Vettel: The move showed respect for Button
22 July 2012 – Sebastian Vettel’s home Grand Prix was ultimately a disappointing one. The Red Bull driver was handed a time penalty of 20 seconds for illegally passing Jenson Button while outside the confines of the rack track on the penultimate lap. He dropped from second to fifth position and is now 44 points off Fernando Alonso’s championship lead.
Shortly after six o'clock local time (BST +1), Red Bull published Vettel’s official feelings in their post-race press release:
“We had a decent race today although there wasn’t enough pace when we got close to Fernando and we also lost a position to Jenson who had a good pit stop and came in earlier. A couple of laps before that, I lost some time with Lewis (Hamilton) as he unlapped himself.
“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 outbreak him. He opened the break 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 stewards’ decision.”
The revised result sees Button claim second place as Kimi Räikkönen jumps up to third, with Kamui Kobayashi celebrating a best ever finish in fourth position.