F1 Winter Break
Sebastian Vettel’s smokin’ celebration finds favour with authorities this time
Posted By: James Allen  |  03 Nov 2013   |  6:57 pm GMT  |  128 comments

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.

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He won me over in India as it truly was a genuine act he did.

It made me realize I was watching something historic. The images were just iconic.


Totally agree.

Worst ever WDC celebrations- Brazil '07, Raikkonen


+1, I too had a bring grin in my face watching that as it was just a wonderful moment, you can see in his emotions how much it means to him, a bit like when Michael broke senna's pole record. Iconic, spot on


+1 As well. I did like him but when he broke his world in Malaysia, I had little time for him.

I liked what I saw in India from him


And I didn't used to be a fan, but he's won me over these last 4 or 5 races, can't not like and admire him


I agree.. lighting up his tyres.. all that smoke, bowing to the bull.. standing on his car while surrounded in smoke.. putting his hands together to honor the Indian tradition of showing respect. He won me over.


I loved that a lot. Hope he will do it after every win 😀


Then send him to NASCR where donuts fit the venue and the fans. Childish.

Schumacher showed emotion. But not in the manner of a 3 year old.


The guy is 26 and is about to wrap up perhaps the most dominant 4 year run in Formula 1 history and you want him to be an emotionless robot? Root for stoic Kimi then if that's what

you want.

Seb's won dozens of times and it still makes him super happy to win a race. He hasn't become jaded or cynical about F1 yet; he should celebrate however he wants, as much as he wants.


You know a 3 year old that can do donoughts?

Get that kid on youtube!

Schumi cried in press conferences. I'd rather see some tire smoke.


Hope any driver who wins does some doughnuts, so long as there is enough rubber left on their Pirelli's by the end of the race, Kimi may have struggle had he won in India as he was almost at the carcass lol


This was so textbook, I laughed and laughed.

He finds a safe run-off, checks for all clear, lets it rip, brings it back to park-ferme. If FIA was to write a rule on how donuts are allowed, Vettel just demonstratedlall the safety procedures.

But honestly, that only made it much funnier. 🙂


I'm not a huge Vettel fan, but I'll admit him thumbing his nose at authority was good to see.


Had I known that he was going to do his donuts, I would have watched the race, at least the last part.

Sadly there was no fine, would be interesting if he had done the "most expensive donuts ever". One more record!

Now, Vettel please, make the donuts your only signature winning celebration, the single finger makes me watch closer as it often seems to be the wrong finger "salute". Maybe that explains his mysterious lack of charisma?

These days, websites about F1 seem much more interesting than the F1 races, maybe it should be mandatory for all drivers to do a donut just before crossing the line?


"These days, websites about F1 seem much more interesting than the F1 races"

Of course F1 websites are rather more recent than F1 races...


I meant, than watching races on TV. Surely attending an F1 race must beat F1 websites.

I always say next will be the year...


I hear ya, have promised myself a trip to either Silverstone or Spa for my 40th in a couple years time. Will be Silverstone if we got a serious British contender, if they are just all mediocre then it will be Spa cos it's just set in stunning scenery and no other tracks are even similar with the elevation changes.( want grandstand tickets just after La Source with a good view of Eau Rouge)


Took me a good 15 years to make it to my first race. Don't worry, it WILL happen for you!


Right in front of my grandstand (north stand) great entertainment by Vettel can't see why people don't like him, what has been mentioned here is that Webber joined in on the act and did the same next to vettel. I assumed in rebellion for the stewards ruling in India, either way great entertainment by the red bull duo after the race.


Rocky: "bring the car back, back to the garage OK?"

Vettel: "to quote Kimi, yes, yes, yes, i know what I'm doing!"


Haha. Did he really say that?


I liked that 🙂 He's clearly spent time with Kimi recently and become more likeable as a result.

Fred from Sydney

He's been friends with Kimi since he came into F1.


Oh dear, I can see trouble coming.


The radio messages with his team around the donuts was entertaining too:

@F1PitRadio2: Rocky,"Ah, you did your job, mate. You did your job, well done"

Vettel,"Happier now?"

