Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Baku City Circuit, 2017

Was Vettel’s ‘dangerous driving’ penalty correct?

Debates and PollsPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Sebastian Vettel courted controversy in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix when he collided with title rival Lewis Hamilton behind the Safety Car.

The Ferrari driver was given a ten-second stop-go penalty for the incident, which is one of the strongest penalties available to the stewards. He also received three penalty points on his licence, leaving him three short of a one-race ban.

Did the stewards make the right call on Vettel’s extraordinary move?

For

The stewards did not take a soft stance on Vettel’s move. A ten-second stop-go penalty costs the driver much more than the ten seconds they spend stationary in the pits as they cannot serve it at the same time as an ordinary pit stop.

Vettel’s penalty only seemed to be lenient because many of his rivals had compromised races. In particular Hamilton, who dropped behind him because he had to pit to have his headrest fixed.

Similarly incidents in the recent past were arguably treated much more leniently by the stewards. In 2011 Pastor Maldonado was given a five-place grid drop for hitting Hamilton at Spa and when he did the same to Sergio Perez in Monaco the following year his penalty was twice as severe.

Against

Even low-speed contact between open-wheel, open-cockpit cars can have unpredictable, damaging and even dangerous consequences. Vettel caused the contact deliberately and therefore it should be treated more severely than a normal racing incident.

This is something the stewards do not seem to have considered, even if Vettel’s penalty was more severe than Maldonado’s were.

Since the race Vettel has continued to protest his innocence, saying “I don’t know why I got the penalty and Lewis didn’t.” Because Vettel was treated so leniently, he appears to have learned nothing from the incident. A harsher penalty was needed.

I say

Vettel’s attempt to shift blame onto Hamilton by claiming he was brake-tested is a red herring. Telemetry from the cars makes this kind of thing very easy to judge, which is precisely why we hardly see it happen any more. Unsurprisingly, the stewards ruled Hamilton did nothing of the sort.

It is surprising that when so much time and money is invested in raising safety standards in Formula One, the stewards are apparently not concerned in the slightest about one driver using their car as a weapon against another.

The stewards appear to have treated Vettel’s move as if it was a normal incident which happened while two drivers were battling for position. But it wasn’t: it occured behind the Safety Car and was a deliberate attempt to hit a rival’s car with his own.

Regardless of whether he was provoked, this is unacceptable. Vettel lost control of his emotions and caused contact with another driver which, despite the low speeds involved, could have had all sorts of unpredictable consequences.

It may seem trite to point out that young drivers can be influenced by driving standards such as this, but it is true. In 2015 Dan Ticktum, now a Red Bull junior driver, was banned from racing for a year after deliberately colliding with a rival during a Safety Car period.

Racing drivers at all levels in the sport must understand this is not acceptable. A disqualification from the race for Vettel was certainly warranted and would have sent a clear and correct message.



You say

Was Vettel’s penalty right? Should it have been more or less severe? Cast your vote below and have your say in the comments:

Was Vettel's 'dangerous driving' penalty correct?

  • It was far too severe (5%)
  • It was slightly too severe (4%)
  • It was correct (23%)
  • It was slightly too lenient (15%)
  • It was far too lenient (53%)
  • No opinion (0%)

Total Voters: 704

Loading ... Loading ...

An F1 Fanatic account is required in order to vote. If you do not have one, register an account here or read more about registering here. When this poll is closed the result will be displayed in stead of the voting form.

Debates and polls

Browse all debates and polls

311 comments on “Was Vettel’s ‘dangerous driving’ penalty correct?”

  1. “Regardless of whether he was provoked, this is unacceptable.” Amen. I thought this was easily a black flag, I couldn’t believe my eyes.

    1. I’m not a Hamilton fan, nor vettel either, but that was 100% a black flag. Still can’t believe the leniency shown for such driving.
      What bugged me more was vettel’s blatant ignoring of the side contact when questioned, only discussing the contact at the rear.
      Mupp#t

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        26th June 2017, 17:20

        I can’t believe poor Webber had to put up with him at Red Bull. He didn’t want the other side of the garage to win a single race.

        Last year, he really alienated me but yesterday’s move makes Maldonado appear like one of the top gentlemen of F1. If I were him, I would have headed to pits, taken myself out of it after hitting Lewis twice, and apologized. He has zero self respect.

      2. For the sake of perspective, I’d like to point out that Road Rage (a term that originated in California) is a crime. In this state, it’s a violation of the Vehicle Code that provides for a license suspension of six months for the first offense as well as a fine. The individual may also have to attend an anger management course.

        Road Rage also constitutes the crime of Assault, or Assault with a Deadly Weapon. Penalties include incarceration from one year in county jail to four years in state prison depending the severity of the offense and a fine of up to $10,000 (about 7,900 British Pounds).

        I think Vettel got off very light. Given the circumstances (a perception that Hamilton brake checked him), I believe that a disqualification and a one race ban would have been appropriate.

        When considering his past behavior, both physical and other incidents (violating team orders and passing Webber at Malaysia for instance), I think we have a superb driver with some serious behavioral issues. For everyone’s sake, he needs to be kept on a very short leash.

        1. Seriously good answer

        2. Yes, excellent point. On the topic, they should all be charged with speeding as well.

          1. Except, at the time of the incident, nobody was speeding….

        3. lol at the very idea, but Ferrari also have the ability to re-impose discipline and send a message. Plenty of coaches bench or suspend members of their own teams for breaking team rules. Nothing is stopping them from having Vettel sit a race or 5 or never drive for Ferrari again as a result of bringing such dishonor on the team.

          Funny, right? But sadly in many sports he’d have been suspended by the team already. I won’t hold my breath for that behavior from an F1 team. Haas, maybe, because the owner is a crazy redneck who doesn’t know better than to ensure that his team maintain their bearing and composure under stress.

      3. Classic Denial Pose ! ‘My reputation demands that I do nothing to spoil my reputation.
        Therefore it is not possible for me to carry out any act which does the slightest damage
        to my reputation.’
        Time and again we see the child-like reactions of this man to any situation which demonstrates
        his falibility and weaknesses. ‘He pushed me off the road’ No, he was in a better position
        than you and that forced you off the road. ‘ Charlie Whiting is a ………. ! ‘ No you behaved
        badly and have been punished ! ‘Where are the blue flags ?…don’t these people in slower
        cars know that I am a quadruple world champion and have every right to push them off the circuit ? ‘
        Silence………. !

        Vettel is not unique in his delusions, they are shared by many people who have the capacity
        for great achievement but who also have zero ability to recognise their limitations.
        One suspects that he is being heavily supported in his delusions by cynical people who
        will exploit every aspect such a situation.

    2. A black flag would not have been a surprise and in fact I fully expected one.

      Maybe the takeaway from this incident and penalty is for drivers to feel that intentionally driving into another car as an act of spite, not a racing incident, is that all they will get is a 10 second stop and go. That could have ramifications.

    3. I am not sure what the rules says about driving into an driver intentionally. But I thought it was and Black flag and an race ban of 1 race. But it should be 5 points on driver licence and an 10 grid penaulty on the minimum side just to make everyone noted driving into someone intentionally during safety car.

      But Keith: Shouldn’t the FIA get an faster pacecar then that Mercedes. like an Le man car?

    4. I watched on catch-up. I skipped through the red flag period and genuinely couldn’t believe Vettel was taking the restart. That the eventual punishment came another 10 laps into the race pushed the incident from farce to an embarrassment.

    5. Three incidents to consider. 1st crash (VET rear ending HAM) was worth the 10 second stop, go. Second crash (VET side swiping HAM) was worth a black flag as a separate incident. Third least significant was VET getting in front of the lead car, albeit momentarily whilst completing the side swipe.

    6. @vrshank So let me get this straight it’s a black flag for reacting to a taunt, but it’s not a black flag for trying to rig a championship. Honestly had Vettel kept his cool, we would be debating the same penalty for the other driver. Vettel lost his cool and I think got the harshest penalty possible besides a black flag. However I’d rather see that penalty issued in time and not only because Mercedes lost Hamilton’s race.

    7. FreddyVictor
      27th June 2017, 7:27

      Unless it can be proven the wheel banging was deliberate (in-car footage is inconclusive), the correct penalty was applied
      as for the Poll result, I’m hardly surprised considering some of the rubbish I’ve read fom some ‘fans’, one commenting that VET should have been penalised for driving with one hand on steering wheel – oh the irony!
      anyway, hopefully VET will learn from this (not a fan!)

      1. Well Freddy. Since Vettel himself confirmed that he did indeed intentionally steer his car towards Hamilton, I think we can satisfy your IF there easily.

        1. FreddyVictor
          27th June 2017, 8:02

          Please link !
          As far as I have heard, he has not said one way or another – if he said it was deliberate, then he’s been a stupid idiot.
          Stewards will have considered his action at the time an accident, but now may not be so lenient

      2. Just because YOU can not see it does not mean the stewards were not able to see what happened by fractions of seconds. Honestly they have so much more technology than a couple of camera angles we get. They have access to everything.

      3. If, as you say the wheel banging was unintentional.
        Then he deliberately drove into a wrong position and then lost control of his car, they again are punishable offences.

    8. All the odds are against him here…Too me it’s a definite black flag. It’s under the safety car, Hamilton has not brake tested him, it’s all based on his own emotions.

      The guy needs something to dampen his attitude ….Like properly dampen it

    9. Nick (@nickgardner)
      27th June 2017, 13:16

      I can’t quite get to grips with the fact there are so many people saying Vettel should be black flagged. I’m not condoning his behaviour but a ten second stop-go penalty (30-35 seconds realistically) was suitable. Let’s be real here…..if it was Ericsson on Grosjean (for example) in the same situation, it would’ve been exactly the same form of penalty and I doubt the majority would argue that a larger punishment was needed. Yes, I understand that all the media’s eyes are on Hamilton and Vettel due to championship standings and they need to set an example but I think there’s a lot of bias in these arguments that Vettel needs further penalisation simply because he’s currently leading the world championship.

      His actions were childish but it was at very low speed, made sure the cars were level so it was rubber on rubber rather than integral carbon-fibre parts and there was no damage at all. Dangerous Driving??? No…..Silly Driving….for which he received a suitable penalty. And to the chump at the top of these comments that’s said he now sees Maldonardo as a ‘gentleman driver’……you need to re-evaluate yourself.

      The one thing I can agree on with the majority of these comments is the pure ignorance by Vettel. This is the first time I’ve seen avoidance from such a blatant mistake and I hope in the coming press conference that his PR team or own moral compass can kick in and offer an apology to both Hamilton and the viewers.

      I’m not going to go into any more detail regarding whether Hamilton purposely brake-tested Vettel but if anybody wants to take it further, please by all means ask my views as this is what these sites are for.

      1. @nickgardner, I kind of see this as the F1 equivalent of a head butt in football (or any other method of deliberately striking an opponent). In most sports it’s seen as unacceptable and is ruled as offensive enough to warrant being removed from the field of play, even if the contact is deemed not to be hard. I think that’s why so many people think Vettel’s actions warranted a black flag (in this instance me included)

        1. I totaly agree should have been instant black, three offences causing a colision, deliberate wheel bang (admitted is post race interview) and getting in front of lead car i never thought i would see the day that tour de france officials would be showing anybody how disipline should be handled and for stewards to say they did not want to have too much effect on championship is an open admission of corruption

    10. From a video I watched he was trying to get the 3rd place Mercedes in a position to pass Vettel at Corner 1. Considering Vettel’s professional position and his team he knew this. He didn’t like the strategy Hamilton was doing so he got angry. Unfortunately this probably cost him a shot at 2017 Championship victory.

    11. Found this, which explains a lot about Vettel.
      “It was back in 2009, in relaxed circumstances, well away from a Formula 1 paddock, that Mark Webber first gave me insight into the Jekyll & Hyde aspect of Vettel’s character.

      “I can see why Seb’s popular,” Webber said. “He’s normally polite, got a sense of humour, and smiles a lot, but if things go wrong… mate, when it comes to throwing toys out of the pram, I’ve never seen anyone like him.’
      As Fernando Alonso has said, “Vettel needs to be reminded that the track belongs to everyone.””
      Lol. Love it.

    12. Antoon van Gemert
      27th June 2017, 20:12

      The penalty was correct because Sebastian Vettel drove deliberately into the side of the car of Lewis Hamilton. But it’s quite ridiculous to call this ‘dangerous driving’, because they both drove very slow at that moment. No wonder that Sebastian asked ‘Where did I do dangerous driving?’. When Hamilton slowed down, I believe even to 49 km, Vettel was caught by surprise and drove into the back of the Mercedes. The angry reaction of Vettel was of course wrong executed and thereby penalized sufficient. Case done! No need for overreactions. F1 fans should be glad with this kind of controverses between the main rivals for this year’s championship. I loved it and want to see more! Let’s race hard and don’t be so soft!

      1. The speed is irrelevant this is the equivalent of pushing your hand into an opponents face on football pitch, instant red card

  2. Andrew Purkis
    26th June 2017, 12:56

    he drove into another driver under the safety car

    disqualification

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      26th June 2017, 17:17

      Well, he actually did it twice and one of those times intentionally

      1. How do you know it was intentional. And first time it was because Hamilton braked.

        1. He willingly took his hands off the wheel. You can’t control the car without hands on the wheel… therefore he willingly (or intentionally) ran into Hamilton.

          If someone rear ended you on the motorway, but he claimed “hey! My hands were off the wheel!” Would it change anything? If anything it’s worse…

        2. Hamilton didn’t brake, or even lift more. And it’s very hard to believe that, subsequent to the first impact, Vettel “accidentally” pulled alongside Hamilton (how does one do that accidentally?) and then side-swiped him.

          1. @jamesremuscat correction, Telemetry shows hamilton did not fully brake or lift.

        3. @bobec furthermore, stop lying. You weren’t in hamiltons footwell to know that he braked, and we now know from telemetry that he didn’t brake, so you are just making yourself a joke, pushing false “anti-lulu” crap. Ignorance during the race was fine, it looked bad from vettels view, but telemetry tells no fibs. Only people like you do.

        4. Check the following video at 25 secs where I do NOT believe Hamilton braked. I think the the rear central light flashes when just lifting the throttle or actually braking. Not sure if just slightly lifting the throttle will also do it?
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cx4AartWhg4 (couldn’t get the link function to work!!!)

