Stewards investigating Vettel’s pass on Button

2012 German Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Hockenheim, 2012The German Grand Prix stewards are looking into whether Sebastian Vettel’s pass on Jenson Button was legal.

Vettel passed Button for second place on the penultimate lap of the race.

Vettel had a run on Button as they approached the Spitzkehre hairpin and the McLaren driver covered the inside line. As they exited the corner Vettel used the tarmac run-off at the exit of the corner, rejoining the track ahead of the McLaren driver.

Speaking to his team on the radio after the race Button said: “I’m not sure that was correct the way Sebastian got past.

“I think the most important thing is he wouldn’t have overtaken me if he was on the circuit.”

Speaking on the podium after the race Vettel said he was unsure if Button’s car was still on the inside of his. Button finished the race third behind Vettel.

Update: Vettel demoted to fifth with 20-second penalty

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177 comments on Stewards investigating Vettel’s pass on Button

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  1. mixwell (@mixwell) said on 22nd July 2012, 14:51

    i cant seem to understand how Ham escaped a penalty or even an investigation when he pulled that “cucumber” on Vettel.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 22nd July 2012, 14:52

      @mixwell I didn’t see anything remotely incorrect about Hamilton’s driving when he unlapped himself, which I presume is what you’re referring to.

      • mixwell (@mixwell) said on 22nd July 2012, 15:10

        yes. And as said by someone i wasnt aware you are allowed to do so. Besides, the commentators didnt help either.

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 22nd July 2012, 15:17

          Christian Horner just had a whinge about it on Sky then said: “Has he done anything wrong? Probably not.”

          • Joe Jones said on 22nd July 2012, 15:23

            keith, did button leave a cars width for vettel?

          • Traverse Mark Senior (@) said on 22nd July 2012, 15:33

            @jon jones
            As far as I could tell, Jenson was ahead of Vettel and so had every right to take his racing line.

          • Traverse Mark Senior (@) said on 22nd July 2012, 15:37

            *joejones*
            Vettel could have lifted, filed in behind Jenson and tried again on the next lap as he was comfortably faster that Jenson. There was no need for him to risk it by running of track.

          • Traverse Mark Senior (@) said on 22nd July 2012, 15:39

            *risk it by running Off track* lol

          • Daniel Brown (@scuderiaferrarifanatic) said on 22nd July 2012, 15:43

            While he hasn’t done anything wrong from a purely legal-FIA perspective, what he did was certainly not the ‘done thing’ in modern times F1 and that is probably because it causes a nuisance to the front running drivers in question. It is unsportsmanlike in that way. Its such a grey area….its like, he can do it, but it doesnt mean he should have. It wasnt even like he was desperately embroiled in a fight for position with a driver who was charging him down, he just did it to get in the way and be a pain in the butt, because he could do so without penalty.

          • David BR2 said on 22nd July 2012, 16:22

            This has to be the most stupid discussion on record. Hamilton was the fastest on track and trying to get back into the race. What was he supposed to do, sit behind Vettel and shout ‘get a move on?’ The rules are there to stop drivers impeding unfairly when they’re slower, not to stop them unlapping themselves when they’re faster. And I really don’t see why Hamilton hindering Vettel with a clean pass is an issue. He didn’t make things unduly difficult.

      • dkpioe said on 22nd July 2012, 16:27

        teachnically hamiltons move WAS unfair, as it was 2 drivers fighting for the lead, and vettel lost about half a second in the overtaking manouver – so a lapped driver impeded his lap time, others get penalties for this.

      • F1_Gunner said on 22nd July 2012, 16:27

        Before anyone says anything about Vettel’s pass consider this for a second, ‘WHAT WOULD VETTEL HAVE DONE IF THERE HAD BEEN A CONCRETE WALL THERE’ instead of track run-off?? He would not have accelerated into the wall but rather slowed down to avoid the wall. So are drivers allowed to take advantage of organizers making the tracks safer??

