Having been as low as eighth thanks to a grid penalty for impeding Carlos Sainz Jr and then two first-lap errors, Vettel came back through the field and was closing on Raikkonen in the final part of the race as both chased race victor Max Verstappen.
Sebastian Vettel has been given a three-place grid penalty at the Austrian Grand Prix, dropping him from third to sixth on Sunday's grid. There was also no radio communication to alert Vettel of the rapidly approaching Renault either. Sainz Jr. qualified in ninth and is still set to start there. "It made me damage a front wing, which obviously costs money and it takes work to fix and you don't know if the wing will continue to work as well as before".
"I don't want to put too much blame on Sebastian", he insisted.
The 2002 incident was especially baffling given Schumacher had won four of the first five grands prix of the season and ended up winning the championship with six races to spare. "He wasn't warned on the radio".
Sainz was on a hot lap during the Q2 sessions when he was forced to take evasive action to avoid Vettel.
"I passed him [Sainz] on my fast lap in Turn Seven/Eight, and then I was looking down in the main straight and didn't see him", Vettel said at the press conference after qualifying.
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"I was trying to hunt both of them down".
The German was handed the demotion for impeding Renault's Carlos Sainz in the second phase of qualifying, with both drivers going through to the final 10-car shootout.
The stewards verdict read; "it is the belief of the stewards that notwithstanding the absence of a radio call, the driver of vehicle 5 [Vettel], being aware of the issue of rear vision in his mirrors, should not have been so slow on the racing line, during a slowdown lap in Qualification".
Obviously I was further back on lap one, I lost with the pit stop, so I think I arguably had to recover more than others, but I'm fine with that. "I was looking down the straight, I turned around Turn 1, I was done with my lap and just wanted to make sure and there was nothing [in the mirrors] after Turn 1, which was obvious because I saw in the replay that we were side-by-side".
Valtteri Bottas took pole ahead of Mercedes team-mate Hamilton, with Kimi Raikkonen, Max Verstappen and Romain Grosjean now starting in third, fourth and fifth respectively following Vettel's punishment.