Amateur footage from trackside at the Suzuka circuit shows polesitter and eventual Japanese Grand Prix winner Sebastian Vettel momentarily creeping forward on the grid as the starting lights procedure was underway.

Vettel creeps on the starting grid at the 4:28 mark

The German’s Red Bull was pictured making a slight forward movement just seconds before all five lights went out to start the race proper.

It would certainly seem that Vettel – like Felipe Massa managed for overshooting his grid slot at the Belgian Grand Prix – succeeded in escaping any penalty for creeping at the start, either on account of the fact that he quickly brought the forward motion under control or that no other rival team identified and protested the incident in time.

Ironically, the 23-year-old credited his good start as one of the keys to securing his third race victory of the 2010 season.

Sensors are mounted trackside to monitor any illegal starting moves and I once recall Gerhard Berger being penalised at the 1995 German Grand Prix when his Ferrari moved just 8cm on the grid during the lights-out procedure.

Dare we suggest that the measurements may have changed in the last 15 years?

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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.