        The McClaren was slightly ahead & on the track so logically Vettel should’ve slowed down to stay on track.. But race’s wouldn’t be exciting without incidents like this…

        • Kim K said on 23rd July 2012, 8:03

          There was a significant part of VET’s car alongside BUT’s car, so BUT should have left him the room but instead BUT moved over to the kerb.
          According to the new rules BUT is in fault here.

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 23rd July 2012, 9:36

            The last clarification on defensive driving, to which you are referring, only applies to a situation where the drivers are “on a straight and before any braking area”. This was specifically highlighted in the clarification as noted here:

            FIA issues new clarification on defensive driving

            Button and Vettel were jockeying for position in a corner, not on a straight between braking zones, so the latest clarification does not apply here.

    • F1George (@f1george) said on 22nd July 2012, 14:53

      Nothing wrong with up-lapping yourself. He was so much quicker than Vettel I can’t see any issue..

      • Kim K said on 22nd July 2012, 16:50

        Nothing wrong with that but dont mix in when VET and ALO are fighting for the lead. VET lost a sec because of that and that got BUT in front of him at the pit stop

    • MediCan said on 22nd July 2012, 14:54

      Great, another Hamilton hater for all cost. There was nothing he should be punished for. Get a grip of yourself and snap outta it, geez.

      • q85 said on 22nd July 2012, 15:00

        remember some modern day f1 fans perhaps dont realise or never seen that unlapping yourself is perfectly acceptable and allowed part of the sport. As is being lapped in a way that doesnt lose you much time.

        it just doesnt happen to often these days thats all.

        • GongTong (@gongtong) said on 22nd July 2012, 15:20

          My interpretation of the rules is that even IF Hamilton had openly admitted to overtaking Vettel simply to try to help his teammate narrow the gap, that there was still no crime. Let alone just unlapping himself.

          Can anyone point me to a regulation which says otherwise?

    • JB (@) said on 22nd July 2012, 15:09

      @mixwell
      What Hamilton did was done out of pure pride…. he was told earlier that button was behind and that he shouldn´t hold him up…. I guess he just thought that he´d be damned if Jenson was gonna lap him on track…. and besides, he has all the right to unlap himself… it´s not like he was driving an HRT or a MARUSSIA for God´s sake… and besides he was much quicker than SV!! I guess seeing him getting himself unlaped and pulling aways must have been a devastating thing to watch… ;)

      • Andy W (@andy-w) said on 22nd July 2012, 16:29

        Did he hold Jenson up?

        No.

        Did he obey team instructions?

        Yes.

        Did he break and of the sports rules?

        No.

        Did he so by giving me a great laugh as he overtook Seb and went off after Alonso, whilst showing off his talent and that if only ‘the racing Gods had been a bit kinder and not given him a puncture’ he was capable of challenging for the podium and maybe even race win (yeah big if given quali and race start, but still…)?

        Yes…

        Should anyone who has a problem with this either get a life or read the rule book?

        well…..

    • Traverse Mark Senior (@) said on 22nd July 2012, 15:12

      I recall Kubica unlapping himself at the end of the 2008 Brazilian GP, in doing so he caused Hamilton to run wide at turn 11(Mergulho). however, Kubica had every right to unlap himself and in doing so helped make the race more interesting, just like Hamilton did today.

    • David BR2 said on 22nd July 2012, 15:21

      I cant seem to understand how Ham escaped a penalty or even an investigation when he pulled that “cucumber” on Vettel.

      Welcome to motor racing. Tip: the faster car is allowed to pass. Horner saying Hamilton was ‘ unsporting’ for driving past Vettel has to be the nadir of recent years. Just awful mindset. Red Bull aren’t entitled to win unchallenged.

      • zicasso (@zicasso) said on 22nd July 2012, 18:32

        +1
        It’s incredible how short memory works… Vettel had nothing, absolutely nothing to gain and he still made Hamilton’s life a hell in the Brazilian GP in 2008. Now (today), he was expecting Hamilton not to race because he is trying to win in his home GP. Funny, very funny this is. Well… very short memory.

