Vettel gets reprimand after title celebration donuts while team gets €25 000 fine

Sebastian Vettel in hot water with officials for celebrations after winning the Indian GP and his fourth F1 world title

Sebastian Vettel is in hot water with officials for celebrations after winning the Indian GP and his fourth F1 World title

Sebastian Vettel spent some of his first moments as a quadruple World Champion-elect in the stewards office after Sunday’s Indian Grand Prix, and walked out with a reprimand while his team was slapped with a €25 000 fine.

After wrapping up his 2013 title campaign in style with a third consecutive win at the Buddh circuit, the German let his emotion spill over with a series of perfect donuts on the front straight.

“(Engineer) Rocky called for the usual procedure, but I said ‘not this time’,” Vettel grinned as he recalled doing the donuts, stopping the car on the grid and throwing his gloves into the grandstand.

The Red Bull driver, however, broke a fundamental rule about taking his car straight to ‘parc ferme’ – a crucial procedure to prevent interference with the car and strict compliance with the rules.

Race winner Sebastian Vettel and his Red Bull RB9 are in there somewhere!

Race winner Sebastian Vettel and his Red Bull RB9 are in there somewhere!

Indeed, FIA officials were quickly on the scene of the abandoned RB9 to ‘neutralise’ it, and Vettel and team manager Jonathan Wheatley were summarily called up by the stewards.

The FIA announced: “The driver failed to proceed directly to the post race parc ferme as detailed under article 43.3 of the FIA Formula 1 Sporting Regulations. Due to the special circumstances the Stewards accepted the explanation of the driver. The team failed to instruct the driver sufficiently to return directly to post race parc ferme.”

Vettel was given a reprimand an his Red Bull team was handed a € 25 000 fine.

Helmut Marko, however, said he could not understand the officials’ strict adherence to the rules in such a universally-enjoyed moment of emotion and celebration, calling the FIA’s reaction “unbelievable” and “strange”.

Earlier German commentator Marc Surer said: “The FIA could penalise him, but I hope they turn a blind eye, because this was not just any race but the title decider. On the other hand, the FIA constantly surprises me with the penalties they issue.”

It was Vettel’s first reprimand of the season. Three reprimands in one season leads to a ten place grid drop penalty. (GMM)

Subbed by AJN.

  • Spartacus

    A slap on the wrist is what’s in order here. Then move on.

    Those donuts did more for F1’s image than ditching a rather exciting circuit of India and returning yet again to Abu Dhabi for a dull one.

  • the fan

    Helmut Marko, however, said he could not understand the officials’ strict adherence to the rules in such a universally-enjoyed moment of emotion and celebration, calling the FIA’s reaction “unbelievable” and “strange”.

    rules are applied title decider or not. 4 times champ or not. simple as that. vettel’s now a 4x champ and marko is still an idiot

  • spornbot

    4 WDC’s and WCC’s. Not too shabby for a “drink company”.
    Those damn drink Companies…..tsk, tsk, they have no place in racing-EXCEPT FIRST! LOL
    RBR accomplished this in less than 10 years into the sport! They started their run the 2nd year Vettel joined them. Say what you want- Vettel IS good(who else has won a race with STR). True, Newey can pen a car but it is still up to the driver to place it.
    RBR is my team and I am glad to see them atop the standings yet again.
    Congrats to RED BULL and Vettel!

  • spornbot

    The F1 really shouldn’t get too pissy with the celebration though. 4 WDCs in a row and the enjoyment of the fans should mitigate any idiocy the FiA wants to perpetrate.

  • sbattermann

    Right on the money Spartacus. My 9 year old son (representing the next generation on F1 fans) loved the donuts.

  • Ukwhite

    @the fan: Agreed, rules are to be applied. However calling Dr. Helmuth Marko an idiot is a bit too much. Having a university degree with his title, mate, that is a serious endeveaur, dare to say for who do not believe, just give it a try.

  • Rob hall

    The winners do donuts at the end of races in NASCAR every week, no big deal…the FIA has a lot of stupid little rules to keep the racing as dull as possible.

  • Joe Kinnear


    I’m no Sebs fan but why are you guys trying to make the race as dull as possible?

  • The Pessimist

    What more can you expect from the FIA whose president was an ex Ferrari troll and a dickhead himself Jean Todt.

  • captain tortuga

    completely justified penalty.

    reprimand and a 25K fine, is just laughable.

    Helmut should be locked up, in an asylum for nutheads.
    Why should the rules not apply for his driver?!?! What an arrogant and inconsiderate thing to say. Some here said he has a university degree.. well, all over the world you can BUY those. (yes really, sorry to spoil your illusion) and if i hear the barking of this Helmut, time after time again, he either bought his degree, or he got a mayor blow on his head at some point in life.

  • AJ

    article 2888.575 blah blah FIA are such debbie downers. Learn how to put on a damn show for the people that keep you alive.

