Vettel escapes sanction for first lap incident

Sebastian Vettel has escaped sanction following an alleged breach of the rules when he cut the track in the stadium section on the opening lap of the Mexican Grand Prix.

The German was called to see the stewards after the race to explain his actions in missing out Turn 13 as he returned to the pits following his first corner puncture.

Article 20.2 of F1's Sporting Regulations states that: "A driver may not deliberately leave the track without justifiable reason."

But after the stewards reviewed video evidence of the incident, and spoke to the Ferrari driver, it was decided he had not done anything to warrant a sanction because of the rear puncture he had.

A statement from the FIA said: "Car 5 had a puncture at Turn 1 and lost the rubber of the tyre at Turn 13. After reviewing the video footage the stewards agreed with the driver's reason for leaving the track."

Ricciardo clash

Although Vettel was initially angry about Daniel Ricciardo for causing his puncture at Turn 1, he admitted afterwards that he did not think the Australian had acted deliberately.

"I have just had a look at it now," he said. "Initially I was pretty angry because I have a puncture and the race is lost. But looking at it now, I think it was correct not to take any action on it.

"I don't think Daniel had anywhere to go, equally he was trying to get through but there was no gap really – so it is a difficult judgement to make.

"I saw him in the very last second and tried to open up [the corner], but by then it was too late plus he was too quick for the line he was trying to do.

"We touched and giving someone a penalty for that, you cannot do that. I am not blaming him but it was a shame for us."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Event Mexican GP
Track Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez
Drivers Sebastian Vettel
Teams Ferrari
Article type Breaking news