• Japanese Grand Prix - Qualifying

Vettel reprimanded for blocking Alonso

ESPN Staff
October 6, 2012 « Grosjean encouraged by qualifying performance | Car was quick enough for fourth - Raikkonen »
Fernando Alonso had already had his lap compromised by earlier yellow flags © Sutton Images

Sebastian Vettel has been given a reprimand after qualifying for blocking Fernando Alonso at the end of Q3.

Having taken pole, Vettel was called before the stewards for the incident which occurred at the final chicane at the end of Q3. With Kimi Raikkonen's spin causing yellow flags, Vettel had backed off in the final sector and ran wide at the chicane to allow Alonso through but having been on the racing line he slightly held up the Ferrari. Three hours after the end of qualifying, the stewards announced that Vettel had been reprimanded but would not receive a grid penalty.

A similar incident had occurred in Q1 with Jean-Eric Vergne blocking Bruno Senna in to the final chicane. Vergne, however, took the corner and heavily impeded the Williams, causing Senna to drop out in 18th place. The stewards have handed Vergne a three-place grid penalty and he will start from 19th on the grid as a result.

Kamui Kobayashi was also investigated after setting his fastest Q3 time despite yellow flags being waved as he passed Raikkonen's stricken Lotus. The stewards took no action after Kobayashi could show that he lost time passing the incident and didn't use KERS or DRS.