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GP Week : Issue 39
Grid penalty for Vettel, fine for Red Bull SEBASTIAN Vettel, and his team, have copped the full force of the stewards’wrath after the late- race incident which took out Vettal and BMW’s Robert Kubica. The FIA Stewards found Vettel guilty of causing the accident with Kubica. Charged with causing a collision and forcing another driver off track, he will drop 10 grid places in Malaysia, while Red Bull Racing was fined $50,000 for telling him to continue on track rather than leaving the track “as soon as it was safe to do so.” The Stewards had a busy weekend, as a spate of protests made them joint headline grabbers with the BrawnGP team. The weekend started off amidst the controversy of Diffusergate, as BrawnGP, Toyota and Williams were protested by four rival outfits over the design of their diffuser. On Saturday, the stewards, following a report from the FIA Technical Delegate, ruled that Toyota’s rear wings showed “extreme flexibility”and the cars were excluded from the official qualifying classification. With changes made to the wings overnight the cars were allowed to race on Sunday, starting from the pit lane. Meanwhile Williams launched a protest against the design of the Ferrari and Red Bull squads, but later withdrew the protest on the grounds that it was in the best interests of the sport. But the stewards were called into action once again at the conclusion of the Grand Prix. Apart from the Vettel decision, Jarno Trulli, who had driven his Toyota from the pit lane to the podium, was stripped of third place with a 25 second penalty in place of a 10 second stop-go, for passing Lewis Hamilton’s McLaren under the Safety Car. The penalty moved Hamilton onto the podium – a huge turnaround from the poor luck he suffered under the stewards in 2008. ADVERTISE in GPWEEK to access a huGE global audience 12