    2. What was Hamilton’s penalty for crashing into a car under safety car in the pitlane taking out another competitor? A 10 place grid drop. That was a far worse infraction IMHO. (I’m obviously talking about Canada 2008) So to me the penalty seems in line with earlier rulings in similar circumstances.

    3. Andrew Bridgewater
      29th June 2017, 21:25

      If Hamilton leads championship with one race to go is he allowed to ram Vettel to stop him overtaking and winning championship?

  3. Really far too lenient. There should be no space in motorsport for this kind of behaviour. You might argue that Vettel’s bump into Hamilton, while deliberate, was not likely to cause a dangerous accident. And that’s true enough. Yet if you allow drivers to deliberately drive into other competitors when they feel aggrieved, then eventually it definitely will lead to someone getting hurt. What he did was not racing, it was purely an act of violence towards a competitor. The FIA had the opportunity to send a clear message that this will never be tolerated, and the fact they failed to do so is, in my opinion, pretty shameful. A case, it seems, of not wanting to get in the way of a compelling title fight by disqualifying a driver.

    1. What he did was not racing, it was purely an act of violence towards a competitor

      There’s the rub, I think.
      I dithered over my answer to this poll. During the race I was thinking, “black flag”, and then I reflected that there are plenty of occasions where drivers make decisions during racing that imperil others, and they may quite rightly get points but we don’t see them black-flagged (at least i don’t remember a black flag since Canada years ago, and that wasn’t even for aggressive behaviour) so was this any different? But @mazdachris is right: this wasn’t even a racing incident, in which split-second judgements might be made poorly and/or tainted with some excessive aggression; it was indeed “purely an act of violence”, and yes, made in the heat of the moment and all that, but it wasn’t a split second reaction, it was a decision to pull alongside, gesture, and then veer into Hamilton. A deliberate choice, not just a bad one. So yes, a black flag seems appropriate.
      It’s a shame about Vettel. I admire him a lot and he frequently comes across as a a very good guy, witty and smart and balanced as well as super-focussed and fast. It’s not the first time he has disgraced himself with some suspect behaviour during a race (as have several other admirable drivers – including Hamilton – otherwise come over as decent people), but incidents like this leave a lasting bad taste and each time you are inclined to make less allowance for circumstances.
      Bloody thrilling race, though!

      1. Agree with all of that.

    2. Except likely it wasn’t deliberate

      1. Except it’s obvious it was. He didn’t even claim it wasn’t afterwards as the footage makes it glaringly obvious.

      2. RP (@slotopen)
        27th June 2017, 3:03

        I’m gonna have to disagree. Even in a red mist rage he is still as in-control of his car as a human can be. It isn’t an accident only their wheels touched.

        In fact, about the only reason not to black flag him was he didn’t try to slice Hamilton’s tire with his wing plate.

    3. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
      27th June 2017, 12:32

      @mazdachris I agree, and whilst it’s an immensely damaging conclusion to draw, I think it’s likely that the championship ramifications had an effect on the decision not to disqualify Vettel. That is an inherently appalling state of affairs.

      I was formerly a rather outspoken critic of Sebastian Vettel. During his years sat on Helmut Marko’s shoulder I detected an arrogance and sense of entitlement bubbling beneath the congeniality and wit. However I quickly warmed to the newly humble Seb that we saw in 2015, and I would hope that the same good-humoured, affable guy that I have been introduced to on a number of occasions since will give nothing less than a full apology for his actions in Spielberg.

      However I think Vettel’s moment of madness has perhaps overshadowed an alternative perspective on the incident. Vettel is a four-time F1 world champion, he has the reactions of a cat and he was under the rear-wing of his championship nemesis with a real chance of victory. If Seb couldn’t avoid contact, who could? Hamilton not only failed to accelerate on the exit of T15, but tapped the brakes. The result was substantial front wing damage for Vettel which, had there not been a red flag, would have all but ended his contention for the higher placing.

      Implicit in the stewards inaction on Hamilton’s part is the suggestion that this was a self-inflicted setback for Vettel. That is highly contestable; it certainly could be argued that Lewis failed in his duty to maintain reasonable pace during the restart.

      1. Unfortunately your quite sensible post has a glaring error.

        Upon a restart it is the lead cars job to control the pace and, here is the important bit, slow the field down in a none erratic manner. This is to allow the safety car to get off the circuit.

        That is what LH was doing. There is absolutely no question that Hamilton did anything wrong.

        Every other driver in that field knew that which is why there was plenty of space between the cars from SV back.

        Bottom line SV nearly got mugged the first time, got way to exited, drove too close to be sensible and tried to second guess LH.

        Then went nuts.

  4. It was far too lenient. Last race we got a very similar penalty to the one served to Vettel: Sainz got a 3 place-drop grid penalty for this race and 3 points on his license, basically for a midjudged racing incident.

    Vettel got exactly the same (he was penalized during the race because he was still in it, until Sainz), but the incident that triggered the penalty was far, far more serious.

    As you say, young drivers are influenced by this. Hence a 4 time world champion should be the example, and this sort of thing should not be overlooked. It was as serious as it gets.

    People might say “oh, it’s part of the emotions”, well… control them. You can control your emotions in a championship decider (4 times no less) but you can’t put anger aside during a safety car period for something that didn’t even happen? something’s clearly wrong then.

    1. Hamilton is still not excused. You don’t keep the same speed “More or less”. You don’t rapidly come off throttle after a hairpin after you’ve bunched the field up. He’s done it many times before.
      He derserves a penalty for it and all this talk of ‘was it severe enough’ for SV is just forum rhetoric

      1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
        26th June 2017, 14:19

        Well he is excused actually, by the experts with the data and telemetry funnily enough.

        1. Not excused…. If you foul someone in football and they get up and punch you, they get sent off but a foul is called against you. It’s two separate incidents.

          Hamilton may or may not have brake tested Vettel but even if he did something 10x worse, it would have excused Vettel’s behaviour.

          1. @petebaldwin: I think (and hope) you meant “…, it would not excused Vettel’s behaviour”.

          2. @demercer – Yep. Good spot. Nothing at all (even if someone had deliberately hit him) would excuse him deliberately driving his car into another one. It was a “heat of the moment” thing and I have to say I’m glad he isn’t banned for the next race but if it was my call, he’d have been immediately black flagged.

          3. Luis de la garza
            26th June 2017, 17:38

            It my town that is called “road rage” . VET got away with it. He was tailgating HAM.
            And if i hit someone in the rear for whatever reason, I’m responsible ( of course it doesn’t include if the driver on front is driving in reverse). Cheers

          4. If you foul someone in football and they get up and punch you, they get sent off but a foul is called against you. It’s two separate incidents.

            There’s the rub: Hamilton did not “foul” Vettel, he behaved within the rules and, in fact, the same way as most would in that situation. All cars back the pack up when leading at the end of a safety car.

            This is more like a footballer tripping over another player who just didn’t move the way he expected, then jumping up and punching them. No foul for the first, but a red card for the punch.

        2. @rdotquestionmark The FIA and Merc just want to bury it. The data does not show that Hamilton is innocent or guilty, that’s what it shows, it does not show full brake or full lift, then Andrew Benson from BBC wrote it like Hamilton was actually full throttle and doing 330. Honesly I think we should be discussing why is Bottas still 2nd.

          1. I think one thing should be perfectly clear here @peartree. Even if Hamilton had deliberately made Vettel drive into him, take evasive action or anything like that (for which he should be penalized in such a case) it would not in any way make me feel different about the fact that Vettel deserved, even needed, to be shown the black flag immediately after losing control of his emotions while driving a racing car in a tightly packed field and drove it into a competitor.

            As for Hamilton, since he apperently did exactly the same he had done on previous restarts, I see why the Stewards did not see a reason to penalize him for his driving. But again, it has little bearing on how Vettel reaction should be treated.

        3. I don’t find the “he didn’t brake” argument convincing. Certainly the media, however, have taken the data point that he didn’t apply the brake and Hamilton avoiding penalty to be a full exoneration, which it actually isn’t.

      2. @sjzelli you again? he never went on the throttle at all… check the video again. And even if he did, Vettel’s reaction deserves a severe penalty.

        Even if Hamilton was at fault, Vettel’s reaction was completely over the line.

      3. Darran Donald
        26th June 2017, 15:04

        Totally agree! Take away the Vettel part of the incident which i’ll come back too Hamilton putting on the breaks on a corner is DANGEROUS< if telemetry shows it was consistently with other starts then he was consistently dangerous. The fact it happened means the FIA at least should be looking to stop sudden breaking like this behind the safety car. Pick up a copy of a Indycar rule book. They know how to do restarts we learned today that F1 still does not.
        Onto Vettel's penalty to me was as close to a DQ as you could get, which is why i agree with the 10 second penalty based on recent events similar to this in F1. PROVING he drove into Lewis on purpose is what saved him from DQ. You could argue either way really without being able to prove it hence why they couldnt DQ a river from that.

        1. ^^^first balanced comment I’ve read. The rest of you who are armed with pitchforks – get over it.

          1. @sjzelli

            “Hamilton is still not excused. You don’t keep the same speed “More or less”. You don’t rapidly come off throttle after a hairpin after you’ve bunched the field up.”

            I guess you’re not intentionally trying to be a comedian but comments are hilarious :’)

            Answer these questions. And don’t dance around the point like Seb did post-race yesterday.

            Who are the most informed individuals to be able to make a decision regarding Hamilton’s driving?

            Given all the information available to these individuals (certainly more than any of us are privileged to), what decision did they come to?

            Are you in a more educated position to judge Hamilton’s actions than they are?

            ^^^first balanced comment I’ve read. The rest of you who are armed with pitchforks – get over it.

            Funny how the “balanced” opinion just so happens to be the one that concurs with your view, eh? Quite a petty way to try and vindicate yourself, wouldn’t you think?

            By the way, Darran’s pointed out that, if there is a problem to be had regarding braking, it’s that the FIA should update the rules accordingly. This contradicts your view that “Hamilton is not excused”. If the FIA’s current rules are inadequate and are to blame, then of course Hamilton is excused, in the most literal of senses.

            And by the way, you’ll find that the more balanced view is that the first contact was just a misunderstanding between the two drivers, and that Vettel was solely to blame for that. Oh, and what do you know, that view aligns with the steward’s view completely. Funny, that!!

            Please bring proper, well-thought out arguments to the table that aren’t clouded by bias and agendas. Thank you!! :)

          2. *and that Vettel was solely to blame for the second.

        2. AJ (@fifthlion)
          26th June 2017, 17:27

          It’s quite easy to prove, just watch the footage! They go from parallel to eachother to making contact, and it is clear which car moves across (the red one). The cherry on top is the fact that Vettel refuses to even acknowledge the incident took place! If it was an accident then his post race statements are the worst things he could have said, or not said in this instance. For me the arrogance shown after is just as bad as the collision and is embarrassing to the FIA and race officials, Vettel has, metaphorically, stuck his middle finger up at them

          And I’m not armed with a pitchfork, just the truth.

        3. Hamilton putting on the breaks on a corner is DANGEROUS

          You’re right, he should just drive into the walls in the corners to slow down instead. What on earth are you actually talking about?

          1. @matt90 He’s exaggerating but the on screen graphics that do not appear on F1.com youtube channel do show braking on the apex of that kink, it’s unusual, that and the constantly looking at the mirrors perspective but I would say considering the situation you can’t prove anything on Hamilton’s part, but we sure did see that Vettel lost it completely. Nice move from Ham anyhow, had that headrest stay put, he could’ve either brake Vet’s front wing and given him a penalty.

        4. The telemetry actually proved Hamilton didn’t ‘put the brake on’, and indeed slowed 3 times consistently in T15 to let the SC get away, as is usual, and needed. So he’s not at fault. But indeed, that doesn’t change Vettel being very wrong.

          1. @bosyber Telemetry proved Hamilton didn’t fully braked or lifted I think only he knows, anyway nobody can excuse what was the equivalent of Zidane’s headbutt.

          2. None of u Brits understand human nature either? He was sheepish, quiet and (as far as I’m concerned) guilty – in the interviews immediately following the race. That speaks VOLUMES. He knew full well he not only backed up the pack, but went through a further pseudo brake-check on Seb after the hairpin. He knows the rules as well, and pushed JUST the right amount to get away with it. Are you people forgetting this is his modas operandi?? Go watch your races. Anyways, it’s over and the only consolation prize is Seb got two points over him. Karma is indeed a … Lewis

          3. @peartree yeah, so HAM didn’t do anything other race leaders haven’t done,IMO, but quite ‘clever’ . Agree VET was wrong regardless.

            @sjzelli, your last sentence speaks volumes about ability to only see what you want to see.
            To me HAM seemed furious, but keeping a lid on it,though VET was indeed boldly evasive. Oh, I am Dutch by the way.

          4. Reference HAM backing up the pack from a corner, on the previous restart VET nearly got jumped by the following FI and WILL so i’m guessing, just guessing, HAM knew this and VET knew this so HAM probably wanted to keep them tighter and VET needed to be closer to HAM to keep the chasing pack at bay.

            There’s still mutual respect from both drivers as they both know how dangerous each other are hence the extra lengths both are prepared to go to, to win. Not sure what VET was trying to do by crashing into HAM deliberately though…

  5. “the stewards are apparently not concerned in the slightest about one driver using their car as a weapon against another. ”

    “But it wasn’t: it occured behind the Safety Car and was a deliberate attempt to hit a rival’s car with his own.”

    Or perhaps, looking at the telemetry and the video the marshals concluded that he wasn’t using the car as a weapon and the touch, being dangerous driving, was not intentional.

    1. The stewards normally point out when they have taken something in mitigation. On this occasion they have not, so I see no reason to assume they have.

      1. Luis de la garza
        26th June 2017, 17:41

        So if The intentional hit happens in a chicane at 55 kph it is a mitigating excuse also?

        1. Not really, since there was a whole train of cars right behind them at that point too. Just imagine Lewis would have lost control of his car and the pile-up that would have caused Luis.

      2. Gotta say, definitely some pro-Hamilton bias emerging here.

        The stewards deemed the incident ‘potentially dangerous’. There was absolutely no mention of ‘using a car as a weapon’, or even actual ‘dangerous’ driving. There wasn’t even any indication by the stewards that they thought it was an intentional hit! In my view, it was pretty clearly accidental; a stupid error made in anger, at a speed that would not have put either car in any serious danger, but should be penalized nonetheless. However, I think the deserved penalty would have been a 10 second time penalty, not a 10 second stop and go (~30sec), and certainly not a race ban.

