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Following his drive-through penalty in Italy, Sebastian Vettel has received sympathy from an unlikely source: Ferrari Team Principal Stefano Domenicali. The Italian believes FIA stewards were right to punish the World Champion, but admits that he would not have expected the move to have been carried out on purpose.
The moment occurred on Lap 26 when, in a similar instance to 2011, Vettel moved over and Fernando Alonso bounced down the grass verge when taking evasive action.
“It was a hard battle and I believe the stewards’ decision was right, above all given the clarification that was given out by the FIA after the last Bahrain Grand Prix,” Domenicali says on the Ferrari website.“
I’m also sure that Sebastian didn’t have any intention of jeopardising Fernando’s race; the German is a driver who is firm but fair.”
After Nico Rosberg squeezed both Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton off the race track in Bahrain, the FIA's Charlie Whiting released this statement at Silverstone:
'Any driver defending his position on a straight and before any braking area may use the full width of the track during his first move provided no significant portion of the car attempting to pass is alongside his. Whilst defending in this way the driver may not leave the track without justifiable reason.
For the avoidance of doubt, if any part of the front wing of the car attempting to pass is alongside the rear wheel of the car in front this will be deemed to be a 'significant portion.'
With Felipe Massa’s Ferrari future in doubt, Vettel has been connected with the Scuderia on numerous occasions. At present, a number of insiders believe the German could switch to the Italian team when the new Formula 1 era begins in 2014.
A side-by-side view of the 2011 and 2012 incidents can be viewed at:
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