Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Silverstone, 2016

Vettel unhappy after receiving first penalty points

2016 British Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel disagrees with his penalty for forcing Felipe Massa of the track.

The Ferrari driver believes he should have gone unpunished as he did not intend to force the Williams wide while overtaking it at Village during the race.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Silverstone, 2016
The 2016 British Grand Prix in pictures
“I don’t think it was necessary,” he told reporters after the race. “It’s not like I was purposefully trying to squeeze him out.”

“I was going out of the track myself. I just didn’t have any grip. Every time I wanted to keep turning in I just lost the rear, lost the rear, lost the rear.”

“Obviously for him it’s bad because I don’t know if he had as little grip at that point as I had. For him it looks like I’m just forcing him off the track but I couldn’t go anywhere else. If I was picking that line on my own why do I go off-track?”

The stewards gave Vettel a five-second time penalty and two penalty points on his licence – the only two he has so far.

Vettel could only finished ninth after starting eleventh. He made an early change to slick tyres but lost time with a spin.

“I think the call to come in was right but then obviously I lost a lot of time when I spun,” he said. “So all the advantage was lost again and from then it was quite difficult to pass and move ahead.”

“So I think overall not our day, not quick enough, simple as that.”

2016 British Grand Prix

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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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25 comments on “Vettel unhappy after receiving first penalty points”

  1. He just should have let Massa back trough and try once more while staying on track.

    1. I am surprised there is no mention at all of Massa rejoining the track, forcing Vettel out of the racing line into the wet, leading to not turning.

      Strange call from the stewards (specially during a wet race) but should not have too much consequences, I don’t see Vettel as subject to a race ban in the future… I see it as a response to Austria’s race.

  2. Pretty much the same as Nico in Austria, luckily Massa did not turn in.

    1. Oh yeah. Exactly the same….!!?

    2. @xtwl Nope. With Vettel case it’s understandable that the track is slippery and he make the effort to brake and turn but just sliding instead. Rosberg is making conscious decision to not even turning the car.

      1. @sonicslv Rosberg is making conscious decision to not even turning the car – Uhm, no.

        1. Do you think he was having a seizure or something when he kept his wheel dead straight?

        2. @xtwl So you not even agree to Rosberg himself who pretty much said it’s deliberate?

          1. @williamjones, @sonicslv – He could not turn in otherwise he would’ve locked his brakes and tyres and rammed Hamilton for sure (Montoya in Austria 2001 for example), whilst now he was trying to get out of it. There’s a difference with just deliberatly having the intention to ram Hamilton out of the race. If Rosberg had admitted that surely his punishment would have been far bigger.

          2. “I’m on the inside, I have the right to defend and I don’t need to take the ideal line. I had Lewis on the outside and I wanted to keep him there, of course always leaving him track space – that’s clear and that was always the intention.

            Source: http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2016/07/04/f1-fanatic-round-up-0407-3/

            @xtwl If he really can’t brake, why he never use that as an excuse/reasoning? The man himself admitted it was intentional. More so, the brake problem statement suddenly appears from Mercedes pit wall which really has convenient timing to become scapegoat for driver error (which the offending driver didn’t even speak anything about it). Also the observable facts that pretty clear cut:
            a) He have no problem braking and turning early in previous laps, in fact he turned too early in turn 1 from normal brake point which pretty opposite of the symptoms of someone losing his brake capability.
            b) Lewis is already at the very edge of the track as the camera already gives a very clear angle, so he lying about leaving him the track space.

    3. Punishing Seb severely while it was obvious he was sliding during the incident shows how lightly the stewards treated Nico’s attack on Lewis in Austria.
      Nico was in control in Austria while Seb was sliding all over especially in that corner where he went wide.

  3. Penalty is ok but why Penalty Points its unnecessary.

    1. This is my reaction too, it was a pretty normal driving error, no malice involved.

    2. + 1
      Those penalty points lose any kind of meaning if deliberate and undeliberate actions are punished in the same manner.

  4. He should’ve let Massa through, tho. The treacherous conditions made overtaking off the line difficult, and if you can’t make a pass safely and cleanly, then maybe you should let Massa through and try again.

    1. Yap, I think this is the reason of the penalty points

    2. Absolutely – I thought at the time he should’ve given back the place and everything would’ve been fine with the stewards

  5. Not a fair penalty. Especially since it was obvious he had no control of the car.

    Luckily Massa did not turn in Lewis style.

    Certainly just racing, especially considering conditions on track.

    1. Penalty points is probably because he did not give the place back given that the overtake was illegal although not deliberate.

  6. Mika Salo who a few times every year is the driver steward felt the penalty was against their recent policy “give less penalties, let them race”

  7. I am again disappointed with race directors. This is racing. 2 guys arrive in a corner, brake late and outbrake each other. It happens in karting and in all the other formulas. Even my 7 years old son understood that. Vettel had nowhere to go. He never tried to push Mr Slow out. I am sure he’d prefer to turn in instead!! Same as for Rosberg in Austria. Damn, if you wanna pass me under braking, I am going to brake later too!! It’s essential in racing!! It’s nothing dangerous!! Let the drivers race for goodness sake! The adds up to the farce of the 5 laps behind the safety car at the start. How they are castrating F1 is unbelievable. It’s wet, so what!!!?

    1. I’m generally in the ‘let them race’ team, however, if incidents under braking basically have no rules it will be absolutely impossible to pass around the outside or defend on the outside. Why? Because the one on the inside can deliberately overspeed to stop the one on the outside from turning in.

      Number 1 rule for me, whoever is in front at the end of the braking phase has control of the corner UNLESS they can’t make the corner and the other driver can. I can’t remember if Vettel’s stayed within track limits, he was definitely ahead at corner entry… my opinion on the incident will rely on if he stayed on track. If so, no foul for me.

      Rosberg on the other hand was behind, had lost the corner and didn’t even try to make the turn.

      Also amusing point, want it Massa who claimed that Rosberg had done nothing wrong?

  8. Penalty points against the driver’s license should be reserved for for incidents deemed intentional or particularly dangerous. Not for unintentional racing incidents on a semi-wet track when neither car was harmed. I don’t blame Vettel for being upset. He may have helped his own case by letting Massa back through, but that is rather counter-intuitive for a racer that feels he did nothing wrong to gain the position.

  9. Of course he’s unhappy, he would hardly be joyous about it.

    I expected him to be told to give back the place ,followed by a reply of expletives.

    This fan is just as unhappy about his lack lustre performance this weekend. An upgraded Ferrari couldn’t overtake Toro Rossi. Dear me.

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