        • Kim K said on 22nd July 2012, 21:24

          They were fighting for position in that race, here its about HAM being 1 lap down

          • zicasso (@zicasso) said on 24th July 2012, 1:04

            @Kim K – In a sense both SB and HL had nothing to win by messing each others’ race. In 2008 – DWC at stake and yesterday – 25 points. To suggest LH is stupid when we all know SB would have done exactly the same thing if he was in LH’s place, THAT is stupid.
            I don’t think you have an argument here, sorry. Check the rules and SB needs to grow up!

  2. Harvs (@harvs) said on 22nd July 2012, 14:52

    Vettels excuse that he did not know where button was, so he went wide to avoid contact is identical to hamiltons at spa in 08. Im sorry but it was Illegal and he should have a penalty.

    • GongTong (@gongtong) said on 22nd July 2012, 15:24

      Hamilton gave the place back, right?

    • UnitedKingdomRacing (@unitedkingdomracing) said on 22nd July 2012, 15:29

      And also you have to put in account that not knowing something doesn’t help you with the penalty. Remember Hamiltons pass on the SC in Valencia in 2010. He continued after doing so because he didn’t know whether he passed it before or after the Line but he even got a penalty for it.
      But sadly FIA stewarts never seem to look at similar incidents from the past.

      • sorin (@) said on 22nd July 2012, 15:50

        It’s illegal to overtake someone on the outside of the circuit. Doesn’t matter if it is intentionally or not…

    • romeo said on 22nd July 2012, 15:35

      I think it was back in 2010 Valencia race Alonso handed a penalty similarly passing for Kubica out of track.

      So i think Vettel should gave the position back to Button immediately. I think a stop and go penalty which may cost over 15sec is on the way for Vettel.

    • Andy W (@andy-w) said on 22nd July 2012, 16:35

      actually I wouldn’t say it was identical at all… It was raining when Lewis did it, Kimi was on the wrong tires and much slower, and oh… yeah I remember he gave the place back before… ahhh Yeah now I see what your getting at.

      Seb took a flyer, he was selling it like a champ… but the rule is quite simple, you can’t gain advantage (overtake) by going off the race track.

      Seb went off the track and overtook Jenson.

      Seb is a naughty boy and should at the very least have his position reversed, and really should receive either a drive through penalty (20seconds) or stop go penalty (30 seconds), as well as possibly a slap on the wrist for not just giving back the place… 5 grid penalty for Hungry….

      However as Seb doesn’t drive a McLaren he will probably just get…

  3. Jani (@jan1) said on 22nd July 2012, 14:54

    It’s the same situations as in Spa 2008 when Hamilton got 25 seconds time penalty after overtaking Kimi off the track. That was also in second to last lap.

  4. Slr (@slr) said on 22nd July 2012, 14:55

    The stewards are pretty inconsistent with these kind of incidents. I remember Vettel passing Button in Australian the outside of turn 4 off the track. We also saw Hamilton pass Rosberg in Bahrain off the track. Neither incidents resulted in penalties.

    Then again Webber passed Alonso at Singapore in 2009 off the track at turn 7, and had to give the place back. Button also got penalised for passing Massa off the track in Australia 2011 (the same race Vettel passed him off the track).

    Both drivers in the incidents I mentioned should have resulted in the passing driver giving the place back. There’s no penalty to swap the positions back around as far as I know, so a small time penalty for Vettel like five seconds would be justice.

    • Harvs (@harvs) said on 22nd July 2012, 14:57

      if vettel gets a penalty it will be 20 seconds, its only fair, same treatment for everybody

      • Slr (@slr) said on 22nd July 2012, 14:59

        But as I mentioned in the first post, it’s not the same for everybody.

        The FIA rulebook should allow for the stewards to swap the positions back.

        • falken (@falken) said on 22nd July 2012, 15:03

          The Sky commentary team seem to think any time can be added, so just add 6 seconds :-)

        • Harvs (@harvs) said on 22nd July 2012, 15:03

          but it doesnt, if you give one driver a made up penalty like 5 seconds, you are pretty much favoring them. the punishment for an illegal overtake is (during the race) a drive through, if the race is finished then it is 20 seconds. those are the rules, looks like seb broke them and for that reason he should have the standard punishment.

