MOSCOW, July 22 (RIA Novosti)
Reigning champion Sebastian Vettel was dropped to fifth in the results for Sunday’s German Grand Prix by race stewards, organizers said.
The decision lifts Button to second and Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen to third, giving the Finnish former champion his fourth podium of the season, while Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi takes fourth place.
Red Bull driver Vettel was demoted for overtaking McLaren’s Jenson Button while off the track on the penultimate lap.
Formula One rules state that a driver who leaves the track must not benefit by doing so.
“The stewards decided the German gained an advantage after leaving the track at the exit of the hairpin as he attempted to overtake Button on lap 66,” a statement on the F1 website said.
The 20-second time penalty imposed on Vettel was the equivalent of the drive-through penalty he would have received if the event had happened earlier in the race.
In televised comments after the race, Vettel said he was unaware of passing Button at the time of the incident and that he could not see the British driver's car.
In the championship standings, Vettel drops eight points and is 44 points adrift of leader Fernando Alonso as a result, and 10 behind his Red Bull teammate Mark Webber.
The gap between Vettel and fourth-placed Raikkonen is now 12 points rather than 23.
No drivers or constructors gained places in the championship as a result of the decision.
1. Fernando Alonso (Ferrari)
2. Jenson Button (McLaren)
3. Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus)
4. Kamui Kobayashi (Sauber)
5. Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)
6. Sergio Perez (Sauber)
7. Michael Schumacher (Mercedes)
8. Mark Webber (Red Bull)
9. Nico Hulkenberg (Force India)
10. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)
11. Paul di Resta (Force India)
12. Felipe Massa (Ferrari)
13. Daniel Ricciardo (Toro Rosso)
14. Jean-Eric Vergne (Toro Rosso)
15. Pastor Maldonado (Williams)
16. Vitaly Petrov (Caterham)
17. Bruno Senna (Williams)
18. Romain Grosjean (Lotus)
19. Heikki Kovalainen (Caterham)
20. Charles Pic (Marussia)
21. Pedro de la Rosa (HRT)
22. Timo Glock (Marussia)
23. Narain Karthikeyan (HRT)
24: Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) - retired lap 56
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