Vettel reprimanded but keeps pole

2012 Japanese Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Suzuka, 2012Sebastian Vettel will keep his pole position for the Japanese Grand Prix after the stewards investigated him for holding up Fernando Alonso.

After three hours the stewards decided he had impeded the Ferrari at the chicane during Q3.

However they decided against awarding Vettel a grid penalty, instead handing him a reprimand.

2012 Japanese Grand Prix

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116 comments on Vettel reprimanded but keeps pole

  1. Eggry (@eggry) said on 6th October 2012, 10:20

    One obstacle for cruise to win has been removed.

  2. LSL1337 (@lsl1337) said on 6th October 2012, 10:29

    what about KOB?

    • KOB lost time in that sector and did not use KERS or DRS … so no punishment there.

    • Eggry (@eggry) said on 6th October 2012, 10:42

      He already escaped. Telemetry said he didn’t use KERS or DRS.

      • so what???

        • Eggry (@eggry) said on 6th October 2012, 10:47

          That means he wasn’t speeding.

          • No it doesn’t. Well it shouldn’t. Plus the incident was a bend. Kers and drs shouldn’t be in equation at all

          • Eggry (@eggry) said on 6th October 2012, 12:43

            I know Kimi spun at the corner but yellow flag section was straight after that.

          • TheGreatWanderer said on 6th October 2012, 17:00


            straight after

            Shouldn’t a yellow flag section be BEFORE the place(where raikkonen spun), so as to warn any approaching drivers??

            In any case, apparently Sauber feel they had telemetry data that Kobayashi DID NOT set a ‘faster’ sector time to which the yellow flag section belongs to. That does not mean he lifted off for the yellow flags, unless of course, Sauber also have telemetry data that suggests this, but i didnt notice any place where they have specifically confirmed this!

  3. I do not want know how J-E. Vergne would be feeling right now …. sense of injustice? Maybe, but I think the Stewards want to appear apolitical but no matter their decision, it would still look political. In this case the fight for the WDC.

  4. avegaille (@avegaille) said on 6th October 2012, 10:44

    awww, i was hoping he’d get a penalty to make the race more interesting tomorrow.
    he’s gonna win from pole to flag now then.

  5. it would be fine if others got reprimanded for similar incidents. but they do not.

  6. xjr15jaaag (@xjr15jaaag) said on 6th October 2012, 10:50

    This puts him 3rd on the all-time pole position list.
    And he’s only 25 years old.

    • Chaplinez (@chaplinez) said on 6th October 2012, 12:47

      36 right?

    • What else does Vettel have to do to get credit as a great driver?
      (and don’t say “be second then”)

      • Jason (@jason12) said on 6th October 2012, 18:18

        Vettel is a good driver (more like Button).
        But he’s not great/superfast/out-and-out-racer. Any honest person knows that Vettel’s success so far has been mostly the car.
        What he needs (and will still need even he gets 3rd WDC) is a worthy opponent in the same car, so he can prove himself.
        His move to Ferrari in 2014 will certainly answer all these questions.

        • David-A (@david-a) said on 6th October 2012, 18:39

          Any honest person knows that Vettel’s success so far has been mostly the car.

          @jason12 @omarr-pepper Any honest person knows that he has performed extremely well throughout his career, even when he was in midfield machinery, therefore his success isn’t any more down to the car than it was for the other champions on today’s grid, or the past.

          However, I do not wish to have another long argument about this issue, especially since I didn’t see anybody on this article fail to give credit where credit is due.

        • Jason 100% agree with you.

        • Jason (@jason12) said on 6th October 2012, 19:14

          There’s really nothing to argue about here. Different people will assess talent differently. My assessment says he’s at Button’s level.
          There’s a reason though why even Alonso doesn’t rate him (after two successive WDCs).

        • Any honest person knows that Vettel’s success so far has been mostly the car

          And Schumacher’s 7 world championships weren’t “mostly the car”, and Senna’s dominance of 1991 wasn’t “mostly the car” etc etc. I really hate it when people use this argument against him. Do you want to know what shows he’s a great driver? He’s second in the world championship this year (even with his retirement in Valencia) when the McLaren has clearly been he fastest car on average. Sure, Alonso may be leading in a worse car, but quantifying Alonso compared to Vettel doesn’t do him justice: Alonso has the experience and is for sure one of the all-time greats.
          34 pole positions in 4 years of full competition; if that isn’t the mark of a great driver then I don’t know what is.