  • McLarenfan

    The FIA using F1 as a ATM Vettel did what we all want to see including throwing his gloves in to the crowd Hats off to him.
    If I remember Alonso didn’t get a reprimand for his Flag Flying and Celebration in Spain!!!!

  • RedGrey

    @captain tortuga – maybe you can buy university degrees in your neck of the woods, but not ‘all over the world’. You should step outside of your little third world corner before making such a bold declaration.

  • f1 fan

    The stupidity of the race stewards goes from strength to strength!

    He’s a young lad who has just confirmed his place amoungst the F1 greats – of course he’s going to celebrate! A driver showed a bit of emotion on track – oh the insanity(!) What will these F1 drivers do next? Drive at 200mph?! Ye Gods!

    I guess the powers that be have to make money somehow. Can’t help but agree with the opinions of Dr Helmut marko and Marc Surer.

    And to those saying it was the correct desision – even though it clearly wasn’t – what would you say if this happened to whichever driver you support? I seem to recall breaches of the rules by Alonso and Hamilton over the years yet no one cried foul here. Rather odd.

  • Kimiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

    Why didn’t Alonso get a reprimand in Valencia 2012??
    The FIA shows once again why they’re nicknamed

  • captain tortuga

    @redgrey : you are just simple. i’m sorry. good luck in life.

  • jim

    what AJ said….

  • Rick

    So somebody puts on something interesting for the fans to see and gets fined. The FiA are nothing but a bunch of killjoy cry babies with nothing better to do with their time than make silly rules like this. So what? The guy did a burnout! Hearing of stupid things like this really does make me want to switch completely off to the sport. It is the race stewards that need a hard bitch slapping right to the front teeth and be told to wake up to themselves!

  • diwant

    you guys dont be so stupid, although i quite liked what he did there but rules are rules and the FIA has to take some action. what if the FIA turns a blind eye and other teams lodge an official complaint about that? it could have been worse, but i think FIA did a good job with the penalties..

  • McLarenfan

    Tell the FIA via twitter that they are parasites I did

  • SeattleF1Fan

    I am glad Seb broke the rules this time! The donuts were appropriate and awesome. Great race.

  • Mike

    Someone in the English Parliament a couple of hundred years ago is said to have declared that ” Rules are made for the containment of fools, and the guidance of wise men.” It seems that F1 these days has been regulated and manipulated almost beyond recognition in order to put on a Show, but when Sebastian puts on a well deserved celebratory show more entertaining than anything the FIA can manage, they whack him for it.

    It might have been a different story if the donuts had led to compliance problems for the car in its Post Race test. Celebrations justified this time, FIA needs to grow up.

  • voicemanb

    F1 Rule #1: You must NEVER be entertaining.

  • Jack

    Would have been more of a laugh if he was fined 100 points

  • Rich

    @Rob hall. This isn’t NASCRAP. Perhaps you haven’t noticed, these are athletes, not drunken idiots driving an oval for 4 hours.

  • David Lonsdale

    Well done, FIA! It is well known that donuts are fattening and very bad for your health.

  • Tan

    What is the normal penalty? points deduction? if the FIA had taken exactly 75 points (i.e. 3x wins) then everyone would be watching the last 3 races of the season.

  • the fan

    Ukwhite… if marko is as intelligent as you say then he should know that rules are made not to be broken by anyone regardless of what the scenario is. yes its a celebration but leaving the car on the track? doing donuts w/o clearance? running through the crowd? he’s lucky he wasnt mobbed.

    the FIA want those cars back at parc ferme for scrutineering w/c is a delicate process after the race. if you’ve been watching F1 for a long time you should not be reminded of these things.

    no one is stopping vettel to celebrate. i’d say it shows that he’s really young in what he’s done. i wont blame him but he broke the rules and penalties must be given. simple as that.

  • SteveO

    I dont recall Massa or Senna B. getting a reprimand for doing doughnuts after the Brazillian GP….
    just saying.

  • Hawk

    Retard galore.. Such disappointing commentary.
    What is 25k and a reprimand for FIA to attract such abuse and scorn? Did you want the stewards to look the other way like nothing had happened because a WDC had been won. Supposing FIA stewards did nothing, have you thought of the implications? It would mean that if any driver had cause to celebrate a race performance in future they would do the same scot free. It does not matter what achievement; the decision would be purely subjective however much you try to rationalize. And that was very stupid of Marko to say knowing very well that it was wrong. And btw Vettel did it knowing very well that it was wrong. Knowing that he did it against the team’s wishes and Ofcourse the team will not fine him the 25k; it would have been a good idea if he gave the same amount to charity.

  • iBerrie

    Stupid FIA… the donuts were the most exiting thing in F1 for a long time…
    People who were booing against Vettel should boo against stupid rules from FIA.
    The FIA gradually destroys the sport with all their tiny little rules which only make for controversy because nobody understands them…
    A frustrated FERRARI fan who wishes spare cares were back, restarts were allowed and ridiculous huge back tyres were fitted again