Sebastian Vettel came off with his latest red moment, but the argument for his behavior in the weighbridge when qualifying in the Brazilian Grand Prix recalls memories of other events where his season costs him smoothly.
On Saturday, the trigger was that the Ferrari driver was called by the FIA Random selection process for pressing a car as he came to the pools in the early re-qualification.
The problem for Vettel was that rain was in the air, and Ferrari had just taken a huge game of strategy, to return for a different type of tires, and carrying his car could have meant that he had suffered very badly.
It takes time to weigh a car and with intimidating clouds over Interlagos, it was very well that it could have rained before Vettel set a lap time.
Vettel leaves his disadvantage and frustration gets better from it.
As the steward's report said: "The driver did not block the engine at the time he was instructed by the officer at the scales, knocking over the cone that was given to prevent the driver from driving on the scales, then did that.
"At the time he showed a sign that he was" fried on "by an officer standing in front of the car, and although he did not hit the officer, he forced out of A way driving on the scales. switch off the engine.
"Once the pressure was taken, he did not expect the officers to push the car off the scales, and while the stewards accept that he could have misunderstood the official sign, then resume & # 39 The runners drove the scales, this is not the procedure because it can damage the scales, which did that in this case.
"Although no-one was hurt by the scales being thrown out behind the car, and while stewards accept that the driver does not drive the scales in an absurd way, the procedure is instantly installed to prevent damage to the scales or potentially dangerous situation, which is precisely what has been caused. "
In the end, the stewards decided to issue a reprimand only and a fine of € 25,000 – not a big problem for a man who earns something around € 30m.
Contrary to the initial FIA communication, Vettel stopped the engine when it was on the scales, and they can really press the car properly.
It seems that what he has stopped stopping Vettel has another penalty. If a driver ignores an application to carry their car, the normal penalty will be sent to the back of the grid – making sure that the racing car is the right weight is one of the essentials of motor vehicles, as pressure has a significant impact on lap time.
It was not hard to see why Vettel was tired, but at the same time rules are in rules. The competitors do not decide whether to comply with them. As Fernando Alonso said: "It's not ideal because the weather can affect things. The best may not be the rule, but that's the way."
Here is the latest example of situations where Vettel has left his emotions to improve himself, or to abuse the war and fight.
He has shouted and pushed in the team over the radio at least twice this year in high pressure moments. The famous event was in Baku in 2017, when Lewis Hamilton deliberately turned out because he believed it was wrong that Mercedes had tried his brake.
And then there is a series of mistakes that he has made in the heat of this season's fight that has had the potential impact on the championship.
Vettel has appeared tired and spent by the intensity of the fight this season and from what looks like feeling that he needs to lead the team more than it may need at times. He has already admitted he needs to think over the winter for how to get a cleaner season in 2019.
Although on him, he could do worse than work out a way to stop his emotional responses being triggered to react so easily when in the car.
Ferrari Favorites & # 39; for the race
The incident took a weighing because Ferrari had decided to call Vetel and a Kimi Raikkonen teammate after making only one scroll to accompany the soft tires and # 39; rather than those of super-softs & # 39; Everyone else used them.
Why were they so eager to do this? The super-sofas are faster over lap, but more fragile in the race, and Ferrari wanted to start racing on the sofas, and decided to take the risk of the rain being still long enough to let them get a lap later than everyone else.
Toto Wolff, Mercedes F1 manager, said: "Ferrari took a great gambl when applying, changing tires when the rain was about to happen, and it was paid.
"They're on the firmest tires for the race and they have a disadvantage at the beginning but there is a big advantage over the first 10 or laps 15, which in our models show them as the favorite (for the win).
"We did not take that risk because we thought it was disproportionate. But we understand that where they are now Ferrari and their only way of staying in the fifth for the producers' championship is to do things different and take risks and today he has paid. "
Having lost the driver's title to Hamilton, at least partly due to their own mistakes and their driver's errors, Ferrari has an opportunity of the builders' championship. But they are 55 points behind and they need to score at least 12 points more than Mercedes in the Sunday race to keep the battle alive for the final race in Abu Dhabi in two weeks.
