Vettel fined €25,000 for storming out of drivers' meeting

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Sebastian Vettel has been handed by the FIA a suspended €25,000 fine for leaving Friday evening's drivers' meeting at the Red Bull Ring early.

The Aston Martin driver was summoned to the stewards after Saturday's sprint race in Austria to answer to his behaviour at the drivers' meeting which breached two articles of the governing body's sporting code.

It is understood that tensions grew during the meeting chaired by FIA race director Niels Wittich, with grievances expressed by several drivers over the stewards' interpretation of the rules and officiating.

A frustrated Vettel then decided he had heard enough and left the meeting.

Following the hearing, the FIA issued a bulletin explaining why Vettel had contravened the sporting rules, but also why mitigating circumstances and an apology from the four-time world champion led to a suspended fine.

"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," the FIA statement reads.

"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 apologised 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."

Vettel will only be required to pay the fine if he finds himself once again in breach of the rules or fails to attend a drivers' meeting during the remainder of the 2022 season.

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