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Schumacher and Webber penalised, Vettel cleared
23 September 2012
Michael Schumacher has received a ten-place starting grid penalty to be served in Japan for colliding with the back of Jean Eric Vergne's car on lap 38 of the 2012 F1 Singapore Grand Prix on Sunday.
The unusually severe level of the penalty - losing ten grid spots in Japan rather than the usual five - is a result of the race stewards taking into account that this is the second similar offence by Michael Schumacher this season.
The stewards heard from the driver as well as from a Mercedes team representative and reviewed video and telemetry evidence before concluding that Schumacher had committed a breach of Article 16.1 of the FIA F1 Sporting Regulations.
The ruling stated: "The driver admitted the collision was his error due to the failure to anticipate the braking performance of the car with lower tyre grip following a safety car period."
Schumacher had earlier told the media that not only he had braked, he had done so earlier than usual for the approach into turn 18 - and that he didn't know why the brakes hadn't reduced his speed in time to miss ploughing into the back of the Toro Rosso.
The stewards also reviewed evidence relating to Red Bull driver Mark Webber, and deemed him to have have gained an advantage by ignoring the track limits during the concluding laps of the race when he was making an overtaking move on Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi.
In this case, the stewards ruling stated: "Notwithstanding that the distance by which car 2 left the circuit was minimal, advantage was gained hence a breach did in fact occur. Such a breach has consistently attracted a drive-through Penalty."
Since the race had concluded by the time the stewards reviewed the incident, the penalty becomes one of 20 seconds added to Webber's race time and as a result Webber loses his tenth place finish and the single championship point attached to it.
Sergio Perez is boosted up into tenth position as a result of Webber's penalty, and receives the extra championship point.
Meanwhile, the race stewards dismissed complaints against Sebastian Vettel that he had driven erratically into the restart at the end of the safety period on lap 39 which had almost caused Jenson Button to collide with the Red Bull.
The stewards said that after reviewing the telemetry overlay for throttle, steering and brake traces of both cars, there was no indication of any erratic driving behaviour on the part of Vettel.
The ruling added that it "noted that Article 40.13 [of the FIA F1 Sporting Regulations] provides that the first car may dictate the pace" of the restart after a safety car deployment.
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