Why did Sebastian Vettel walk off drivers’ briefing, how much was he fined and when will he retire?

Sebastian Vettel has been fined for storming out of a drivers’ briefing at the Austrian GP.

Sebastian Vettel is one of the most experienced drivers among the current Formula 1 crop, however he is struggling to keep up his four-time world champion status this year as he sits in 14th place following the conclusion of the Austrian Grand Prix.

The German finished 17th in Spielberg last weekend and it came just two days after Friday’s drivers’ meeting that saw him walk out.

It was reported that Vettel walked out of the drivers’ briefing ‘without permission’ and ‘expressing frustration at the meeting’ after qualifying at the Red Bull Ring.

Why did Sebastian Vettel walk out?

Vettel stormed out of the drivers’ meeting on Friday after getting frustrated during a discussion about driving standards.

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Sky Sports F1’s Ted Kravitz revealed on Sunday that the 35-year-old walked out after 20 minutes of discussion, leaving him frustrated about how long it was taking and the lack of progress made.

Kravitz said: “Apparently there was a big argument between all the drivers - they were talking about driving standards and it went on for 20 minutes.

“Sebastian was sitting there and thinking, look we are going around and around in circles, we haven’t got onto the actual drivers’ briefing yet, if you’re not going to talk about it, I am just going to walk out.”

How much was Vettel fined?

Sebastian Vettel was fined €25,000 for walking out of the briefing.

Following Vettel’s exit, the stewards noted: “The driver, Sebastian Vettel, left the drivers’ meeting that was held at 19:30 on Friday 8 July, without permission, and expressing frustration at the meeting.

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Drivers are not free to leave when they want, this being a breach of the requirement to attend. Drivers at this level are role models for every driver around the world and in the opinion of the Stewards Vettel failed to live up to that standard in this case.

“Subsequently Vettel had a meeting with the Race Director, who informed the Stewards that Vettel apologized without reservation, and that further, they had a very constructive conversation covering the topics in the meeting and more. The Stewards determine that there is a breach, which cannot go without penalty, but that based on the report from the Race Director there are factors in mitigation.

“Therefore, the Stewards order a fine of €25,000, which is suspended for the remainder of the 2022 season, subject to any breach of Article 20.1 of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations or of Article 12.2.1 f) of the International Sporting Code.”

When will Vettel retire?

Sebastian Vettel has dropped a hint on his future this month, admitting he has to be ‘realistic’ about when he will end his career. Vettel has struggled in recent years and, as a result, his future in F1 has been in doubt.

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His contract with Aston Martin is set to expire at the end of the season and he has hinted that he could use it as an opportunity to call time on his career.

Speaking to F1 reporter Davide Russo, Vettel said: “I don’t want to fight for the points, but for the victory. Otherwise the fun is gone for me.

“In the coming weeks, in consultation with my family, I will be clear about how realistic my goals are and about how much energy I still have to grow with the team.”

However, Aston Martin chief Mike Krack has previously said they will offer the German a new deal.

“We were always clear that if he wants to continue, we would like him to stay for long, yes,” he said.

“We are talking. We have a very, very good relationship, and it is not that we have to set each other deadlines.”