Abiteboul Calls for Talks if Formula 1 Needs Rules Fix after Vettel Penalty

by Paul Hensby

Cyril Abiteboul reckons the controversy surrounding Sebastian Vettel’s penalty during the recent Canadian Grand Prix cannot be overlooked and forgotten about if there is a need for talks to happen to discuss potential issues within Formula 1’s regulations.

Vettel made a mistake at turn three that saw him run across the grass and re-join the track at turn four, right into the path of main rival Lewis Hamilton, who was forced to take avoiding action to prevent a crash between the duo. 

The stewards deemed that the Scuderia Ferrari driver retook to the track in an unsafe manner and gave him a five-second time penalty that ultimately cost him his first victory of the season and gave Hamilton his fifth.

Abiteboul, the Team Principal of the Renault F1 Team, admitted he did not see the incident that saw Vettel penalised at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve but he has been aware of the backlash Formula 1 has felt about it, and he says that talks need to take place if there seems to be a problem within the rules that govern the sport.

“Each time there is an incident like that [with Vettel], then we talk, and we talk and we move on to something else,” said Abiteboul to Motorsport.com.  “That’s one of the problems of Formula 1, that there is no proper – not consistency in the application of the decision – but consistency [in what is done].

“If we think that there is a problem, let’s make sure that we fix the problem before we forget about the problem. And it’s a little bit the same on the rules.

“I don’t want to say anything about that [Vettel] incident, because frankly I didn’t watch it as I was too much on my own race, but if we think that there is a problem, it needs to go in-depth.

“We just talk about it in the heat of the moment on Sunday, maybe maximum on Monday, and then we move on to something else. If it’s a real problem, let’s get together and discuss it.”

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