haas drivers as stewards rule they did not ‘unnecessarily impede’ Vettel

2021 Dutch Grand Prix

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Haas drivers Nikita Mazepin and Mick Schumacher has avoided a penalty for holding up Sebastian Vettel during qualifying for the Dutch Grand Prix.

The stewards ruled Vettel was held up, but noted several other cars were in the vicinity at the time.

Vettel had to back off from his lap when he caught Mazepin on the racing line at turn 13. Mazepin was engaged in trying to overtake his team mate Scuhmacher, who had overtaken him as their pair left the pits.

After speaking to all three drivers and examining timing data and video, the stewards decided to take no action against the Haas pair.

“There is no doubt that the lap of car five [Vettel] was compromised,” the stewards acknowledged, “however we note in particular the comment of the driver of car five that ‘there were too many cars in the one place’.

“There were at least six cars in line, preparing for a fast lap, and all of these were travelling at slow speed (some at less than 50 kph) whereas car five was approaching at up to 240 kph.”

Article 31.5 of the sporting regulations states drivers will be reported to the stewards if they “unnecessarily impede another driver”.

The stewards ruled that “although car five was impeded, in the circumstances this was not ‘unnecessary impeding’. The drivers and team representatives present, agreed.”

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Keith Collantine
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43 comments on “No penalty for Haas drivers as stewards rule they did not ‘unnecessarily impede’ Vettel”

  1. Don’t really understand this ruling given Vettel quite literally had to brake to not hit Mazepin. I’d say he was 100% impeded unnecessarily and cost him a shot at Q2. Not that there’s much point in penalising someone who’s already last anyway.

    1. As noted in the article, they ruled that Vettel was impeded but noted that there was a lot of traffic at the time so it wasn’t Mazepin or Nick’s fault.

      It is also important to note that Vettel agrees with the ruling. He was also called to meeting.

      1. There being a lot of traffic or that Vettel agrees with the ruling has to be irrelevant though? They were summoned to the stewards to ascertain if Vettel’s lap was ruined by whatever Mazepin was doing and the answer was yes. Doesn’t matter that there were other cars in the way because it was Mazepin’s that caused the lap to be abandoned. Doesn’t matter that Vettel agrees, presumably because there’s no point in arguing over 20th, because he still lost the lap and a shot at Q2. Also the idea it wasn’t Mazepin’s fault is crazy, Vettel literally had to brake to avoid a collision? Weird ruling.

        1. They seem to be assessing the outcome, not the action.
          That’s not only stupid, it sets a bad precedent.

    2. If Masi was to penalise anyone it would be Mick because he was the one blocking Mazpin from going faster.
      There was no way Vettel could get past Mick because he was dead on the racing line. I guess why Masi decided not to push ahead with it.

      1. Masi is not a steward, he is a race director.

      2. No, Mick passed Mazepin at the exit of turn 3 and passed Lando as well. Mazepin then decided to pass Lando late in the lap as well and ended up right behind Mick. If he would have stayed behind Lando nothing would have happend.

  2. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
    4th September 2021, 17:10

    Masi is rubbish – it was a definite impede.

    1. Wasnt Masi’s decision. Perhaps you should read the article before commenting.

    2. Masi is Race Director. He does not make these decisions, the race stewards do.

    3. Debunked. Just only once.

  3. In a circumstance like this, I don’t see why the stewards can’t just say the car was unnecessarily impeded and if his time would have gotten him into the next session allow him in.

    1. So they should punished 5 cars then?

      1. Yes penalize them all , going so slowly on out laps is very dangerous and to my mind the slow cars should have the most responsibility to stay out of the way, not take that movement to pass your team mate slowly. Maybe Q1 should go back to single car qualifying or split into two groups on small tracks.

  4. I’ve checked the calendar and it’s not April 1. Surprising.

  5. I agree with the Stewards in that I dont feel the Haas drivers were particularly at fault for the incident.

    Personally i think they should give penalties to all six drivers that were slow in the final sector at the time.

    Just like in Austria though they don’t have the stones to make decisions like that.

    1. They all had a right to be there and they were not blocking anyone on purpose.

  6. If double negatives cancel each other out, then “not unnecessarily impeded” means necessarily impeded which definitely does not sound right.

  7. What do they call it the. If it wasn’t impeding? Between Mazepin and Schumacher, the track was completely blocked, giving Vettel no other choice than to abandon his lap.

