Four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel was left disappointed with how long it took for his 10-second stop/go penalty to be issued on Sunday at Imola, stating the FIA was “not very professional”.
Sebastian Vettel’s Aston Martin suffered some brake issues during the reconnaissance lap to the grid, as the crew was working on fixing the problem, they did not have all four tyres fitted at the five-minute signal before the start of the Grand Prix.
While Lance Stroll was able to take his place on the grid, Vettel had to start from the pit lane so further work could be done.
“Obviously, the guys tried everything on the grid and I think they did really well,” Vettel told Sky.
“So they were really alert. But I think we could have had a better race if the FIA was more alert.
For Vettel, the problem doesn’t stand in the penalty, which stems from a breach of regulation; what he was clearly unhappy with, is the time it took the FIA to communicate its decision to the box.
“We broke a rule, that’s why we got a penalty. They didn’t bother [to issue it] until way into the race. So by that time, the penalty cost a lot more than it would have earlier in the race.
Vettel served the penalty on lap 22, having received notice not long before, leaving him disappointed over how long it took to be handed the punishment. While he recognized that the delay wasn’t a decider for how the race ended, he still finds it rather inadequate.
“It certainly wasn’t a decider for us today but that’s not very professional”
F1 race director Michael Masi denies there was an unnecessary delay, insisting the standard procedure was carried out.
“I don’t know about taking longer than it should have,” Masi said. “It was obviously reported by the technical delegate.
“I’d have to have a look at the reports but once it was reported by the technical delegate, being the paper report that appears in the document management system, at that point the stewards had a look at the regulations, confirmed the evidence and determined what the penalty was.”
Vettel eventually retired from the Grand Prix one lap before the chequered flag was waved.