Sebastian Vettel has lost his second-place finish at the Hungarian Grand Prix off the four-time world champion, who was also reprimanded for wearing an LGBTQ+ T-shirt during the national anthem.
Esteban Ocon was the shock winner of a thrilling race on Sunday, with Vettel coming in second ahead of Lewis Hamilton, who fought back from last place to take third and leapfrog Max Verstappen at the top of the championship standings.
A dramatic grand prix started with a crash on Turn One, caused in wet conditions by Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas who, along with Charles Leclerc (Ferrari), Lance Stroll (Aston Martin), Sergio Perez (Red Bull) and Lando Norris (McLaren) was forced to retire from the race.
Hamilton, initially on pole, then dropped back to 14th after he chose not to change his tyres after the formation lap, with the track having dried off while the race had been suspended.
Though Hamilton hit back, overcoming Fernando Alonso in an epic 10-lap tussle before nipping ahead of Carlos Sainz, the seven-time world champion could not get close enough to Vettel.
However, the Briton now takes second place after all, with Vettel, who parked his car on the cool-down lap before heading back to the podium, retrospectively disqualified.
F1’s technical regulations state that competitors must ensure a 1.0 litre sample of fuel can be taken from the car at any time.
However, FIA technical delegate Jo Bauer had to refer Vettel to the stewards after technicians only managed to retrieve a 0.3l sample.
“After the race it was checked on car number 05 whether a 1.0 litre sample of fuel could be taken from the car,” read Bauer’s statement. “It was possible to take only a 0.3 litre sample following the procedures laid out in Article 6.6.4 of the 2021 Formula One Technical Regulations.
“Therefore I am referring this matter to the stewards for their consideration, as this is not in compliance with Article 6.6.2 of the 2021 Formula One Technical Regulations.”
Vettel’s disqualification also means Sainz takes third place, while Hamilton gains a further two points in the championship standings, with Verstappen rising one place to ninth.
Before the race, Vettel wore a rainbow T-shirt bearing the slogan “same love” during the Hungarian national anthem.
Vettel showed support for the LGBTQ+ community throughout the weekend. The Hungarian government recently introduced fiercely criticised legislation, which has included banning gay people or items seen as promoting homosexuality from featuring in school educational materials or TV shows for under-18s. Last year, the country’s government passed laws that prevent same-sex couples from adopting children and ended legal recognition for gender changes.
Vettel, along with Sainz, Bottas and Stroll, who were wearing “We Race As One” T-shirts, were all reprimanded for keeping the clothing on during the Hungarian national anthem.
FIA guidelines say drivers must “remove their T-shirts and move to their name card position for the national anthem, wearing their race suits”.
All four drivers faced the stewards, with a statement confirming: “[Each] driver explained that he forgot to take off the WRAO t-shirt in time during the national anthem because of the onset of rain.”
“I’m happy if they disqualify me. They can do whatever they want to me, I don’t care,” Vettel told Sky Sports prior to the FIA statement.
IN THE POINTS
1. Esteban Ocon (Alpine)
2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) +2.540s
3. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) +15.018s
4. Fernando Alonso (Alpine) +15.651s
5. Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri) +1:03.614s
6. Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri) +1:15.803s
7. Nicholas Latifi (Williams) +1:17.910s
8. George Russell (Williams) +1:19.094s
9. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) +1:20.244s
1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) – 195
2. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) – 187
3. Lando Norris (McLaren) – 113
4. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) – 108
5. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) – 104
1. Mercedes – 303
2. Red Bull – 290
3. McLaren – 163
4. Ferrari – 160
5. Alpine – 75