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Vettel escapes grid penalty for weighbridge incident

  • Published on 10 Nov 2018 21:25
  • comments 7
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Sebastian Vettel will keep his front row start for Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix after the stewards opted not to hand the German driver a grid penalty for his incident with the weighbridge during qualifying.

However, the Ferrari driver has received a reprimand and has been fined €25,000. Vettel was called onto the weighbridge towards the end of Q2, as he came in to fit the soft compound tyres. Vettel grew frustrated as he felt the FIA personnel attending the weighbridge were not operating fast enough.

Vettel was accused of not turning off his engine while he was on the weighbridge and destroying it as he took off following the inspection: “During the second Qualifying session at 15:27, the driver of car number 05, when called for weighing, refused to turn off the engine,” noted FIA technical delegate Jo Bauer after the session.

Vettel was left frustrated by the occurrence after he qualified in second place behind Lewis Hamilton: "They shouldn’t call us when the conditions are changing like that. I think it’s unfair if somebody gets called in. I wanted them to hurry up.”

Statement from the Stewards

"The officials give directions to the drivers at the scales in order for the weighing procedure to be accomplished in an orderly and safe way, without the possibility of damaging the scales.

"The Stewards observed that the driver did not stop the engine at the time he was directed by the official at the scales, knocked over the cone placed to stop the driver from driving onto the scales, which he then did.

"At the time he was being shown a sign to have his 'Brakes On' by an official that was standing in front of the car, and while not hitting the official did force him out of the way while driving onto the scales. He then turned off the engine.

"Once the weight was taken he then did not wait for the officials to push the car off the scales, and while the Stewards accept that he may have mis-understood the indication from the official, he then re-fired the car and drove off the scales, which is not the procedure because it can damage the scales, which in this case he did.

"While no one was hurt by the scales being thrown out from behind the car, and while the Stewards accept that the driver did not drive off the scales in a reckless manner, the procedure is established exactly to prevent damage to the scales or a potentially dangerous situation, which is exactly what was caused.

"The Stewards found that the driver failed to follow the instructions of the relevant officials for the safe and orderly conduct of the Event and order a Reprimand (Non-Driving) and a fine of €25,000."

Replies (7)

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  • I think a penalty was warranted if you go by the book. However, I think discretion was properly utilized to allow for an exciting race tomorrow.

    • + 0
    • Nov 10 2018 - 22:27
  • RogerF1

    Posts: 501

    There is plenty of time to call a car in between Q1, Q2 etc. without compromise to a driver’s quali strategy. If they fail weigh check at the end of a session they go to the back of the grid, simple. What protocol decides who they call in and when?

    • + 0
    • Nov 10 2018 - 22:42
    • Its supposed to be a completely random control AFAIK. Yet I think this is the second time Vet has been called in this season.

      • + 0
      • Nov 11 2018 - 06:54
  • xoya

    Posts: 581

    FIA, in this case, were a bunch of twats. Corrupt mofos.

    • + 2
    • Nov 11 2018 - 02:35
  • Well, its the same kinda lenience they've shown Hammy aswell this season in a similar situation, so I think its fair. Still, why call in the drivers during the quali session? Surely they coulda done it in between Q1 and Q2?

    • + 0
    • Nov 11 2018 - 06:56
    • boudy

      Posts: 1,168

      @CALLE Nope you can't do that since teams would take advantage of that and run their car underweight unless you weigh all the cars afterwards with their driver in it.

      However the fact that they didn't get an penalty doesn't surprise me at all since It's an Ferrari different rules apply to them. If this was an Renault or Force India they would have issued far harder punishment.

      The bigger issue for me is that Vettel showed a complete lack of respect towards the stewards and the forcefullness of his actions was unpleasant to watch.

      • + 1
      • Nov 11 2018 - 09:01
    • Yeah, anyone but the top 3 teams woulda gotten a different penalty, but to be frank, there is at best a two tier championship in F1, and as long as it is somewhat equal between the teams competing in the respective teams, thats as close to fair we will get.

      • + 0
      • Nov 11 2018 - 13:22

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