BUDAPEST, Hungary -- Sebastian Vettel believes the stewards' decision to allow Nico Rosberg's pole position lap to stand at the Hungarian Grand Prix sets a bad example for junior categories.
Rosberg was investigated after setting the fastest middle sector of the session while double-waved yellow flags were being displayed at Turn 8. The investigation found Rosberg lifted 30 metres earlier than on his previous lap and was going 20km/h slower through the corner, losing 0.1s of lap time in the corner before getting back on the throttle at the apex as the caution flags cleared.
The incident has sparked debate among drivers, many of whom went through the same yellow flags and had to abandon their laps, with Vettel saying it sets a bad example for the rest of motor sport.
"The worst thing about this is we are an example," he said. "Next week there will be a go karting race somewhere and there will be a double waved yellow somewhere because somebody went off and marshals will go out and help. The way the kids think is that 'I don't need to lift much because in F1 it is okay, that is the pinnacle and that is okay so that is how we can behave'.
"That is what I don't like about it. "In the past we didn't have the technology to time the different sectors around the track and only had sectors one, two and three so the rule of thumb was you are not allowed to improve in a yellow sector. Double yellow in the rule book says be prepared to stop.
"Arguably if you go 2km/h or 4km/h slower or brake earlier and you drop half a tenth I don't think you are preparing to stop. It is one of those things that we are trying improve and make it fair to give us drivers a chance to finish our lap even if unfortunate with the yellow flag in qualifying or practice."
Vettel says the issue has been allowed to slide for too long.
"In my opinion it has gotten worse. We have had a lot of discussions and in the past it was clear not to improve under yellow but now we can. We need to debate how much is considered a lift and how much is not.
"One thing is for the people who are trying to rescue and recover the car and get the track green again and the other is the example we are giving. I am not a big fan of penalising every single one. We didn't set a good example yesterday."