Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel believes a five-second time penalty for forcing Felipe Massa off track at Village was unnecessary.
Vettel and Massa were battling for positions when the former went off at the Village corner, with Massa also squeezed wide. After investigating the incident, the stewards handed Vettel a five second penalty for ‘forcing a driver off the track’.
Although it didn’t make any difference to the end result, Vettel says there was no need to penalise him as his move was clearly not intentional.
“I don't think it was necessary,’’ Vettel said. “It’s not that I’m purposely trying to squeeze him out. I was myself going off the track. I just didn’t have any grip.”
“So every time I wanted to keep turning it, I lost the rear. Obviously for him it’s bad, I don’t know if he had as little grip at that point as I had.
“For him it looks like I’m forcing him off the track, but i couldn’t go anywhere else. If I was picking my line on my own, why would I go off track?”
After starting down in 11th place, Vettel could only progress up to ninth - and as a result falls down to fifth in the standings.
The German believes although a better result was possible had he not spun at turn 1, he simply didn’t have the pace to challenge the front runners.
“Well I think the call to come in was right, but obviously I lost a lot of time when i spun. All the advantage was lost again. From then it was quite difficult to pass and move ahead. Overall, not our day. We were not quick enough. Simple as that,’’ he said.
by Rachit Thukral