Sebastian Vettel capped off a miserable Austrian Grand Prix weekend by finding out about his five-second track limits violation penalty during a post-race media interview.
Formula 1 has handed the German a suspended €25,000 (£21,700) fine for leaving Friday’s driver briefing before withdrawing from Saturday’s Sprint after a clash with Alex Albon.
Starting 18th, four-time world champion Vettel struggled in midfield before heading into the gravel in the second half of Sunday’s race after contact with Pierre Gasly earned the Frenchman a five-second penalty.
Already well out of the points, the German came home to later be hit with his own five-second penalty, dropping him to 17th out of 17, as stewards cracked down on drivers who drove over curbs and gained an advantage.
“I wasn’t aware of that,” he told Sky F1 after being asked in a post-race interview. ” No matter. Well, it does… I had three and didn’t get a warning, so I don’t know how I can get a penalty if I didn’t get a warning.
“I had three strikes, that’s what I was told until the last round and then it goes to five? It’s a bit strange.
Vettel railed “what’s wrong with these people, can I have a race without these clowns?” on team radio after the Gasly incident, and spoke after the race about an issue affecting F1 drivers that fans may not have noticed.
He added: “I think that’s something they need to work on because the brake duct design this year is blowing all the brake dust in our faces – and that’s not good.
“Obviously carbon dust is not really something healthy to breathe. I hope the FIA will look into this very soon as it is unnecessary and easy to change.”