Vettel under investigation after bizarre qualifying incident

Image by Steven Tee/LAT

Vettel under investigation after bizarre qualifying incident

Formula 1

Vettel under investigation after bizarre qualifying incident


Sebastian Vettel is under investigation for destroying the FIA’s weighing scales in a bizarre incident during qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Having been called to the weigh bridge, Vettel knocked over a cone that needed picking up by an FIA employee who stood in front of the Ferrari, but Vettel gesticulated wildly as he wanted to speed up the process. Vettel crept forward twice, forcing the FIA member to move, and drove on to the scales but did not turn off the engine before driving away.

“During the second Qualifying session at 15:27hrs, the driver of car number 05 (Vettel), when called for weighing, refused to turn off the engine,” FIA technical delegate Jo Bauer reported. “The car was pushed onto the scales and weighed with running engine, which makes it difficult to get a stable result.

“After weighing the driver drove off the scales under its own power, and by doing so, he destroyed the scales.

“As the driver was not following the instructions and further compromised the continuation of the weighing procedure, I am referring this matter to the stewards for their consideration.”

The stewards have called Vettel to visit them at 4:45 p.m. local time — 45 minutes after the checkered flag fell in qualifying — with the Ferrari driver having originally qualified in second place behind Lewis Hamilton.

Hamilton was also involved in two incidents during qualifying as Sergey Sirotkin and Kimi Raikkonen both approached at high speed, but the stewards opted not to investigate either.