Sebastian Vettel’s punishment for’hazardous‘ driving at the Italian GP has left him only three points that were license since the German was compelled to reflect on a different damaging day in his year.
While young team-mate Charles Leclerc stopped Ferrari’s nine-year wait to get a win in their home race, to trigger jubilant celebrations for the group and Italian spectators in the packed grandstands, Vettel trailed home 13th after his race was destroyed by an early twist and then a direct clash with Lance Stroll’s oncoming Racing Point.
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Together with his return to the track deemed’dangerous‘ by race stewards, Vettel was given a 10-second stop-and-go penalty, the most severe sanction available before a disqualification.
Talking to Sky Sports F1 following the race, a downcast Vettel stated:“Clearly I am not happy with it, I can not be pleased with my day.
„I dropped the back an couldn’t catch it, as simple as that. After that the race was gone.“
Asked if he had witnessed Stroll coming, Vettel replied:“No. I fought a couple of times to get the car moving, and also to get in the ideal direction also, so I couldn’t see him.“
Compounding the in-race sanction would be the three penalty points.
Vettel is now on nine for the last 12-month interval, three from an automatic one-race suspension. The upcoming points to be dropped – two, accrued at year’s US GP – don’t expire until October 19, meaning Vettel has to navigate the subsequent 3 grands prix without collecting three points.
Since the system was released in 2014, no driver has attained the 12-point limit within the specified period.
Vettel, who congratulated Leclerc and joined the post-race celebration picture of Ferrari in the pit lane, has now been overtaken as the team’s lead driver at the entire tournament. Leclerc is up together with Vettel, to fourth place on points currently 13 behind.
„Of course I love what I do, but definitely if you are not performing well what you know you can do well, you can not be more happy,“ added the German motorist.
The verdict by the Nico Rosberg of Sky F1
„It is unexplainable for me personally. I can’t describe it.
„He is a four-time entire world champion, he’s one of the best guys out there, and to make a mistake like that, within our own and simply turning a car like that in one corner, is so strange.
„Afterward even worse afterwards, coming back to the track like this – though I understand because what exactly are you going to do? Just sit there and just await the whole train to go by? Drive out and probably just opt to take a risk.
„But even that, a double mistake – my goodness. This must be dim this instant because of him. His team-mate has only shot the number one status by him, likely, in the team also only became a complete Ferrari legend.
„Vettel is one of those guys who has a great deal of self-confidence, therefore that’s going to help him much through this. And in F1 it you’re back and it just takes one particular race, one race that is strong. We shouldn’t write off him because he can return quite quick, although not an easy one.“