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Vettel close to race ban after Monza penalty

Mat Coch

Monday 9th September, 2019 - 8:53am

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Sebastian Vettel is three penalty points away from a race ban

Sebastian Vettel is just three penalty points away from having to sit out a race after clouting Lance Stroll during the Italian Grand Prix.

Vettel spun in the opening laps, clipping the kerb at the entry to the Variante Ascari before coming to rest perpendicular to the direction of travel.

The Ferrari driver then rejoined into the path of Stroll, tagging the Racing Point as the Canadian took evasive action.

Stewards dished out a 10 second stop-go penalty to Vettel for the incident, the most severe penalty available to them short of exclusion.

The four time world champion also received three penalty points on his superlicence, taking his total for the 12 month period to nine.

Drivers can accumulate no more than 12 points on their licence during a 12 month period, with now Vettel just one serious incident away from a race ban.

“I can’t be happy with my day today,” said Vettel.

“I thought we had a good start and then nowhere to go.

“I lost a position, got it back, reconnected to the cars ahead and then lost the rear and couldn’t catch it. Simple as that.”

The German ultimately trailed home in 13th in Italy and now sits fifth in the championship, 13 points behind team-mate Charles Leclerc, who has won the last two races.

Vettel is yet to win in 2019, his last victory coming in last year’s Belgian Grand Prix, 22 races ago – the longest dry spell since 2015-2016 which saw him go 27 races between wins.

He will now have to tread carefully until the Japanese Grand Prix when penalty points accumulated last year are cleared.

For his own unsafe rejoin, Stroll copped a drive through penalty and picked up two points on his licence.

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