For a fairly long time, there have been a number of questions about Sebastian Vettel and his form. His costly spin in Monza was just one of the many instances where he took his eye off the ball. Unfortunately, that incident had far more dire consequences, as he tagged Lance Stroll in his haste to get back on track.
Needless to say, the FIA were unimpressed and slapped a 10-second stop-and-go penalty. As a result, the German is one significant incident away from a one-race ban. A 10 second stop-and-go penalty is considered the third-most severe punishment in the F1 rulebook. The other two are a 25-second stop-and-go and a direct disqualification.
When Vettel spun on lap six, his primary thought was to scramble back on track as quick as possible. In the process, he forgot the basic unwritten rule about checking for oncoming cars and he paid the price.
Lance Stroll got the shock of his life when he was suddenly tagged by the Ferrari and sent into a spin. Meanwhile, Sebastian Vettel suffered front wing damage and was forced to pit immediately.
The stewards decreed that it was a “dangerous incident”. On top of his in-race penalty, Vettel was awarded three points on his superlicence. In other words, he has accumulated nine points over a 12-month period. If he earned three more, he would be in MAJOR trouble.
A driver receives an automatic one-race ban if they accumulate 12 points within a year. What makes things even worse is that Vettel’s existing tally will remain with him until November at the US Grand Prix. So, the German driver will need to tread carefully for the next two months.
In his defence, Sebastian Vettel confessed that he did not see Stroll coming at all. He revealed: “No. I struggled a couple of times to get the car going and get the car going in the right direction, so I didn’t see him.”
What was an even more bitter pill to swallow was the fact that teammate Charles Leclerc stood on the top step. The Monegasque driver handed Ferrari their first Italian Grand Prix win since 2010, while Vettel was in a lowly 13th position.
He added: “I’m not happy with it, I can’t be happy with my day today. I thought we had a good start and then nowhere to go, lost the position, got it back and reconnected to the cars ahead and then I just lost the rear and couldn’t catch it. It’s as simple as that, but obviously not happy with it and then after that the race was obviously gone.”