F1 drivers back Vettel over Drivers' Briefing outburst in Austria

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Other Formula 1 drivers have backed Sebastian Vettel for taking a stand during the Drivers' Briefing at last weekend's Austrian Grand Prix.

The four-time world champion was given a suspended 25k Euros fine by the FIA for breaching the International Sporting Code and F1 Sporting Regs by leaving the briefing without permission after "expressing frustration" with race officials.

In their statement, the governing body added: “Drivers at this level are role models for every driver around the world and in the opinion of the Stewards, Vettel failed to live up to that standard in this case."

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Sebastian avoided a harsher penalty after later apologising to the race director before having a "constructive" conversation on the topics included in the meeting and more.

Across the weekend, more details about the incident came out which revolved around a 20-minute conversation about driving standards that, according to Mick Schumacher, kept on revolving longer than many drivers wanted.

“I just felt like we were going in circles with some of the things that were discussed,” the Haas driver was quoted by Motorsport.com.

“It kind of was getting longer than necessary. I fully understand the direction from Seb and I think there were a lot more drivers who kind of felt the need to leave the briefing as well.”

Vettel Schumacher

McLaren's Daniel Ricciardo agreed, adding: “I don’t want to speak for Seb, but sometimes we’ve got engineering to do.

“So I think sometimes if you’re going back and forth and there are always conversations, if it goes on long and without a definitive answer then for sure some are like ‘I gotta go’.

“Obviously Seb was a little frustrated with the back and forth. He obviously felt quite strongly about it.”

Vettel also wasn't the only driver to voice frustration, as Fernando Alonso was also named by The Race as among those to push back against the FIA.

After the meeting, Mercedes driver George Russell then urged the governing body to end the new-for-2022 practice of alternating race directors between Neils Wittich and Eduardo Freitas.

“Yes, I agree we need to stick to one race director," he said.


“We need to have a bit more consistency with the stewarding. We come to the following event and often the steward at the previous event isn’t there. So there’s no accountability, no explanations of decisions.

“We ask questions and it’s difficult to get a straightforward answer because almost a bit of blame is being put onto someone else who isn’t there.

“So it’s tricky. Everyone has their own interpretations.”

There has also been frustration from drivers over the focus on topics such as fireproof underwear and jewellery rather than what they see as more important matters.