Red Bull slams International Motoring Federation for penalizing Vettel
The defending two-time champion was handed a 20-second penalty by stewards following the race at the Hockenheim circuit after officials deemed that his move to pass Jenson Button on the penultimate lap was in violation of the rules.
Vettel was consequently stripped of his second-place finish, with Button promoted to the second step of the podium and Vettel demoted to fifth, News.com.au reports.
Speaking to private Austrian television station Servus TV, team advisor Helmut Marko said the sanction amounted "to condemning a chicken thief to the death penalty."
According to Marko, a former Austrian F1 driver, Vettel's manoeuvre that resulted in the German running off the track was "normal".
Marko also pointed out that a similar move by McLaren's Lewis Hamilton on Nico Rosberg at the Bahrain Grand Prix in April did not incur any punishment.
Toro Rosso driver Jean-Eric Vergne also voiced his support for Vettel, claiming that "Jenson should have given him space. I would have reacted in the same way as Sebastian."