- Red Bull
Vettel celebration reprimand a 'shame' - Horner
Red Bull boss Christian Horner has defended Sebastian Vettel's post-race doughnut celebrations at the Indian Grand Prix, saying it was a shame that the stewards decided to reprimanded the world champion and fine the team.
After his slowing down lap in India, Vettel ignored the post-race protocol of heading for parc ferme and instead drove to the pit straight where he performed doughnuts in front of a packed grandstand. He then got out of the car and kneeled down in front of it before throwing his gloves into the crowd.
The display of jubilation provided iconic images for the sport, but the stewards, bound by the regulations, reprimanded Vettel and fined Red Bull €25,000. Horner believes the rules should be looked at to allow the stewards to turn a blind eye in certain circumstances.
"Sometimes in life there are things that happen that don't fully comply with a regulation," he said. "Perhaps it's a tennis player climbing out of a court and going to embrace his parents in a box at Wimbledon or a footballer going to hug a family member in the crowd. I think what Sebastian did was exuberant, but he just realised that he had won his fourth world championship and he chose to celebrate that.
"The downside was putting that stress on the engine and gearbox and with the tyres they are supposed to be picking up rubber on their in-lap - it went against all of that. But from a team point of view, I think it was exactly the right thing for him to do. It was good for the sport, it's a shame that it was penalised, I can understand the stewards have a set of rules in front of them, but sometimes you hope that common sense prevails.
"The stewards perhaps need to be empowered to give a little more leniency in extraordinary circumstances. They arguably could have been a lot harder in their penalty and they picked the lowest penalty they could in a reprimand and a fine for the team, despite it being the driver's actions! But we won't be charging him for it. It's not something we budgeted for, but it's a nice expense to have!"