Sebastian Vettel has already admitted fault for his error during the Belgian Grand Prix that took Jenson Button out of the race.
The stewards took a surprising decision to penalise him for the move – even though in the past drivers have rarely been punished for similar collisions with other drivers.
Vettel clearly made a bad mistake – but should he have been punished for it?
The stewards said Vettel’s penalty was for “causing an avoidable accident”.
His error took another driver out of the race while he continued, so surely it makes sense for him to be punished?
There’s no doubt Vettel caused an avoidable accident – but so did other drivers during the race without being punished. Vitantonio Liuzzi, for example, who hit Vettel while in complete control of his own car. Nor was Rubens Barrichello punished for crashing into Fernando Alonso.
Vettel made a bad misjudgement and it’s not the first time he’s done it. We all remember his collisions with Webber at Istanbul and Kubica last year at Melbourne.
Therefore I could understand why the stewards might want to censure him for his dubious track record. But that isn’t what they’ve said they’ve done, so I’m taking the penalty at face value – and I don’t like it.
I hope we’re not going to start seeing penalties every time a driver loses control and happens to hit another car while trying to overtake them. It would discourage exactly the sort of wheel-to-wheel racing F1 should be promoting.
Mistakes happen, and if some blameless driver gets taken out by a rival who’s lost control of his car, that’s just part of racing.
Should Vettel have had a penalty? Cast your vote and leave a comment below.
Should Vettel have had a penalty? (Poll)
- Yes (57%)
- No (40%)
- No opinion (3%)
Total Voters: 2,409
2010 Belgian Grand Prix
- Technical review: Belgian Grand Prix
- From the stands: Carol Treurnicht watches the Belgian GP at Spa
- Liuzzi: “I’d have passed Alguersuari easily”
- Button denies braking early in Vettel crash
- Hamilton “wasn’t pushing” when he went off
- 2010 Belgian Grand Prix – the complete F1 Fanatic race weekend review
- Who was the best driver of the Belgian Grand Prix weekend?
- Damage limitation for Webber – but not Vettel (Red Bull race review)
- Ferrari’s practice pace disappears on Sunday (Ferrari race review)
- Renault’s latest upgrade gives Kubica a shot at victory (Renault race review)