Should Vettel have had a penalty? (Poll)

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?

Pro

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?

Con

Other drivers have taken rivals out of races in the past and gone unpunished – such as Kimi R??ikk??nen with Adrian Sutil at Monaco two years ago.

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.

I Say

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.

You Say

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

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258 comments on Should Vettel have had a penalty? (Poll)

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  1. toddjamin said on 1st September 2010, 0:40

    the move he was trying could not have been pulled off in those conditions with those tyres by anyone.

  2. spanky the wonder monkey said on 1st September 2010, 8:40

    i voted NO as i saw it as a racing incident. it was unfortunate that he collected jenson in the process, but it wasn’t malicious. he simply dropped it. i think what compounded it was the fact that he managed to carry on, whereas for the innocent party it was game over. an exact opposite of what happened with rubens and alonso.

  3. Shayne said on 1st September 2010, 14:09

    I can’t remember exactly without seeing it again, but he was very close if not already on the brakes and the drivers all agree that movement in the braking zones is dangerous.

  4. the edge said on 1st September 2010, 19:31

    the last time I checked this was a non contact sport, if you can’t pass someone without hitting him you should be penalised, PERIOD!

    stewards should be able to take mittigating circumstances into considoration and wave any penalty…which for this incident I fail to see any

    put simply vettal maybe a good driver but he doesn’t deserve the current red bull, he was just the wrong guy in the right place at the right time

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