Vettel faces grid drop threat for red-flag offence

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Vettel faces grid drop threat for red-flag offence
Scott Mitchell
By: Scott Mitchell
Oct 19, 2018, 2:13 PM

Formula 1 title outsider Sebastian Vettel faces the threat of a grid penalty for the United States Grand Prix after being summoned to the stewards for a red-flag offence.

Vettel has been accused of failing to slow sufficiently during a red-flag period in the opening practice session at Austin on Friday.

The Ferrari driver was called to the stewards at 13.10 local time.

FP1 was interrupted by a red flag when Vettel's 2019 teammate Charles Leclerc spun his Sauber and rejoined the track by going through the gravel, bringing stones onto the track.

The red flags were thrown so marshals could clean the circuit.

If he is found guilty, Vettel could be hit with a grid drop.

According to Article 31.6 of the Formula 1 sporting regulations, which Vettel is accused of breaching, drivers must reduce speed sufficiently from the time at which the "red flag" message appears on the official messaging system, until the time that each car crosses the first safety car line when entering the pitlane.

Article 31.4 of the sporting regulations states: "In the event of a driving infringement during any practice session the stewards may delete a driver's lap time (or lap times), or drop the driver such number of grid positions as they consider appropriate."

Racing Point Force India driver Esteban Ocon was penalised three places on the grid for the previous race in Japan for failing to slow sufficiently for red flags in practice.

Ocon was adjudged to have breached the rules during FP3 after Renault's Nico Hulkenberg crashed and the session was suspended.

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