          • Slr (@slr) said on 22nd July 2012, 15:05

            I said 5 seconds because I remember loads of drivers being given a 5 second penalty in Valencia a few years ago (though it was for a different infringement).

        • Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 22nd July 2012, 16:04

          The stewards can hand any time penalty they seem fit and thus can place a car wherever they want to. Not sure if they know this since I remember that Hill (driver steward) said in an interview had no alternative to handing Schumacher a 25 second penalty after that Monaco debacle. The debacle where the road signs showed green flags and yet it was still supposed to be an SC situation and then Schumacher overtook Alonso in the last corener.

          In those days the penalties were described in the overall motorracing rules. Nowadays the FIA copied the penalty section form the overall rules. It’s in 16.3:

          The stewards may impose any one of the penalties below on any driver involved in an Incident:
          a) A drive‐through penalty. The driver must enter the pit lane and re‐join the race without stopping.
          b) A ten second time penalty. The driver must enter the pit lane, stop at his pit for at least ten seconds and then re‐join the race.
          If either of the two penalties above are imposed during the last five laps, or after the end of a race, Article 16.4b) below will not apply and 20 seconds will be added to the elapsed race time
          of the driver concerned in the case of a) above and 30 seconds in the case of b).
          c) A time penalty.
          d) A reprimand.
          If any of the four penalties above are imposed they shall not be subject to appeal.
          e) A drop of any number of grid positions at the driver’s next Event.
          f) Exclusion from the results.
          g) Suspension from the driver’s next Event.

          • zimkazimka (@zimkazimka) said on 22nd July 2012, 16:31

            see the recent love for ‘drop position’ penalty, i bet that’s what vettel is getting next GP.

          • David BR2 said on 22nd July 2012, 16:37

            It seems to me that a 20 second penalty or a grid drop next race are the penalties they could realistically impose.

            A 20 second penalty seems fairer given the issue is points for the championship and Vettel clearly made the maneouvre to gain those extra points.

            I also think Vettel had ample time to think through what he did. He drifted wide when trying to outbrake Button put him on the wrong side of the corner. He then still had space to tag behind Button but chose to run off (despite Horner’s ridiculous insinuation that he was forced off), slowed on the run off and then floored it. The stewards will be able to tell from the telemetry that he paused momentarily before accelerating off track: for me that’s a clear sign that he knew he was in the wrong area, otherwise he would have accelerated immediately.

        • sorin (@) said on 22nd July 2012, 16:22

          @slr you are wrong. I reviewed all the overtaking scenes you mentioned, and, in Australia Button’s car was in front of Vettel’s car when Button taked the outside line and he return in front(so this is not overtaking), and Hamilton was behind Roseberg ,he went outside and he return with the front car behind the front car of Rosberg, so hamilton didn’t overtook on outside, he overtook at next corner on circuit. Now, Vettel, had the front car behind the front car of Button(with a little), when he got outside, and when he returned, the front of Button’s car was behind the front of Vettel’s car.

    • sumedh said on 22nd July 2012, 15:07

      BUT got penalized for passing MAS because he passed MAS on the inside.
      Same was the case of WEB.

      Passing on the outside tends to be forgiven by stewards. Reason: The overtaking car takes a longer and less grippier route around the overtaken car.

    • McGregski (@mcgregski) said on 23rd July 2012, 13:50

      I think after the “Technical Issue” that they found with the Red Bulls post quali (which the FIA let slide by) they would have come under fire if they didn’t give Vettel a penalty for running and overtaking off track.

      If it had been Marussia or HRT that had engine mappings that wen’t against the rules you can be sure that the FIA would have made them start from the pit lane, I don’t think its right that the stewards disagreed with the person the FIA chose to scrutineer the cars.

      I hope that the other teams raise an appeal on this, it can’t be coincidence that team are constantly raising issues with the Red Bulls developments

  5. LexBlair (@lexblair) said on 22nd July 2012, 14:55

    Rules are there for a reason… Yes Vettel may have overtaken Button later on….. but in this case he did indeed overtake him off-track …. Button was clearly ahead when Vettel left the track….

