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2012 German F1 GP: Sebastian Vettel Penalty Underscores Stewards’ Inconsistency

The 20-second time penalty handed to Sebastian Vettel after the completion of the 2012 German Grand Prix may well have been the absolutely correct, but it was also devastatingly unfair and exposed the inconsistency that has become the hallmark of Formula One stewards. Vettel had caught a struggling Jenson Button on the penultimate lap of the race and pulled up alongside and slightly ahead—with the aid of DRS—as the pair entered Turn 6. While Vettel was ahead, Button had the inside line, preventing the German from turning in on him. Not to be outdone, Vettel continued the pass on the outside of the corner but had to leave the track on the exit of the corner to ensure that he didn’t hit Button. That’s outside of the ru...

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