Sebastian Vettel has received a €5,000 ($5,500) fine for using a scooter on the track at the end of FP1 at the Australian Grand Prix.
The German suffered a power unit problem during the opening session and had to stop on the exit of Turn 10, helping extinguish the car before pushing it back behind a barrier. He then waited until the end of the session to borrow a scooter and ride it back to the pit lane, waving to the crowd with his helmet balanced on top of his head while rounding the final sector of the lap.
Vettel was summoned to the stewards after the end of FP2 for the “unauthorized use of a scooter on the track” and eventually handed the fine after a long driver’s briefing.
“At the end of the session, Vettel sought a way to return to his pit,” the stewards’ decision read. “A marshal was at the location with a scooter. Vettel asked if he could drive the scooter in order to return to his pit. The marshal assented. Vettel got on the scooter, expecting the marshal to get on behind him. When he didn’t get on, Vettel departed alone for the pit, without the prior approval to do so.
“Meanwhile, the marshal was trying to contact race control for instructions. In driving on the track to his pit, instead of the designated route, Vettel breached Article 26.7 of the Formula 1 Sporting Regulations, which prohibits anyone from being on the track in the five-minute period after the end of a session, with the exception of specifically identified personnel, which makes no provision for drivers to have such access unless specifically authorized.”
The stewards also handed Carlos Sainz and Yuki Tsunoda driving reprimands for impeding incidents on Friday, with Sainz receiving his first and Tsunoda his second of the season.