Sebastian Vettel escapes penalty for qualifying infringement

Sebastian Vettel has avoided a penalty after he was summoned to appear before the Bahrain Grand Prix stewards for driving too slowly during Saturday's qualifying session.

Vettel qualified second behind Ferrari team-mate Charles Leclerc, was called before the stewards over an "alleged breach of Article 27.4 of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations and failing to observe the Race Director’s instruction, document 2 (item 16.1), driving unnecessarily slowly on an in lap at 18:13 during qualifying."

Drivers are required to drive below a maximum time – 115 seconds this weekend – to ensure they're not an unecessary danger to other cars on the circuit, and this rule was specifically highlighted by new race director Michael Masi this weekend during the driver briefing.

The stewards have chosen not to take any further action over the infringement after a sufficient explanation was provided by the four-time champion.

"The driver stated he was on a push lap and, when coming into Turn 1, he heavily flat spotted both front tyres. He aborted the lap however the car was experiencing severe vibrations (as evidenced by the telemetry tabled in evidence).

"As a result, the driver could not maintain the speed required to meet the requirement to stay below the maximum time specified in Document 16 of 1.55.0s between the Safety Car lines."