Why Sebastian Vettel Faces Fine for Behavior in F1 Drivers’ Meeting – Sports Illustrated

Sebastian Vettel ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria.
Sebastian Vettel was handed a €25,000 suspended fine on Saturday for storming out of the F1 drivers’ meeting ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix. 
The Aston Martin exited the meeting “without permission” after “expressing frustration” during the tense meeting. It’s widely reported that tempers flared during the meeting as the relationship between F1 drivers and the race directors has become strained, primarily over inconsistent decision-making over implementation of rules. 
“Drivers are not free to leave when they want, this being a breach of the requirement to attend. Drivers at this level are role models for every driver around the world and in the opinion of the Stewards Vettel failed to live up to that standard in this case,” the bulletin from the stewards read, in part. The Aston Martin driver did apologize “without reservation” and had a “constructive conversation” with this weekend’s race director, Niels Wittich, concerning “the topics in the meeting and more.”
The fine “is suspended for the remainder of the 2022 season,” which means Vettel will only be required to pay it if he does not attend a drivers’ meeting throughout the rest of the season or breaches the following ISC article: “Any words, deeds or writings that have caused moral injury or loss to the FIA, its bodies, its members or its executive officers, and more generally on the interest of motor sport and on the values defended by the FIA.”
The Aston Martin driver was summoned following Saturday’s sprint race, and in wake of the move, George Russell, who is one of the Grand Prix Drivers Association directors, discussed the drivers’ frustration. He did not specifically speak on the summons but rather touched on how stewards interpreted the rules for recent battles, such as those between Sergio Perez, Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc, as well as Max Verstappen and Mick Schumacher.
“I think it’s very difficult for the FIA, very difficult for the drivers, there’s been a lot of borderline decisions or maneuvers, whether it’s defending or whether it’s track limits in a racing scenario like last weekend at Silverstone,” Russell said, per The Race. “We don’t want to be dishing out penalties left right and centre, but there needs to be an element of consistency somewhere, I think we need to look at the root cause of the issues and with these track limits, the issue is the circuit.”
He continued, “We’re never going to solve this issue until you solve the circuit, and Turn 4 here in Austria, you’ll never have that issue [because of the gravel], but compare that with Turn 1 or Silverstone last week, you’ll always have the issue, so yeah.”
The FIA decided before the 2022 season began to remove Michael Masi from his role as race director and replace him with two new race directors, Wittich and Eduardo Freitas, following the controversial Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The pair alternate race-directing duties.
“I do agree that we need to stick with one race director. We need to have more consistency with the stewarding,” Russell said. “We come to the following event and often the steward from the previous event is not there so there’s no accountability or no explanations of decisions.
“We ask questions and it’s difficult to get a straightforward answer because—I wouldn’t say the blame, but the blame is put onto someone else who isn’t there. It is tricky. Everybody has their own interpretations.”
Watch F1 online with fuboTV: Try for free!
This is not the first time drivers have expressed the need of consistency and clarity this season on the application of rules. Earlier this season, Fernando Alonso highlighted incidents at Miami where the stewards “were not very professional” and that he has not seen any improvement from the FIA this season. He later apologized.
Alonso was penalized for cutting a chicane during the Miami Grand Prix even though he felt that he significantly lifted off the throttle in order to give back any possible advantage. Meanwhile, Perez did not receive a penalty for going off the track during the battle between him, Hamilton and Leclerc at the British Grand Prix, something Alonso said Thursday he was seeking clarity on. 
“I left the track in Miami on one corner and I gain an advantage for them [the FIA], but they have to imagine that I gained an advantage, because I give back all the advantage,” the Spaniard said, per ESPN. “[Silverstone] was a clear gaining of advantage, because you can fight on the next corner on the inside or outside. So it’s clear. And it was no penalty. So I’m very confused.”
Alonso later added, “At the beginning of the year, leaving the track was not allowed. It was very clear, black-and-white.
“Now, leaving the track and keeping flat out on the run-off area and keep fighting on the following corner, is allowed. So that’s a completely different direction with what we have seen so far. So it will be very, very interesting to clear this up.”
More Formula One Coverage:


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

You may also like