Vettel under investigation for FP1 scooter ride

Mark Scott
Sebastian Vettel smiles in the paddock. Melbourne April 2022

Aston Martin driver Sebastian Vettel smiles in the paddock. Melbourne April 2022

Sebastian Vettel’s return to Formula 1 has been an eventful one already at the Australian Grand Prix weekend.

Vettel is back in action after missing the first two races of the season at Bahrain and Saudi Arabia due to falling ill with Covid-19. But, he was given the all-clear ahead of F1’s return to Melbourne and was back behind the wheel for FP1 on Friday afternoon in Melbourne.

However, his first session back came to an abrupt end inside the final 30 minutes as his AMR21 went up in smoke, forcing Vettel to come to a stop on track due to an engine issue.

Rather than jump in a medical car or walk back to the garage, though, Vettel decided to pinch a scooter and go on an impromptu lap of the circuit at the end of the session, waving to the crowd as he drove by.

However, the FIA has not taken too kindly to that – especially with Seb not wearing his helmet properly – and is now under investigation for ‘entering the track without permission’ on said scooter.

Reacting to Vettel’s antics, Sky Sports F1 pundit Martin Brundle said: “I can imagine Seb will be getting a thousand lines to do.

“‘I must not go onto the track with a scooter and not wear my crash helmet properly.’

“Or the punishment will be a little bit more expensive than that.”

Article 26.7 of the F1 sporting regulations states that in the five minute window after every practice session, no one is allowed on-track, at pit entry or pit exit except:

– Marshals or other authorised personnel in the execution of their duty.

– Drivers when driving or on foot, having first received permission to do so from a marshal.

– Team personnel when either pushing a car or clearing equipment from the grid after all cars able to do so have left the grid on the formation lap.

– Team personnel when assisting marshals to remove a car from the grid after the start of the sprint session or the race.

While awaiting his punishment, Aston Martin confirmed that Vettel did indeed lose drive during FP1 and that has forced the team into fitting Seb’s car with a new power unit. No penalties have been triggered as a result, but Vettel did miss the entirety of FP2 due to the change.

More to follow…

Vettel feels like he's 'arriving late to school'

Sebastian Vettel likens him missing the first two races of the season to "arriving late to school".