  6. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 22nd July 2012, 14:56

    He clearly overtook him off the track. He was behind, he left the track, and when he rejoined, he was ahead.

    I blame the run off areas. There are places where tarmac run off isn’t really needed. Why the hell do they have a massive tarmac area outside the track AFTER the corner, which (even worse) is a harpin.

    They get over the head with the tarmac run offs. It really not needed at most places… and this stuff happens, people deliberately go further outside the track to gain time.

    • infy (@infy) said on 22nd July 2012, 15:11

      Nice try, but you cant blame run offs.

      • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 22nd July 2012, 15:14

        @infy really? why not?

      • infy (@infy) said on 22nd July 2012, 15:38

        Because it is the drivers choice to use the runoff and the stewards job to enforce the rules. The runoffs are there to provide safety and they are the most effective way to slow an F1 car down after going 300+km/h.

        Blame the driver for breaking the rules.

        • matt90 (@matt90) said on 22nd July 2012, 16:31

          The point is that the run-off at that location does nothing for safety- all it does is dares the drivers to use it. Blame both the driver and the unnecessary tarmac.

        • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 22nd July 2012, 23:02

          @infy as @matt90 says (and as I pointed out) there are bits of tarmac run-off areas that have nothing to do with safety. That one Vettel used has nothing to do with safety at all.

          I agree with what you say, but that’s not a place where a car is going 300+ km/h. So the enormous tarmac run off area is absolutely pointless. There should be a balance between safety and avoid people gaining unfair advantage. That bit only gives drivers the chance to use it as another part of the track.

          • infy (@infy) said on 23rd July 2012, 0:07

            My point is that you are blaming the wrong thing here. If the rules are enforced properly, then there’s no need to make changes to the runoff.

          • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 23rd July 2012, 15:17

            @infy if you give them the chance to push the boundaries, it’ll happen and it’ll always be controvertial.

    • Funkyf1 (@funkyf1) said on 22nd July 2012, 15:15

      Totally agree with you @fer-no65, there is far to much astro turf and tarmac at this curcuit in particular, the whole weekend the drivers were creating their own tracks.

      • Ditto. A shame we don’t have the likes of a Moss designing a track instead of paint markings for a corner. Then we’d not be subject to inconsistent stewards. Not to mention how long it’s taking them to rule. Bureaucrats.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 22nd July 2012, 15:21

      Indeed, should get a minimum of 5 seconds penalty. And fully agree on the tarmac there, absolutely not needed at all.

    • Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 22nd July 2012, 15:33

      I agree. F1 drivers are cunning and use any advantage they can get, both legal and quasi-legal. It’s in their nature. Giving them such wide run-offs and expecting them not to make moves is half the problem in my book! This does not absolve Vettel for passing off the track however.

    • MuzzleFlash (@muzzleflash) said on 22nd July 2012, 15:35

      I have a feeling he’ll get away with it, he was far enough alongside that, according to the FIA’s own recent clarification that a driver has to give room if the front wing overlaps the rear wheel, which Jenson didn’t do. That’s what I’d be arguing were I Vettel anyway.

      • matt90 (@matt90) said on 22nd July 2012, 16:34

        Button likely only ran so wide because Vettel was already heading off the track in a straight line. And at the beginning of the move- which I would classify as mid-corner when Vettel had the choice to stick it around the outside or back out- Button was ahead, with every right to defend.

        Also, I believe the most recent clarification was only relevant to straights.

    • I agree, @fer-no65. If I remember correctly, the RTL commentators said during qualifying that it was part of the drag-racing strip, so it’s not as simple as getting rid of it. It still does create an incentive for the F1 drivers to use it, though, and they could put temporary sleeping policemen on it, I’m sure – other circuits do, and the drivers magically always seem to find a way around them.

      Kimi consistently used a similar area (coered with high-grip material) after La Source hairpin at Spa a few years ago, to both overtake and stay ahead, and didn’t get any penalty. The rules have been changed since then, though.

  7. F1 Lunatic (@f1lunatic) said on 22nd July 2012, 14:56

    Give Vettel a 10-sec penalty coz that’s rules. But not 20 sec, that would rob him of his podium which he very well deserves!

