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F1 Brazilian GP: Vettel stands by 'braking' defence, disagrees with penalty

Sebastian Vettel: I moved over once to defend my position and after that I think I gave Daniel enough room on the inside
UPDATE: Following the press confereence Ferrari has requested a review of the penalty

Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel says he doesn't agree with the decision that saw him demoted from third to fifth in the Mexican Grand Prix.

Vettel was hit with a 10-second penalty after the stewards ruled he moved under braking when defending from Daniel Ricciardo in the latter stages of the race.

However, when quizzed on the decision in the Thursday pre-event press conference ahead of this weekend's race in Brazil, Vettel was adamant he gave Ricciardo enough room, adding the reason the Red Bull pilot locked up was because he had gone off-line.

“Well obviously I don't agree with the decision that was made. I moved over once to defend my position and after that I think I gave Daniel enough room on the inside,” Vettel confirmed. “I kept the car straight for more than the majority of the braking. So I think, from my point of view, the reason why Daniel locked up so badly is because there was no grip on the inside.

“It is something I think we all knew about and there were people locking up in other corners when they were off line. It actually looks a bit worse than it was. I don't think it was actually dangerous for Daniel at that point.”

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Ricciardo, who took third as a result of Vettel's penalty, unsurprisingly felt the stewards had made the right call.

“When you are in that braking zone, once you have committed and especially when you are overtaking and we have discussed this as drivers, you are putting the car on the limit. You are trying to out-brake someone and you are already on the edge. Then any sort of move you are not really in control and hence why I lock up the brakes and it all turns into a bit of a mess,” Ricciardo added.

“It is the only part, and it is not that we are not in control, but we can't really get out as much when we are on the brakes. When you are coming down the straight if someone defends, if they move one way, you can obviously move the other or whatever, but once you have committed to the braking it is hard to pull out of that move. Obviously I felt that was the right decision.

“But from an outside point of view for the fans it is probably a bit hard to understand and digest it all after the race. Obviously we will try and keep it, I won't say clean, I like hard racing, but we will just try and avoid moving under braking in the future and then things won't need to be addressed.”

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Meanwhile, FIA Race Director Charlie Whiting explained that the stewards had merely applied the rules that have evolved in the second part of the season.

“I think it might be helpful to go back a little bit to Hungary, where there were two incidents involving Kimi [Raikkonen] and Max [Verstappen],” Whiting noted. “This got thoroughly discussed during the Drivers' meeting in Germany and the consensus of opinion was that moving under braking was something that should not be done.

“We agreed with this and then we had the incident with Max and Lewis [Hamilton] in Japan, where the first thing that Lewis said on the radio was: 'He moved! He moved when we were braking'. So we looked at it after the race and the stewards, as you know, felt there wasn't a case to answer there, which gave rise to a lengthy discussion in the Drivers' meeting in Austin.

“I then issued what was a clarification of existing regulations to say what we felt exactly should be reported to the stewards - and with that as the backdrop, Mexico was really the first race where that rule was applied.

“There are three fundamental points there in the rules. First, if a driver has to take evasive action. Second, if a driver makes an abnormal change of direction in the braking zone and third, if it could be deemed to be potentially dangerous to another driver. If those three conditions are satisfied then the stewards felt that was a dangerous manoeuvre and should be penalised. So that is how the stewards looked at it and they felt Sebastian had moved under-braking and that was very clear from the data and also pretty clear from the video.

“It was potentially dangerous and it was an abnormal change of direction that could have led to an accident.”

Referring to video footage, he added: “From the track camera you can see very clearly that both cars are on the left of the track. Sebastian moves to the right and then in the braking zone moves to his left and Daniel had to take evasive action.

“[Also] from the onboard you can see very clearly had Daniel's right front hit Sebastian's left-rear it would have been a significantly different scenario. That is what I think the stewards really looked at. It was a potentially dangerous situation.

"It is close and I think that is what the stewards looked at and as I say, those three conditions were satisfied as far as the stewards were concerned and that was what they felt they should act on.”




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Related Pictures

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30.10.2016 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
30.10.2016 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
30.10.2016 - Race, Press conference, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
10.11.2016 - Press conference, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H

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JimG

November 11, 2016 1:52 AM

I have no problem with the race stewards giving Vettel a penalty for the move under braking. What I do question is why they gave him a 10 second penalty but only a 5 second penalty to Verstappen. I feel that both penalties should have been the same, as both were pretty much all related. So it should have been either a 5 second or 10 second penalty for both Verstappen and Vettel. After all, Verstappen backed Vettel right back into the hands of Ricciardo after his shortcutting the corner.

Gecko

November 11, 2016 9:34 AM

Seb did exactly what Max has been doing, and I consider it part of defending a corner. But then Seb had it made an offence, and he got had at his own complaint. Which was "Moving under braking". All the data showed it plainly, and the video of it shows the data correct. So maybe Seb still feels the "blue eyed boy". He is not he is just an ordinary driver in an ordinary car...............



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