FIA explain Vettel/wheel incident

Date published: October 10 2017

FIA race director Charlie Whiting has explained why Sebastian Vettel was not penalised for removing his steering wheel after he crashed on the in-lap at Sepang.

Vettel was involved in a bizarre accident with Lance Stroll after the race in Malaysia and took his steering wheel with him rather than leaving it the car but, when quizzed about Vettel's behaviour, Whiting said there was nothing more than common sense involved.

"I didn't mind because first of all the race had ended," Whiting told Sky Sports F1.

"Secondly, the purpose of the rule is for marshals to remove the car should the need arise. But clearly that wasn't going to be necessary. 

"I think you'll agree that we've seen drivers dispose of their steering wheels rather unceremoniously after they've had a shunt and they haven't bothered to put them back on. 

"I think all things taken into account I think we should apply a bit of common sense and I wasn't inclined to report it to the stewards." 

Vettel then hitched a lift from Pascal Wehrlein's [Sa]uber and Whiting did have more of an issue with that as opposed to the steering wheel incident.

"He should have waited for the medical car but bizarrely there isn't a rule against that," Whiting added.

"I did have a word with them all and told them to wait for the medical car because it will come." 

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