Motor racing: Vettel handed three place Austrian GP grid drop on his birthday

Alpine's Fernando Alonso (left) and Aston Martin's Sebastian Vettel drive during the qualifying session.
Alpine's Fernando Alonso (left) and Aston Martin's Sebastian Vettel drive during the qualifying session.PHOTO: AFP

SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA (REUTERS) - Aston Martin's Sebastian Vettel was handed a three place grid drop on his 34th birthday on Saturday (July 3) for impeding Alpine's Fernando Alonso in Austrian Grand Prix qualifying.

The Formula One stewards also handed out one penalty point for the incident, with double world champion Alonso having to abort his flying lap in the second phase of qualifying and ending up 14th on the starting grid.

Four times world champion Vettel qualified eighth and will still start ahead of Alonso.

His demotion lifts Williams' George Russell to eighth on the grid instead, with Aston Martin's Lance Stroll and Ferrari's Carlos Sainz also moving up a place.