Vettel handed a grid penalty for first-lap incident at the Malaysian GP

The first lap incident

The first lap incident

It was announced yesterday evening that Sebastian Vettel has picked up a three-place grid penalty for the next race in Japan after a collision on the opening lap of the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Vettel started the race from fifth on the grid but tried to go down the inside of both Max Verstappen and Nico Rosberg into Turn 1.

He clipped Verstappen and ran into the back of Rosberg’s car, pitching the Mercedes into a spin. Vettel retired immediately with suspension damage, while the other cars continued.

After the race, the stewards reviewed footage and heard from Vettel, before announcing that they have given him a three-place grid drop for next weekend’s Japanese GP at Suzuka.

He also has two penalty points added to his license, increasing his 12-month tally to four. The statement from the stewards said the following:-

‘Having thoroughly reviewed the video and having spoken to the driver concerned, the stewards determined that although the cars involved in the incident were all moving at relatively similar speeds, the driver of Car 5 made a small error entering to the inside of Turn 1 that led to the contact with Car 6.

‘As a consequence, Car 6 was caused to spin from second place and loose multiple positions, which the Stewards determined was predominantly the fault of the driver of Car 5 and therefore ordered the penalty above for causing a collision.’


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