The door may be open to drivers making celebratory donuts and tyre burnouts after the FIA stewards found no fault with Sebastian Vettel’s celebrations in Abu Dhabi.
Vettel dominated the race and then, as in India last week, he did celebratory donuts in front of the busiest grandstand. However, whereas in India he was penalised $25,000 and given a reprimand, here there was no action.
This is because he did the spins off the race track and was able to bring the car back to parc ferme.
“Technically I didn’t do anything wrong,” said Vettel. I brought the car back, I stuck to the rules – I hope we can provide a fuel sample because obviously it burns some extra fuel.
“I spoke to the stewards after India. I’m not sure I remember everything they said..
“But I was just happy; it’s a sort of stadium there (at the Turn 7 Grandstand), it’s really nice, people all around you. I think they loved it.”
There has been criticism of the aloofness of F1 in preventing shows of emotion and playing to fans over the years – donuts have been outlawed and collecting national flags too, as Senna used to do – but it seems that as Vettel seeks a better connection with fans by showing his emotional and human side, so the sport is loosening up in its attitude.
A precedent has been set and as long as drivers are in a safe area when they pull off their stunt and as long as they return to parc ferme, then it appears there will be no sanction.