Vettel escapes sanction from FIA for collision
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.”