Bear with me a moment, there is a story on MotorSport.TV at the moment with the title “Why Vettel is closer to a ban than you think” Video is here
Long story short, if a driver accumulates 12 points on their license in a season, they will be banned for one race
Vettel has nine points on his license after his Monza infringement where he hit Lance Stroll.
3 Points in Monza
3 Points in Silverstone
Vettel got the first three points on his license at the Silverstone Grand Prix for “running into” Max Verstappen
3 Points in Montreal
Another the second three points in Montreal for running over the grass and running wide in front of Hamilton
On a side note, Vettel and Stroll have previous when it comes to Stroll colliding with Vettel.
I was completely unaware that Vettel was so close to a ban. the Motorsport.tv video says the chances of him getting another three points before the end of the season is remote but given how generous the FIA has been in giving him three points for his previous “infractions”, the possibility is far from remote especially given the pressure Vettel is now under after his junior team mate (who earns ten times less than him) has won two races on the bounce and now leads him in the championship.
Is Vettel being Victimised by the FIA?
Regardless of what Vettel said about the Silverstone incident, Verstappen was clearly weaving under braking and Vettel was 100% committed to out braking him, the accident was inevitable, a racing incident at worst and if a penalty has to be given, it should be to Verstappen.
How can I driver that is collecting up a car after having gone over the grass be deemed to be driving unsafely?
The in-car from Vettel’s car clearly shows him fighting oversteer when he rejoins the track. Again, absolutely no need for a penalty at all and to show the inconsistency of the FIA, they gave Vettel the lowest possible penalty ie 5 second time penalty AND gave him three points on his license where license endorsements are supposed to be reserved for the most heinous of crimes.
What was it, the lowest possible infringement or the biggest?
I agree with Martin Brundle, Vettel should not have received any penalty in Montreal.
Clear cut, for sure Vettel should have reversed the car into a better angle and then rejoined the circuit, maybe he thought he was lucky to still be moving on the grass in which case whatever the penalty, he considers himslef lucky to have still be in the race. 3 points deserved on this occasion.
So, is Vettel being victimised by the FIA, on the evidence of receiving six points on his license for no good reason, yes, Vettel is being victimised.
Wether the FIA is doing it consciously or not is irrelevant. Who knows, maybe it was his outbursts in Mexico that started it all.
And actually, while we are it, Vettel got a ten second penalty in Mexico for his “move” on Ricciardo. Again, another example of the FIA having a hard-on for Vettel.
Yes I have been a supporter of the moving under braking rule but Vettel left Ricciardo room, Vettel did not force Ricciardo onto the grass at a hundred miles an hour, so again, Vettel completely undeserving of the penalty.
And this is ignoring the fact the Ricciardo would not have even been in that position if the FIA had given Verstappen a Black & White flag for backing him up into Ricciardo when Verstappen had a five second penalty. A situation which the FIA created and Vettel ends up getting a penalty out of nothing.
Could the FIA be the type of organisation to hold grudges, I’ll leave you to decide…
Addendum One thing the Motorsport.tv video gets wrong is who will replace him if he gets banned. According to Wikipedia the team is no allowed to field a replacement driver if the driver is banned.