Vettel inches closer to one-race ban after Monza error


Sebastian Vettel is just one significant incident away from a race ban after an Italian Grand Prix which saw him slapped with the second-most severe punishment in the F1 rulebook.

Vettel spun at the Ascari chicane early on at Ferrari's home race. The four-time world champion then attempted to rejoin the corner as the cars behind him were flashing through at high speed.

As he rolled back onto the track, he caught the passing Racing Point car of Lance Stroll. Stroll was sent into a spin, while Vettel suffered front wing damage which forced him to pit immediately. He would visit the pit-lane again shortly afterwards to suffer a stop-go penalty, where he had to sit stationary in the box for 10 seconds and then leave immediately. The only penalty more severe is a black flag, which denotes an instant disqualification.

In their report, the stewards said it deemed it a "dangerous incident". On top of his in-race penalty, Vettel was awarded three points on his superlicence, meaning he now has accumulated nine over a rolling 12-month period.

A driver is automatically banned for one race if they accumulate 12 points in that time span. None of Vettel's existing points expire until the U.S. Grand Prix in November, meaning the German driver will be on thin ice in the races before then.

When asked after the race if he had seen Stroll coming, Vettel said: "No. I struggled a couple of times to get the car going and get the car going in the right direction, so I didn't see him."

While teammate Charles Leclerc claimed Ferrari's first Italian Grand Prix since 2010, Vettel had to settle for a distant 13th position.

He added: "I'm not happy with it, I can't be happy with my day today. I thought we had a good start and then nowhere to go, lost the position, got it back and reconnected to the cars ahead and then I just lost the rear and couldn't catch it. It's as simple as that, but obviously not happy with it and then after that the race was obviously gone."