Aston Martin Formula 1 driver Sebastian Vettel will face the stewards on Saturday for “allegedly not respecting” double yellow flags in Bahrain Grand Prix qualifying.
Vettel’s first qualifying as an Aston Martin driver turned out a disaster for the four-time F1 champion, as his key final lap in the first segment was compromised by two incidents.
First, Haas driver Nikita Mazepin spun right ahead of the German at Turn 1, and Vettel then encountered yellow flags around Turn 8 when Carlos Sainz Jr’s Ferrari suddenly lost drive.
Aston Martin team principal Otmar Szafnauer estimated Vettel lost over four tenths with the hold-up, and it was just over four tenths that finally separated Vettel from 15th, which would’ve meant making it to Q2.
However, Vettel could now be in an even worse predicament than his 18th place on the grid suggested initially, following the summons from the stewards – who have scheduled a meeting for 13:30 local time on Sunday with Vettel and the team representatives.
Vettel was warned about the double yellow flags at Turn 8 on the radio, although it’s not clear how much in advance the warning was.
And while Vettel was clearly slowed by the incidents ahead and was a hundredth slower on that lap than on his best in Q2, he did improve in the second sector – where Sainz had come to a halt.