Sebastian Vettel Comes to the Rescue of Haas F1 Duo Amidst Impending Penalty for Q1 Squabble

Published 09/05/2021, 4:53 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Belgian Grand Prix – Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium – August 29, 2021 Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel gets out of the car before the start of the race due to bad weather Pool via REUTERS/John Thys


Sebastian Vettel had a strong start to Saturday by seeing off the final practice session in P7. Hence, going into qualifying, the odds were that Vettel would make it into Q3 without much hassle. However, in reality, the German couldn’t even qualify into Q2 and ended up in a disastrous P17.

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Of course, the Aston Martin driver is hardly to blame, as he ended up being the victim of traffic, which has been one of the biggest concerns at Zandvoort. Hence, following the session, the stewards launched an investigation on the incident, and both the Haas drivers were set to receive grid penalties.

But, Vettel arrived on the scene to save the day. The 4-time world champion’s comments on the incident led to the stewards opting against penalizing the two drivers.

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What did the stewards’ report say?

As reported by PlanetF1, Vettel reckoned to the stewards that it was unfair to hand Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin the penalties, as a lot more drivers were in the queue as well.

There is no doubt the lap of Car 5 was compromised, however, we note in particular the comment of the driver of Car 5 (VET) that “there were too many cars in one place”.

Formula One F1 – Dutch Grand Prix – Circuit Zandvoort, Zandvoort, Netherlands – September 2, 2021 Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel during the FIA Press Conference Pool via REUTERS/Kenzo Tribouillard

There were at least six cars in line preparing for a fast lap, and all of these were travelling at slow speed (some at less than 50 km/h) whereas Car 5 was approaching at up to 240 km/h.

Although Car 5 was impeded, in the circumstances this was not “unnecessary impeding” (cf Article 31.5). The drivers and team representatives present agreed,” the report stated.

What happened to Sebastian Vettel in qualifying?

Vettel was on a flying lap with seconds to go for the chequered flag over Q1. The pressure was high on Vettel to deliver after failing to clock a competitive time over the initial run.

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And around the final corner, the two Haas drivers were busy squabbling for track position. Nikita Mazepin pulled up alongside his Haas teammate, Mick Schumacher, blocking the entire track.

Formula One F1 – Dutch Grand Prix – Circuit Zandvoort, Zandvoort, Netherlands – September 4, 2021 Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel during practice REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

Hence, the fast-approaching Vettel had to slow his car down, consequently giving up on his flying lap, which certainly could have saved Vettel from missing out on Q2.

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Nevertheless, Vettel will start the race from P16 after gaining a place from Sergio Perez’s grid penalty. And of course, strategy matters around Zandvoort, and Aston Martin have proven to be quite good at it this season. Hence, can the British outfit assist Vettel in finishing the Dutch GP in the points?

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Rohit Kumar

1168 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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