@F1PitRadio2: Rocky,"Yeah, I've counted now, that's 125,000 dollars"

Horner,"And by the way, you can pay that one"

@F1PitRadio2: Rocky,"And Sebastian, you do need to bring the car back, OK? Bring the car back into the pit lane, please"

@F1PitRadio2: Rocky,"OK, Sebastian, sorry to be on your case, but to be clear, you do need to bring it home, OK, in the garage"

@F1PitRadio2: Vettel, "Ahhh, let me quote, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, guys, I know what I'm doing"

Rocky,"Yeah, I've got evidence to the contrary"

@F1PitRadio2: Rocky, "You did pretty good today, you did pretty good, though"

@F1PitRadio2: Vettel, "No, we were, we were, thank you, guys, we did everything we did, we did it together, this year, the last year, the year before, the year before, the year before, the year before, and the next year, WOOO!"


Last week was awesome when they played this messages:

Rocky to Vettel: just so you know here is the situation. Kimi just put on a set of options for the last lap and is obliterating your fastest lap time.

I love Vettel and this was awesome.


Oh my god you just made my week! I didn't realise we could get all the radio messages like this!


heck out 'F1 Fanatic' website usually by Wednesday or Thursday after a race they have the full transcript for all radio messages to all drivers in the order they are sent. Great reading if you like the techy side of things and a few funny bits too. If you can't find it from the home page type 'radio transcripts' with the race you want in the search box, but for India they just put qually radio not race, shame really but it's all good stuff if you like that sort of thing like i do


Yeah love it, the more info the better. Thanks.


There is a twitter place called f1pitradio. You can find all radio msg there.


Just added it to the twitter settings in the F1 Timing App!



The human side of F1 and not the robotic sponsor driven boredom of press conferences. More please and more drivers doing the same when they feel the need to genuinely give a thank you to team and fans as well as release emotion themselves.

Won me over back to his side!


Yeah I was thinking the same thing. I had started to dislike Vettel, particularly over his relationship with Webber - but seeing his personality come out like this, along with his undeniable talents and accomplishments, it's hard not to smile.


I've just seen a video taken from a friend showing that Webber also did doughnuts just behind Vettel as Vettel drive away.

I really hope this stays in F1.


Sir Frank Williams will ask Brawn to join his team next year if Ross leaves Mercedes.Sky says that Sir Frank himself told them. I know money might be a an issue but anyway. That´s something to celebrate!!!



I hope that happens, I think the money side can be taken care of with a stake in the team.


I saw the 'interview' when Ted 'door stepped' Frank. He didn't look very pleased and was very careful with his answers. He definitely did not confirm that Williams would hire RB.


That's exactly what Frank DIDN'T say


Great to see the doughnuts! I'm sure the fans at the corner loved it! Good to see Vettel seeking a connection with the fans. The podium celebrations always seem a little disconnected because of the amount of time from crossing the line to the ceremony.


I shall seek professional help immediately. I cannot view burnouts as anything other than pointless and smelly. The more the practice is condoned in what is supposed to be the highest forum of the sport the more we can expect fools churning out road graffiti. Having spent so much on race and street rubber over the years it leaves me confused. Bit like smashing up guitars on stage. Why?


It is fun the fan enjoy it it shows the human side

Of a driver it is good for the sport you should seek




As with many of the truly enjoyable things the human race does, the answer is:

Just because.


I see he's stopped using "the finger" too.


Nope, he was doing the finger even during the donuts and when he got out and on the podium.


It looked more like he was "twirling" his finger rather than "in your face" like he usually does.


Maybe they should make it legal for Seb to do donuts during the race - giving the others a chance to catch up a little bit.


Once every other lap should about do it, might make the race for first more interesting.

I remember there was a rally driver that did some donuts mid stage, on a dirt hairpin below a massive bridge where all the fans were, back when rallying was all over the tv.

Hang on, found it, search for "Gilles Panizzi 360 Drift Rally Catalunya 2002", well worth a watch and slightly cooler than Seb's.



I think you mean mandatory 😉


Dont remember people moaning when lewis did this at Silverstone last year?


who's moaning now?


He must have turned the traction control off to do the donuts...


Lol! Comment of the day..


Good! It's great to see. I'm sure even the people who dislike Vettel would rather see a Formula 1 car doing some donuts over The Finger and The Wahoo.


Webber joined in immediately afterwards too. Always puzzled me why it was frowned upon, although I suppose it did make instances of it happening that bit more memorable.


I'd like to see the winner do doughnuts at Monaco. That'll be really skillful.