    • necrodethmortem (@necrodethmortem) said on 22nd July 2012, 15:01

      That’s the worst option of them all. It’s either 20 seconds or nothing. If Vettel wanted the podium, he should’ve let Button past.

    • JB (@) said on 22nd July 2012, 15:17

      @f1lunatic
      Why should he get special treatment when it comes to sanctions??? The rule says 20sec., 20 sec. it is…. plain and simple…. I think this time the cucumber was himself… he should have given the place back if he wanted that podium… but, don´t worry… he won´t get sanctioned… he never does… :/

      The messed thing about it is that that rule can´t be interpreted yet he´ll get away with it once again…

      • Traverse Mark Senior (@) said on 22nd July 2012, 15:25

        When you consider the penalty that Hamilton got at the Spanish GP for being short fuelled at the end of Q3 (demoted to the back of the grid), a 20 seconds pen is the least Vettel should get.

      • F1 Lunatic (@f1lunatic) said on 22nd July 2012, 15:34

        The rule says 20sec

        Sorry JB, but the rule 16.3 c,d,e,f,g are all other options to the 20sec penalty. So, a 10-sec penalty CAN still be applied.

        And i ain’t no vettel fan, been rooting for Raikkonen since 2001, and yet i would neither want Kimi to gain podium in this fashion, nor would I want a juvenie racing mistake in the ‘heat of the moment’ to be punished like an adult’s!

        people first complain about lack of racing aggression, then when it starts hapenning, some others complain about the presence of the same. So, i guess complaints will always rule!

        • necrodethmortem (@necrodethmortem) said on 22nd July 2012, 15:39

          Vettel’s move wasn’t aggressive, it was sneaky.

          • F1 Lunatic (@f1lunatic) said on 22nd July 2012, 15:50

            No. He took the outside line, braked later and was trying for an outside move, now that is being aggressive. However, when he couldnt get his move stick, he should have stuck to Button’s slipstream, which he didnt, and THIS was a mistake, at least he didnt crash into Button trying to come back, like mad-donado in Valencia.

            sneaky was when Kimi stitched Hulkenberg( and almost schumacher ) up when Nico lost momentum against Michael.

          • JB (@) said on 22nd July 2012, 15:51

            +1

          • necrodethmortem (@necrodethmortem) said on 22nd July 2012, 15:55

            He went for the outside move (=aggressive), realize it hadn’t worked and then, instead of doing the right thing, he did the naughty thing (=sneaky).

          • F1 Lunatic (@f1lunatic) said on 22nd July 2012, 16:03

            Now now, make up your mind, was the move aggressive/naughty/sneaky/other …. which one? ;-)

          • necrodethmortem (@necrodethmortem) said on 22nd July 2012, 16:10

            I thought I made it clear enough, but here we go:

            The attempt to go around the outside = aggressive = good.

            After that attempt failed, instead of accepting defeat, he went on the throttle too early, knowing he would thereby overtake Button outside the track = sneaky = bad.

  8. Simon (@) said on 22nd July 2012, 14:56

    What was Vettel’s excuse in the driver room pre-podium? Something about not knowing where Jenson was and making sure he gave him room? Seb, the camera on your car showed he was in front until you decided you wanted more room than JB was offering you on the outside of the track, so you decided to go over the kerb and got past.

  9. Postreader said on 22nd July 2012, 14:57

    Yeah, he probably will get a penalty. If there was grass there he wouldn’t have been through.

    • LexBlair (@lexblair) said on 22nd July 2012, 14:59

      If there was grass there he couldn´t have overtaken him there….

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 22nd July 2012, 14:59

      If there was grass there he wouldn’t have been through.

      Exactly.

      I’m all in favour of using tarmac run-off where it is needed – on the outside of fast corners, for example. But not adjacent to an acceleration zone out of a hairpin.

      They need to put grass or a low-grip artificial surface down there – and at a few other places at Hockenheim.

      • q85 said on 22nd July 2012, 15:02

        spa turn 1 also.