They, they felt, were their best chance to do that. "Maybe it can make a difference," said Vettel.
Another exercise in tire control
Ferrari made their tire decision because they think the soft & # 39; Much more effective in the hot conditions expected in the race.
Vettel had already been injected as a Friday exercise and Wolff said to avoid this phenomenon – where the surface overflows and bubbles – will be a key in the race.
"The biggest fight will be to keep that tire alive, not to blow them," he said. "With the disadvantage of the super-soft against the soft, we're on the back foot. It's about managing this tire carefully until the end of the race. That's the story of the motor race tomorrow."
This has become a repetitive theme this year, and it has meant that drivers tighten up to six or seven seconds from the speed in races only to make their tires finally the necessary distance.
If this was the case, Wolff was asked? "No, it should not," he replied.
The drivers are tired of this, and have started putting the pressure on the Pirelli tire supplier to do something about it – as they did over the winter 2015/16. He succeeded in new tires for 2017, when drivers were able to push more, but this year he had seen a step back after Pirelli asked to produce softer tires in an unsuccessful attempt to stimulate more pool stations.
Wolff said: "Pirelli had a good meeting with the drivers yesterday. We have expressed our support for Pirelli because we know it is a difficult task to manage.
"But in recent years, we have asked for something wrong about them, by making the compounds softer and softer, trying to trigger degradation and so there are more reservoirs in the pool, the strategies have arisen that & The fastest race time is to control those tires and try to achieve one stop or two stop.
"The address is wrong. We need solid tires, which Pirelli can produce them completely. They need to have the right objectives and then the drivers could push the tires harder, they can wait by the car in front, and we will not see boxes that do not cause the seven seconds here you mentioned. "
That's a music to the ears of anyone who believes F1 should be involved with drivers who always push the limit, and that Pirelli's tires are sensitively damaged the spectacles of the sport.
Other Indy holes for Alonso
Fernando Alonso's Formula 1 career turns out unsatisfactory, due to the unfortunate performance of his McLaren car.
On Saturday, the McLaren was the fastest car in Interlagos, and he was 18, his only satisfaction he had beaten his teammate Stoffel Vandoorne – for the 20th game in 20 games this year – and Williams Lance Stroll.
He expects a similar battle on his last race in Abu Dhabi. "We will give many emotions and much effort and we will be out in C1 because there are no miracles of one race," he said.
But on Saturday, Alonso's confirmation came to look forward to the future with optimism when McLaren confirmed that he will be racing again at Indy 500 next year.
McLaren says they will run the car and will not be operated by another satellite from another team, so when Alonso made his first attempt on Indy in 2017 with a brand McLaren brand from Andretti Autosport.
Beyond that, McLaren refused to disclose any further details, although it can be taken when reading that the Alonso car has a Chevrolet engine, as Honda, the other supplier, refuses to supply it, following the unusual nature of their relationship in F1 or 2015-17.
There was twinkle in the eye of Alonso at the news conference after the announcement.
"Indy is very special," he said. "It's completely unpredictable until the last 20 in the game and the whole game is the first time 180 to be in the last final 20 to compete for the victory. ; n compared to any other race in motor sports. "
That does just four races. Alonso officially declines for next year to date – Indy and the last three end of world championship races in the super-season & # 39; 2018-19.
That is not much for a man who has admitted that he would be happy to race every weekend. Is there no danger that it will be bored?
"I'll do much more but you know step by step," he said. "Today is the first. Apart from the races, there are three races of WEC, there are four tests for those, so, if you add a three-racing racing weekend and four weeks From testing, there are already seven to June and IndyCar test and two weeks of Indy 500.
"If you see the calendar until June there may be a fortnight, so even if it does not seem too many races there are many preparations for those races. Looking forward and it's good to be back at Indy. "