Formula 1 director Charlie Whiting speaks out amidst Sebastian Vettel controversy

F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain - Previews

Formula 1 race director has spoken out amidst complaints over the FIA's treatment of Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel, during qualifying for Saturday's Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos. 

Vettel had just started the second qualifying session in Brazil, when the four-time world champion was called in by race officials for an obligatory random check, at the site's weighbridge.

Incensed by the decision to interrupt his qualifying session, however, the German driver was later fined £21,730 by race officials for failing to comply with their instruction during the process - as well as causing damage to the equipment after accelerating away early. 

Vettel has received some support, with many arguing that the driver was simply eager to get through the process as quickly as possible, and should have been allowed to set an eligible time before being called in.

Fellow driver Daniel Ricciardo echoed this sentiment, labelling the current system 'unfair', as well as calling for a change in the rules to allow all drivers to set a full lap time, before being called in for any such tests.

Amidst the criticism however, Formula 1 race director Charlie Whiting has hit back at such complaints, claiming that both the driver and his team should have been aware of the possibility of being called in. 

"There will always be a risk you're going to be stopped" Whiting said, per, when quizzed on the matter. 

"They [Ferrari] know that and should factor that in, which is what I'm always telling the teams. It would be something that they say 'if we do this, this is how long it will take, we might get stopped and have to add a minute there'.

"It's [the tests] completely random. Jo [Bauer] seldom tries to stop the first car coming in, because in a short qualifying session like that, the first car could be coming in with a mechanical problem, having just done half a lap.

"To see two cars come in for strategic reasons after one lap is unusual. It's just the way it goes".

Whiting was also quick to dismiss the notion of potentially removing weight checks during future qualifying sessions, as he believes the checks hold a vital place in the sport.

F1 Grand Prix of Brazil

"They [the drivers] shouldn't be underweight. We'll always have random checks in qualifying. But what we do say is if the conditions are changeable - if they are coming in and changing tyres because it's just rained a little bit - we would not stop anyone. 

"We've said that once that happens, we're not going to weigh anybody else. They know if conditions are clearly changeable, a drying track for example, we don't pull them in for weighing".

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