Vettel gets reprimand after title celebration donuts while team gets €25 000 fine
27 October, 2013
Sebastian Vettel spent some of his first moments as a quadruple World Champion-elect in the stewards office after Sunday’s Indian Grand Prix, and walked out with a reprimand while his team was slapped with a €25 000 fine.
After wrapping up his 2013 title campaign in style with a third consecutive win at the Buddh circuit, the German let his emotion spill over with a series of perfect donuts on the front straight.
“(Engineer) Rocky called for the usual procedure, but I said ‘not this time’,” Vettel grinned as he recalled doing the donuts, stopping the car on the grid and throwing his gloves into the grandstand.
The Red Bull driver, however, broke a fundamental rule about taking his car straight to ‘parc ferme’ – a crucial procedure to prevent interference with the car and strict compliance with the rules.
Indeed, FIA officials were quickly on the scene of the abandoned RB9 to ‘neutralise’ it, and Vettel and team manager Jonathan Wheatley were summarily called up by the stewards.
The FIA announced: ”The driver failed to proceed directly to the post race parc ferme as detailed under article 43.3 of the FIA Formula 1 Sporting Regulations. Due to the special circumstances the Stewards accepted the explanation of the driver. The team failed to instruct the driver sufficiently to return directly to post race parc ferme.”
Vettel was given a reprimand an his Red Bull team was handed a € 25 000 fine.
Helmut Marko, however, said he could not understand the officials’ strict adherence to the rules in such a universally-enjoyed moment of emotion and celebration, calling the FIA’s reaction “unbelievable” and “strange”.
Earlier German commentator Marc Surer said: “The FIA could penalise him, but I hope they turn a blind eye, because this was not just any race but the title decider. On the other hand, the FIA constantly surprises me with the penalties they issue.”
It was Vettel’s first reprimand of the season. Three reprimands in one season leads to a ten place grid drop penalty. (GMM)
Subbed by AJN.