Sebastian Vettel had been charged a fine of €5000 for taking a ride back to the pits on a scooter after Friday’s practice session. His AMR22 F1 car suffered a loss of power which forced him to pull up by the side of the track at turn 10. The session had another 15 minutes to go.
After the chequered flag, Vettel used a marshal’s scooter to get back on the race track in order to reach the pits which, according to the regulators, was a violation of Article 26.7 of the Formula One Sporting Regulations that prohibits anyone from being on the track in the five-minute period after the end of a session, unless specifically authorized.
Vettel argued that he had been given permission by the marshal to use the scooter but, the FIA slapped him a €5000 fine for re-entering the circuit without permission.
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When asked by Motorsport.com for his views on the sanction, his reply was simply that it was a “joke”:
“It would be good to know what happens to that money. I think we are still not aware what happened to the $50,000 that Max or Lewis or one of them had to pay for touching a rear wing.”
Sadly though, another fine of €600 was levied on Vettel after he exceeded the 80 kmph pit lane speed limit on Saturday, doing 85.1 kmph as he raced onto the race track at the end of Q1.
A bad day there for Vettel and the Aston Martin team who started with a crash on the exit of turn 10 in FP3. Vettel was to miss the qualifying altogether but a red flag situation arose as a result of Lance Stroll’s crash with Nicolas Latifi.
Making use of the situation, the team got Vettel’s car ready in no time. The single lap however, fetched him an 18th place on the grid.
Commenting on the event, Vettel said: “I didn’t know where the limit was to be honest,” said Vettel of his sole Q1 lap.
“What I think today is a really a day for the team. They did incredible, all of the girls and boys in the garage worked really hard to get both cars out, and it was a miracle we got one out, and then we had the red flag and the guys jumped from one side to the other and were trying their best to get me out, which worked.”
“Obviously at the minute where we are with pace we’re not going to jump to the front and create a miracle. We are not strong enough for that right now, but still it was a great team effort.”