        Anyone claiming that this will open the floodgates for younger drivers to copy this behaviour is delusional. A 30 second penalty is an age in a race. If that’s what they’ll get when they bump wheels under a safety car, imagine what the penalty would be under racing conditions.

        As for Hamilton, he is one of the dirtiest drivers on the grid, especially when it comes to trying to game safety car restarts. He did it on all the restarts he was leading today, and as we saw with Sebastian it can easily cause a collision. Perhaps it wasn’t a “brake test”, but you have to factor in the speed he was going before he starts corner entry (literally twice his exit speed), a normal trajectory around that corner under the safety car (minor dip in speed and then minor acceleration back to previous speed). Then you factor the distance he had already put between himself and the safety car, and realise that his choice of braking and corner exit speed would not have been expected by any other driver.

        Most other drivers in a similar situation would have slowed to the 50km/hour speed well before the corner entry, crawled around the corner, then chosen a point sometime after the corner exit to start accelerating. What Hamilton did was dangerous – it almost caught Perez out as well – had he been any closer to Vettel he would have also collided.

        Hamilton always seems to get lenient treatment by the stewards, and this incident is no different.

        1. The published telemetry shows Lewis coasting around the corner. Just like millions of drivers do on roads all around the world every day. Other very average drivers manage to not crash into the back of them or else our streets would be full of bent vehicles. Given that Sebastien is clearly very much an above average driver, he can certainly manage to safely follow a car coasting around a corner too. That he didn’t means something stopped him from doing so. I imagine one of these two reasons is likely.

          A) He wasn’t paying attention and stayed on the throttle too long. Lots of settings on those steering wheels, perhaps he was distracted

          B) He was trying to guess when Lewis would accelerate away and be on the throttle a moment before him, giving himself an overtaking chance.

          Either way, he made a mistake. He then compounded the mistake by deliberately crashing into Lewis a second time.

        2. There wasn’t even any indication by the stewards that they thought it was an intentional hit! In my view, it was pretty clearly accidental

          He is one of the best drivers in the world and they were doing 50kph (30mph). Even I, an average driver, can keep a car in a straight line and not drive into things at 30mph, gesticulating another driver for cutting me up. I can drive at 30mph while on the phone (hands free of course) and changing the radio station and STILL avoid hitting other vehicles. So are you seriously expecting me to belove that Vettel was unable to control his car well enough to avoid Hamilton?!

    2. From what I remember (but I’ll look up a replay to be sure) Vettel drove next to Hamilton, then let go of the steering to gesticulate at Hamilton in anger, at which point his steering wasn’t aligned properly, which caused his car to steer into Hamilton’s car. It is still totally unacceptable behavior, but in the murder analogy it would be manslaughter, not murder, because the intention was to gesticulate and not use his car as a weapon. It is still a huge offensive and something that should not be treated lightly. I just disagree with “using his car as a weapon”.

      1. eh??? Hamilton was doing 220mph with one hand on his headrest and did not accidentally steer into the wall… you can see drivers often cruising after the race with no hands on the steering and they still drive straight.
        Vettel was angry and did what you might do in go karting.

        Lets imagine a police officer driving alongside on the motorway and asking you to pull over vigorously, would you excuse them to bash your car?

        Schumacher did get race bans for this kind of stuff, champions are not especially nice guys and in an era where politically correct is still the norm and we remember old school drivers with an attitude fondly it is good to see drivers as humans.

        However humans get punished when they cross a line, race ban would have been fairer to me but maybe the stewards are thinking the championship should remain a close battle…

        1. @dubaemon What’s worse. Punch someone out of anger, or rob someone of something.

      2. He kept his right, dominant hand on the wheel throughout while gesticulating with his left. He had no business being alongside, let alone what he actually did.

  6. He should have been disqualifed immediately, and if it were any other driver, I suspect they would have been. As has been pointed out, the cars are not designed to take a side impact through the intricate parts, this could have had far more serious consequences had any unnoticed damage occured.

  7. He may be a fierce competitor and a great driver, but this incident to me had little in parallel with anything else I had ever seen. And the backlash on social media supporting Seb strikes me as quite bewildering, frankly – denying the FIA verdict on whether Lewis actually brake-tested him (he didn’t) and conjuring that Seb did it by “accident”. I can only think that if that the situation was reversed, Lewis would be crucified by the Tifosi and asked to quit – it wouldn’t be treated as a normal “incident”.

    1. I fall in this case, as a Ferrari fan. To make my opinion, I tried to imagine the situation swapping the roles. And I think that FIA took the right decision against Vettel.

      What I’m not tolerating – and I think it’s the same thing for Seb – is that they, again, allowed Hamilton to do that sort of things: he clearly walked out of that turn while whining about the poor performance of Maylander, and if he did the same thing during previous laps he made the same mistake more than one time. He was well aware of the fact that they needed to speed up.

      F1 cars don’t have “stop” lights so you have to drive as one’s would expect; if you’re a World Champion and you care about what little kids watching the sport are learning you should behave correctly and this includes acting responsibly when you’re leading behind the safety car. Doing little tricks like this is unfair and dirty, the fact that there isn’t a clear rule against it can’t alleviate the fact.

      The manipulation Lewis did after is childish and lacks responsibility more than Seb’s reaction since next races will be even tenser. I sincerely believe that Vettel did the wrong thing and received a right penalty: but Hamilton deserved something too, maybe less severe, but something.

      1. What I’m not tolerating – and I think it’s the same thing for Seb – is that they, again, allowed Hamilton to do that sort of things: he clearly walked out of that turn while whining about the poor performance of Maylander

        The safety car was coming in, so Hamilton was taking control for the restart, as he is fully entitled to do and as every leading driver in every safety car situation has always done.

        1. @matt90 so maybe what is wrong is the procedure taken when the SC period is over.
          The cars should continue at usual speed and distance until a particular point of the track (a line, the start of the pitstops, I think, has that kind of line) where the SC enters pits and cars are then full throttle. Years ago, I think in 2009, Hamilton did the same, and Webber had to stop abruptly, making Vettel crash onto Webber.
          And when people bring up the question “Hamilton would be crazy to want Vettel to crash on him”… maybe (and here everything I’m saying is definitely not a fact) maybe Ham’s intentions were to force Vettel to brake abruptly and someone else crashed onto him (almost as last year’s Abu Dhabi packing technique). If the procedure was clearer, Hamilton (or any other driver) wouldn’t try to create chaos profitting from the rulebook’s grey areas.

          1. 2007 in very different, extreme conditions.

            so maybe what is wrong…

            Nothing. The rules are not broken. Vettel wasn’t thinking, he hit Hamilton, then he decided to pass the blame and get revenge.

            Hamilton (or any other driver) wouldn’t try to create chaos

            Try to create chaos? He was building a gap to the safety car, or maybe staying slow so he couldn’t accelerate a put some heat through his tyres.

    2. Matteo (@m-bagattini)
      26th June 2017, 14:02

      I fall in this case, as a Ferrari fan. To make my opinion, I tried to imagine the situation swapping the roles. And I think that FIA took the right decision against Vettel.

      What I’m not tolerating – and I think it’s the same thing for Seb – is that they, again, allowed Hamilton to do that sort of things: he clearly walked out of that turn while whining about the poor performance of Maylander, and if he did the same thing during previous laps he made the same mistake more than one time. He was well aware of the fact that they needed to speed up.

      F1 cars don’t have “stop” lights so you have to drive as one’s would expect; if you’re a World Champion and you care about what little kids watching the sport are learning you should behave correctly and this includes acting responsibly when you’re leading behind the safety car. Doing little tricks like this is unfair and dirty, the fact that there isn’t a clear rule against it can’t alleviate the fact.

      The manipulation Lewis did after is childish and lacks responsibility more than Seb’s reaction since next races will be even tenser. I sincerely believe that Vettel did the wrong thing and received a right penalty: but Hamilton deserved something too, maybe less severe, but something.

      1. On a side note, if LH is taking the “for the kids” approach, whats his view on his hero’s move at Suzuka 1990?

        1. I think we can figure that out based on his answer to this question.

          1. Michael Shoory
            26th June 2017, 16:21

            Pretty sure Hamilton has said before he liked how Senna dealt with Prost (referring to taking him out in 1990).

            Vettel did the wrong thing with his side swipe but Hamilton’s holier than thou attitude is annoying. He may not have braked but not accelerating coming out of a partially blind corner is stupid and asking to get hit from behind – unfortunately that’s been forgotten due to the ‘red mist’ moment.

          2. If Vettel is bad for the kids so is Senna, and he’s still Hamiltons hero what does that say of Hamilton himself?

            Just another chancer crying to the english media for help, like he did with Rosberg in Monaco!

      2. He can control the pace, the safety car was coming in.
        There is absolute no excuse for Vettel. Hamilton did nothing wrong, no matter how much you want.

    3. thepostalserviceisbroke (@thepostalserviceisbroke)
      26th June 2017, 15:34

      @vrshank

      Don’t know where you’re from, but I understand this behavior perfectly. Why? Because I am an American and I see this kind of crap all the time in politics. Especially from the far conservatives. Denying facts in the face of indisputable evidence. Partisanship and willful blindness know no life arena.

      1. @thepostalserviceisbroke Yeah, that’s quite scary too (I go to Uni in the States). Like the FIA LITERALLY checked telemetry and determined unequivocal outcomes – HAM didn’t brake-test, Vettel drove into him. It is not up for debate. In fact, I would gladly reverse my stance if the facts say otherwise.

      2. Matteo (@m-bagattini)
        27th June 2017, 15:23

        @thepostalserviceisbroke @vrshank Maybe I don’t understand everything perfectly, but hasn’t FIA ruled out just the brake test thing? I’m not denying this. It’s OK, Hamilton didn’t brake test and I’m quite sure this is easily readable from a telemetry plot. But you can slow down without pushing on brakes.

        Let’s say I’m in front of you in a roundabout, left is clear and I start moving, entering the roundabout. Then, I remove my foot from the pedal, the car still moves but at constant speed, maybe with some deceleration, in a point where you expect me to gain speed. If you’re close to me, 99% you’ll hit me. It’s your fault without any doubt, but do you agree with me that my move is either dumb, unfair or a combination of both? Of course, an officer who saw everything will give me the full reason and a fine to you. But at the end of the day, wouldn’t you go to sleep thinking “man, I made a mistake staying that close but that guy in front was supposed to accelerate at that point…”?

        1. Sure, but I won’t sleep if I pull up next to the guy and smash into him

        2. thepostalserviceisbroke (@thepostalserviceisbroke)
          28th June 2017, 2:23

          It’s your fault without any doubt, but do you agree with me that my move is either dumb, unfair or a combination of both?

          @m-bagattini

          Not an invalid point. I for sure let my driving be influenced by “normal” expected behavior on the road. And I would counter by saying the onus (and in most US states the legal responsibility) is on the trailing driver to maintain safe distance and awareness to prevent your scenario from happening.

          Aaaaaaand also not to ram the car in front if the driver doesn’t accelerate out of a corner as fast or timely as I expected @vrshank.

  8. Keith you lost me at “using his car as a weapon” that is the sort of thing I expect from the comments, not really from you.

    I think you did a far too simplistic analysis of the matter, you usually dig deeper into these sort of things.

    At least the conclusion is there, his behaviour was unacceptable

    1. If he didn’t use his car to vent frustration and bang his wheels at Hamilton, delivering his own version of justice, what else did he do? F1 cars don’t have bumpers, and you don’t want shreds of carbon fibre to be created intentionally.

      1. @vrshank

        > If he didn’t use his car to vent frustration and bang his wheels at Hamilton, delivering his own version of justice, what else did he do?

        Banging HAM car inadvertently?

        1. @Oletros I feel that when the stewards looked at telemetry and decided that Vettel deliberately drove into him and handed him the penalty for “dangerous driving”, it’s a moot point.

          1. The stewards words were ” potentially dangerous driving”. So many articles about this and nobody has quoted the stewards exactly. Potentially makes a bit of a difference.

          2. The official FIA Stewards’ decision wording doesn’t mention telemetry?

            The Stewards examined video evidence which showed that car 5 drove alongside and
            then steered into car 44. The Stewards decide this manoeuvre was deemed potentially dangerous.

            The stand-out phrase being “potentially dangerous”

      2. @vrshank I must say i trust vettel in that if he wanted to damage Ham’s car, he surely would make a better job of it. Personally i’m not even convinced he wanted to bang wheels, it seems he got a bit clumsy while letting out his pantomimic italian side. And if he deliberately hit ham, i agree with whoever said in yesterdays discussion it was a bit of a ‘hey man, look over when i’m talking to you.’ Surely unwise, but not nearly as bad as some make it out to be.

        1. @mrboerns After that behaviour you trust Vettel? More trusting than I.

          1. @fluxsource Well, yeah. If he wanted to crash someone out he would crash him out.

          2. He lost emotional control. You can’t trust him at all.

          3. @fluxsource Well as long as we don’t get Horns on f1 cars drivers will need to go to different lengths to communcate during a race :D Or an open radiochannel were all drivers could ‘group chat’. Now, wouldn’t that be glorious?

          4. @mrboerns They’re there to race, not chat. And even if they need a communication method, colliding cars is not the way to do it.

        2. Looking at Vettel’s onboard camera I agree it’s difficult to see where his right hand is, and in fact his defenders are claiming he was gesturing with both hands and that’s why his car veered into Hamilton, by accident.

          However, looking at the camera giving the head on shot, you can clearly see he only has one hand raised and the other on the wheel.

          I think most of us on here who can drive will have gestured with one hand at another driver, and I don’t think any of us will have accidentally pulled the wheel that hard to the right by accident. Clearly deliberate. No other explanation for a move that sharp.

          1. FreddyVictor
            27th June 2017, 7:57

            I think most of us on here who can drive will have gestured with one hand at another driver

            err, but this is not your typical saloon car, the cockpit is quite tight, not helped with HANS device in place

            Clearly deliberate

            inconclusive I would suggest ….

        3. Please tell me you didn’t yet see Vettel’s being interviewed by Will Buxton after the race when you wrote this @mrboerns, because if you did, I am glad to never meet you on a road.

    2. Good point @johnmilk.
      Because then we could also describe braking suddenly (even if you did it before at the same spot) as ‘using your car as a weapon’.

