As we previously reported, the FIA are currently investigating Aston Martin driver Sebastian Vettel after he took a scooter for a ride after the first practice session to get back to the garages, rather than a medical car.
Vettel is insisting that a marshal gave him permission to take the scooter back to the pits via the track as the first practice session had finished.
The Aston Martin had stopped on the track due to an issue with the power unit leaving the car in smoke. Vettel got out of the car and a marshal offered him the scooter. When going back to the pits, Vettel was waving to the crowds, sometimes with both hands and also didn’t have his helmet on properly.
The FIA later said they were investigating Vettel for ‘entering the track without permission’ and for ‘unauthorised use of a scooter on the track’.
Vettel has now commented on what has happened:
“Obviously, we had a problem, and there was a bit of smoke, and I lost power,”
“And we had to stop the car on the track. And I did the best I could to limit the damage and get it off the track as soon as possible.
“I tried to make sure the car doesn’t get any further damaged. The marshal was very helpful, he had a Leatherman. I asked for an Allen key then we took part of the bodywork off so I could get underneath and cool the car. So it was a bit of a job.
“I asked, ‘Can I get back?’, as soon as I knew the car was safe in terms of not catching fire again.
“But anyways, the session was then over, and I asked, ‘Is somebody coming?’ They said, ‘Yeah, yeah as soon as the session is over.’ And then the guy came with a scooter and he said, ‘You can jump on the back.’
“I said, ‘Can I drive it?’ Because I prefer to drive myself. And then he handed me the scooter, so I said, ‘OK,’ and he said, ‘Off you go.’ And I went.
“I mean I would like to get the car back and not to have a problem in the first place. I’m not here to drive a scooter.”
“It stopped our running, which was painful, and unfortunately it also cost us the whole session in the afternoon, which is not ideal,” said Vettel.
“I haven’t been in the car for a while. Plus the track is different. It will be fine tomorrow, but it would have been nice to get more laps.”