Softer stance helps Vettel avoid penalty

2014 Austrian Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Red Bull Ring, 2014Sebastian Vettel avoided a penalty for a collision during the Austrian Grand Prix as the stewards took a softer stance on racing incidents.

Vettel hit the rear of Esteban Gutierrez during in turn four, damaging the front wing on his car.

The collision was investigated by the stewards but they decided against imposing a penalty.

“In light of the new guidelines from the Formula One Commission, there is no further action warranted,” said the stewards in a statement.

Vettel retired from the race soon after having fallen a lap behind early in the race due to an engine problem.

Gutierrez received a ten-second stop-go penalty during the race for an unsafe release from the pits and will take a ten-place grid penalty for the next event at Silverstone.

2014 Austrian Grand Prix

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25 comments on Softer stance helps Vettel avoid penalty

  1. He could have races on, took the penalty and then retire. Would’ve made no difference.

    I do like now with the need of teams asking the stewards to look at something we can see what team are asking for investigations. Sauber have asked for this one.

  2. PeterG said on 22nd June 2014, 15:25

    I’m not sure that was really Vettel’s fault.

    Looked like he moved left t have a go up the inside but Guttierez seemed to drift out to defend through the kink.

    Would like to look at it again to confirm or deny that though.

  3. TMF (@tmf42) said on 22nd June 2014, 15:25

    GUT went off the line to cover VET and VET misjudged the difference in traction – not sure how you can call this anything else than a racing incident.

  4. Patrick (@paeschli) said on 22nd June 2014, 15:38

    “Gutierrez received a ten-second stop-go penalty during the race for an unsafe release from the pits and will take a ten-place grid penalty for the next event at Silverstone.” That’s pretty harsh, no?

    • TMF (@tmf42) said on 22nd June 2014, 15:40

      @paeschli no, this is a new rule they introduced to mitigate the risk in the pit-lane. It seems harsh but it’s completely up to the teams to avoid this.

    • RBAlonso (@rbalonso) said on 22nd June 2014, 16:39

      @paeschli @tmf42. I completely agree. We saw today huge changes in final standings due to pit stop times and whilst safety should always be the first thought, the punishment does not fit the crime. There was nothing Gutierrez could do to influence this error and it could ruin 3 races for him. Not forgetting this is an error which serves no advantage to begin with, all chances of points are eliminated by the ten-second penalty. Then he will probably be eliminated in Q1 and have to serve the grid drop over two races and elect to start from the pits undermining the ruling. If anything with, with numerous grid drops to come due to engine changes the stewards should be trying to move away from applying penalties that change the next race. IMO a 5 second stop go would suffice in this instance, no team sends a driver out with the belief three wheels will be faster!

      I suppose the glaring irony is that F1 in this era is designed around the casual viewer with its endless artifice yet from one qualifying session to the next days race the results are so different. Not only complicated but moreover applied for boring and AGAIN unfair reasons. Surely the infrequent fan does not want to see double points, grid drops applied for no reason and standing restarts?

      • Ciaran (@ciaran) said on 22nd June 2014, 17:03

        @rbalonso It’s like you said, safety should always be the first thought. Loose wheels in the pit lane is one of the most dangerous things in motorsport, and absolutely has to be stamped out with harsh penalties like this.

        • Alex (@alexny67) said on 22nd June 2014, 19:34

          I’d go for a different penalty. If it was a team fault them penalize the team. Take away team points. That will affect their standing and it will mean less money at the end of the year.

          • Ciaran (@ciaran) said on 22nd June 2014, 21:06

            @alexny67 That affects higher-ranking teams more so than it would teams like Marussia or Caterham though. Direct fines have the inverse effect – it punishes lower teams while the richer ones almost have an incentive to pull risky stunts at pit stops. I’m not saying the current way of penalising them is perfect, but there’s not really many other options.

  5. Mudzis said on 22nd June 2014, 16:44

    I find it really strange that Vettel so often receives no penalty!
    Remember 2012 Brasilian GP when Vettel crashed into Bruno Senna and got no penalty or 2012 Japanese GP Qualifying when Vettel clearly blocked Alonso but received no usual 3 or 5 place grid penalty for that.

    • “Remember 2012 Brasilian GP when Vettel crashed into Bruno Senna ..”

      No, I don’t remember any such thing. Probably because it never happened. I do remember Senna crashing into Vettel though. If he had not taken himself out of the race Senna would have been penalized for that move.

      • Strontium (@strontium) said on 22nd June 2014, 18:27

        Not in the slightest. Vettel turned in from the outside to the inside (bearing in mind on the first lap this corner is always a very busy one in Brazil) with 2 cars inside him and expected them to disappear. It was entirely his fault.

    • Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall) said on 22nd June 2014, 19:36

      He was basically already penalised for this accident by ruining his front wing and Gutierrez got away with no puncture. If the Sauber received a puncture then I would think he would deserve a penalty but as he only hurt himself it isn’t much of an issue in my eyes.

  6. Mudzis said on 22nd June 2014, 16:49

    Besides, this new softer rule is completely wrong, because who can seriously expect Toro Rosso asking to investigate faults of Red Bull drivers since they both are one big team?

  7. Good. I am not in favour of the stewards punishing mistakes. I am in favour of the stewards punishing dangerous driving.

  8. “In light of the new guidelines from the Formula One Commission, there is no further action warranted”

    That incident would not have warranted a penalty even under last years rules.

  9. Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 22nd June 2014, 17:42

    Racing incident. The Sauber was very slow out of the corner – lack of traction probably the cause – and Vettel seemed to possibly get a boost of ERS to coincide with it. Misjudgment on his part, of course, but still a racing incident (which in the end really made no appreciable difference to either driver’s race).

  10. Bleu (@bleu) said on 22nd June 2014, 17:55

    It was Vettel’s fault, but the damage he got removed any need of penalty – he paid for the clash anyway.

    • Strontium (@strontium) said on 22nd June 2014, 18:30

      Yes. Had it caused a puncture for Gutierrez it would have been.

      However, one thing I must point out is how much fewer front wing collisions there have been this year with the wings just that bit smaller.

  11. Jimbo said on 22nd June 2014, 21:31

    Vettel said he retired to save mileage – is that allowed? I know it often happens in practice, but I thought they normally made another excuse.

  12. George YI (@timeless) said on 22nd June 2014, 23:16

    wasn’t VET allready 1 lap behind at this moment ?

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