How nice of the FIA

Tornillo Amarillo

FIA can paint donuts in a "permitted area" on each circuit (maybe beside a DRS sign) and put in the regs that "only the winner can do donuts in the designed areas"...



We will see if it lasts!


Indeed, James, we will see if it lasts. My personal view is less is more, less is more.


Writing "less is more" twice is somewhat self-defeating.


James, has HAM ever been penalised for doing it at Silverstone?


Presumably Bernie has decided that its ok though?


Though it's not totally unprecedented in F1 - see Spa 2007


India was emotional, Abu Dhabi was strategic marketing masterstroke by Vettel!


He was just flipping the finger to FIA


Not sure if Red Bull are happy with this, because isn't there a similar rule to MotoGP where they can only use a certain amount of engines per year? The Yamaha Racing team doesn't allow Rossi and Lorenzo to do burn outs even though the rules do allow them.


Yeah, Horner said something afterwards that it was not doing the engine or the gearbox much good!


I believe Martin Brundle said (here or in India) it's not a problem for the gearbox, nor the high refs for the engine. Only problem is that high refs and no speed means it heats up.


Do you actually have to win the race first? Or can all 22 drivers choose an empty run-off area at the end of the race and get spinning?


Would be good to see them all bunch up close in a wide off track area with 10 square metres each to do synchronised donuts!


Syncronised doughnuting!

1 championship point for the most perfectly executed

What a sight, 22 F1 cars all doing doughnuts at the same time on the start/finish straight. They could do like a Mexican wave type of thing.

I'm getting carried away now, sorry.....


These sort of actions brings the driver closer to the fans. The drivers do it for the fans. I loved it. Vettel did it on the right spot in India.

Tornillo Amarillo

Doing donuts shows no character, it looks silly and even dangerous because other cars were coming.

But the fact the stewards found no fault of that is sillier.

Emotions, they should be showed on track with real overtakings, my friends.

I'm angry and just showing my emotions. No reprimands, please.


Please note, this was done by Vettel in total safety, off the track, checking for room and safetly, and bringing the car back, and at hands of a 4xWDC - precission assured.

Have you ever seen an F1 car do donuts in person? Let me tell you a few things. First, because it's not allowed, it is rare so few have. Second, it is violent and awesome. Third, it hits the senses; sight, smell, hearing, taste of rubber, even touch if a bit of rubber makes it's way to you.

I've seen a BMW F1 car do this in their Pit Park thing at roughly 3meter distance, and while I agree that's it's hardly what an F1 car is designed for, it's simply fantastic to experience in person.

While we saw it on TV, believe me, those that were next to Vettel's donuts had an entirely different experience to what you and I had. They will remember it fondly.


"even touch if a bit of rubber makes it’s way to you"

So not safe then?


At the now gone BMW Pit Lane Park where I could litterally reach past the barrier and touch the rear wing of the F1 car before he nudged forward and started the donuts, perhaps some risk.

At an F1 track with double fence and huge distance between grand stand and track. No issue of safety to fans.


> Doing donuts shows no character, it looks silly and even dangerous because other cars were coming.

Shocking, for some people any thing Vettel does is wrong.


It's known as Having Fun, comes from feeling good, okay got it?


I don't necessarily agree, but you make a point.

Question is then what should they be doing?


This is perfect fodder for a future blog posting! Are you listening, Mr. Allen? 'What is the best way to celebrate an f1 victory?' I'm leaning towards sprinting on foot the length of the front straight wearing nothing but your race booties, your helmet and a jock strap - or juggling back up helmets on the podium. Or maybe both. I'm torn.


I have an idea.

When sporting a 30 second gap to the next car, would it be so bad if Vettel threw it in reverse and crossed the start finish backwards for the "W" spinning it the right way after crossing the line?

If he did this.

a) Would it be in bad taste?

b) Would it result in booing

c) Would it be illegal? I mean technically, with telemetry proof that it was "on purpose". Is such a thing illegal?


I don't see the appeal either. Once you've seen one driver do a doughnut, you've seen all of them. But everyone still seems to get so excited about it and thinks it means the driver is "emotional". Why?!

It's a neat trick, I suppose, but it's such a cliched way of celebrating. And I'd rather see some excitement and emotion in the racing than in the post-race celebrations - that has been very much lacking.


