I bet Mark Webber is furious!

Sebastian Vettel was extremely lucky to escape FIA sanction and a demotion from his race win at yesterday’s Malaysian GP after it emerged that he had overtaken a backmarker under yellow-flag conditions.

Usually, the sanction imposed in these instances is a 25-second time penalty, which would have demoted the German to sixth place.

The incident occurred with two laps of the race to run when he came upon Jarno Trulli’s limping Lotus on the approach to Turn 4. At the same time, the yellow flags were out while track marshals were clearing away Fernando Alonso’s stricken Ferrari, which had pulled off with an engine failure.

The race stewards – which included former Grand Prix winner Johnny Herbert on its panel this weekend – spoke with Vettel after the race regarding the incident and decided no penalty would be imposed. This occurred after the viewing of onboard footage and telemetry data, and they concluded that Vettel had made “a large reduction in speed [having] understood that Car 18 [Trulli] was slowing with an obvious problem”.

Sebastian is very lucky!

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.