Vettel fined but avoids Brazil grid penalty

Date published: November 10 2018

Sebastian Vettel: Avoids Brazilian GP grid penalty

Sebastian Vettel will start P2 at the Brazilian Grand Prix after only being fined and reprimanded for his actions during qualifying.

Vettel lost his temper after being subject to a random weighing at Interlagos, where mixed weather conditions created a hectic afternoon of qualifying.

The Ferrari driver was summoned to the stewards after he ‘destroyed the weighing scales’, facing the prospect, at worst, of being disqualified from the session altogether and starting Sunday’s race from the pit lane.

However, after a 90-minute deliberation from the stewards, Vettel has avoided a grid penalty, and points on his superlicence, and has instead being fined 25,000 Euros and given a reprimand.

“The Stewards reviewed the video evidence from the on-board camera and pit lane CCTV, viewed team engine telemetry and heard from the driver of car 5 (Sebastian Vettel) and team representative,” read a statement.

“The Stewards first considered whether there was a breach of Article 29.1.a.i. As the driver both stopped at the FIA Garage and eventually stopped the engine, although not at the time usually expected in the established procedure, and a weight was obtained, these elements satisfy the requirements of the regulation and therefore the Stewards find no breach of this article.

“Nevertheless, the officials give directions to the drivers at the scales in order for the weighing procedure to be accomplished in an orderly and safe way, without the possibility of damaging the scales.

Sebastian Vettel: Loses his cool

“The Stewards observed that the driver did not stop the engine at the time he was directed by the official at the scales, knocked over the cone placed to stop the driver from driving onto the scales, which he then did.

“At the time he was being shown a sign to have his “Brakes On” by an official that was standing in front of the car, and while not hitting the official did force him out of the way while driving onto the scales. He then turned off the engine.

“Once the weight was taken he then did not wait for the officials to push the car off the scales, and while the Stewards accept that he may have mis-understood the indication from the official, he then re-fired the car and drove off the scales, which is not the procedure because it can damage the scales, which in this case he did.

“While no one was hurt by the scales being thrown out from behind the car, and while the Stewards accept that the driver did not drive off the scales in a reckless manner, the procedure the Stewards is established exactly to prevent damage to the scales or a potentially dangerous situation, which is exactly what was caused.

“The Stewards found that the driver failed to follow the instructions of the relevant officials for the safe and orderly conduct of the Event and order a Reprimand (Non-Driving) and a fine of €25,000.”

Vettel was initially critical of the decision to bring him in for weighing in such unpredictable weather conditions.

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