Daniel Ricciardo defended Sebastian Vettel over the weighbridge incident during Formula 1 qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix on Saturday, suggesting FIA officials should consider changing the rules to avoid a repeat occurrence in the future.

Vettel was hit with a €25,000 fine and a reprimand after destroying the weighbridge scales during a routine check in Q2 at Interlagos.

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Vettel said after the session it was “unfair” that he got called at a time when he was trying to get back out on-track quickly due to incoming rain.

Red Bull driver Ricciardo came to Vettel’s defence when speaking after the session, and suggested officials consider tweaking the rules in the future.

“If I was in his position, I would be frustrated as well, because rain is coming, he hasn’t set a lap yet and in simple terms they are postponing his qualifying and putting him at risk,” Vettel said.

“I’m sure we are going to talk about it in Abu Dhabi now, but we might have to try and add something in, like you can only be called if you have set a lap.

“I think calling you in before you have set a lap, they are kind of controlling your qualifying session, which I think is a bit unfair. So from that point of view, I will sympathise I would say.”

Ricciardo explained the weighbridge procedure in full, with Vettel having irked the stewards by pulling off the scales under his own power instead of being pushed off.

“You’ve got to switch your car off, that’s the thing, and then the mechanics have got to come and start it up,” Ricciardo said.

“I couldn’t put a time on it – more than a minute or something. But if the weather is like that, it’s not ideal.

“They called me in in Suzuka when I had my problem and I hadn’t set a time, so I was a bit like ‘guys, why do you need me? I’ve done nothing’. But then they saw I had problems and let me go.

“I kind of feel we need to set a lap before they call us in."

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