To be fair you are a bit limited in how to celebrate in the car, apart from donuts.

Maybe you can "park it" in the tyre barriers.

You would get lots of emotion then from the pit wall along the lines of Alan Permane...


You can always do the Crazy Frog down the team radio, though to be fair that is getting a bit tired as well.


You two must be fun to party with.


tea choking moment! LOL


Coffee keyboard moment !!!


Nothing wrong with a celebratory burnout. Heck if the blokes good enough to win I reckon it's up to him whether he decides to burn rubber. It was done safely and within rules. If it displeases viewers as it sends the "wrong message" I reckon they're in a small minority.


He realised after India he didn't get boo'ed so he did it again. 🙂


I can understand and enjoyed watching the doughnut after Vettel won the world championship. I do not think doing it after every race win is justified. I hope Vettel does not continue to do this just to spite his detractors as he does with the finger salute.

Tornillo does make a good point, is doing a doughnut any less risky than Alonso stopping to pick up up Webber?

I hope victory laps do not disappear.


It wasn't just Alonso stopping to pick up Webber that scored them both a reprimand, it was how they went about it. If Webber had stayed over at the barriers and waved Alonso over into the the run-off area they would have been fine.


Now what would really be impressing is Vettel doing a doughy in the middle of the track with Webber sitting on one side of the car and Alonso sitting on the other...or is that taking it too far? 😉



But you know little about danger and risk tollerance. You did not see RUSH yet.


As I recall, Alonso stopped on the racing line, just after a blind corner. Vettel did it in a run off zone at the end of a long straight, with no marshals anywhere near. If F1 drivers couldn't control a doughnut, DC would hardly be doing it on the helipad on top of that sail ship shaped hotel in Dubai!


Just watched this on youtube.

Wow, just imagine if DC's foot had slipped off the front brake with the engine still going at full revs and he went flying off the helipad!

Even "Red Bull Gives You Wings" would not have been much use!


All braking transferred to the front brake using the brake balance dial on steering wheel. Hence no back brake as wheels are spinning.


"Wow, just imagine if DC’s foot had slipped off the front brake"

As opposed to the back brake?


Its tethered I'm afraid, they were seen trying to do a 'secret' practice. But yes it's impressive as your still trusting something to hold back an F1 car if it gets a little ugly.


'Red Bull gives you wings, in this life or the next.'


Hey I thought the drivers tried to pick up marbles on the tires during cooldown to increase weight. Wouldn't donuts cause the tires to loose rubber and weight? Might get a driver disqualified for being underweight one day 🙂


Love it,

"...and there goes Hulk on his 50th donut to ensure they meet the weight requirements in park ferme"

"meantime Massa is driving over the marbles, over the Marussia brake duct, over Maldonado's front wing shards, picking up pieces of Ricciardo's melted #2 Red Bull bodywork and of course ten Brazilian flags full of stones."


It's about time the Hulk's extra weight became a plus! 🙂


It's a fun thing for us spectators, please keep doing it 🙂 Mika used to do burnouts back in the day, that was fun too 🙂


Why you asked stopping do the doughnut instead of simply stopped watching them. Nobody forced you to watch – do not force us, please.

I know, the fireworks after the races are not appropriate (when the teams struggle with their budgets), but, please, do not ask for a ban of them.


Random 79, you have served your penalty with honor.

Now, do you need me to paypal you some coin so we can be assured you will see Rush before next GP? FIA may not let you off as easily second time as they did Vettel. 🙂


First off, I might have forgot...unless you didn't notice the 248 comments give or take that I posted in the last 24 hours in which case I am both humbled and contrite.

Second, no chance I'll see it for a little while now. It was on from about the 28/10 to 30/10 and I missed the window, so Blu-ray it has to be.



I don't feel you're really making an effort here. Take a plane to where the movie is being shown. It would be very F1-ish thing to do.

Lady next to you on the plane say, "I'm heading to an important business meeting".

To which you say "I'm going to see a movie. No, it's not playing on the fligh."

To which she replies "It must be one heck of a movie."

And you close it with "Sebee said it is."


A bit off topic but is there hope still for the Hulk? This article says the Quantum deal is done for Lotus?



Makes sense. End of year, WDC won, nothing wrong with celebrating with no one else around in danger of being spun-hit by Vettel's car.