          • xjr15jaaag (@xjr15jaaag) said on 6th October 2012, 20:22


          • Jason (@jason12) said on 6th October 2012, 20:50

            It’s the mark of a driver who benefited from radical regs changes. Drivers say kind things about each other all the time, however when Alonso has had to make comparisons (this is what he had to say):
            Can’t wait for 2014, or for Lewis to somehow find himself at Red Bull.
            In closing, I wouldn’t be surprised you’re ‘secretly’ hoping none the above actually happens.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 6th October 2012, 22:18

            @jason12 – I don’t think you’re being fair here. The regs changed in 2009, but Vettel had already won for Toro Rosso by then, and there were also radical changes in 2005- when Alonso’s Renault team benefited. I doubt you’d start holding that against him.

            With regards to the article/video you linked to, you also need to consider that as double reigning champion, Vettel is clearly the target, or common enemy of Alonso and Hamilton. Those comments also contradict the interview that aka_robyn posted.

          • artificial racer said on 6th October 2012, 22:23


            In your first video Alonso says Vettel is one of the two most talented drivers on the grid (presumably excluding himself…)

            This “outdrive the car” meme is usually complete and utter rubbish. Because nobody wins in crap cars, outside of an occasional fluke or weather-related serendipity.

            Great drivers drive to the limit of the car. You cannot go faster. You can make fewer mistakes, you can get closer to the edge, you can find great setup, etc. If Alonso is so wonderful why doesn’t he put his inferior car on pole? Because he can’t outdrive the car. Get over it. He won his championships in the fastest car, or when not the fastest the most reliable. Same with Hamilton, and Schumacher for that matter.

          • HoHum (@hohum) said on 6th October 2012, 23:36

            Let’s put an end to all this;

            Question 1: Is Vettel a worthy Champion – Yes.

            Question 2: Would Vettel have the record he has if he had been a non European privateer without sponsors or team backing? –

            No, but he would be on his way, possibly excited about joining McLaren next year.

  7. 91jb12 (@91jb12) said on 6th October 2012, 10:56

    Is it 3 reprimands and a grid penalty, or is it 3 reprimands for the SAME OFFENCE before a penalty. Because Vettel got a ridiculous reprimand for laying rubber in a pitbox one race and one for a dodgy pit entry when there wasn’t another car on the circuit to endanger.

    • Laura (@laurateapot) said on 6th October 2012, 11:10

      According to the regs, at least two of the reprimands have to be for driving offences:

      18.2 Any driver who receives three reprimands in the same Championship season will, upon the imposition of the third, be given a ten grid place penalty at that Event. If the third reprimand is imposed following an Incident during a race the ten grid place penalty will be applied at the driver’s next Event.
      The ten grid place penalty will only be imposed if at least two of the reprimands were imposed for a driving infringement.

  8. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 6th October 2012, 10:58


  9. Victor Bardon (@victorbardon) said on 6th October 2012, 10:59

    Thanks god, it avoid another “ferrari and alonso are advantaged by the FIA”…

  10. Cyclops_PL (@cyclops_pl) said on 6th October 2012, 11:16

    Yet again I don’t understand the FIA’s idea of justice. How they can reprimand a driver for illegal blocking while they have applied a grid penalty to the other driver for the very same offense just hours earlier. FIA, make up your mind. Please.

  11. mrgrieves (@mrgrieves) said on 6th October 2012, 11:33

    I think we should wait and see it before condemn Vettel. I Certainly havent seen it but glad he’s still got pole. Too many races being ruined by penaltys

  12. DT (@dt) said on 6th October 2012, 11:36

    Another clear inconsistency here. Maybe the didn’t want Alonso to have a easy ride to a championship win.

  13. F1fanNL (@) said on 6th October 2012, 11:51

    Here’s where you can clearly see Vettel ‘blocking’ Alonso.

    And the stewards make another joke of themselves…

    • verstappen (@verstappen) said on 6th October 2012, 12:06

      If you look at the clips posted above and read this article from Espn, than I think it was the right decision.

      Alonso’s lap was already compromised and the ‘blocking’ was almost non-existing, it was over before the chicane, while Vergne blocked Senna all through the whole chicane.

      Fair assessment and decision in both cases.

      • Reprimand is ok, but others should of got it to.

        Yes he got out the way once it was too late and damage was done. His team would of known alonso was coming for about 20 seconds.

        By what others have got a pen was the only option to remain consistent.

        With red bull advantage it’s vettel’s title to lose now

  14. Well,atleast we wont be hearing “FIArarri” chants tomorrow….

  15. An utterly unjust decision. Poor Vergne deserved the penalty even less than Vettel did. If Vettel wins the WDC this season,he will probably be the most undeserving and the least meritorious of all the triple champions.

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