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F1 Hungarian GP: Vettel calls on F1 ‘to set an example’ on yellow flags

Sebastian Vettel says Formula 1 exposed itself to setting a bad example after Nico Rosberg set his pole position time despite improving under double waved yellow flags
Sebastian Vettel says Formula 1 exposed itself to setting a bad example after Nico Rosberg was cleared of any wrongdoing by the race stewards when he set his pole position lap time despite improving through double waved yellow flags.

The Mercedes driver, who eventually lost out to team-mate Lewis Hamilton and with it the F1 championship lead, grabbed pole position with his final flying lap in Q3.

Rosberg was the only driver to significantly improve his lap time, lifting him from a provisional second and on to pole, after Fernando Alonso spun at turn four which prompted double waved yellows.

Vettel was one of the drivers who failed to improve after easing off under the yellow flags for Alonso's spin and feels if F1 is going to allow drivers to make lap time gains with minimal slowing then it will set a poor precedent for junior categories and young drivers looking up to F1.

“The worst thing about this is we are an example,” Vettel said. “Next week there will be a go karting race somewhere and there will be a double waved yellow somewhere because somebody went off and marshals will go out and help.

“The way the kids think is that 'I don't need to lift much because in F1 it is okay, that is the pinnacle and that is okay so that is how we can behave'. That is what I don't like about it.

“Double yellow in the rule book says be prepared to stop. Arguably if you go 2kph or 4kph slower or brake earlier and you drop half a tenth I don't think you are preparing to stop. It is one of those things that we are trying improve and make it fair to give us drivers a chance to finish our lap.”

The Ferrari driver says despite recent attempts to clarify the rule – which initially prompted Rosberg to the stewards post-qualifying before being satisfied the German driver had slowed down sufficiently – he feels there is too much grey area in what is acceptable when slowing under yellow flags.

“In my opinion it has gotten worse,” he said. “We have had a lot of discussions and in the past it was clear not to improve under yellow but now we can. We need to debate how much is considered a lift and how much is not.

“One thing is for the people who are trying to rescue and recover the car and get the track green again and the other is the example we are giving. I am not a big fan of penalising every single one. We didn't set a good example yesterday.”
by Haydn Cobb

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July 26, 2016 2:37 PM

Just as the virtual safety car specifies a set speed limit for all cars on various parts of the track, so too should double yellow flags require a very dramatic, controlled speed. The FIA says it is concerned with driver safety and are almost certainly going to demand the halo for what are largely political reasons. But a halo would not have saved Bianci. A much reduced speed in the double yellow zone would very likely have saved him. The double yellow technology is quite simple to implement. We have had concurrent races where stewards have investigated fast laps, only to decide that the rules were followed. This week, the result was pole. Pole position should be impossible when you have encountered double yellows.


July 26, 2016 6:33 PM

Sophisticated: Is it just me or is Vettel complaining all the time? Wasn't any different in the race in Hungary either. Moan moan moan. He did not use to be like that but maybe that is because he is not in a dominant Red Bull anymore...
its just you! seb is becoming better at speaking his mind, and also speaking total sense. reminds me a bit of gerhard berger in that respect.

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