Vettel on a moped

Sebastian Vettel was handed a €5,000 fine for taking a scooter onto the Albert Park circuit at the end of FP1.

The German was forced to stop out on track towards the end of the opening session in Melbourne, but at the end of FP1, Vettel took a scooter from one of the nearby marshals to return to the pits.

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Vettel’s actions contravened article 26.7 of the FIA’s Sporting Regulations which prohibits “anyone from being on the track in the five-minute period after the end of a session, with the exception of specifically identified personnel, which makes no provision for drivers to have such access unless specifically authorized.”


The wearing of jewellery by drivers while on track has been banned since 2005, but up until this year it hasn’t been strictly enforced.

Ahead of the Australian Grand Prix, new race director Niels Wittich made it clear at the start that the wearing of jewellery - including neck chains, bracelets and piercings - would be considered a breach of the rules and could result in repercussions.

This directly impacted Lewis Hamilton, who wore a nose stud for the majority of his F1 career, while several drivers wear watches.

Despite some resistance from the drivers, and a grace period for Hamilton to remove his nose stud, all the drivers have followed the rules and thus no penalties have been given out.


During the same Melbourne weekend, Wittich warned drivers that the FIA would be getting tougher on monitoring the type of underwear worn during races on safety grounds.

The clampdown came after growing concerns that drivers’ underwear wasn’t complying with safety standards, particularly if they’re not fire-proof.

Appendix L of the FIA’s International Sporting Code outlines that drivers must wear gloves, long underwear, a balaclava, socks and shoes that are homologated to the FIA’s safety standards. 

Storming out of drivers’ briefing 

Vettel was once again on the end of one of F1’s weirder penalties after storming out of the drivers’ briefing on Friday at the Red Bull Ring.

The four-time champion walked out of the drivers’ briefing "without permission" and "expressed frustration at the meeting".

It is understood that Vettel decided to leave the meeting after getting frustrated with discussions over driving standards.

The Aston Martin driver was handed a suspended €25,000 fine.

Physios get too close 

Again at the recent Austrian GP, all three podium finishers - Charles Leclerc, Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton - were handed suspended fines of €10,000.

This was because their physios were interacting with them in parc ferme before they had been weighed.

Physios "must wait outside the cool down room behind the podium until the podium ceremony has concluded."

Zhou’s bizarre double penalty 

Chinese rookie Zhou Guanyu was hit with an unusual double penalty at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Zhou received a five-second penalty from the stewards for overtaking Alex Albon off the track on the opening lap in Jeddah.

As he went to serve the penalty in the pit lane, the jack operator (the person required to lift and drop the car at a pit stop) touched the car.

Zhou was meant to serve the penalty before Alfa Romeo could operate on his car.

The offence resulted in a drive-through penalty, on top of the time he lost in the pit lane.

Alonso’s tactical corner cut 

Fernando Alonso is a wily old fox and he showcased that at the inaugural Miami Grand Prix.

Running ahead of Haas driver Mick Schumacher, Alonso cut the Turn 15 chicane.

By doing this, he was able to drop Schumacher from the one-second DRS window.

Despite lifting off afterwards, Alonso picked up a five-second penalty, dropping him out of the points.

“We believe that it was very unfair and it was just incompetence from the stewards,” said Alonso. “They were not very professional, I think, in Miami.”

Aston Martin’s fuel

Both Lance Stroll and Vettel were forced to start from the pit lane in Miami following a pre-race procedural error from Aston Martin.

The technical regulations state that there’s a minimum temperature for the start of the race.

This has to be within 10C of the ambient temperature as cooler fuel has a benefit in terms of power.