Vettel podium stripped by bureaucracy: Ferrari

MEXICO CITY • Under-pressure Maurizio Arrivabene said he was surprised by Sebastian Vettel's "unfair" penalty that relegated him to fifth in Sunday's Mexican Grand Prix.

The Ferrari team principal said that the post-race decision, which cannot be appealed against, was too harsh and unfair, adding that the driver's podium finish had been taken away "by bureaucracy".

Vettel was given a 10-second penalty by race stewards - for moving under braking as he defended fourth place at Turn 4 against Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo in the penultimate lap of the race.

The pair banged wheels and Vettel retained his position.

The stewards found that the German made an "abnormal change of direction" that was "potentially dangerous".

"I'm surprised by the decision," said Arrivabene.

"We gained a podium on the track and they removed it with their bureaucracy. Fantastic.

"When they give a five- or ten-second penalty, you can't appeal. You just have to listen to what they decide.

"It could have felt special... The whole team showed great stamina in staying united and focused in a difficult moment, and our strategy made it possible to make good progress.

"Both drivers did a great job.

"Unfortunately, we were penalised by a decision which, in my opinion, is too harsh and somehow unfair."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 01, 2016, with the headline 'Vettel podium stripped by bureaucracy: Ferrari'. Print Edition | Subscribe