Lance Stroll, Williams, Sepang International Circuit, 2017

Vettel and Stroll cleared over crash on slow-down lap

2017 Malaysian Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll have both escaped penalties for their collision on the slowing down lap at the Malaysian Grand Prix.

The pair made contact at turn seven which tore the left-rear wheel off Vettel’s Ferrari.

Daniel Ricciardo, Valtteri Bottas, Sepang International Circuit, 2017
2017 Malaysian GP in pictures
However the stewards ruled neither was responsible for the collision after reviewing video evidence.

“On the approach to turn five during the slow down lap after the end of the race, car 18 (Stroll) was towards the middle of the track, car 8 (Romain Grosjean) was closing from behind on the inside of car 18 and at the same time, car five (Vettel) overtook car 18 on the outside and in doing so, turned in slightly towards the apex of turn five,” the stewards explained. “Simultaneously car 18 was moving slight away from the apex. This resulted in contact between the left rear tyre of car 5 and the right front tyre of car 18.”

“The stewards consider that no driver was wholly or predominantly to blame for the incident and will therefore take no further action.”

“The stewards also consider that even though the race has ended, caution still needs to be exercised by all drivers on the slow down lap.”

2017 Malaysian 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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43 comments on “Vettel and Stroll cleared over crash on slow-down lap”

  1. I thought drivers had to re-attach their sterering wheels before leaving their car on track – why was Vettel allowed to take his away with him?

    1. Cause the drivers in front (Mercedes, Ferrari, RBR) know they won’t get any penalty. Look now too… ”Vettel (and Stroll) cleared over crash on slow-down lap”.

      1. @mg1982 Lets kick ’em while they are down, the championship is over but people want Vettel to keep suffering. The crash is clearly Stroll’s fault, Vettel never hit nobody on a slow down lap, he has had plenty of those. Vettel was past Stroll and Lance turned right on a left hander….

        1. This and only this. Stroll should wake the f up.

        2. Clearly, the FIA has yet again turned a blind eye to Vettel’s and Ferrari antics. Throughout this season’s racing Vettel has breach the rules and got away with it. Watching a slow motion replay of today’s incident Vettel clearly turns into the left-hand corner across Stroll’s driving line. Taking his steering wheel is also clearly against the rules. It might get stolen is a flimsy excuse. The marshals’ were quick to react and it was on camera.

          If Ferrari has to use a new gearbox for next’s week race that’s a 5 position penalty or will they use today’s incidence as an excuse to avoid the penalty.

          I am not bias. Rules are rules.

    2. @gnosticbrian I think its safe to say no Marshal is gonna need that wheel to tow that car. I have no idea why he felt the urge to take it with him however, maybe he wanted to give Wehrlein some motivation with a Ferrari steering ;)

    3. @gnosticbrian Most likely calculated risk.

      Someone may steal the wheel (end of race, people can enter the track), or maybe there something important in there to keep secret (Ted suggest the clutch system for race start). What the proper punishment anyway? It definitely breaking the rules but Ferrari can argue keeping the wheel attached in that situation will not help the marshalls to clear the car faster. Grid penalty will be deemed too harsh so maybe they’ll give Vettel penalty point and/or slapping some fines, which is much better than losing a million dollar worth of equipment or losing a competitive secret if they can help it.

      Notice Vettel initially leave the wheel attached but took a lot more time than needed to finally taking it off and bring it with him. I think in that time he received instructions from the pit to do so. I’m pretty sure the team would expected to be found guilty, it’s just about if the punishment is acceptable compared to the risk.

      1. @sonicslv, you’re right that thefts do sometimes happen – Force India had a steering wheel stolen during the Italian GP back in 2015, albeit from the garage rather than on the track, so I can understand why the teams might be a bit cautious about leaving the wheel in a place where some fans could get to it and take something like that from the car.

        1. Jonathan Parkin
          1st October 2017, 15:44

          There was also a rule years ago that if a car breaks down no one is allowed to touch it except for track marshals I think it was on pain of disqualification. Not sure if this applies now of course

    4. He seemed to double back. I wonder if he was having trouble remounting it. Perhaps the steering was in an awkward position.

      Maybe he just couldn’t risk the display being visible for some reason. Post race procedures, etc.

    5. Well yeah it’s mentioned in formula 1 sporting regulations:

      22.5 A driver who abandons a car must leave it in neutral or with the clutch disengaged, with the
      ERS shut down and with the steering wheel in place.

      Although it will need a towing car to get that wreck out of the track anyway…

  2. Correct decision.
    Different rules for ferrari of course with respect to taking steering wheel.

  3. So the fastest car out there today can’t be tested for weight, ride height or many other technical areas. The driver also broke the rules in not returning the car to parc ferme, getting a lift from another car and taking the wheel with him. But of course it’s Ferrari so no penalty.

    1. what do you want him to do? drive ono with 3 wheels left? Piece the parts together again bit by bit?

