Aston Martin explain what led to Sebastian Vettel’s Dutch Grand Prix penalty

Jon Wilde
Sebastian Vettel running Aston Martin's controversial rear wing. Hungary July 2022

Sebastian Vettel running Aston Martin's controversial rear wing on his AMR22. Hungary July 2022

Aston Martin boss Mike Krack agrees Sebastian Vettel was in a difficult situation for the incident that triggered his Dutch Grand Prix penalty.

Vettel received a five-second time penalty for ignoring blue flags, having got in the way of a duel between Sergio Perez and Lewis Hamilton when he emerged from the Zandvoort pits.

The four-time former World Champion criticised the stewards’ decision to penalise him, having told Sky Germany: “I knew it was three corners and I was faster. I don’t know who the blue flag and penalty was for.

“I think it’s funny it takes half the race before you get the penalty. It didn’t benefit anyone. I didn’t win anything and I didn’t cost anyone anything.

“Losing some time is normal. It depends on where you come out. Whether it’s three turns or five, I did it (moved aside) fairly and in a place where they don’t lose any time at all. It’s give and take.”

Talking to Motorsport.com, Vettel, who was eventually classified 14th, added: “Obviously I can’t disappear. I have a different opinion, but it doesn’t matter.”

Krack, the Aston Martin team principal, explained the circumstances from his perspective during the incident and leading up to it.

“It’s always difficult when you come out of the pits with fresh tyres and get lapped by people that have older tyres,” said Krack.

“He wasn’t really slower at that point. But I think when you look at it, we went maybe a little bit too long in front of Lewis and you cannot drive one lap in front. So these things happen sometimes.

“We knew we would end up in that situation, we had to pit him. He was made aware, but I think he didn’t see it as bad also because he had the pace obviously, and he told us also I have the pace to drive away. But if you have the flag, you have the flag.”

Vettel’s race had been compromised from the outset by a mistake he had made at the end of Q1 which wrecked his final run and meant he started 19th on the grid.

He was first to make a pit-stop in the hope his strategy might be able to propel him somewhere up towards the points.

“We stopped really early trying to undercut most of the midfield, which I think was correct,” said the 35-year-old German.

“Then we had a really slow stop, losing like three or four seconds, I’m not sure.

“But obviously then we lost position to Pierre [Gasly], Alex [Albon], Mick [Schumacher], Zhou [Guanyu]. And it was very close with Daniel [Ricciardo]. So not ideal really, and then that was it really.”