Ferrarin saksalaiskuljettaja Sebastian Vettel saa lähtöruuturangaistuksen aika-ajojen toisen osan lopulla tapahtuneesta estelystä.
Vettel ajoi oman aikakierroksensa jälkeistä jäähyttelykierrosta radan ensimmäisessä mutkassa, hitaasti ajolinjalla.
Vettelin toiminta hidasta nopealla kierroksella ollutta Renault’n Carlos Sainz junioria, jonka johdosta kilpailuntuomaristo langetti Vettelille kolmen lähtöruudun rangaistuksen osakilpailuun.
That’s as a result of a three-place penalty dished out by officials after they decided the Ferrari driver had unfairly impeded Renault’s Carlos Sainz in the closing stages of Q2 in Spielberg.
Vettel had just finished a flying lap and was on an in-lap, travelling quite slowly into and around turn 1, on the racing line. He conceded that he had passed Sainz between turns 7 and 8 but assumed the Spaniard had pitted afterwards – when actually he was starting a flying lap and closing rapidly.
As Sainz suspected, Vettel admitted he had not seen the Renault in his mirrors and he had not received a radio call from Ferrari to warn him of its approach. Despite this, stewards concluded that the German should not have been so slow and on the racing line during a slow-down lap in qualifying.
“Obviously I wasn’t meaning to block him or screw his lap,” said Vettel after the session. “I was looking in the mirror, I passed him finishing my lap and I wasn’t told anything. So I’m still looking in my mirrors, I couldn’t see anything, checked again after Turn 1 and nothing to see.
“The problem by then obviously was that he was side by side, so fair enough, I can only apologise. But there was no intention obviously.”
Fortunately for Sainz, the incident did not stop him progressing to Q3 and he ultimately went on to qualify in ninth, one place ahead of team mate Nico Hulkenberg. Afterwards, there were obviously no hard feelings – even though he admitted that at the time he had felt otherwise.
”I don’t want to put too much blame on Sebastian because it has happened to me before that your engineer doesn’t tell you there is a car starting the lap and you just simply don’t look in your mirrors,” said Sainz. “I got a penalty for that before, but it is not always the fault of the driver if you are not told.
“But it did cost me a front wing, a repair. I was angry at the moment because I thought it had cost me my Q3 – it was my second run of Q2 and we were pushing flat out. But thank God I had a good enough lap at the start of Q2 to go through.”
Vettel had one penalty point added to his Super License, bringing his 12-month total to three.
Itävallan osakilpailun lähtöjärjestys Vettelin rangaistuksen jälkeen on suomalaisittain mielenkiintoinen.
1. Valtteri Bottas #77, Mercedes
2. Lewis Hamilton #44, Mercedes
3. Kimi Räikkönen #7, Ferrari
4. Max Verstappen #33, Red Bull Racing
5. Romain Grosjean #8, Haas
6. Sebastian Vettel #5, Ferrari
7. Daniel Ricciardo #3, Red Bull Racing
8. Kevin Magnussen #20, Haas
9. Carlos Sainz #55, Renault
10. Nico Hülkenberg #27, Renault
11. Esteban Ocon #31, Force India
12. Pierre Gasly #10, Toro Rosso
13. Fernando Alonso #14, McLaren
14. Lance Stroll #18, Williams
15. Stoffel Vandoorne #2, McLaren
16. Sergio Perez #11, Force India
17. Sergei Sirotkin #35, Williams
18. Charles Leclerc #16, Alfa Romeo Sauber
19. Brendon Hartley #28, Toro Rosso
20. Marcus Ericsson #9, Alfa Romeo Sauber