      I’d still punish Vettel a bit harsher.
      The 10s stop-go was spot on for the race. But after Vettel had a chance to explain his behaviour after the race they should have made it clearer that this cannot be condoned, thus more penalty points (4-6) and a reprimand.

      1. @f1-liners i’ll just mak a short note that what he tells the press and what he tells the stewards might not necesarily be the same.

    3. @johnmilk

      you lost me at “using his car as a weapon”

      I don’t know what you’re objecting to. It’s literally true.

      He didn’t hit Hamilton’s car with his as a sign of affection, did he?

      1. @keithcollantine Actually it isn’t literally true, it would be true if Vettel had done it on purpose and tried to take Hamilton out of the race, I think we are a bit far from that situation. Or Vettel is really bad at handling weaponry, one would expected a bit more damage in that scenario

        The situation is unjustifiable, but are we certain that he crashed on purpose? Or got lost on the heat of the moment? It is equally bad regardless, but claiming he is using the car as a weapon is a bit far fetched to me.

        C’mon what we doing here? Commenting or ping pong?

        1. @johnmilk

          it would be true if Vettel had done it on purpose

          I have no doubt he did, firstly because he knows how to use a steering wheel.

          Secondly because the stewards did not mention it in mitigation and instead said he “steered into” Hamilton.

          And thirdly because he hasn’t said he didn’t do it on purpose. In fact he’s justified what he did by saying people want drivers to “use our elbows” – i.e., push into each other. That puts the matter way beyond doubt.

          So I don’t think the suggestion he did it accidentally is credible at all. He used his car as a weapon.

          1. @keithcollantine to each their own, I still think you are exaggerating in your comparison, but this would be quite the borefest if we all agreed with each other. Maybe purpose isn’t the right word for what I’m trying to say, deliberately perhaps.

            They all know how to use a steering wheel, it never stopped them from making stupid mistakes

            Your third point is a bit out of context, he said that as a figure of speech clearly, during an interview where he didn’t acknowledge the 2nd contact. The same interview that gave me the impression that he didn’t registered the moment as we saw it. Again being his own enemy, letting the heat of the moment take over the situation.

            He acted poorly and got penalized. In my view correctly, maybe a few more seconds would be ok too.

            I guess I was expecting for you to touch this as well as you usually do with every single detail in other occasions. But fair enough if you don’t see it that way, at least we managed to get some fun out of this.

            I will wait for further developments on the situation to fully crucify him.

          2. Using the word “weapon” means he intended to do bodily harm, which is definitely not the case. Bumping wheels at 30mph is more like “Hey dumb$$$, stop driving erratically” .

          3. Crys, Using your vehicle as a weapon is a common term meaning to purposely drive your vehicle into another drivers vehicle or other property. Because this usually results in damage to the victims property, your vehicle is technically a weapon. So Vettel did use his car as a weapon, the fact that no damage was done is beside the point.

            You can punch someone without causing injury but you still used your fist as a weapon.

          4. @crys so next time when you use a knife and stick it an inch instead of whole 5, and tell the jury u only used it to bump him, as you know i did it slowly and didnt damage his internal organs… good luck…

          5. FreddyVictor
            27th June 2017, 8:26

            And thirdly because he hasn’t said he didn’t do it on purpose. In fact he’s justified what he did by saying people want drivers to “use our elbows” – i.e., push into each other. That puts the matter way beyond doubt.

            devils advocate: maybe this is just his way of explaining embarrassing loss of control, the un-intentional banging of wheels ?
            Not trying to make excuses for for him !
            at the end of the day, he didn’t say he deliberately did it – maybe later he’ll admit he did
            pity the onboard cam was on the left !

        2. Seems to be ping pong, @johnmilk.
          @keithcollantine sometimes seems a bit oversensitive when you criticise even the smallest part of an otherwise great article.

          1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

            Just doing what I’m being paid for, share my opinion

            *not really being paid unfortunately*

          2. @f1-liners If I engage with people in the comments and put my point of view across I get accused of being oversensitive. If I don’t post in the comments I get accused of being arrogant and taking my readers for granted. I don’t believe either is true, but that’s the way it is.

          3. Thanks @keithcollantine.
            I think you do a stellar job, even though I do not always agree (and rather share that as well than keeping quiet).
            Keep up the great work, and lots of success ;).

      2. Mark Zastrow
        26th June 2017, 16:11

        With affection no—but neither did he do it with a demonstrable intention to kill, maim, injure, or even to damage Hamilton’s car. So I don’t think it’s literally true that he used it as a weapon, and I think that obscures the issue somewhat.

        Clearly, he was trying to send a message. And messages—when communicated by tossing around hundreds of kilograms of mass—can be dangerous in themselves.

        1. Mark Zastrow
          26th June 2017, 16:29

          Personally, from a standpoint of pure justice, I think Vettel’s punishment fit the crime. In that situation, the amount of danger he put him them both in was considerably less than other moves at racing speed that now go unpunished in every race.

          But a stronger penalty—with the intent not merely to mete out justice but to prevent future escalation and send a message about what is acceptable under safety car conditions—would not have been out of line, either.

      3. Ricciardo said in China he intentionally bang wheels with Vettel while he was overtaking him, are we to conclude he used his car as a weapon according to you?

        1. @rockie That’s completely different. Riccardo and Vettel were racing and was just a bit of wheel to wheel rubbing, there was no anger involved or direct intension to collide. Vettel on the other hand 1: did what he did in a period that is meant to be absolutely safe driving for marshalls to work on the track, 2: did what he did for the sole purpose of colliding with another car.

          Its like the difference between gently pushing your way through a crowd of people to get to where you are going, and going up to the crowd of people and purposely pushing people to the ground.

          1. for the sole purpose of colliding with another car.

            Out of context from your entire comment here but I don’t see RIC’s move in China as being different.

            Wouldn’t really be the deciding thing for me as to whether VET should’ve been penalised anyway though.

  9. Well, i think one thing that kind of gets lost in all this debate is the following:
    We see it as completely irrational because the supposed break-testing had little to no consequence with hindsight. However, at the moment, Vettel didn’t know the red flag was coming, Ham was about to be impaired, and so forth. My guess is with all the parts flying Vettel was fairly confident he had destroyed or lost his front wing. Under normal circumstances this would have meant his race would have been practically ended, dropping to the end of the field with everyone bunched up. So at that moment vettel felt he had been unfairly put in a postition that would have meant a massive swing in the championship battle. And to a certain degree you can’t blame him for suspecting this as, lets face it, Hamilton has done his fair share of questionable moves on track. I also think that ‘dangerous’ is a bit harsh. As a rule of thumb, if my grandpa can outcycle them, its not dangerous to me.
    That is not to say it was great sportsmanship or anything, its just blown out of proportion, at least a bit.

    1. Well, i think one thing that kind of gets lost in all this debate is the following:

      It doesnt get lost, it is entirely irrelevant. Even if Hamilton did do something wrong (he didn’t by the way) it in no way shape or form excuses Vettel for his actions.

      I also think that ‘dangerous’ is a bit harsh. As a rule of thumb, if my grandpa can outcycle them, its not dangerous to me.

      1) The stewards said it was potentially dangerous
      2) They were doing 50+kph. You’re grandpa cannot outcycle them.

      The fastest time-trial is Rohan Dennis’ stage 1 of the 2015 Tour de France in Utrecht, won at an average of 55.446 km/h

      … unless you are claiming your grandpa is a Tour de France winner, in which case it is a terrible analogy.

    2. I think you’re missing the point about it being dangerous. Yes it was at slow speed, but Vettel could have damaged both cars doing that, and it may not have been noticed until they were doing 200+ mph down the main straight or standing hard on the brakes into turn one, at which point a wishbone or something screams no thanks…

      Using your grandpa bicycle analogy… If someone were to kick your grandpa’s bicycle as he cycled past at low speed, but he didn’t fall off it might not seem dangerous, until he’s tearing down that hill a bit later and discovers that one of his brake calipers no longer works…

      1. Chris this is exactly what i was thinking. This is COTD material right there

  10. I believe that Vettel’s penalty was correct. He lost what basically was a safe victory and thus 13 points in the tight battle for the world championship.

    What Vettel did was unacceptable but the drivers’ emotions sometimes run wild. In motorsports, if you are angry at a fellow driver, you can either gesticulate at him or do something with your car; there are not really many options to express your feelings. When deciding on the punishment in such cases, one has to take all aspects into account – the speed of the cars involved, the angle of the attack etc.

    I tend to believe that there has been too much artificial drama off the track in F1 and too little real drama on it if we talk about the last years. Yesterday we at least saw the latter. Whilst it is not the kind of drama F1 should encourage, a black flag would have been an overreaction in this particular case.

    1. @girts [In motorsports, if you are angry at a fellow driver, you can either gesticulate at him or do something with your car /quote]

      No. In motorsport you absolutely cannot do something with your car to express your anger. Do so under racing conditions and you should get a penalty like Vettel received. Do so under non racing conditions and you should be disqualified, the speed or angle or ferocity of the attack is irrelevant.

  11. For a person like Sebastian who has such a great knowledge, understanding and appreciation of this sport and its history, this will be eating him on the inside for a long time to come.

    It doesn’t matter if you do things 99% right. If the other 1% is that bad, that’s what people will speak about 99% of the time.

    1. Matteo (@m-bagattini)
      26th June 2017, 14:07

      This is the worst thing about what happened. Vettel was “in the zone” this year and that’s the only reason that put him on top of the standings; since he hasn’t the best car to mitigate any lack of concentration or shape, he may well lose the Championship in the long term because of this.

    2. @bamboo

      I don’t think Vettel really gives a cent about his “legacy” and his bad moments. I don’t think it will eat at him at all, and I think he will come out of this incident with his head held high and his ego feeling mighty.

      His silly move lost him points today and if he ends up losing the WDC by a couple of points, this will really hurt him then… and that would be really sweet justice as well. Would pay good money to see the look on his face then.

      1. and that would be really sweet justice as well. Would pay good money to see the look on his face then

        Wouldn’t VET not care though? the money would be better spent seeing your, or HAM’s rather happy face. He’d probably be friendly with ROS again so that’d be money well spent :)

        Or maybe VES’ face……soon. Once Red Bull wins a WDC again. Maybe with 2 reliable cars :p

    3. If the other 1% is that bad, that’s what people will speak about 99% of the time.

      Looking at Senna’s or Schumacher’s legacy this thankfully doesn’t seem to be too much the case.

      Then again, there is JV……..

  12. Absolutely unacceptable behaviour from Vettel. Pulling up alongside served absoultely no purpose. Still, I am pretty sure he did not drive into Hamilton on purpose. He was so enraged that he did not steer left when he should have but let the car travel into Hamilton’s. And he did not even seem to be aware of the contact after the race. My guess is that the stewards thought it may not have been on purpose and hence did not penalise him more.

    Whether Hamilton brake-tested Vettel or not, I am puzzled by the FIA’s finding that he did not brake at all. In one of the replays, they showed Hamilton’s onboard with the telemetry (speed, gear, throttle, brake). And it was very clear that “brake” lit up for a split second after the apex of the corner. It may only have been a light touch so might not have made a big difference, but the FIA seem to say that Hamilton did not brake at all, which is not consistent with the TV picture.

    1. My guess is that the stewards thought it may not have been on purpose and hence did not penalise him more.

      And this is where I don’t understand why the Stewards reacted during the race. If I had to make the decision I would’ve waited until the end of the race to hear from both Lewis and Seb about the situation and then react. Because they couldn’t know whether he really purposely drove his car into Hamilton’s or whether he did because he was so busy gesticulating at him. If they did that, they still could’ve applied a time penalty, DQ, race ban or whatever. It just doesn’t feel like the right decision, because they didn’t take into account the driver’s statement and as Seb has neither talked about it publicly nor to the stewards, we will never know what could’ve been with a full investigation after the race. This has created a mess because the FIA will now have to deal with this precedent set and let’s be honest, the penalty was far too lenient if Seb really did that on purpose. With a president who’s agenda is road safety, this couldn’t be any more embarrassing.

      1. There is no question over whether Vettel deliberately bumped Hamilton. He did. A Formula one car does not veer sideways at 30mph like that without purposeful steering input. F1 drivers are not learner drivers. We have constantly seen them driving around corners at 100+ mph with one hand adjusting a switch on the wheel, shaking a fist, or holding the cockpit together. Its rather silly to think Vettel cannot do the same at only 30mph, unless he had an actual fit in his anger (arms and legs flailing around inside the cockpit).

        1. Sounds all good, but where’s the proof? You’re assuming he did. I could also assume he left his steering wheel a bit turned to the right after pulling alongside the Merc which sent him into Lewis. If he didn’t correct his angle with the steering wheel, then the collision would inevitably happen. I could also assume the torque from the rear wheels put his car at the exact angle so they would touch after pulling alongside even if the wheel was straight. How do we know unless we have access to the telemetry? As @mike-dee said, Vettel might not have even realized there was contact with all his fury going on inside the cockpit. And we will only know until Seb talks publicly about it.

          1. EDWARD L MILLINGTON
            2nd July 2017, 11:35

            144-64 Sanford Avenue
            21

          2. EDWARD L MILLINGTON
            2nd July 2017, 11:47

            Please adjust the settings for the site as you published something other than a comment.

  13. If this doesn’t cause a black flag, what will? Deliberately driving into multiple drivers instead of one?

    1. Matteo (@m-bagattini)
      26th June 2017, 13:55

      If Vetted didn’t stop-and-go that would be a black flag probably

  14. Terry Saunders
    26th June 2017, 13:18

    I’m surprised it wasn’t a heavier penalty if only for the fact that it was under the safety car and there were marshalls on the track (albeit not that section) clearing debris. I was under the understanding that any infringement under the safety car was a hefty penalty…

  15. Neil (@neilosjames)
    26th June 2017, 13:18

    Far too lenient. Should have been a black flag, no question – but the stewards have form for allowing this sort of thing. Maldonado should have been banned for sideswiping Perez a few years ago at Monaco, but they bottled that one too.

  16. This kind of penalty sets a dangerous precedent. Deliberate contact, especially behind the Safety Car, should not be allowed.

  17. They should remove the black flag from the sport. If they’re not going to use if for a driver deliberately hitting another, then they’re clearly never going to use it at all.

