Sebastian Vettel has suffered another blow after the FIA stewards handed him a five-place grid penalty for passing Roberto Merhi’s Marussia after a red flag came out in FP3 this morning.
Vettel said that the Marussia was going slowly, but the FIA has always regarded such an offence as very serious. That was emphasised by the fact that Vettel has also received three penalty points on his licence.
The German had qualified only 16th anyway after suffering ERS trouble in Q1. Also penalised is Max Verstappen, who goes back 15 places due his Monaco penalty and another for an engine change, while Jenson Button is at the back after failing to take part in qualifying.
Regarding his problem Vettel said: “Right from the start we didn’t have the full power available, so when I went out for the first run we tried to fix the problem, but we couldn’t. Due to the lack of power we couldn’t make it further. For sure we have to investigate but I don’t think that there’s anything to do with the engine. I think it has more with the electronical side, but I am confident that we can fix the problem in time for tomorrow’s race.”