D as document number 32 was sent to the black at 5:06 pm FIA board stapled. In it, the stewards Garry Conelly, Jose Abed, Jang Sung Kuk and Martin Donelly announce that an investigation has been initiated against Sebastian Vettel. 14 minutes later, the world champion and Red Bull team manager Jonathan Wheatley had to appear before the court of arbitration. It was about an incident that occurred five minutes before qualifying ended. Ferrari had cheated.
Short cuts not allowed
Vettel had just finished his first qualification attempt when his race engineer Guillaume Rocquelin asked him to return to the pits as soon as possible to prepare the car for the second and decisive exit. This is a standard saying and not related to the current situation. The driver is in a conflict. On the one hand, he should accelerate in order to reach the pits in time, on the other hand he would damage the tires too much if he was too aggressive.
Vettel wanted to be particularly smart. There is a connecting road between turns four and six. Whoever drives it shortens by four seconds. But taking a short cut is not allowed unless you slipped into the emergency exit because of a driving error. Since there were still five minutes left on the clock at the time of the offense, the hurry was actually unfounded. The Red Bull mechanics had enough time to prepare the number one car for the final qualifying attempt.
The driver was deliberately kept in the pits to ensure that he was the last of the favorites to hit the track and there is enough distance to Jenson Button in front of him. When Vettel went on his warm-up lap for the last shot, his race engineer told him over the radio: 'You have ten seconds of buffer.' When Vettel crossed the finish line for the decisive attempt, he even had 17 seconds before he waved. So enough air to spare yourself the number with the abbreviation.
Vettel without penalty
At 6.45 p.m. it was official: Vettel keeps his second starting place. Vettel said to the inspectors that he hadn't thought anything about the number. Two things saved him. First, Mark Webber and Kamui Kobayashi did the same thing before in qualifying. Seven cases were reported from Friday training.
Second, the short cut did not bring him any advantage. 'It would be safeIt turned out differently if he had only made his second attempt by shortening it, 'it was said from FIA circles. The beneficiary would have been Jenson Button. But the Suzuka winner kept his fingers crossed for Vettel:' I'm happy with my third place on the grid. Here in Korea, the starting places with the even numbers are a real disadvantage. Nobody is driving on the left side of the home straight. That's where all the dirt lies. Vettel should start from there. For me, third place is better than second place. '