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JULY 22, 2012

Vettel penalty drops him to fifth

Sebastian Vettel lost his podium finish at the German Grand Prix when race stewards ruled that he gained an advantage by deliberately leaving the track at Turn 6 in his battle with Jenson Button. In keeping with a Drive Through penalty imposed after the race, 20s has been added to Vettel's race time.

The penalty drops Vettel to fifth in the results, between Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Perez and promotes Jenson Button to second, behind race winner Fernando Alonso, and Kimi Raikkonen to third.

McLaren sporting director Sam Michael said: "The stewards decided in Jenson's favour because Sebastian left the track and gained an advantage. Without leaving the track he would not have been able to complete that move. Jenson left plenty of space, did not crowd him off the circuit and Vettel took the decision very early, at the apex of the corner, to not stay on the racing line -- you can see that from the way he accelerates out and heads straight off the track. I think that's why the stewards found in Jenson's favour."

With the revised result taken into account, Alonso leads the championship with 154 points, Webber is second with 120, and Vettel third with 110.