Vettel questions speed violation

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Red Bull Racing’s Sebastian Vettel has questioned the legitimacy of the pit lane speeding vioolation he suffered at teh Singapore Grand Prix last weekend saying to German media SID (yes, I had Mark Hallam verify it was said):

“There must have been a measuring error, some kind of calibration problem. It had a big influence on my race. I hppe something like that never happens to any of us (drivers) ever again. The pit lane speed limit measurements should not be affected by the line we take.”

Vettel thinks that the inventive line he chose to get out of pits shortened his drive and made the speed censors (which plot average speed from point A to point B) must have therefore thought he was driving 1.4 km over the limit, because the distance he travelled between censors was shorter than assumed by the machine.

“We have the telemetary data from our own car, and these show pretty clearly that we never exceeded 100 km/h.”

“In the pit lane you are allowed to choose your own line, there was one white line that we drivers were allowed to cross. Some drivers did so a little, others – like me – did it quite a lot, but either way, it’s completely legal.”

He believes that this shortcut caused the machines to mis-calculate his speed. However,

“We can’t do anything about it, because the race is over and the chequered flag has been waved. You can’t just rewind to the race!”

That call effectively ended his title hopes, barring some major anomaly with Brawn GP, for 2009. The sad part of it is that without that penalty, Vettel would most likely have placed second in the race and scored very valuable points away from the current leader Jenson button.

There is little they can do now but it does bring to mind the question I have. If he was not speeding by Red Bull’s telemetry, I wonder why this was not shared with the race stewards immediately? Perhaps the communication process with race control is not as fast or open as I suspect it is but I would have argued vehemently that they had not violated the speed limit.

Is it odd to anyone else that they are timing the car between stripes and not using laser or radar measurement of the car? Perhaps there is a very good reason and maybe the case of several cars in pit lane render radar or laser use improbable but surely in F1 there cold be a better way.


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