Cover Image for “Nowadays it would be a $1 million penalty”- When Sebastian Vettel took a lift on Sauber driver’s F1 car after he Lance Stroll crashed into him

“Nowadays it would be a $1 million penalty”- When Sebastian Vettel took a lift on Sauber driver’s F1 car after he Lance Stroll crashed into him

Somin Bhattacharjee
|Sun Jul 17 2022


Sebastian Vettel suffered a crash at the 2017 Malaysian Grand Prix after then Williams driver Lance Stroll made contact with him.

Vettel left Red Bull in 2015, to join Ferrari. The Italian outfit saw success elude them for a long time, and Vettel’s arrival in Maranello gave the Tifosi hope that he would bring glory back to them.

The German driver won 14 races with Ferrari, but never posed a serious challenge to Mercedes or Lewis Hamilton for the World Title. His spell with the Scuderia was not as eye-catching as people thought it would be and he left them in 2021 to join Aston Martin.

This does not mean that we didn’t witness any memorable Vettel moments in the red overalls. Back during the 2017 Malaysian GP, we saw one of these moments.

Lance Stroll, who was driving for Williams looked he ‘shunted into’ Vettel’s Ferrari. It infuriated the four-time World Champion, who lost his front left tyre and damaged the suspension. As a result, his car was undrivable and he had to find a ride that would take him back to the pits.

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Sebastian Vettel asks Pascal Wehrlein for a ride back to pits

Vettel got out of his car when he realized he couldn’t drive it back to the pit-lane. He saw his compatriot Pascal Wehrlein pass, when he decided to try and do something unique.

He bizarrely sat on the side-pod of Wehrlein’s Sauber, put his visor down, and his fellow F1 driver drove him back to the pit-lane! This was a unique moment as it’s something you don’t ordinarily see happen on an F1 track.

The FIA and race control takes matters of safety very seriously nowadays. A lot of fans today look back on that incident and wonder how big a fine Vettel would receive if he did something like this today.

Vettel did start the 2017 season on a positive note and was 13 points in front heading into the summer break. Mercedes however responded with ferocity after the hiatus, and Vettel would go on to win just one more race that year.

Lewis Hamilton went on to win his fourth World Title that year, with quite a comfortable margin.

Also read: “Nothing too bad” – Charles Leclerc disagrees with Lewis Hamilton about Max Verstappen fans at Red Bull Ring


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