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Drivers speak out against Vettel's costly time penalty

  • Published on 20 Jun 2019 17:03
  • comments 4
  • By: Fergal Walsh

A number of drivers have given their opinion on Sebastian Vettel's time penalty from the Canadian Grand Prix, that stripped Vettel and Ferrari of victory.

Vettel slid across the grass at Turn 3 during the race and was deemed to have rejoined the track unsafely in front of Lewis Hamilton, who was forced to back off.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen admits that he is not a fan of penalties, and believes the decision to give the penalty while the race was going on destroyed the excitement of the Grand Prix.

"In general, if you are going to give a penalty, don't do it in the race," Verstappen said. "It destroys the whole excitement of Lewis catching Seb and fighting for the win. 

"When he rejoined the circuit he didn't do anything. He wasn't purposefully blocking Lewis so I think why they gave the penalty was wrong.

"If you're going to give penalties like that, then why not just put a wall there. If he makes a mistake, then he's in the wall."

Vettel's former Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen also spoke out against the penalty, insisting that it's clear Vettel had no control of his car after he left the circuit.

"I only saw a small clip of it, and I don't know the whole story behind it," Raikkonen said. "But from what I saw, he went off, came back onto the track and that's it.

"I don't think there was much wrongdoing in any side you look. Somebody makes the decisions, sometimes it goes for you, sometimes not.

"It happens easily, you can go off on the grass and you have absolutely zero control. You slide back on, there happened to be a wall there and the lines end up in the same place."

Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat believes the stewards need to adopt a more consistent system in order to eliminate the element of surprise when handing out such penalties. 

"I think it's about consistency," the Russian said. "Every case needs to be treated the same way. But I think with the first look, there wasn't anything to penalise.

"If you take a deeper look, maybe you can squeeze something out of it, but in the past, I think it's been analysed that something similar happened and there was no penalty."

Lando Norris added: "It didn't cause a crash. He lost time overall because of it. And that's that. He shouldn't have got a penalty."

Ferrari will meet with the stewards on Friday in between the two practice sessions, where it will be decided if Ferrari has enough evidence for the situation to be re-analysed. 

Replies (4)

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  • I agree that I don't think there was intent, thus the grey-zone of the penalty, and in that kinda circumstance I kinda think Vettel was penalized enough by the time-loss and wear on the tyres from the little grassland safari he partook in. But IMO the damage is done. I think it is too late to change their decision on this, and the race was already "ruined" by it, so maybe it is better to let this one go, and focus on better consistency in the future. And BTW: I would've said the same had this been about Hammy. With acidfilled throat and garglereflex on max, but my stance would've been the same.

    • + 1
    • Jun 20 2019 - 19:20
    • dr002

      Posts: 141

      &calle.itw, I could not disagree with you more. They continued racing until the end, so to suggest it is too late to override the decision is ridiculous, in fact I believe they should override it, stand-down the stewards involved and apologise to Ferrari and Vettel.

      As can be seen from my previous posts I am no fan of either Vettel or Hamilton. I was a big fan of F1 pretty much up until Vettel came on the scene, back when the racing was ‘real’, but now it’s turned into an overly technical, overly regulated, joke. One that continuously favours a sanctimoniously, hypocritical driver in Lewis Hamilton.

      Hamilton called for the penalty immediately after it happened, to then say after he crossed the finish line that this was not the way he wanted to win the race left me in total disbelief. He then said in his initial interview that if it wasn’t for the wall he would have got past, OMG! What!!

      An overtake on the outside was never on, and he knew it. What’s more HAMILTON’S rationale in favour of the penalty wasn’t that Vettel re-entered the track unsafely, but was that Vettel obstructed the racing line, again, you’ve got to be kidding!! …..But to then go on to say that it was not how he wanted to win the race, and to invite Vettel to stand on the top step of the podium after he was the one who ‘first’ called for the penalty, is just mind-blowingly sanctimonious.

      I have to say though, I’ve come to expect such sportsmanship from Hamilton, but it was Wolff’s defence of the situation that was even more disappointing. I had up until then seen Wolff as leader who could straddle being a team principle whilst also advocating the best interests of F1 by racing within the spirit of the sport. Not anymore.

      At the end of the day, what’s the point of watching the sport in the first place when the Stewards can simply wave through a driver to the top step of the podium. When all is said and done, why not just penalise drivers for racing hard and be done with it. F1 is a joke.

      • + 0
      • Jun 21 2019 - 02:37
    • Well yes, it isn't really too late, but at this rate it'd feel odd if they did reverse it. Personally I didn't like the penalty, I found this to just be racing, and I found Hammy to be Hammy in this scenario (namely: "Oh I never wanted a penalty" he says with one mouth, "Off with the head!!!" he yells with the other"). My point is more that the damage is already done. The instant that penalty was dealt, the race was over and ruined, and I switched to doing something more interesting... like paying my taxes. No reversal will change that.

      • + 0
      • Jun 21 2019 - 09:27
    • As for Wolff: this is exactly the trip I had with him. This is why I am so salty about Toto when others think he is doing well. I always considered him one of the better principals in F1, a sportsman who wanted competition even in his own team. Even after the Lotus incident in 2015, I still thought pretty highly of him. For me the realization came in 2018, where he showed his true face. To mention just one such occation was during Monaco, when he issued a direct team order to Ocon, a driver for Force India, and got away scathe free. Toto has also been one of the more direct negotiators in favour of regulations that actively hurts the smaller teams. To me, he isn't as bad as e.g Abiteboul, but he is a very self-serving corporate person, a sportsman outwards until it is comfortable to drop it, and I have lost all the respect I had for him.

      • + 0
      • Jun 21 2019 - 19:09

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