        • F1 Lunatic (@f1lunatic) said on 22nd July 2012, 15:23

          That’s where Raikkone won his 2009 Spa, but in his defense it was the first corner of the race AND he had to counter the late braking cars from behind.

          But, in hindsight of that and other races, adding grass/other at turn1 spa would be ‘disastrous’!

          • q85 said on 22nd July 2012, 16:31

            why would it?

            or simply put it back to how it was when that out curtain or tarmac was the track and u had two acceptable lines, wide or tight both worked which created great racing.

      • F1 Lunatic (@f1lunatic) said on 22nd July 2012, 15:25

        how ’bout ‘em little bumps, a la Valencia? Certainly made for some ‘interesting’ racing, and some ‘punishing’ as well!

  10. Neusalz (@dpod) said on 22nd July 2012, 15:03

    How long does it take to determine a whether to give Vettel a penalty or not? It’s not a hard decision to make, yet it’s taking ages. Maybe I’m missing something with the process…

    • David BR2 said on 22nd July 2012, 15:24

      30 seconds to decide that they should give the penalty. 3 hours to decide on the politics of actually giving the said penalty.

      • Exactly. I wish for the day the stewards are subject to same pointed questioning IN PUBLIC like the drivers and team managers post race.

  11. Yoshitsune (@yobo01) said on 22nd July 2012, 15:03

    I don’t know, it’s quite difficult to judge, actually. Vettel’s move on Button in Australia 2011 was no legal, in my opinion, he carried more speed in that corner and it was clear that he wasn’t going to make it. In this case Vettel was going to accelerate inside the track. He moved to leave Button enough space.
    I mean, that’s probably what Seb is going to say to the stewards.

    So, yeah, I don’t know. He went off track, and you shouldn’t be there. I don’t know, we will see.

  12. duncanmonza (@duncanmonza) said on 22nd July 2012, 15:05

    Hopefully he only gets something like a 10 second penalty. He doesn’t deserve to lose third.

  13. Paul2013 said on 22nd July 2012, 15:05

    There will not be sanction for vettel. Wrong but it is Germany

  14. sid_prasher (@) said on 22nd July 2012, 15:06

    I think Seb could have got passed Button on the last lap…now he will only end just ahead of Perez.

    • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 22nd July 2012, 15:28

      @sid_prasher – if he incurs any penalty I think it’d only be fair to reverse the positions because as you have pointed out he would’ve gotten past Button most likely anyway on the last lap. In my view if the pass was indeed illegal then the FIA should’ve beforehand relayed the message to Vettel that he had to give the place back: which they didn’t do. So therefore punishing him with a 20s time penalty or worse would be unjust in my opinion.

      • sid_prasher (@) said on 22nd July 2012, 15:37

        @vettel1 – but there is no provision for that in the rule…it ll either be no penalty or a 20 sec. penalty.
        I agree that this decisions should be made during the race and not afterwards. If stewards feel it was a clear cut case then they should inform the team that the place needs to be returned and not wait till post race to make a judgement.

      • F1 Lunatic (@f1lunatic) said on 22nd July 2012, 15:40

        yep, it wud have been far more convenient….BUT, how could the Stewards have managed that? They would need at least a couple of laps time to analyze and come to a decision, and then a lap’s time before it is radioed in to the team and from the team to the driver, by which time Vettel and Button would have been congratulating Alonso!!!

        • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 22nd July 2012, 16:00

          @f1lunatic – I think it’s a fairly simple decision, and they had two laps in which to make it (which obviously is not much time but I believe it to be sufficient). I don’t think his move was entirely fair, but to penalise him now with a twenty second penalty (which would relegate him to 5th or 6th I believe) would be grossly unfair: after all the likelihood is he would’ve passed him on the last lap anyway.
          My personal opinion is that Vettel should’ve given the position back (as the FIA should have told him to do) which would allow the race to finish without controversy: a far better option than tempering with the results.

  15. fleety said on 22nd July 2012, 15:06

    That was a pretty dodgy move by Vettel. Though it wouldn’t surprise me if the Golden Child gets away with it !!!

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