    2. It’s not like the cars don’t pass through scrutineering before races

    3. Are you Ben…Edwards?

    4. I did notice during the race Vettel seemed to be sparking more than others. Since he dint quallify, arent they free tomset up the car anyway they want for the race?

      1. Yes they are free but they will still check if its legal else everyone would start from the pit lane if you can make the car 3 seconds faster by not following the rules in overtaking friendly tracks

  4. Sure, let’s punish Vettel for taking away the steering wheel, but not Stroll for moving wide and hitting him. Wrong the former, but right the latter for some reason. Any thoughts on Alonso letting Ricciardo past but blocking Vettel? What about Ricciardo moving under breaking?

    1. Ricciardo weaving was the real problem. What are they waiting for to enforce that rule I don’t know, for Vettel to do it? lol

    2. Don’t you think Seb would have screamed blue murder if he thought Dan moved and blocked in the breaking zone, not a peep, which is unusual for Seb, not so with his opinion on Alonso.

    3. A motorsports fan
      4th October 2017, 15:57

      i think wettel was whining under losing. that behavior has caused more than one crash and should be banned.

      moving under breaking has always been part of F1 and racing. in fact, we call it just racing. it was invented as an offense by Vettel – and he was the first and only to break it.

  5. Vettel was clearly at fault but the stewards couldn’t take action against him lest they hand the championship to Hamilton so they needed a fudge. Also taking his steering wheel is against the rule and he took it deliberately because i think Ferrari are hiding something but i bet the the FIA will turn a blind eye to Vettels and Ferrari shenanigans.

    1. lest they hand the championship to Hamilton

      In other news Indonesia is really, truly back to the mid-60s.

    2. Right on pking007. I can’t believe more people haven’t at least question this.

      My thoughts are that it seemed to me at the time that Ferrari only had one working car after qualifying… Kimi’s which they gave to Seb… Not one newspaper has even entertained this idea… So the crash was to disguise the fact that Seb had Kimi’s car…

      Even it that wasn’t true it wouldn’t be the first that Seb has crashed into another car deliberately, I.e. Azerbaijan when he appeared to crash into Lewis…

      1. Hate to be so rude, but sometimes it’s needed:
        Have you ever heard of parc fermé?
        And that’s just one of many reasons why your conspiracy theory lacks any foundation. Good lord …

  6. will vettel’s car pass the post race scruteneering? i doubt the rear wing reconfiguration and the tri-cycle mod might bend a few rules, including minimum weight.

  7. As for crash, a good decision but for not leaving steering wheel in car that’s questionable by stewards as usual.

  8. It’s an old rule who’s time has come and gone. $1m for a wheel that can be easily stolen. So many stupid rules in the F1 book

    1. Actually it’s a fairly new rule. That rule exist so the marshalls can more easily move the car in case they able to just push it instead of having to call a crane.

  9. Change of gearbox and a five place penalty for Vettel at Suzuka as well … potentially.

    1. No chance. If Ferrari have to change it they’ll say to the FIA that it’s not fair and they’ll remove the penalty. I doubt they’ll even need to change it anyway.

  10. So, in other words, Vettel at fault.

  11. Steward Glass
    1st October 2017, 16:07

    Specsavers new advert.

  12. “…car 18 (Stroll) was towards the middle of the track, car 8 (Romain Grosjean) was closing from behind on the inside of car 18 and at the same time, car five (Vettel) overtook car 18 on the outside and in doing so, turned in slightly towards the apex of turn five…”

    So just a slower version of the first corner collision at Singapore?!

    1. Exactly my thoughts. Except this time a lack of attention rather than a poorly executed move.

  13. Does anyone commenting here has any common sense or should we think of this place as an equivalent of Youtube/Facebook comments now… I am amused that anyone thinks there was something weird about what Vettel did during the closing lap as changing around places is a very common occurrence done by every driver multiple times during that lap in every single race anyway. And there was nowhere to go on Vettel’s right as he was just taking his line around a left hander and following that line as casually as possible really. Some really ridiculous comments here.

    1. I agree that the average comment has been horrible today. Far worse than normally. I wonder why.

    2. I haven’t read all the comments but people have a right to be suspicious. You seem to be oblivous to Vettel’s past history and you have to admit if it wasn’t deliberate is was carelessness – not something you expect of a driver of Vettel’s calibre.

  14. Just L.o.l.

    What else will happen. Vettel has a nose for trouble. I wonder if they can now switch gearbox for free?

    1. I believe not, since was considered that no one was to blame.
      If they have to change the gearbox, i think they will have a penalty

      1. Vettel & Ferrari never get punished like other drivers & teams . Are there some backhanders being given because Michael Schumacher & Ferrari also never got wrong doing punishment. Remember him taking out Damon Hill to win championship.

  15. geoffgroom44 (@)
    3rd October 2017, 0:11

    Alternative headline: “teenager mobbed in road rage incident”.

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