Vettel: Grosjean penalty 'harsh'
World Champion calls for more consistent decision-making
By Mike Wise at Monza. Last Updated: 07/09/12 9:16am
Sebastian Vettel has said that Formula 1 must work harder to apply penalties more consistently.
The World Champion, who received a time penalty at the German Grand Prix in July for illegally overtaking Jenson Button, was responding to the one-race ban handed to Romain Grosjean after the Frenchman triggered a crash at the first corner of last weekend's Belgian Grand Prix.
Vettel described the ban as "harsh" but admitted that Grosjean - who has been involved in a number of incidents at the start of races this season - had not been a subject of discussion at any of the drivers' briefings held to date.
Not for the first time, the accident Grosjean caused at Spa highlighted the work of race stewards - specifically their ability to apply the letter of the law on a consistent basis.
"I think it's very difficult for the stewards to find the right penalty. I think it's very useful to talk amongst ourselves, which we do every weekend at the drivers' briefing usually and when we feel that something was over the top or there was something wrong," Vettel said.
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"Obviously, it's not part of what you get to hear or see at the weekend but I think the drivers' briefings can be pretty useful.
"As I said, in terms of finding the right penalty it's maybe difficult for the stewards. I think the penalty for Romain is very harsh, not to let him race here.
"You will always try to find a comparison: he did this and now he got banned for one race; someone else did this but he got a drive-through; someone did this and he got a fine of €10,000 or whatever.
"That's where the difficulty is for the stewards sometimes, to decide what is best to do. Not every final penalty is probably the right one at the time."