FIA set to further examine Vettel’s ‘road rage’
LONDON: Ferrari’s Formula One championship leader Sebastian Vettel risks further sanctions after the governing body re-examines his ‘road rage’ clash with Mercedes rival Lewis Hamilton in Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
The governing International Automobile Federation (FIA) said on Wednesday that it would take another look at the evidence.
“The FIA will further examine the causes of the incident in order to evaluate whether further action is necessary,” it announced in a statement. The outcome of that process will be made public before the Austrian Grand Prix weekend of July 7-9.
Race stewards imposed a 10 second stop and go penalty on Vettel after he hit the back of race leader Hamilton’s car and then angrily pulled alongside and banged wheels while both were behind the safety car.
They ruled, after an examination of the video evidence, that Vettel had steered into Hamilton in a “potentially dangerous” manoeuvre. Some commentators felt the German had got off lightly, with Vettel ultimately finishing fourth and extending his lead to 14 points.
Hamilton, who had led comfortably from pole position, finished fifth after having to pit when his headrest material came loose and was angry afterwards. “For him to pretty much get away with driving into another driver is a disgrace,” Hamilton told reporters. “I think he disgraced himself today.
Vettel accused Hamilton of ‘brake testing’ him by suddenly slowing coming out of Turn 16 as the safety car prepared to return to the pits.
The FIA said, however, that the data showed the Briton had “maintained a consistent speed and behaved in the same manner on that occasion as in all the other re-starts during the race”. –Reuters