Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel was left unhappy with how long it took for his 10-second stop/go penalty to be issued on Sunday at Imola, stating the FIA was “not very professional”.
Vettel was penalised after his Aston Martin crew did not have all four tyres fitted at the five minute signal before the start of the grand prix, as they were working on a brake issue that arose on the reconnaissance lap to the grid.
Vettel was pulled into the pit-lane before the start so that further work would be carried out, which automatically demoted him to the rear of the field for the opening lap.
On lap 22, Vettel served the penalty, having received notice not long before, leaving him disappointed over how long it took to be handed the punishment
“Obviously the guys tried everything on the grid and I think they did really well,” Vettel said. “So they were really alert. But I think we could have had a better race if the FIA was more alert.
“We broke a rule, that’s why we got a penalty. They didn’t bother [to issue it] until way into the race. So by that time the penalty cost a lot more than it would have earlier in the race.
“So that’s not very professional. But it certainly wasn’t a decider for us today.”
F1 race director Michael Masi denies there was an unnecessary delay, insisting the standard procedure was carried out.
“I don’t know about taking longer than it should have,” Masi said. “It was obviously reported by the technical delegate.
“I’d have to have a look at the reports but once it was reported by the technical delegate, being the paper report that appears in the document management system, at that point the stewards had a look at the regulations, confirmed the evidence and determined what the penalty was.”
Vettel eventually retired from the grand prix one lap before the chequered flag was waved.