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.”