    1. Good comment.

  18. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    26th June 2017, 13:30

    Vettel’s punishment was deserved. There’s no way Hamilton brake-tested him and even if he was driving too slowly and helped cause the initial collision in some way, Vettel’s reaction was way over the top and ridiculous. That said I don’t think Vettel intended to collide with Hamilton at either point – the initial hit or the second. To me it looked like he drifted into him. So it was a low-speed accidental hit – twice. He deserved the penalty he got.

    Can’t help but think if he’d taken Hamilton out, or had struck him deliberately at high speed we’d be seeing a race-ban though. But in this instance the punishment was fair – I’m not sure going over and over it again is worth anything. All this talk that it sets a bad example, that he ‘used his car as a weapon’ seems overdramatic – he did wrong and was punished by people that have access to far more information than we do. So end of, it’s over. Everyone does things wrong sometimes and everyone is capable of making a mistake – apparently even a 4-times WDC.

    I mean isn’t that what we all wanted, right? The drivers to be more human and less robotic? To make mistakes, both good and bad?

    1. No, we want them to be the best drivers in the world on track and to not be pr mouthpieces or monosyllabic monotone bores off track. Except Rai, who must never change

  19. Completely unacceptable behaviour from Vettel. My first thought when the incident happened was that it should have been a black flag. Surely this is exactly the type of incident/behaviour that the black flag was invented for?

    What is also very disappointing, is that since the incident he has refused to accept any responsibility, or even acknowledge that perhaps driving into the side of a competitor’s car was not the correct response to a percieved grievance, accidental or otherwise. Despite the fact that all of the evidence clearly shows that Hamilton did nothing wrong and did not even touch the brake pedal and maintained an almost constant RPM, this was even clear from the telemetry graphic shown during the live broadcast.

    What would have happened if the hit had caused some damage to one or both of the cars and they had suffered mechanical failure at 220mph down the main straight? What happens when a young Karter decides it’s a good idea to copy a four-time F1 world champion and ends up injuring another young driver or worse?

    Ridiculous, petulent, dangerous behaviour that has no place in motorsport, regardless of the circumstances surrounding the incident.

  20. Penalty was good as it is. People are reacting as if he committed a murder. They banged wheels at 50 kph, big deal..
    For sure you can’t let that go unpunished, but please stop overreacting.

    1. I think anyone remotely involved in motorsport will recognise Vettel’s actions as immediate black flag. They didn’t bang wheels accidentally – in a controlled safety car (safety!!!) Vettel unilaterally decided to drive alongside and swerve into Hamilton – the footage is pretty clear if you choose to watch it.

  21. I think the penalty was fair. A 10 seconds stop-go penalty is pretty severe and it actually robbed Vettel of a possible (the way things unfolded) victory. Seb’s conduct was stupid and unacceptable but people asking for his disqualification is at least silly. Had that been the case there shoud have been about ten such bans every season (a fair amount of which would be heading towards #44) for drivers going over the top. Naturally Hamilton’s side will want to use that incident politically in the future, so we should expect that they will keep making a fuss about it for a long time. As ever in such cases it’s funny to see the hypocrisy in Lewis’s arguments. Arguments about “sportsmanship” or “safety” mouthed by someone who has shown time and again (like his role model before him) that cares for neither. I understand it’s painful to lose an almost certain victory because of a headrest.

  22. I remember Austin 2015, Hamilton deliberately turned into Rosberg on the opening corner to push him off the circuit. If Rosberg doesn’t take evasive action there’s contact. Hamilton actually turns the wheel right in a left hand corner to push Rosberg off the circuit.

    Monaco 2016, Hamilton moves into Ricciardo to maintain position (after cutting through the chicane which also went unpunished).

    Vettel’s contact at 30 km/h was incidental, caused no damage and a 10 second stop and go was severe enough. Robbed Vettel of a certain 25 points.

    Braking in order to drive around at 40 km/h is not an acceptable.

    If the stewards aren’t brave enough to punish Hamilton because they don’t want to feel the wrath of the British media that dominates the sport, then at least give him a severe warning for driving around so slowly and braking erratically for no good reason.

    1. Anon, I think you are trolling now. You are denying real facts and constructing your own fake facts to back up your ridiculously biased opinions.

      Vettel was not ROBBED of a victory by the steward’s penalty. The win was not already his and he certainly didn’t deserve it.

      The data has proved that Hamilton did nothing wrong.
      There is data proving Stroll did nothing wrong during the race too, should he get a severe warning too??
      What about Alonso? Yeah why not give him one too?

      Face Palm.

  23. Way, Way too lenient.
    If anything, Hamilton should’ve had a 10 seconds penalty for moronic driving behind the safety car.
    Vettel was black flag + race suspension material.

    1. (Just so nobody ever, ever thinks about trying to ram an opponent).

  24. In my opinion, the first hit was Vettel’s fault, he wasn’t paying enough attention and payed the price, that deserved a penalty and got one. The second hit, I think, was an unfortunate accident, from Vettel’s onboard view, he pulls alongside to gesture, raises both hands and it was just an unfortunate, embarrassing occurrence that his car drifted over and hit Hamilton again. To be honest, I think they were both at fault really: Hamilton shouldn’t have been going so slow, even if the data shows he didn’t brake-check Vettel, he was still going much too slow. Vettel must have been looking at his wheel or somehow been oblivious to Hamilton’s car and just drove into him but then the second hit was an accident.

    1. If you look from the head on shot Vettel raises his left hand, not both hands and his car is running parallel to Hamilton before it makes a definitive turn towards Hamilton’s car. There was no veering. His right hand was on the wheel, (again, loom at the head on shot) and he turned it after running parallel to Hamilton.

      It also seems some people haven’t driven a car on here. If you point your wheel to the right, take both hands off the wheel and press the accelerator pedal, the wheel will straighten up and your car will STILL go straight (path of least resistance). it will not keep going to the right. Even if he did have both hands off the wheel (he didn’t), his car was parallel to Hamilton, so even if he did leave the wheel turning right, it would have straightened since he was going around 50kph at that point and you only need a few kph for the straightening effect to occur

  25. Incredibly lenient. Intentionally hitting another driver, regardless of the context, can have no other outcome than disqualification.

    1. But heres the thing, which reminds me I am on a .co.uk….

      Did he even hit him intentionally? Does the footage show VET _intentionally_ driving into HAM, or does it show a frustrated VET trying to wave/yell, at HAM and hitting him because he wasnt paying enough attention to where his wheels was pointing?

      The amount of people saying FIA ruled no brake testing are clearly blind, Hamilton slowed down right after a corner, on purpose – that is what we know happend on purpose. Everyone can see it, he slowed masively down (50km/h is pretty slow, agreed?).

      1. In control of a 700kg, 1000bhp open-wheeled racing car and he “…wasn’t paying attention to where his wheels were pointing.”

        And that is acceptable for a four-time world champion?

        Hamilton had to build a gap to the safety car to avoid overtaking it on the restart. There’s no conspiracy here, Vettel made a mistake, lost his temper and is now trying to blame somebody else. There’s no excuse for driving into another car in that manner, accidentally or otherwise.

      2. Oh sorry officer, I didn’t intend to crash into that car ! I was just really angry and wasn’t paying attention full so please let me off with a warning… Try that in the real world and I’m sure you’d be fine… If anything trying to make out it was unintentional is almost worse as it shows a driver who’s so emotional he loses all ability to drive a car..

        I’ll also take the word of the FIA who’s seen all the date over someone on an Internet forum who’s seen nothing relating to the data…

      3. Nothing to do with this being .co.uk – some people are objective, irrespective of nationality.

  26. I would like to disagree to a certain point with the whole exaggeration about the vettel incident. He should be penalised for driving along side the leading car under SC but those who claim that he used his car as a weapon or that his hot headed behaviour was dangerous are delusional. I will explain myself: Hamilton repeated his start which at the first time was described by his own mechanics as almost punishable [barely legal] and the whole telemetry thing – which I haven’t seen officially anywhere – only claims by the uk press – proves that he didn’t brake yet he lifted. If HAM fans or the UK press and tabloids believe that driving so slowly isn’t dangerous why bumping tires at the same speed is life threatening? It’s generally accepted that exiting an apex means accelerating so IMHO doing the opposite is dangerous. Vettel should be punished for his behaviour and in general should calm down – he lost a win because of his stupid reactions. But what HAM did IMHO was dangerous both times.All in all the fact that HAM didn’t brake doesn’t prove he didn’t slow down [which he did] and even HAM’s biggest fan [M.Brundle] talks about exaggeration [which surpised me].Even more HAM reacted on the radio to a very slow SC so isn’t it weird to drive so slowly at the restarts? The continuous articles about vettel’s penalty points or the unanswered calls make me wonder if it’s worth being part of the whole tabloid uk press thing.

    1. I have to take issue with this. It has been widely reported that the FIA found no evidence that Hamilton either braked or lifted off unnecessarily. Indeed, it’s been established that he drove no differently out of turn 15 on the second restart as he did on the first.

      http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/130388/fia-data-rules-out-hamilton-brake-test

      The reason Hamilton was going slowly was to allow a gap to build between himself and the safety car. Otherwise, when he accelerated away for the restart he would have reached the safety car line before the safety car had left the track, resulting in a penalty. This is what Hamilton had been warned about by his engineer following the first restart, nothing to do with his speed, or lack thereof, behind the safety car.

      Vettel got caught out on the first restart and he wanted to try and make sure he didn’t on the second. He was over-eager and misjudged the situation, and I would suggest this is what caused his meltdown but that is no excuse for deliberately crashing into someone else’s car, regardless of the speed they were travelling at.

      1. @realmrsvettel
        26th June 2017, 19:41

        So after being warned by Bono that he need to change his restart – he negotiated T15 no differently?
        I thought it was a deliberately erratic move at the time and have seen or read nothing that comes close to changing that impression. 2nd hand reports of an ad-hoc in-race steward’s ‘analysis’ isn’t science/evidence… I’d be interested in a look at some actual data.
        Having said all that I thought the penalty for the subsequent carpark fender bender was a touch light but close enough when taken with the offtrack humiliations. Karma seems to have looked after the other guy. Glad that Bottas didn’t have to follow Hamilton’s idea that he should give up racing for 2nd to drop back and double team Vettel.

  27. I think the penalty was slightly too lenient. Slightly meaning the next penalty up from a stop go is disqualification, which would’ve served it perfectly in my opinion. Also, I think four points on his licence, rather than three, would’ve been more appropriate, given that three is often the norm for regular accidents (although I disagree with how they implement points altogether, but that’s an argument for a different day).

    However I think the easiest thing now is to not dwell on it. It was still a big penalty that ultimately cost him the win (after Hamilton’s headrest problem).

  28. Way too lenient.
    Give the 10 sec to HAM for inappropriate driving behind SC, and VET a Black Flag + Race suspension.

    1. Matteo (@m-bagattini)
      26th June 2017, 14:13

      Don’t’ forget confinement in the basement for one month without access to Facebook

  29. I would usually argue that Vettel’s punishment should have been more severe but maybe there is some past history here. I remember the incident in Fuji 2007? Under safety car Hamilton was leading followed by Mark Webber and Vettel in the toro Rossos. There was a good chance the Toro Rossos could have won the race but Vettel ran into the back of Mark Webber, eliminating them both. I remember distinctly Vettel crying during or after and being really upset. He felt Hamilton brake tested them both.

    Maybe this incident brought back those painful memories and he momentarily lost it. I am not saying what Vettel did is justified but we can certainly understand it.

    1. But if a 4times WDC isn’t able to keep his cool while under a Safety Car situation, he’s a danger to others, and should be stopped, shouldn’t he?

    2. As we are remembering things, please watch the 2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

  30. American F1
    26th June 2017, 14:41

    Whether you think Vettel’s penalty was too severe or too lenient largely depends on if you think Vettel deliberately swerved to hit Hamilton or if you think it was accidental contact and, of course, if you are a Vettel or a Hamilton supporter. Hamilton thought it was not severe enough, but I doubt he would have thought so had his pit crew had not made the mistake with his head restraint, and he cruised to victory; and I suspect his supporters would feel much the same.
    That said, it was HUGELY unprofessional behavior from one who should have known better regardless if it was deliberate or not. My personal opinion is that Vettel lost his cool in a bad way, and was so busy explaining his displeasure to Hamilton, he stopped paying attention to the attitude of his car. It was an idiot move both in terms of a 4 time WDC and as a man who can’t seem to control his temper. His team needs to address this as that is not the responsibility of the FIA. Unfortunately, this is a sport like many others and if you win your childish behaviors will be overlooked.
    As for the penalty, a 10sec stop-go penalty is typically a race ending event, and that with the three penalty points seems about right, though I might have tacked on a 10 grid spot penalty for the next race as well for an added sting. As I said earlier, had Hamilton’s pit crew not made a mistake with the head bolster, and he had won, I doubt this would be a big topic of discussion today. FYI, I tend to support Vettel, though that support has been strained with his continued outbursts. Maybe it’s time I switched to Ricciardo?

    1. Very much agree with everything you say here.

    2. American F1
      27th June 2017, 15:20

      One thing I forgot to add, when the stewards handed Vettel a 10sec stop-go, theoretically putting Vettel 30-40sec back in the pack, likely they thought they were handing victory and the overall WDC points lead to Hamilton, as well as adding to Mercedes’ overall WCC lead, thus adding to the overall penalty. They could not have predicted that Hamilton’s crew would fail to secure his head restraint and his subsequent pit stop would be longer than Vettel’s penalty.

      1. They gave SV a penalty after LH headrest required changing.

        Ergo – they were not handing LH a win rather much the opposite in fact which is a little odd in itself

  31. I think the best punishment for both could have been a full crash of Vettel over Hamilton, both DNF on race incident and going home to read a book about sportsmanship. The way it resulted makes a lot of noise and feels unadecuate. FIA didnt saw brake testing but if you know a thing or two about racing and about this 2 guys, is undeniably that Hamilton was playing with the lion’s nuts (nothing that Vettel didnt do before), but could have made an Indycar oval style wreck on a single corner due to the street circuit layout, and Vettel slapwristed him (which isnt his responsability). The penalty is fine, as long as Charlie has a talk with both.

