Germany’s Auto-motor-und-sport and few other sources reported that, Vettel almost running out of fuel at the end before he got involved in a bizarre post-chequered flag crash. Even as he lost almost 7-8 seconds on the last couple of lap which seems strange.
Also, in the post-race interviews, Toto suggested that Sebastian had to back off due to a need to save fuel rather than tyres.
However, Vettel said his clash with Lance Stroll after the finish of Formula 1’s Malaysian Grand Prix was “completely unnecessary”.
Four-time world champion had to get a lift back to the pits from the Sauber of Pascal Wehrlein after his left-rear corner suffered severe damage when he tried to go around the outside of Stroll’s Williams at Turn 5, as the rookie moved off the racing line to pick up rubber on his tyres during the slow-down lap.
Indeed, it is believed that Ferrari immediately asked the FIA for special dispensation due to the bizarre nature of the post-race crash with Stroll.
It is also believed that the FIA said no dispensation would be granted in the event Vettel’s gearbox needs to be changed.
The Italian outfit has sent Vettel’s gearbox back to Maranello for an inspection to find out whether it can be saved.
“We’ll check [the gearbox] but yeah, for sure that could be another bad surprise this weekend,” said Vettel.
Other vital thing – before climbing onto the side of Wehrlein’s car, Vettel removed his steering wheel and took it with him.
That violated article 22.5 of the sporting regulations, which says: “A driver who abandons a car must leave it in neutral or with the clutch disengaged, with the ERS shut down and with the steering wheel in place.”
No action has been taken against Vettel over the matter.
Motorsports trusted media – Autosport asked, why he took the wheel with him, Vettel replied: “It was a sort of reflex.
“I saw Pascal was stopped and I couldn’t get the steering wheel back on because the steering column was completely turned.
“Obviously the car was damaged. I put it in the seat, and it was reflex – sometimes they open the track to spectators, so I thought that’s the only loose bit.
“Because I couldn’t put it on I thought I might as well take it with me just to make sure. You don’t want to lose a steering wheel. Was it necessary? Probably not.”
F1 Sporting Regulations – 30.5 – about fuel No car is permitted to consume more than 105kg of fuel, from the time at which the signal to start the race is given to the time each car crosses the Line after the end-of-race signal has been given.
Other than in cases of force majeure (accepted as such by the stewards of the meeting), any driver exceeding this limit will be excluded from the race results.
Under F1 regulations all drivers must bring their cars home to the pits to provide a one-liter fuel sample to FIA for further examinations.