Vettel scores 5 on Aston Martin debut


Sebastian Vettel has the dubious honour of incurring 5 penalty points on his debut with Aston Martin.

Hours before the race, the German was given a 5-place grid penalty and 3 penalty points for his failure to respect double yellow flags at Turn 1 following Nikita Mazepin's spin in the final moments of Q1 on Saturday.

At race end, the four-time world champion was handed another two penalty points and a 10s time penalty for causing a collision with Esteban Ocon, the Aston Martin driver having locked-up and rear-ended the Frenchman as they headed into Turn 1.

"I was trying to cut back to the left, but Esteban was moving left as well," said the German. "When I was right behind him I locked the fronts and hit him straight on. Obviously that was not great for both of our races."

Ocon's version was a little different and contained some expletives, but basically the stewards agreed with the Frenchman, determining that "having reviewed multiple angles of video evidence and telemetry", "Car 5 (Seb) was wholly to blame for the contact at Turn 1".

While Vettel had a clean sheet going into the weekend, in just 24 hours he has accrued 5 penalty points, 12 points over a rolling 12-month period automatically incurring a one race ban.

Vettel was the only driver to opt for a one-stop strategy, but admits that even without the tangle he was unlikely to finish in the points.

"It's been a tricky race," he said, "we tried the one stop, we had to try something different. Initially it looked like it wasn't that bad but first stint but towards the end I was struggling quite a bit with tyres so I don't think we could have realistically scored points."

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Published: 29/03/2021
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