Sebastian Vettel claims drivers are to blame for Formula 1's strict rulebook

F1 Grand Prix of Austria

Sebastian Vettel feels that 'whinging' and 'complaining' from his fellow drivers have led to harsher penalty sanctions imposed by the FIA.

Vettel, who currently leads the World Championship standings, was given a three-place grid penalty at the Austrian GP following an incident involving Carlos Sainz Jr in Q2, after being judged to have impeded the Renault driver.

Following the conclusion of the race, which was won by Max Verstappen, third-placed Vettel was still frustrated at being given a penalty and believes stewards and officials have become much more eager to hand out punishments since drivers started complaining more regularly.

"I wasn't told, I tried to look out for him, I don't want to drag on about it, but... The rule book's now so fricking big," Vettel said, per Motorsport.

"I think it's a result of all the drivers, all of us, I think we've more or less all been there, whinging and complaining, 'oh he's done this, he's done that.'

"In the end you should let us sort it out on track, that's my belief."

Perhaps Vettel will now think twice before complaining about another rival's driving then? Unlikely...

Meanwhile, FIA race director Charlie Whiting explained how stewards and officials have used a database of incidents to base their penalty decisions upon each weekend.

He later admitted that Vettel's punishment in Austria was actually more lenient than it could have been, due to the fact Sainz still progressed into the third qualifying session. 

AUTO-F1-PRIX-AUSTRIA-QUALIFYING

"The impact was low, so if you wanted to take that path of trying to assess the implications of the actual incident then you could say, in effect, 'no harm, no foul'," he said.

"But that's not something we are thinking about [at the moment]. We are thinking about talking about it, but it's not something we do presently."

Vettel's luck did appear to take a turn for the better, however, on Sunday as both Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton both suffered mechanical problems, giving the German a welcome opportunity to regain the lead in the drivers' championship heading into this weekend's British GP.

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