Vettel at risk of grid penalty over red flag incident

Image by Steven Tee/LAT

Vettel at risk of grid penalty over red flag incident

Formula 1

Vettel at risk of grid penalty over red flag incident

Sebastian Vettel is likely to receive a grid penalty at the United States Grand Prix for failing to slow sufficiently under red flags during the opening practice session.

The red flag was brought out after Charles Leclerc’s trip through the gravel saw the Sauber deposit plenty of stones on the racing line at Turn 9 when rejoining. With the track needing to be cleared, the session was stopped and all cars have to return to the pits at a reduced speed, but Vettel has been summoned to the stewards for “failing to slow sufficiently during a Red Flag period.”

Previous similar incidents have resulted in a three-place grid penalty, with Daniel Ricciardo receiving that grid drop in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix. Esteban Ocon had a similar penalty at the last race in Japan, having gone over the delta lap time given to the drivers for a few seconds when returning to the pits.

Vettel will see the stewards at 1:10 p.m. local time, meaning a decision is likely to be handed out before FP2.

Lewis Hamilton was fastest in the first practice session and only needs to outscore Vettel by eight points to win the championship this weekend. If Hamilton wins on Sunday, Vettel must finish second to take the title fight to Mexico.

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