Sebastian Vettel has blamed the cars ahead of him for slowing unnecessarily during qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix, which forced him to do the same.
The Aston Martin driver is under investigation for blocking Fernando Alonso at Turn 10, but he believes those ahead of him were to blame.
“I think it’s the fault of the drivers ahead that just keep jumping the queue. I don’t think that is right, and not what we sort of agreed on.”
An onboard video shows two cars overtaking Vettel into Turn 9 before backing off, which they were warned not to do by FIA race director Michael Masi on Saturday morning.
As a result, Vettel slows to create a gap before telling his race engineer he won’t make the line to start his lap in time, and is then told to “go for it”. He accelerates at the entry to Turn 10, but a fast-approaching Alonso has to slow.
Alonso failed to reach Q3 as a result, whilst Vettel went through and went on to qualify eighth.
Valtteri Bottas and Carlos Sainz have both been summoned to the stewards for driving “unnecessarily slowly” during their last laps in Q2.
Bottas was one of the cars to pass Vettel into Turn 9 before backing off, which Saturday’s FIA note strictly prohibited.
The stewards have yet to report any penalties, though it looks almost certain that Vettel will face a grid penalty.
Bottas and Sainz qualified fifth and 11th respectively.