    1. Why would Charlie speak to Ham ? Ham hasn’t broken any rules AFAIK.

  32. There’s one thing that people seem to be overlooking when they say this happened behind the safety car so it’s a big deal. If the leader can do whatever erratic thing they want under the safety car after the real one goes into the pits and before they start racing, then the incident being behind the safety car at that point really is not even a big point. At that point I would say it’s inconsequential that “THEY ARE BEHIND THE SAFETY CAR” if the leader can do whatever he wants.

    Maybe they should revise those safety car rules as the same rule is being debated for years now anyhow.

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      26th June 2017, 18:00

      But the leader always does what he/she wants… They want to keep their lead and there are rules for following the safety car.

      Should they be doing what Sebastian wants? He seems inclined to be the racer and steward at every race and deliver any penalty he sees fit during the race with his own car if needed so the two of you might be in agreement there…

      1. This is not about what Vettel wants. He leads races too so he could have been ahead as well, that’s not the point. The point is people are saying how such a difference it also makes to the safety since they were behind the safety car, but actually the lead driver is allowed to do whatever they want which is written in the rules even if it contradicts the other rule about erratic driving. Why? Because at that point it’s not deemed unsafe anymore. So there’s no point to saying what a big safety hazard this was. It’s especially weird from Hamilton who was complaining about how slow the safety car was since it was problematic to warm up the tyres and you will get incidents if you don’t warm them up along with your brakes. Then it’s such a weird thing to come to stand still and then talk about how EXTRA dangerous of it was for others bumping their tyres to you at 50 kph BECAUSE you were behind the SC.

        Maybe they should think about using a VSC after SC is out or some other rule revision.

  33. I think that vettel rightly deserved the penalty. It was 30 secs and he got three penalty points for it. The result made it worse because of hamiltons headrest issue and vettel still came out ahead of him.

  34. It is laughable that the stewards are the experts when it is about judging Hamilton’s antics and shouldn’t be questioned while regarding Vettel’s antics they are petty and don’t want to interfere with the championship so the “unbiased” british media can have polls where Hamilton fans can vote and get it out of their chests.

    1. No steward talked about interfering the championship. It’s the interpretation of some press.

  35. Levente (@leventebandi)
    26th June 2017, 15:27

    One can wonder how is that VET can gesticulate to other racers or lapped cars and wave his pointy finger, at speeds way over 120mph, and hold his line and car flawlessly, but loses the control of his car when doing the same below 60…

  36. Should’ve been a black flag, simple as that.

  37. While I don’t want to defend Vettel’s move in any way, I do feel people are slightly overreacting and making the incident bigger than it actually was. Dirty tricks have always been part of the sport, like it or not, and compared to everything that has happened in the history Vettel’s move was really nothing at all. For example, what Schumacher did to Barrichello in Hungary 2010 was 10 times more dangerous than what Vettel did yesterday, and was Scumacher disqualified from that race?

    Vettel lost 13 points because of his actions and Hamilton did not suffer from the collision, so in my opinion the punishment was just about right.

  38. I do wonder how it would have turned out if Vettel had caused a puncture to one of Hamilton’s tyres. A more severe punishment or not? What line does one have to cross to make it not a normal racing incident.

    1. Well we have cars taken out of the race which is deemed a racing incident so i doubt dmg has anything to do with it. Vettel never had any intention to cause dmg and was well within the limit of the tyres, they glance at each other in 150mph with no problem.

  39. I think it was OK like this.

    It was stupid too overreact like he did, but they went really really slow (was it 45?).

    It’s just too bad for HAM his headrest let loose, otherwise he would have profited from the SnG penalty

  40. “using the car as a weapon”… comon this discussion is beyond silly and everyone have to ride on the higest possible horse as always. Why not throw Vettel in a barrel of jar and be done with it… sigh….

    It was a light nudge wheel to wheel in low speed perfectly safe and perfectly tolerably but off course a bit rushed and done in anger so it shouldnt be encouraged. A stop and go with a few penalty points would be enough and no fuzz about it.

    Hamilton should have also been penalized for actually driving unsafe and actually causing a collision with damage but ofc hes not because we got to hang Vettel. Thankfully Hamiltons headrest got loose so the entire race wasnt destroyed by poor stewarding.

    1. The pitlane limit is I believe, 60Km/h. If a driver does 60.1 he gets a penalty even if it wasnt deliberate or of no significance. I for one hate all these penalties. But road rage is road rage. Freak accidents are usually as a result of benign actions. He could have stuck to the vigorous gesticulations, but he also wanted to hit him. That was completely wrong. He came beside and turned his car into the other car. That wasn’t racing.

      1. I dont know why you bring the pitlane speedlimit into this but i agree on what you say.

        1. @rethla it’s not up to the drivers to decide whether the track is safe for them to do something during a safety car period. During a safety car drivers are required to drive with extreme caution as there maybe marshalls working on track. You can’t have drivers ignoring this in order to vent anger. OOlivers point was that it doesn’t matter how dangerous what Vettel did was, he clearly was driving with anger towards another driver and a lack of concern over safety of track marshalls.

          1. @the-last-pope Its always up to the drivers to decide whats safe to do and yes i agree. My point is that we shouldnt over exxagerate this into the worst thing imaginable which it isnt by far. I mean black flag and racebans what purpose would those penaltys serve?

          2. @rethla if what you say were true, then there would be no such thing as a yellow flag or safety car or pitlane speed limit. The introduction of the virtual safety car is precisely due to the fact that drivers can’t decide exactly how dangerous a situation is.

          3. @the-last-pope
            Then how come people are doing burnouts, braking hard, swinging back and forth and some even stopping in corners during safetycar… It does seem to me they got other things in mind than driving with “extreme caution”.

            Im not defending hitting another car but it wasnt dangerous driving out of the normal.

            And the pitspeed limit isnt because 0.01kmph above is dangerous its because its a hard limit thats easy to police and be clear about. Completly different cases.

  41. It should have been a black flag. End of story.

  42. Duncan Snowden
    26th June 2017, 16:19

    I don’t believe the collision was deliberate, but still think the penalty was far too lenient. Vettel lost control first of himself then, as a result, if only for a moment, the car. Unlike many here, I like the guy, but that’s completely unacceptable in a dangerous sport like F1. He should have been black-flagged.

  43. Once again the stewards blew it. It is a common theme in F1 which despite having great cars and mostly great tracks still pulls itself back to the pack with its terrible rule making and officiating.
    Was Vettel wrong to bump into Hamilton ? Of course . Was a penalty called for ? Of course but, it was not “dangerous”.
    What was dangerous was Verstappen cutting off Raikonnen on a straight at Spa at 200mph yet the stewards did nothing about that.
    The F1 stewards are terrible and have no consistency except for favoring British drivers and disfavoring German drivers ( one would have thought that those days were gone but, they are not).
    What it seems ,however, that almost everyone who commented missed was Hamilton’s part in the incident.
    He break-checked Vettel plain an simple . Someone wrote than in bumping Hamilton Vettel could have caused unseen damage to Hamilton’s car ,well in break-checking Vettel Hamilton DID cause noticeable and material damage to Vettel’s car. What Hamilton did to Vettel was far worse than what Vettell did to Hamilton .Have not the F1 stewards heard of the NBA concept of the ” double technical”? It works and works well.
    . There was nothing innocent or coincidental about Hamilton’s conduct . It was a deliberate act aimed at damaging Vettel ‘s opportunities in the race .
    Hamilton knew that by unreasonably slowing right in front of Vettel either he would damage Vettel’s wing or cause him to lose his cool – both happened.
    Hamilton is a master at acting like he is a sportsman but, he is anything but one .
    We know that was never really concerned about how young drivers would perceive the incident ( can anyone who is being honest with him/herself say that Hamilton is always worried about the team and his team mate and never puts himself first , that he would never ask the team to have his teammate put himself at risk of losing a position by dropping back to block a competitor ). I would wager my last cent that the young drivers comment was conceived well after that fact and designed with two objectives in mind. One , to make himself look like the well intentioned sportsman which he is not . Two, to hurt Vettel’s image and set up future over reactions by the stewards so the next time Hamilton does something to Vettel the steward will , as they did at Baku, side with Hamilton.
    There is one thing that will finally put an end to all this game playing that goes on in F1 ( by drivers like Hamilton and Verstappen ) : adopt the US philosophy used in Verizon series ,NASCAR events and most races in the US.
    Where a driver does something underhanded , like break-checking you ,one reacts as one would in everyday street driving. Going to the officials at a race is as useless as going to the police after some one’s break-checking caused an accident. You can’t prove what happened even though everyone knows what took place so.. you confront the offender. If he admits fault and agrees to take care of the damages all is forgiven. If he does not then you ring his bell ( for those not familiar with American English you ‘ring ‘ someone’s ” bell” when you punch him in the face and/or head sufficiently hard so as to cause a perceived ringing sound in the receivers head though no actual ringing sound is being produced within hearing distance ).
    The next time Hamilton pulls one of his patented “Oh ,how could you think I would do anything wrong ,I only think about the children” moves Vettel should continue on as though Hamilton did nothing wrong and then after the race confront Hamilton and ,as we say : ring his bell.
    Problem solved.
    I am not normally an advocate of violence but ,as the late great Dr. Martin Luther King said when faced with the prospect of needing to act in a questionable manner in order to achieve a greater good : “it’s not what’s right or wrong , it’s what works”.

    1. You contradict your statement by talking about danger and then talk about brake checking at very slow speeds. When Vettel was the only one going very fast into a blind corner under the safety car. With the lead car ahead taking a steady pace into the said corner.
      Why wasnt there a domino effect with at least 3 or 4 cars ramming into each other.

    2. favoring British drivers and disfavoring German drivers

      @rikdi https://doctorvee.co.uk/2008/10/08/mosley-misses-the-point-about-ferrari-international-assistance-jibes/ (also infamous for the MSC era….a German driver)

  44. The Penalty was deserved on a technicality. If he assumed Hamilton was at fault, then it was the job of the stewards to address. But that road rage thing, deliberately making contact with another vehicle, however light the impact, was just wrong.
    A total meltdown, requiring counselling.

    Vettel is under very immense pressure to deliver the championship, in a very fast Ferrari, not seen since perhaps 2008.

  45. Vettel should have been disqualified for his pathetic maneuver.

  46. Vettel should have been black flagged immediately and disqualified from the next race. This is unacceptable behavior. The data proved he lied. Besides, it is the duty and responsibility of following drivers to steer clear of the person ahead. Top drivers and teams (especially Ferrari) get away with things other drivers and teams do not and it has to stop!

  47. I think Vettel was simply stupid. I have not seen a single video which shows him deliberately swerve and hit Hamilton. He was angry. He raised his hands. And in gesticulating like a mad mad he forgot his steering wheel wasn’t pointing straight. That’s my take on it. So stupid, yes. Deliberate, no. And that’s why you and see he is bewildered when asked whether his move was deliberate.

    1. Vettel steering was straight though, he pulls up wheel to wheel and then suddenly his wheel turns a significant amount to bump wheel to wheel in a way that is unlikely to damage either car, all happening while Vettel is focused on Hamilton’s car. I’m sorry but that is a controlled and calculated maneuver by a highly skilled, angry driver. Problem is Vettel isn’t allowed to use his car to send messages of how angry he is, and to do so under a safety car period is absolutely inexcusable and a disqualification offense.

  48. I am a MASSIVE Seb fan, and this won’t change after Baku. But in all seriousness, he should have been disqualified from the race. It was just too idiotic a move from a clever driver like Seb; his temper must tone down!

  49. I suspect had he been a driver not named “Vettel” driving any other car that is not in a red paint scheme he would have been disqualified.

    He has gotten away time and time again with some really bad offenses. It’s in his character. I lost what respect I had for him when he gave Charlie Whiting deserved or not a complete mouthful in front of millions of people. The man can clearly not control his emotions and he should get some professional help before he hurts himself or someone else.

    What really irks me is he believes we the public that spend hundreds of dollars to watch formula 1 and fund his lifestyle are idiots by not even being honest with us after the incident. I think it shows what he thinks of us. A complete lack of respect. Will make it very hard for me to be happy with him winning the title.

  50. It’s strange how often I am baffled by the decisions of the race stewards. The problem is that they are not too lenient, nor are they too strict, depending upon the time of day. Over the years, I have found myself wondering how they can penalize someone for what I would completely ignore, and then ignore something that I can’t believe wasn’t penalized.

    In this case, I am truly surprised at how they could justiry such a lenient penalty. Vettel did this intentionally. Even if he did not mean to make contact with Lewis after the initial bump, Vettel consciously decided to drive up beside Lewis to show him his displeasure. By doing so, he provoked the contact, even if accidental. In my opinion, he did it intentionally anyway though.

    This is what needs to be deterred. In my opinion, the minimum option here was to disqualify him from the race. I consider this to be no different from when a football player (American football) throws a punch at another player. This results in an immediate ejection from the game. This was no different. As was stated in the article, Vettel used his vehicle as a weapon.

  51. Totally politically motivated penalty that would never of happened had Lewis not had to come in with his issue. We couldn’t have Vettel winning after that could we?
    Can someone tell me why it took so long, I’ve haven’t timed it but I bet it was over half an after the incident.
    Pathetic, l put up with worse driving than that everyday

    1. I think it’s the reverse. The stewards wanted to investigate after the race because they knew the would have to give him something heavy, as it warranted something close to a disqualification. But they didn’t want to influence the championship battle.
      But when Hamilton had his issue, they found a way to give Vettel a penalty and still have a close competition.

      1. That sounds like utter conjecture and i disagree entirely

  52. Dan Ticktum, now a Red Bull junior driver, was banned from racing for a year after deliberately colliding with a rival during a Safety Car period.

    wow… compare that to Vettel’s 10s stop-go penalty and then say with a straight face that it was too harsh.

    1. I believe it was due to his daft surname and therefore it is not connected

      1. Well that’s me doomed then.

  53. Ridiculous penalty. WAY too lenient.
    Dsq at least.

  54. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    26th June 2017, 17:39

    @keithcollantine

    Why do you say that a disqualification would have been enough when another driver was banned for a year?

    Should Sebastian Vettel, a 4 time WDC, not have received the same penalty or higher?

    In this case actually, the collision could have had WCC and WDC implications that may actually favor his team and himself. In fact, there is absolutely no way anyone can rule out the headrest issue not being caused by the 2 collisions. I know it’s unlikely but when was the last time that a headrest was coming off in a race? That’s also equally unlikely.

    What would be the argument that Vettel deserved less punishment for a double collision (within seconds) under the safety car than a young driver?

