Sebastian Vettel to take grid penalty in Austin for US Grand Prix

The German is still optimistic he can spark an upturn in form for Aston Martin after just one top 10 finish in his last nine races

Jack Rathborn
Friday 22 October 2021 11:38
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<p>Four-time Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel</p>

Four-time Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel has been handed a grid penalty for the US Grand Prix after exceeding his allocation for the season.

The Aston Martin star has endured a difficult season and has only finished inside the top 10 once over the last nine races.

"I think we are heading into, let's say, a difficult weekend," the German said. "We are changing the engine and therefore we will have a penalty.

"We will see what we can do from where we start, and nevertheless, looking forward I think we can be strong here. How strong? We will see."

Drivers are permitted three engines over the course of the season, but failure to comply will earn a grid drop. The number of places depends on how many components of the power unit are changed.

Should Vettel take a fourth Mercedes internal combustion engine he would incur a 10-place grid drop, with the same penalty applied for each subsequent violation if the 2013 US Grand Prix winner takes a fourth turbocharger, MGU-H or MGU-K, or a third energy store or control electronics unit.

Aston Martin use the same engines as Mercedes, with Lewis Hamilton also suffering the same punishment at the Turkish Grand Prix and therefore dropping 10 spots.

The positive news for Vettel is that the Circuit of the Americas brings many opportunities to overtake.

"I think it's a good place to do it (taking a grid penalty) and hopefully we'll have an entertaining Sunday afternoon and get back in the mix," Vettel concluded.

Hamilton meanwhile has claimed he is “incredibly proud” of his relationship with Vettel and has hinted at a future partnership with the German.

The defending Formula 1 world champion is delighted at the four-time world champion’s work to campaign for social and environmental change.

The Aston Martin driver has thrown his weight behind the LGBTQ+ community, while also discussing climate change.

Moreover, the German driver’s helmet encourages sustainable water sourcing, with Hamilton praising his efforts.

“I’ve been incredibly proud of Sebastian for doing him,” Hamilton said, according to Autosport, with Vettel also seen at Silverstone picking up litter.

“He has discovered things that he is passionate about and he is speaking about them, he’s not shying away from it.

“I think also, with the older generation, I guess when we get to our age we have a little bit more empathy.”

Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel talk at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari

Hamilton added: “He’s got a family, he’s speaking about the future of his kids and the planet, what we do now to prepare them for the future.

“And he’s obviously trying to be a beacon of light for those kids and for other kids that support him.”

Hamilton is also keen to link up with Vettel in the future to drive further change surrounding social and environmental issues.

“We speak often and we talk on these topics so I don’t know”, he added.

“We don’t have any plans of doing anything in the future but we, as I said, if there is a specific issue on a weekend, we discuss it and we support each other with it.”

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