Sebastian Vettel has avoided a penalty from the FIA for allegedly jump starting the Japanese Grand Prix due to staying “within the acceptable tolerance of the F1 jump start system”.

The Ferrari driver appeared to move from his pole position grid slot before immediately stopping again as the start lights went out meaning he made a poor getaway and dropped to second place behind Valtteri Bottas.

After a lengthy FIA investigation during the race, Vettel did not receive a jump start penalty – which would have been a drive-through penalty – with the F1 governing body stating his movement did not trigger its jump start sensors.

“The Stewards reviewed video evidence and the jump-start report based on the information from the FIA approved and supplied transponder fitted to each car,” an FIA statement read.

“Whilst the video shows some movement that movement was within the acceptable tolerance of the F1 jump start system which formerly defines a jump start per Article 36.13(a) of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations.”

Vettel held his hands up at the error after the race but feels it may not have cost him victory due to Mercedes’ pace, with Bottas taking victory ahead of the German driver in second place.

“The lights were on for a long time but it was my mistake,” Vettel said. “I lost momentum there so I ended up worse that just having a poor start, it was a really poor start.

“Then it was difficult because Mercedes were quite quick in the race especially in the second stint as they had more pace than us. Valtteri was flying literally at the end of middle of the first stint but then Lewis tried to do one stop but it didn’t work so in the end I knew he would come out behind.

“So I placed myself best around the parts of the track where I could and tried to get to the exits and places where he could be a threat. So that worked but obviously it was a tough afternoon to maintain second.”

Kimi Raikkonen was given a drive-through penalty for a jump start at the Russian Grand Prix.

 

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