Sebastian Vettel summoned to stewards, could face grid penalty

Hamilton among F1's greatest drivers says Sainz

While the bad weather that hit Austin during Friday practice means we had no chance to evaluate the relative performance of Mercedes and Ferrari on the day, the previous three weekends have proved emphatically that the silvers cars are the faster by some margin.

Friday's first free practice session was interrupted when Sauber's Charles Leclerc spun and then rejoined the circuit, projecting gravel on the track and forcing a red flag and a subsequent clean-up by the marshals. "I saw the red flag, I slowed down, had a look around to see where the vehicle was potentially stuck in the wall or if there was one around Turn 9 or 10 and then slowed down significantly to comply with the rules". It seems as though Vettel's Ferrari was clocked exceeding that pace and, if that was the case, it is likely to be a fairly straightforward decision to impose a penalty.

Vettel failed to slow sufficiently during the red-flag period, a clear breach of Article 31.6 of the F1 sporting regulations.

His penalty followed two similar examples.

Vettel may face a three-place grid penalty for Sunday's race if he is penalised in the same way as two previous drivers for the same offence this season.

Esteban Ocon of Force India and Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull were given three-place penalties for speeding under red flags at the Japanese and Australian Grands Prix respectively. "Lining out 27.7 seconds precisely, as not complying with the rules, I think is wrong".

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Vettel finished 10th in the second practice session as title rival Lewis Hamilton comfortably led the way.

At a time when Fangio was dominant on the racetrack, Hamilton's paternal grandfather Davidson was working for the London underground transport system having newly-arrived from Grenada. "But [the stewards] have got to have consistency because otherwise it makes a little bit of a farce of all the regulations, if you have a penalty for one race but not at another". Obviously I was aware, I slowed down.

"I don't know if the 50s was a particularly good time, it wasn't a great time for black people either, so I probably wouldn't have been racing back then", said Hamilton.

"It is insane to think that I'm embarking on a similar number of championships that he had".

Vettel was fifth on the timesheets with a 1:49.489, almost two seconds off the pace, and behind the Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo.

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