Sebastian Vettel has escaped punishment for cutting the track after his first qualifying lap at the Korean Grand Prix.
The German was called to see the stewards after qualifying because he was deemed to have used an escape road to miss out the section of track between Turn 4 and Turn 6. But after an investigation by the stewards, it was decided that no penalty should be handed out because the world champion had not gained an advantage.
A statement issued by the stewards said: "Having heard from the driver and team manager, and having noted that Car 1 started what was its fastest qualifying lap with 17 seconds to spare prior to the checkered flag, the stewards determined that no advantage was gained when car 1 left the track. Accordingly no breach of Article 20.13 occurred on this occasion and the stewards decide to take no further action."
The stewards added that specific instructions will be issued to the drivers by race director Charlie Whiting about the use of the Turn 4 exit road ahead of Sunday's race. The decision to not penalize Vettel means that he will keep his second place on the grid, and leave Jenson Button relieved, as the McLaren driver wanted to keep his slot on the clean side of the grid in third place.
"I am pretty happy being P3," said Button. "I can't be P1 as Lewis has done a better job than me and he is P1, so being P3 is probably the second best place. I hope they don't give him a penalty. A reprimand maybe..."