Still wish they hadn't give a penalty to Mark for taking a ride on Alonso's car in Singapore. Fine, it was dangerous, but a warning will do.


He didn't get a penalty or even a reprimand for riding on the side of Alonso's car.

He got a reprimand for walking on to the track without permission from the stewards. Alonso got a reprimand for stopping in the racing line.

The actual sitting on Alonso's car was no problem.


That's what he got. A warning (reprimand)

Just because Mark had two previous reprimands and then got the third one, he got the penalty, and not because hitching a ride. Alsonso too was given a reprimand, but as this was his first I believe, then no sanctions against him


This is no good. Personally I like to see character in f1 and I like to see celebrations, but its no good having a rule where emotions are banned and penalize some drivers and yet let some drivers off.

Sporting rules and penalties have to be consistant.

Is it really so hard to be consistant?

Just legalise donuts after the race like it should be.

PS. Dont everyone rush to give me the nobel prize just yet for this astronomical idea.


No matter how much people dislike (including me, until now), I guess he has started winning people around the world, for everything that he is achieving. You just can't stop appreciating faultless job that he has been doing. No matter how good the equipment is, you still have to get the job done and he is doing it.


read the top rated comment on the video and take another look at Marks tyre tracks....I literally laughed out loud!!


I reckon if FIA let it slide. More and more drivers will be doing this.

There will be a lot of radio conversation from engineers telling the drivers not to damage the car.



Why doesn't he think of something original? If he wants to do donuts, he should sign up for NASCAR. And regarding race stewards, there's never going to be anything resembling consistency when you have different guest driver stewards and local yokels running the show.


What do you want, somersaults?!


To all the sad people above who have, for varied reasons, criticised the whole idea of post-race doughnuts.

Have you never, ever done anything for the sheer joy of it? Do you think no-one should ever do anything because they're just so happy and they can?

What sad dull lives you must have led. Vettel gets criticised for being unemotional and then gets criticised for showing his emotions. What would you have him do?


There's one problem with Sebastion Vettel's championships in that they have been done during the Pirelli tyre era that rewards perhaps for the wrong reasons, and advantage has been realised largely through trickery rather than full on racing. F1 in Vettel's era bares no comparison with what went before.


Richard I think you will find he won before Pirelli came on the scene.


I've answered this question before, but he won in 2010 because Ferrari got their strategy wrong by covering Webber, and putting Alonso out into traffic on a track where overtaking is extremely difficult, and there by winning the championship by default. By the time of the last race in Abu Dhabi everyone was expecting Alonso to wrap it up there. It should have been Webbers year, but somehow best known to himself, he lost focus after I think an injury from another sport. - A moral there I think that a number of drivers have learnt the hard way. So he won by someone else's error rather than a clear win as in the Pirelli era. Such is the fate of champions!


So he has won four titles on four different types of compound then. From extremely durable to massively degrading. Was all of that trickery?


Jono: Pirelli tyres have always been high degradation as compared to Bridgestone. Yes the compounds and construction have changed with first part of 2013 being the most extreme, but that was a move too far. In 2009 Red Bull were on the ascendancy, but Brawn beat them with the double diffuser. That was also the year tha McLaren had a dog of a car, and Alonso moved back to Renault so efffectively removed two very good drivers from competitiveness.


Yes he won in 2010 and was second place in 2009 on Bridgestone tyres.

In 2011 the Pirelli tyres were not the degrading tyres we have now, with teams running the soft tyres almost the whole race and only changing to the compulsory harder tyre at the last minute. I think he won in 2011 as well.


If there is one thing I like about NASCAR and MotoGP is the fact both respective championships let their racers have it when it come to doing post-race celebrations....

whether its someone like Dani Pedrosa parading his samurai flag, Jorge Lorenzo doing pond dives/planting his Lorenzo's Land flag, Rossi scaling the catch fence or Carl Edwards doing backflips its things like this which keep me interesting both champions other than the great racing. When it come to F1 and celebrations its quite sad that the drivers aren't allowed to have fun their own way.


What a fantastic champion
Was Vettel in a Mclaren or a Ferrari, and he would be considered the all time great, since it's a Red Bull, obviously it's just the car!!!
Quoting T.E. Lawrence in Lawrence of Arabia:
"...so long will they be a little people, a silly people - greedy, barbarous, and cruel, as you are."

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