Having finally broken his F1 2010 duck with a superb lights-to-flag victory in Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang, Sebastian Vettel was then subjected to a post-race scare when he was summoned to the stewards' office for a yellow flag indiscretion.
It emerged that Vettel had illegally passed the ailing Lotus of Jarno Trulli in the closing stages of the race in Kuala Lumpur whilst yellow flags were waving for Fernando Alonso's stationary and smoking Ferrari near to Turn Four, bringing the young German's driving to the attention of FIA stewards, including popular former grand prix-winner Johnny Herbert. However, it was ultimately agreed that no further action was required.
'Having received a report from the Race Director (Charlie Whiting) that Car 5 Sebastian Vettel overtook Car 18 Jarno Trulli whilst yellow flags were displayed at the approach to Turn Four, the stewards, having viewed video and telemetry evidence and heard evidence from the driver and team representative, find that the driver did breach Article 22.214.171.124 b) of Appendix H of the International Sporting Code,' read an official statement.
'However, the stewards, having noted that the driver made a very large reduction in speed through the yellow flag area and that he understood that Car 18 was slowing with an obvious problem, decide in accordance with Article 16.2 a) of the Formula One Sporting Regulations to impose no penalty.'
Vettel's triumph and a one-two for Red Bull Racing in Malaysia have vaulted driver and team alike firmly into title contention, after the Heppenheim native had looked odds-on to mount the top step of the podium in Bahrain and Australia last month only to be frustratingly denied by reliability issues on both occasions.