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GP Week : Issue 163
25 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: Sebastian Vettel scored only 10 points in his home Grand Prix despite crossing the line in second place, after he was handed a post-race drive through penalty for gaining an advantage by leaving the track while overtaking Jenson Button on the penultimate lap. The German had spent most of the race in second place, but lost out to Button during the final round of stops. As Button’s tyres began to fall off the cliff in the final five laps of the race, as a result of his relentless pursuit of Alonso, Vettel pounced at the hairpin on the penultimate lap, but ran off-track on the exit. The stewards investigated the matter post-race and, in their judgement, said “[Vettel] left the track and gained an advantage when he rejoined.” He was handed a drive-through penalty, which meant an extra 20 seconds added onto his race time. That dropped Vettel to fifth place, with Button, Raikkonen and Kobayashi all gaining a place. Vettel said afterwards that he ran off-track because he didn’t know where Button was, but nevertheless accepted the stewards’ verdict. “At the end of the race, Jenson’s tyres were gone and we were able to close the gap again. It was then a question of when, rather than where, and I tried to outbrake him,” began Vettel. “He opened the brake again and then was up the inside; I wasn’t sure where he was, I couldn’t see him in that moment, so decided to give enough space and went off line on the slippery paint and I was able to stay ahead and get past him. “The only intention was not to crash and to give him enough room. I have respect for him and I didn’t want to squeeze him. It was good to be on the podium at the home race, but I have to respect the steward’s decision.” VETTEL 'PINGED' FOR ILLEGITIMATE PASS F1 >>> HOCKENHEIM