Sebastian Vettel starts the Bahrain Grand Prix LAST for Aston Martin as a German who gets a five-place penalty
Sebastian Vettel starts LAST on the grid at the Bahrain Grand Prix, while German gets five penalty for race one for Aston Martin after being dumped by Ferrari
- Sebastian Vettel will start the Bahrain Grand Prix last on the grid after a penalty
- The German was handed a five-place grid drop after qualifying 18th on Saturday
- Stewards decided that Vettel would not respect the double yellow flags in qualifying
- The first race of the new season will also be the 33-year-old’s first as a driver for Aston Martin
Sebastian Vettel will start his first race for Aston Martin at the back of the field on Sunday, after being three places on the grid and three penalties during the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.
Stewards found that the four-time Formula 1 world champion, who has moved from Ferrari, was not respecting the double yellow warning flags at the first corner in Saturday’s qualifying.
The 33-year-old German had qualified 18th, but drops to the last after the penalty kick.
Sebastian Vettel starts his first race as an Aston Martin driver at the back of the grid
The German was given a five-place grid penalty after qualifying in Bahrain and will start last
Stewards said in a statement that Vettel had not left his lap when the Russian turned Nikita Mazepin for him during the first qualifying phase.
‘He (Vettel) explained to the Stewards that he could see the smoke in front of him but wasn’t sure if it was a lock-up or a stationary car until he was quite close to the car and the smoke was coming up,’ they added to.
The driver would have received a warning on his dashboard and the team should have been able to see that the sector had been double yellow and advise the driver as other teams did.
Vettel left Ferrari at the end of the season after being outdone by Charles Leclerc
While the argument that the driver was already in the sector when it went double yellow evokes sympathy, the stewards find it important to note that he was approaching a visible incident.
Vettel joined Aston Martin in hopes of restoring some of the shine that faded during his last two years at Ferrari, when he made glaring mistakes and was surpassed by teammate Charles Leclerc.
Canadian teammate Lance Stroll qualified 10th, while Max Verstappen secured the first pole position of the new season at the front of the grid.
Max Verstappen secured pole position for Red Bull on Saturday during the Bahrain Grand Prix