Vet­tel es­capes sanc­tion from FIA for col­li­sion

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS -

PARIS — Four-time world cham­pion Se­bas­tian Vet­tel es­caped pun­ish­ment from For­mula One’s gov­ern­ing body this week af­ter de­lib­er­ately col­lid­ing with Lewis Hamil­ton at the Azer­bai­jan Grand Prix last month.

The FIA met with Vet­tel and Fer­rari team prin­ci­pal Mau­r­izio Ar­riv­abene at its head­quar­ters in Paris, and pres­i­dent Jean Todt said the is­sue should be closed.

But he warned against “any rep­e­ti­tion of such be­hav­iour,” FIA said in a state­ment.

Vet­tel ad­mit­ted to re­spon­si­bil­ity for the in­ci­dent and apol­o­gized, FIA added.

He later posted a state­ment on his web­site in which he apol­o­gized for set­ting a bad ex­am­ple.

“I had no in­ten­tion at any time to put Lewis in dan­ger, but I un­der­stand that I caused a dan­ger­ous sit­u­a­tion,” he wrote.

Vet­tel swerved his Fer­rari into the side of Hamil­ton’s Mercedes when they were be­hind the safety car ap­proach­ing the midway point of the race. Vet­tel, who said he did it in re­sponse to a dan­ger­ous brak­ing move by Hamil­ton right in front of him, was given a 10-sec­ond stopand-go penalty.

Hamil­ton said Vet­tel “dis­graced him­self.”

Vet­tel and Hamil­ton, who have won a com­bined seven F1 ti­tles and more than 100 races, have been fight­ing for the ti­tle in an ab­sorb­ing sea­son so far. They have three wins each, and Vet­tel leads Hamil­ton in the over­all cham­pi­onship by 14 points af­ter eight races.

“Top-level sport is an in­tense en­vi­ron­ment in which tem­pers can flare,” Todt said in the state­ment. “How­ever, it is the role of top sports­men to deal with that pres­sure calmly.”

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