During the 2018 German Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes cut it extremely close when pitting. During the Safety car period, the Mercedes team told Hamilton to pit for fresh tyres. At the very last second, they told him to stay out, which he reluctantly obeyed. However, a few years earlier, the same thing happened to Sebastian Vettel at the Hungarian Grand Prix in 2010.
Once again it was a safety car situation and the call came way too late for Vettel. The Red Bull team frantically told Vettel about the Safety Car, which usually means that a bunch of drivers dive in. Unfortunately, the call came way too late because Vettel had already passed the pit entry.
Obviously, an irate Vettel yelled at the team for the last gasp call when he had already passed the pit entry. In the end, he managed to enter the pit lane to change tyres and go on his way In the end, it cost him because he ended the race in 3rd place after starting on pole position.
Though he managed to escape a penalty for that little stunt, he was on the stewards’ radar. Later on, when he failed to maintain a minimum distance of 10 car lengths behind the Safety Car, there was no mercy. The German driver copped a drive-through penalty, much to his displeasure.
That spelt the tone of his race as he ultimately ended the race in 3rd place. Meanwhile, teammate, Mark Webber took the win ahead of Fernando Alonso in the Ferrari. Luckily, he was well ahead of Felipe Massa in the other Ferrari and Renault driver Vitaly Petrov.
Coming to Hamilton though, he also escaped a penalty, though he got a warning for the stunt. The good news was that he was allowed to keep his victory. A similar incident nearly happened to Kimi Raikkonen in 2020 at the British Grand Prix.