    1. It was impeding – as mentioned in the article. Just that wasnt unnecessary impeding cos there was a lot of traffic at the time.

  8. Mazepin was told that Vettel was on a push lap and was informed permantly about the current gap. Despite that he steered his car right onto the racing line. How on earth does this not earn him a penalty???

  9. Maybe the part that says there’s a lot of cars in the area.

  10. Atleast he did not spin infront of him, over the racing line.

    I thought F1 drivers are best of the best.

    And what penalty can they give him? P25? Should he start from the pits?

    Just goes around ruining perfectly good laps of other people, quali, practice, race…

    1. I believe enough penalty points earns you a race ban. But yeah being given grid penalties when on the back row seems moot.

  11. From what I saw from the footage, Mazespin literally moved right and impeded Vettel

    1. From what I saw, Mick Schumacher was dead center and mere inches ahead of Mazpin, how was Vettel going past him?

      1. someone or something
        4th September 2021, 18:18

        Dead centre?

        Yeah, he was going to affect Vettel’s line, so a penalty would’ve been in order. But what Mazepin did, was far more egregious. Vettel had to slam on the brakes in order to avoid crashing into him, which wasn’t the case with Schumacher.

  12. someone or something
    4th September 2021, 18:13

    It’s one of those times when all you can say is: What?!

  13. I see no one bringing this up, I’m by no means a vettel fan, but didn’t he get penalised for impeding alonso few qualis ago when he was at the back of a train of cars? This to me seems to go against that precedent.

    1. @esploratore1 Exactly this. After the penalty they gave to Vettel for the exact same thing in Austria, this amounts to a taunting. The stewards really have it in for Vettel for some reason.

      1. We really need some consistency.

  14. This is ridiculous, what happened to “letter of the law”, why were the two Haas’ blocking the track, if they knew a faster car was approaching and blocked the track, that is unnecessarily impeding.
    Whenever Vettel gets penalized it’s “letter of the law”, “rules are rules”. Whenever Vettel gets affected, “the (cheerypicked) context is important”, “it wasn’t unnecessary”, “there were cars on the track”.

    Honestly, the stewards are just clowns and this sport is a joke.

  15. There were 5 “moving chicanes” slow and jockeying ahead of Vettel and he attempts to torpedo past each one in the span of one corner? All five can’t be expected to look out for the last guy in the line torpedoing around them.

    1. someone or something
      4th September 2021, 20:59

      I can’t tell if you’re blaming Vettel for the incident.
      If you are, please slap yourself in the face.

      1. someone or something
        5th September 2021, 0:39

        Actually, nevermind. I’ve read your other comments. Kindly slap yourself across the face regardless of what you were implying in that comment.

  16. Complete and utter rubbish. There is a line on the track for racing and there is a line on the track for being slow. Mazipan was going slow in the racing line and should have received points against his license.

  17. Fia strikes again?
    4th September 2021, 22:03

    Is this situation somehow different from the penalty Vettel received for impending Alonso during q2 in Austria? There Vettel was the last car in a slowly moving column of cars but still got the penalty for being the last one, the one actually impending the driver behind. The other cars were cleared for driving slowly. Now as I read the article, Haas drivers are cleared because the cars ahead of them were moving slowly as well. Am I missing something or there is just another example of consistent fia stewarding?

  18. I don’t understand. So just because there was a lot of traffic and they all together impeded a driver, no one gets a penalty?

    Seems odd… Better was impeded, and had he not reacted, he’d crashed into the back of either Haas…

    Its not consistent either. Vettel was penalized for blocking Alonso in Austria too because there was too much traffic too… He was caught sort of napping but I don’t think it was any worse than two Haases fighting on track on their outlap…

  19. Even if he was to earn a penalty, what could be done? He’s starting at the back anyway…

  20. 1, 6 or 10 cars – mostly irrelevant. The point was MAZ moved onto the racing line. If he was told VET was coming on a fast lap, he should be penalised. It was in the last minutes of the session & just plain commonsense of any driver would be to stay OFF the racing line [bugg3r, forgot he is an oligarch’s son, surprise, surprise!!] His ranting about his team mate is a smoke screen!!
    Irrelevant that he is 20th. It would be justice for the sport that he was penalise, maximum licence points so he will miss a GP [or 2].

    Re: poor Kimi!!!!!! He misses a last GP on a real driver’s circuit and GIO has a mega qually.

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