FORMULA 1 legend Sebastian Vettel was as surprised as anyone to learn he’d been penalised at the Austrian Grand Prix
Vettel admits Aston Martin car 'isn't where they want it to be'
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Sebastian Vettel was as stunned as anyone to find out he’d received a five-second penalty in Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix. The F1 icon had a weekend to forget at the Red Bull Ring, which started with a last-place finish and early exit from qualifying.
He then completed just 21 of the 23 laps during Saturday’s Sprint session, failing to secure any points. A collision with Williams’ Alexander Albon saw Vettel spin off-track and onto the gravel, resulting in his early exit.
The Aston Martin driver avoided an early finish during Sunday’s race despite a clash with Pierre Gasly causing him to spin off-track again. However, Vettel didn’t escape the stewards’ wrath and learnt he was among the drivers served a five-second penalty for crossing the track limits too many times.
“I had three [strikes], and I didn’t get a warning,” the four-time world champion told Sky Sports after being informed of his punishment following Sunday’s race. “So I don’t know how I can get a penalty if I don’t get a warning because I had three strikes, that was what I was told until the last lap, and then it goes to five. It’s a bit strange.”
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Sebastian Vettel learnt of a penalty mid-interview (Image: Getty)
One can understand Vettel’s frustration considering he initially believed he had finished 16th out of the 17 who finished on Sunday. However, even a minor penalty was enough to move him behind Yuki Tsunoda to 17th, with only the three retired drivers below him.
Numerous drivers were found guilty of infringing on the track boundaries in what was an incident-ridden Austrian GP. Lando Norris, Zhou Guanyu and Gasly were given penalties for exceeding the limits, while seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton was warned for the same offence.
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Sebastian Vettel sits 14th in the standings (Image: Getty)
The result in Austria is even more disappointing for Vettel after he had secured three top-10 finishes in his previous four outings. The 17th-place result is Vettel’s lowest position in any race he’s completed so far this season.
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc moved up to second after winning ahead of Red Bull’s titleholder, Max Verstappen. Each of their respective partners failed to finish, however, as Carlos Sainz’s F1-75 caught fire, and a collision forced Sergio Perez to retire after just 24 laps.