Aston Martin driver Sebastian Vettel has been fined a total of €5,000 by the Australian Grand Prix as he rode a moped onto the track and back to the pitlane after his F1 car suffered a power unit failure.
After completing 18 laps during FP1, he was forced to jump out of his car and extinguish a fire that had started at the engine of the car. This triggered a red flag, but with Vettel happy about where the car was left, he took a marshal’s scooter and rode it back to the pits, waving at fans along the way.
This was a brilliant moment of the day with fans loving the fact that one of the greatest F1 drivers to ever live was driving past on a moped waving at them. But the FIA wasn’t too fond of this choice and has since fined him €5,000 for “entering the track without permission” and “unauthorised use of a scooter on the track” after it was confirmed he’d breached Article 26.7 of the Formula 1 Sporting Regulations.
— Formula 1 (@F1) April 8, 2022
This “prohibits anyone being on the track in the five minute period after the end of a session, with the exception of specifically identified personnel, which makes no provision for drivers to have such access unless specifically authorized”.
“Obviously we had a problem and there was a bit of smoke and I lost power so we had to stop the car on track,” said Vettel at the time.
“I did the best I could to limit the damage and get off the track as soon as possible.
“It stopped our running which was painful and unfortunately it lost us our whole session this afternoon.
“I haven’t been in the car for a while and plus this track is different. It will be fine tomorrow but it would have been nice to get more laps.
“It felt good to be back in the car, it felt how we left it in the Bahrain.
“Obviously some bits have changed since then but it is a different track so it was getting myself in a rhythm and getting myself used to the new layout and new tarmac here.”