    1. @freelittlebirds I think Ticktum’s behaviour was worse – for instance, overtook several cars under the Safety Car to get to the one he wanted to hit. And I don’t believe the first contact Vettel made was deliberate, just the second one.

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        27th June 2017, 15:21

        @keithCollantine I’ve been looking for a video online to see that – I’m curious.

        I still believe what Vettel did was worse considering his WDC stature, the constructor he’s representing and the WDC and WCC implications.

        All of a sudden, Hamilton’s headrest is not in place immediately following the incident…

        You hit a car twice, you will probably break something, even at low speeds because the hit is absorbed by the car’s parts and the mass of the hit is pretty high (it’s not like you and I kicking the tyre) … Ferrari was able to fix Vettel’s front wing during the red flag so Vettel actually double-benefited from the incident and the FIA’s loose ruling.

        Otherwise, Vettel would have had to box to fix the wing and then boxed again for the stop and go penalty while Hamilton would have most likely kept P1…

        It’s hilarious that Arrivabene feels that the decisions didn’t benefit them – it was a Ferrari Orgy in Baku!!!

        1. Mercedes have stated that the headrest was not properly secured when the car was prepared for the restart after the red flag. It was not damaged, just human error by team personnel.

    2. Ticktum overtook 10 cars behind the safety car before crashing into the driver he was angry with, that is why it was regarded as so serious.

  55. VissileF1 (@mark-visser99)
    26th June 2017, 17:59

    I’ll start by saying I’m not defending Vettel’s move of bumping into the side of Hamilton. That was stupid, and deserving of a penalty.
    However, Hamilton was towing the line of legal when slowing / not accelerating out of that corner. He knew exactly what he did coming out of the corner, and the exact intent of it. Think about it – he doesn’t react when Vettel rear-ends him. He doesn’t react when Vettel pulls up next to him. It’s only after Vettel bumps him to get his attention that he actually responds / reacts.
    And remember, Hamilton is the guy who tried to impede traffic into the pit lane in Bahrain earlier this year. He doesn’t drive clean. He keeps pushing those boundaries, and this time he didn’t get caught.
    And I don’t accept the “Vettel was too close / trying too hard to stay on his bumper” argument. The safety car was far too close (and both Vettel and Hamilton knew it) for Hamilton to re-start the race, so it doesn’t make sense that Vettel was too close while trying to stay on his gearbox exiting this corner.
    It’ll be an interesting season from here on out.

  56. Hamilton has been playing these games behind the safety car for ten years now. Folks shouldn’t forget that there is a clear history of this and often it’s being done with Vettel as the primary opponent. What Vettel did was wrong and I pretty much agree with Will Buxton’s analysis (see: Twitter posts). But maybe after ten years of being toyed with Vettel decided in the moment enough is enough and that whatever he has tried to do before to get Hamilton to shape up hadn’t worked. Yeah the penalty was appropriate for Vettel. But the FIA should have made an example of Hamilton and used this as an opportunity to set clearer standards for conduct when leading behind a safety car. Hamilton’s way leads to unsafe conditions and it’s an unsportsmanlike sort of gamesmanship to damage the ability of other contenders from competing at the green flag and onward. The irony of him calling for VSC because it would have been safer should not be lost on others – Hamilton was the one who is slowing and bunching the field through his antics. The call for assistance from Bottas who was running a deserved third place and the similarly long history of seeking advantage from someone he views as a number 2 teammate are just as exemplary I feel of Hamilton playing outside of the normal conventions of F1 to gain advantage (ie. 2010 Turkey – wanting confirmation (team orders) that Button wouldn’t pass him even though Button was the defending WDC and I’m pretty sure leading or vying for WDC).

    http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2007/10/04/video-japanese-gp-highlights/

  57. Alex McFarlane
    26th June 2017, 18:22

    Highway driving tip for Vettel:

    Never follow the car in front so closely you can’t react to unforeseen circumstances.

    Or how about ‘only a fool breaks the 2 second rule’

    Etc etc.

    Actually that probably applies to most of the grid given the woeful restart standards this weekend.

    As for the penalty, too lenient for deliberate retaliation.

    1. So you think Hamilton was originally to blame

      1. Alex McFarlane
        27th June 2017, 10:37

        No.

        1. You can only retaliate if someone does something to you first

  58. My first thought when they announced the penalty was ‘Hmm, so he’ll come out of the pits round about….where Hamilton is. Well that’s convenient isn’t it? Felt a bit contrived to say the least. I wonder what the penalty would have been if Hamilton’s headrest hadn’t come loose…

    But yeah, much too lenient a penalty, sets a bad example for young drivers and paints the sport in a bad light.

    1. Senna, Prost and Schumacher also painted the sport in a bad light

      1. Yes they did, and I would rather the stewards didn’t (essentially) condone it and therefore show that they will tolerate this behaviour in the future.

        1. lots of brilliant athletes have ended their careers early because they couldn’t handle the pressure, which shortcoming manifested itself in various ways on and off the field. Senna, Prost, and Schumacher never did what Vettel did Sunday – intentionally ram another vehicle without even the benefit of plausible deniability. Each maintained their composure well enough to concoct some half-assed explanation before they intentionally rammed another vehicle or violated some sacrosanct rule.

          To use a soccer analogy, it’s the difference between a poorly-conceived-and-executed attempt to injure another player during a play gone wrong, resulting in a yellow card, and running up to another player and kicking him in the nuts during a play stoppage with the ball 75 yards away. Vettel had no excuse. He has no plausible story. He just simply lost his sht and drove his car into someone.

          Maybe many of you are about to put me some knowledge about all the times those big three drivers drove their cars into people who had made them angry during a safety car, but I *think* I’d have heard about that, as it’s such a damaging and telling story about anyone.

          Sad day for Vettel, Ferrari, and F1, IMO.

          1. Rubbish, Senna said before the grand prix in Japan he was going to do it at the start if Prost got ahead and so he did

  59. Should’ve been disqualified on the spot. That’s all that needs to be said.

    1. Rubbish is all that needs to be said

      1. Yeah Vettel is rubbish .. too right Fran!

        1. Grow up Martin the troll

  60. Always thought that Vettel might be an arrogant, short tempered spoiled child-man. His actions yesterday removed all doubts. His post race “explanation” paints him as a master of alternate facts and moves him to the top of the list to be Donald Trumps next press secretary.,

      1. There are none so blind as he (or she) who will not see as they are prone to try to defend the indefensible

        1. You aren’t reading this correctly

  61. I think the penalty was just about right. I can understand those who have said that it should have been harsher but a few points to mention.

    – The initial impact was a racing incident, in itself a lot milder than some of the shenanigans we had seen earlier in the race. Cold tyres on a slippery track and so on. Hamilton was watching the Safety Car, worried about his cooling brakes and was trying to warm his tyres. Vettel was thinking about a quick getaway when the SC went in and at the same time thinking the same brake & tyre issues as Hamilton. He accelerated into the corner just as Hamilton was braking and there was an impact.

    – While I definitely am NOT supporting his reaction, I genuinely believe that Vettel (wrongly) thought that Hamilton was brake-testing him.

    – For a split-second second Vettel saw red, drew-up along side and bumped into Hamilton. Whatever his thoughts, as a professional racing driver and a 4-time WDC, he should have exercised more control. He did not and so the fault was entirely his.

    – But completely wrong as it was, Vettel’s reaction was not one designed to get an advantage over Hamilton (unlike the 1997 Schumacher-Villenueve incident) and in assessing the incident, I believe that the stewards considered that point.

    – But despite that, if Hamilton had lost out because of the bump, a much harsher penalty on Vettel (a black flag) would have been justified. But he did not and neither did Vettel gain anything. Both had their respective damages repaired during the Red Flag stop which was something else altogether.

    – Therefore, the steward looked at Vettel’s actions for what it was worth and imposed the appropriate penalty – the harshest in the book (I think) short of disqualification.

    – But Vettel cannot be held accountable for Hamilton’s headset problem, nor can the stewards connect it to the Vettel-Hamilton incident. That was an entirely Mercedes team fault in a situation where they had plenty of time to replace the device properly. In fact, they committed a serious error which could have turned dangerous if the loose headset had come off during the race and caused an accident. Further, Merc compounded that error by another by asking Hamilton to fix it himself while racing! You all saw how Hamilton was awkwardly trying to cross his right arm across his body to press the headset back into place. Can you imagine what would have happened if he had an accident while trying to fiddle with the headset while speeding down the track with very few runoff areas?

    1. That’s why Hamilton nearly got a black-and-orange flag, and arguably should have had one already (but the race control was discussing with the team instead of flying the flag).

  62. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    26th June 2017, 19:33

    check out the onboards from AMG PETRONAS to see the shock of the hit and Hamilton hitting the headrest…

    Unbelievable, Ferrari should be out of the WCC against Mercedes and Vettel out of the WDC…

  63. Race ban. Hate to say it as he is a Ferrari driver but had that been the other way I would be even more outraged. Clear ban or race points taken away.

    Hamilton got away once by gaining huge time overtaking the safety car and gaining far more time than he lost with the subsequent penalty at Valencia 2010. He also lied about about being overtaken under caution in 2008 but hitting another car on purpose. Only Senna got away with that.

    In context of what Maldonado got though Vettel got a hard penalty. Why did Maldinado get away so lightly?

  64. I don’t understand all this hatred and anger. I mean guys, “WHY SO SERIOUS???”. I’m a sebfan and I too didn’t tolerate why he did such things but get over it people it’s just a goddamn race! No need to bring all the fuss with webber back up again…

    Besides most people wanted a titlefight! THIS IS a titlefight! Remember these titlefights: Vettel vs Alonso, Prost vs Senna (Japan remember? Ring any bells?), Hunt vs Lauda,… Hell it happens all the time.

    Lastly, fans still don’t seem to understand how hot it is in the cockpit. If it was so warm that you would melt away and still need to concentrate on things, you would say exact same words…

    1. While not a title fight, I have an incident to remember: Mansell being black flagged at the 89 Portugese GP, ignoring the black flag and later ramming Senna of the road. People were having a giggle back then, but nowadays the only reaction known to the public seems to be outrage.

    2. Buckle in Seb fan, this isn’t going away any time soon

  65. Looking at Vettel onboard I still don’t think he meant to bump wheels with hammy.

    I think he is so intent at looking right, getting Hamilton’s attention and gesticulating that’s he lost sense of where the steering wheel is pointing and the car has sort of followed where he is looking.

    It just looks more careless than dangerous.

    As for hammy. I can’t say he is blameless. His onboard clearly shows him looking in his left mirror before Vettel hits the back of him suggesting he was interested in what Vettel car was doing at that point(SC was just ahead so it’s not like he was preparing to make a break) He may not of “brake tested” him but I do think he was playing games.

    Anyways I feel the punishment fitted the crime as I feel Vettel was guilty of being careless(rather than dangerous)after letting his anger get the better of him.

    Let’s be honest the reason people are so aggrieved, well hammy fans anyway is because theirs a sense of injustice that Vettel finished ahead of Lewis in the race. Had Lewis won and seb finished 5th I suspect the calls for black flags and suspensions would be getting thrown about far less.

    1. Come on, drivers are supposed to look in their mirrors. If a race driver didnt use his mirrors, it will be a serious problem. Secondly, He was gauging how far back Vettel was, and honestly by the time he was looking deep in his mirrors, Vettel had hit him.

      1. It seems like vettel was just at the right distance.

        1. Matter of fact, it was the smack Hamilton got from Vettel that made him look in the mirror. It took Vettel about 3 seconds to then drive beside and side swipe.

  66. The FIA showed their true colors at Baku, that color is the color of money. F1 fans around the world want heros and villains, promoters want the competition to go to the final race. The FIA does not take the role of fair and impartial jurist; it looks at the rules, the situation, and the competition and tries to thread the needle on extending the battle, enforcement of the rules, and frothing the fans. Who is not tuning in to Austria to see the next installment?

    Other than HAM fans, who liked 2015? One driver on one team running away from the pack is bad entertainment. We are being manipulated by the FIA. Maybe Austria will be another Spain 2016? Then we are hooked for four more rounds. This weekend Bottas and Ricciardo were the big winners. VET v HAM was a draw.

  67. Vettel using politics tatics to get rid of the blame.
    Without surprise it works.
    Pathetic.

  68. For me, in one hand, 10s stop-go penalty is something very rare to see ever since drive through penalty is introduced and its effect is far greater than drive through. Added the 3 points on his super license, this makes the heaviest possible penalty you can get from one incident bar giving someone a black flag.

    On the other hand, not only Vettel did a very dangerous driving (whether intentionally hitting Hamilton or raging enough that he don’t have control of his car) but he did it on SC period which is a period specifically made for drivers to drive safely. Vettel just did the exact opposite of what SC period should have been.

    With that in mind, I think the penalty is slightly lenient and he should get a harsher one which is black flag (and the 3 points on his super license, but no other race ban). Perhaps some community service time on road rage behavior too…

  69. So what would have happened to Seb if he had put Lewis into the barriers and out of the race??? Still a 10 second stop and go??
    Also is this the end of the matter or could/have Mercedes filed a protest against the leniency of the Stewards……because they would be entitled to

  70. Looking at the vote results, Seb probably will retire before Austrian GP.
    Lemme just quote Anthony Hamilton’s prophetic words:

    “But you know, my own personal view is that anyone who goes up against Lewis really needs to have their career mapped out for them. Because it’s a career killer. Lewis kills drivers. Actually that’s not a statement.
    He gets under your skin, because he is fast like hell. And you can’t figure out how he’s developed the car, how he has got the speed, how he can take that corner, how he can take that lane and it screws with your head.”

    not bad huh? ;)

    1. You would need to be pretty bad at driving race cars if your own father and manager come out and said something negative about you…

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        27th June 2017, 5:56

        @socksolid at the very least, you’d want to be 66 poles bad :-)

        1. Sviatoslav (@)
          27th June 2017, 8:03

          @freelittlebirds – yeah, it’s extremely difficult, nearly impossible to get that many poles and win so many races when you have the best car on the grid for 3 and a half years.

          1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            27th June 2017, 15:07

            @sviat obviously it is… just look at how many poles Hamilton has lost in his career because of his team or tyres or other things – as many as the best drivers with the fastest cars for many years…

  71. Black flag…

  72. The penalty was enough to cost him the win and vital points on what could be a tight championship. And the relatively gentle bump was not enough to do damage thankfully. All in all, I think it was enough. Any more and it would have just compounded the punishment.

