October 19, 2018 / 9:06 PM / 9 months ago

Motor racing - Vettel handed three-place grid drop for U.S. Grand Prix

Oct 19, 2018; Austin, TX, USA; Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel (5) of Germany during practice for the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel will have a three-place grid penalty at Sunday’s U.S. Grand Prix, dealing a blow to his hopes of preventing Lewis Hamilton winning a fifth Formula One world championship.

Race stewards decided on the drop after Vettel had failed to slow sufficiently while red warning flags were waved in Friday’s wet practice.

Britain’s Hamilton leads Vettel by 67 points with four races remaining and the Mercedes driver will take the title on Sunday if he scores eight points more than the German.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ken Ferris

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