Penalised Vettel says rules are wrong

Formula 1 to change one of racing's most-treasured traditions

Speaking before Vettel's penalty was confirmed, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff sympathized with the Ferrari driver, having felt Ocon's similar penalty at Suzuka was unfair.

But Vettel was adamant that he slowed sufficiently and reckons the wet conditions in the session means the regulations require a re-think.

The German struggled through a hard day of slithering in the rain and then picked up a potentially fatal grid penalty for speeding under red flags during the morning session.

He said: "I saw the red flag, I slowed down, I had a look around to see where the vehicle was, [whether it was] potentially stuck in the wall or if there was one around Turn 9 and 10 and then I slowed down significantly to comply with the rules".

Vettel, whose season has been punctuated by mistakes, added another error to the list when he was found to have gone too fast when red warning flags were waved during the morning running.

"I think on top there might have been an issue with the timing, with the system. I was aware I slowed down and not much more to say".

"I think there should be common sense with the rules that we have". I think it's wrong, I think I slowed down, I had a good look around at what's going on. Which probably I should do next time. If there is a auto right behind you, it might run into you.

"In my opinion it's not the right thing because if there's a vehicle behind you, it might run into you, but more important that you don't get a penalty".

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It means that Vettel, who was only 10th fastest in the second session, can not start Sunday's race any higher than fourth on the grid.

Mercedes man Hamilton needs to outscore Vettel by eight points to be sure of his title coronation on Sunday evening.

Sebastian Vettel fell foul of a "rubbish rule" that has left him counting the cost of a three-place grid drop for the United Sates, according to Red bull team principal Christian Horner.

Hamilton topped the times for Mercedes in the rain-abbreviated second practice at the Circuit of the Americas which only burst into life for the final 40 minutes as the track dried.

He was more than a second faster than anyone else in the second session as well, with Toro Rosso's Pierre Gasly making the most of the treacherous conditions to take second place on the timesheets.

With the rain coming down steadily overnight, but easing slightly before the day's action started, Friday's times were comparatively slow and Hamilton took his time before venturing out on track.

"You know when you tell me to go steady, I am not going to", Hamilton said over the team radio.

His engineer, Pete Bonnington, laughed: "I know".

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