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Formula 1 Australian GP

Vettel fined for Australian GP FP1 scooter excursion

Aston Martin Formula 1 driver Sebastian Vettel has been handed a €5000 fine for his scooter escapade at the end of the Australian Grand Prix first practice.

Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin, gets a ride back to the pits

With 15 minutes to go in first free practice, Vettel suffered a loss of power, forcing him to pull up his AMR22 car at the side of the track at Turn 10.

After the chequered flag, Vettel used a marshal's scooter to make his way back to the pitlane, running on the final sector of the track.

The FIA soon launched an investigation as Vettel was deemed to have re-entered the track within five minutes of the end of a session without permission.

On Friday the stewards handed the German a €5000 fine for his scooter-based adventure.

Vettel said he had received permission from the marshal to use the scooter to enter the circuit, but the stewards deemed that neither he nor the marshal had received approval from race control to use the circuit itself rather than the usual perimeter road.

Marshals assist Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin AMR22, after he stops during FP1

Marshals assist Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin AMR22, after he stops during FP1

Photo by: Carl Bingham / Motorsport Images

That meant the four-time world champion breached Article 26.7 of F1's sporting regulations, which will cost him a €5000 fine.

The FIA statement read: "At the end of the session, VET sought a way to return to his pit. A marshal was at the location with a scooter. VET asked if he could drive the scooter in order to return to his pit. The marshal assented. VET got on the scooter, expecting the marshal to get on behind him.

"When he didn't get on, VET departed alone for the pit, without the prior approval to do so. Meanwhile, the marshal was trying to contact Race Control for instructions.

"In driving on the track to his pit, instead of the designated route, VET breached Article 26.7 of the Formula One Sporting Regulations, which prohibits anyone from being on the track in the five-minute period after the end of a session, with the exception of specifically identified personnel, which makes no provision for drivers to have such access unless specifically authorized."

Vettel, who is making his first 2022 grand prix appearance after sitting out the first two races of the season with COVID-19, took the opportunity to greet the fans on his leisurely scooter ride back to the paddock.

After placing 13th in FP1, Vettel took no part in second free practice, Aston Martin deciding to swap his Mercedes engine following the issue.

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