Your View: Was Vettel’s penalty fair? Was pass legal?


Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel did not have a good weekend…contextually speaking. The German driver was on home soil and while he may have scraped together a second-place finish, that was taken away from him via a 2-second penalty for overtaking McLaren’s Jenson Button off the circuit. The FIA stewards decision read:

Fact- Car 1 left the track and gained an advantage when he rejoined.
Offence- Breach of Article 20.2 of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations.
Decision- Drive Through Penalty, imposed after the race in accordance with Article 16.3 (20 seconds added to the elapsed race time)

Red Bull didn’t see the incident quite the same way as McLaren did. As the Stewards were investigating the details of the incident, team boss Christian Horner told Sky Sport F1:

“He goes to the outside. Gets clearly ahead and then Jenson runs him out wide and over the kerb. So I think it is unfair to say he got an unfair advantage from that, it was a racing incident,” said Horner.

“If you slow the camera down to the point that Sebastian leave the track you will see clearly that he is ahead.

“Jenson is actually wheel spinning out of the corner, he has no grip. Sebastian has jinked around him. I think it would be very harsh to penalise him.”

Having watched the incident, what do you think of the pass? Was it a clear advantage or was he pushed wide but button in a car struggling for grip? If he did gain an advantage, was the penalty harsh? If this were on lap 30, most likely Vettel would have been radioed to give the position back and that would have been the end of it. As it is, it was the final laps and there was little time for the stewards to view the incident and make the call so post-race penalties apply. In this case, a 20-second penalty. Let us know your thought in the comment section below.

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