  73. Car as a weapon?

    Come on give me a break, they are not ballerinas, finally some anger being shown ! It’s what we have all been waiting for !!

    1. No we have not been waiting for the kind of disgusting behaviour Vettel displayed on Sunday .. at least us real F1 fans have not.

    2. Is it?

    3. If I wanted to see cars as weapons, there are a dozen computer games I could play instead.

      There are lots of ways of showing anger that don’t wreck other people’s races or cause danger.

  74. No option to vote that they both should’ve got a penalty?

    1. I guess for the same reason there isn’t an option to give the whole field a penalty, or the safety car a penalty, or Eddie Jordan a penalty. They are all nonsensical choices.

    2. The question is specifically about the judicial reaction to Vettel’s conduct. Hamilton’s conduct would be a separate debate.

  75. I think the wording “brake tested” is misleading. What hamilton did was to slow down unexpectedly and dangerously and doing so caused a collision. Part of the fault here is of course in the inconsistent fia stewards and how safety car starts are done. Regardless, the hamilton-vettel incident now created a precedent where dangerously slowing down is acceptable even when it leads to accidents. What the telemetry also clearly shows is sudden slow down by hamilton that catched vettel out.

    Fia are pretty much telemetry blind anyways so their word on the topic means nothing. If they did not spot piquet spinning on purpose (jump on the throttle to spin the car on purpose) they’ll never catch something similar what hamilton did. This is again bad because the drivers are always looking for advantages. Sooner or later we will have another crash just like this. Maybe couple more debris red flags will finally force fia to come to their senses and drivers are penalized for sudden dangerous moves especially under the safety car race restarts.

    This non-penalty for hamilton bad because the safety car starts are already chaotic. You need to be really close to the car in front so you get a good start. This is pretty dangerous as f1 can slow down and speed really quickly and the speeds are pretty high before the starts (60-90mph) and the distances are really small. It takes superman reflexes to avoid collision if the car in front does what hamilton did.

    Now if you can make more sudden moves this can cause more crashes down in the pack because of the chain reaction. The first couple of cars can avoid it but the cars further up simply run out of space. It is sad how totally incompetent the fia stewards are. They don’t seem to have the iq to understand how bad precedents their decisions create down the line.

    It is clear of course that retaliation does not belong into F1. It is a nascar thing when drivers go back out on the track with broken down cars only to crash other people. So it was good that vettel at least got a penalty. Overall it is sad how lenient the penalty was but it is kind of in line with hamilton’s non-penalty. How absurd that sounds… Vettel’s reaction was completely out of line and the only saving grace there is that neither car was actually damaged. But the potential for crash was there. In future the punishment needs to be big enough that the driver won’t even consider this and again fia did fail here too.

    I would have black flagged vettel for his offense. But similarly hamilton should have been given at least a stop and go. People don’t understand how easily hamilton’s move could have caused massive pileup had the first contact caused vettel or both of them to spin and block the road. In the end it was yet another sad display of poor stewarding from fia, poor sportsmanship from both hamilton and vettel and unforgivable behaviour overall.

    1. You got it wrong. Hamilton operated within the margins set by tge FIA. Vettel was only about 4 feet behind and accelerating. The question you should ask is why was Vettel already racing when Hamilton had to wait for the safety car to exit the race track.
      A driver is allowed to ease off during the safety car.
      You are allowed to weave, accelerate and brake. And crucially, the lead car is allowed to dictate the pace before the restart. And they still had more track to cover before the restart.

      1. And those safety margins from fia seem change all the time and be completely random.

        Hamilton did not need to slow down anymore to clear the safety car. All he needed to do was to start accelerate little later. The teams do calculate and do know at which point the leading driver can get on full throttle and not pass the safety car. Hamilton simply made a mistake and went at it too early on the first start. He did not need to slow down. He needed to go full power little later.

        Vettel needed to be right behind hamilton because vettel needs to be close so he can try to overtake hamilton into turn 1.

        A driver is allowed to ease off but not drive dangerously. Hamilton caused vettel to drive into him by accelerating and slowing down unexpectedly and in dangerous manner. The first impact is 100% hamilton’s fault, the 2nd is 100% vettel’s fault. But both incidents could have caused major accidents.

        You clearly have not read the rules. From the latest fia sporting regulations:
        39.5 No car may be driven unnecessarily slowly, erratically or in a manner which could be deemed
        potentially dangerous to other drivers
        or any other person at any time whilst the safety car is
        deployed. This will apply whether any such car is being driven on the track, the pit entry or the
        pit lane.

        And. You need to be close to the car in front:
        39.7 All competing cars must reduce speed and form up in line behind the safety car no more than
        ten car lengths apart

        And then crucial info you got all wrong:
        39.13 When the clerk of the course decides it is safe to call in the safety car the message “SAFETY
        CAR IN THIS LAP” will be sent to all teams via the official messaging system and the car’s
        orange lights will be extinguished. This will be the signal to the teams and drivers that it will be
        entering the pit lane at the end of that lap.
        At this point the first car in line behind the safety car may dictate the pace and, if necessary,
        fall more than ten car lengths behind it.
        In order to avoid the likelihood of accidents before the safety car returns to the pits, from the
        point at which the lights on the car are turned out drivers must proceed at a pace which
        involves no erratic acceleration or braking nor any other manoeuvre which is likely to
        endanger other drivers or impede the restart.

        As the safety car is approaching the pit entry the yellow flags and SC boards will be withdrawn
        and, other than on the last lap of the race, replaced by waved green flags with green lights at
        the Line. These will be displayed until the last car crosses the Line

        The rules are clear. The interpretation is just horrible when the stewards manage to get it wrong practically every time.

  76. If we take into account that the Stewards ruled that Hamilton didn’t go off the throttle nor brake test Vettel, then we have to accept their verdict for Vettel as well. Can’t pick and choose which of their decisions you choose to accept, after all they have the data on their hands to make the call.

    Either way, Vettel needs to calm the pants down. A long way to go in this battle for the WDC and losing sight of the target won’t help him nor the team. The team needs to sit down with him and tell him what is at stake. Needs some clearing of the head.

    Wonder if Hamilton would have radioed if he didn’t see Vettel ahead of him after the penalty :)

  77. I’ve watched the video again from different angles and as a matter of fact, Vettel deserves a race ban. He caused the first incident, then falsely accused the other driver and rammed into him deliberately. Madness.

  78. What a brain fade he had. He’s lucky he got to continue. Its not so much what he did but its the denial after the race. For that he should be penalised for the next race. Theres no room for road rage especially in sport. So disppointing

  79. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    27th June 2017, 6:00

    By the way, I’ve read all the comments but I still haven’t noticed something that everyone in our household echoed.

    Vettel’s bump looked a lot like Lightning McQueen bumping wheels in Cars! He nailed it!

    1. +1 haha spot on!

  80. Sviatoslav (@)
    27th June 2017, 7:58

    Stewards, as always, proved they are cowards.

  81. This was correct. Combined with Hamilton safety stop it gave us a Race.

    Onboard showed Lewis “warming” the breaks on corner exit… And all cameras showed Vettel blatantly clobering Hamilton by the side in anger.

    Unsporting yes, entertaining yes. Net result, both were penalized, race continued after their penalties.

    All resulted in maximum entertainment value. The end.

    In sporting terms Vettel should be black flagged. But this is first a show second a sport.

  82. Poor Seb

    Fallout from the media
    If the roles were reversed then the reaction would be entirely different

  83. JV on the incident: https://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/f1-vettel-hamilton-baku-villeneuve-923932/ and JS http://www.planetf1.com/news/stewart-defends-vettels-inappropriate-behaviour/ .
    also on the whole Telemetry Facts thing – can someone post an official FIA press release or something similar? Everyone on the net seems to be repeating a tweet from a UK journalist [Andrew Benson] and some say there is no braking yet lifting, some deny both and some are saying that LH was right because he repeated the same restart. AB exact words are ‘did not lift off completely’ There are videos from fans on the net from the restarts and it’s obvious that LH repeatedly slowed down dangerously at the exit of the turn https://www.facebook.com/autobildmotorsport/videos/1687924327903783/?_fb_noscript=1 . UK media are creating additional drama for an already well penalised action. A month ago there was the ‘team orders’ drama now this.

  84. They should have immediately black flagged Vettel for his retaliation, regardless of what the results of analysing Hamilton’s data would show. The biggest disgrace is not Vettel but the stewards in my opinion; they let us all down badly.

  85. What people have to remember is that this incident bears no comparison to the two Schumacher shunts except that both the offending drivers were Germans…..something that automatically invites some bias in Europe in general and the UK in particular.

    I have always felt that Schumacher’s unpunished crash into Damon Hill in 1994 was worse than his collision with Villenuve 3 years later. This is because Schumacher benefited directly from Hill’s DNF because had Hill been able to continue, HE and not Schumacher as it turned out would have been the 1994 WDC.

    On the other hand, Schumacher’s clumsy attempt to damage Villenueve’s car in 1997 only resulted in the former being forced off the track while Villenueve was able to continue and clinch the WDC.

    But most importantly, there was clear intent on part of Schumacher to gain an unfair advantage over his rival in BOTH these incidents.

    In the Vettel-Hamilton incident yesterday, there was no such intent on part of Vettel. It was a moment of madness under erraneous conclusion on his behalf that Hamilton had braked-tested him. While I most certainly do not condone such a reaction from any driver, I felt that the circumstances were clearly different from incidents involving Schumacher or those earlier ones between Prost and Senna for that matter.

    For that reason, I felt that the penalty that Vettel received was proportionate to his offence.

    1. That is exactly the same level of intent as was judged to have been in effect when Schumacher hit Villenueve at Jerez 1997, which resulted in Michael losing his 2nd position in the championship (you can’t kick a driver out of a race they didn’t finish, though I saw it tried in Sebring WEC 2012) and having to do 6 months of FIA “community service” road safety promotion (something which paid the FIA off handsomely, as Michael did it, decided he liked it, and voluntarily did a quite a lot more road safety promotion, simply because he believed in the cause!).

      1. That is exactly the same level of intent as was judged to have been in effect when Schumacher hit Villenueve at Jerez 1997

        I disagree. The 1997 race was the last race and a championship decider between the two. Schumacher could see Villenuve closing in on him for several laps and knew that if he did not do something drastic, he would lose the WDC race. So he did something drastic and THAT was pre-planned intent.

        Vettel bumping Hamilton in Baku on the other hand, while completely wrong and unacceptable in itself, was an unthinking knee-jerk reaction. No excuses of course, but the two incidents were very different.

    2. +1. I’ve seen a fair amount of these incidents over time and a moment of road rage, for me, is not as bad as planning and purposely taking out an opponent at racing speeds with the intention of causing damage. I like Vettel though and would have liked him to man up to his mistake.

  86. Maldonado was treated too leniently on many occasions by the stewards, and it seems like the chickens are belatedely coming home to roost.

  87. There is no room for this sort of maniatic display who ever the driver is, a suspention is the only answer to stamp it out, unintentional acts can be tollerated but this was pure road rage from a profesional and needed to be delt with as such.

    1. sadly it wont happen; and it wont because of the paralysis that two champion drivers in a title fight brings. In the end the FIA and F1 send a clear message; profit and drama are a higher priority than the integrity of racing.

  88. Strong the bias in Brundle and the sky people is. When Rosberg “slowed” in Monaco 2014 even though the telemetry showed he didn’t do that mistake intentionally that didn’t make any difference .He was guilty .But when it’s Hamilton .Oh no he didn’t try to provoke Vettel slowing like that which is at least counter-intuitive.
    As for Vettel he is my favourite driver but i would have given him 2 race ban just because such stupidity should not be forgiven.
    As for “using car as a weapon” .Give me a brake. That crash couldn’t pull a three year old’s lolly pop from he’s hand.

    1. So we should wait until there are injuries or death to enforce clear rules designed to prevent injury and death?

      Let’s assume that Hamilton DID brake check Vettel and also violated a rule himself. They are still separate events, each of which have their own rules and penalties. For example, Hamilton could have rammed Vettel right back. For some reason, he chose not to take that course of action, to his credit and Vettel’s shame.

  89. Otoyo Sibuor
    27th June 2017, 15:17

    Very interesting that Toto Wolff severally declined to take the chance to back his driver, Hamilton. He was asked a few times, point-blank, and on each occasion he demurred and said time was needed to analyse the situation.
    Ferrari had no such qualms, backing Vettel quite unequivocally.
    Wonder what that says about Mercedes and Vettel – and, Mercedes and Hamilton!

  90. You can be one of the best driver’s as he has shown four times, to be held in the same regard as a person he must recognize when he is at fault and admit that.

  91. I personally agree with anyone saying that he should have been black flagged.
    What i think is interesting is if that collision had lead to broken suspension on the Mercedes? I reckon the outrage and penalty for Vettel would have been far more severe, for the same action.
    I think the penalty should be based on whatever action Vettel made, not the outcome of his action. Imagine Hamilton retiring, and Vettel only being given and 10 second stop and go penalty, that would have caused massive outrage! Yet the penalty for this shoudn’t be any different to the penalty Vettel received(same action).
    Thus my thoughts are that the incident should be looked at as if Vettel made Hamilton retire, and so I believe he should have been black flagged, given 3 penalty points on his licence, and also a grid penalty for the following race at a minimum.

  92. “Ferarri International Assistance” is back

  93. I am happy to see such moves in F1 :)
    Makes you realize frustrations and tensions that are being dealt with

    Loved it. I don’t care about the penalty. If he’d receive a race ban, that’s fine for me. If he got away with nothing, that would have been fine by me either.

    I just find it funny how one move causes so much discussions and analyses ^^ Wonderful.

  94. Cronos TV have privided FIA Official Telemetry on Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rw23umegK3w

  95. My thoughts on the Hamilton and Vettel are that, firstly Hamilton did not do anything wrong or out of the ordinary behind the safety, at the time I did not think he brake tested Vettel, simply that he did not accelerate out of the corner and I have not read anything since then to suggest this was not the case.

    It seemed that Vettel assumed that Hamilton would accelerate out of the corner and so Vettel accelerated so as not to lose ground, this resulted in the Ferrari hitting the back of the Mercedes.

    With no significant damage caused I think that if that had been the end of it Vettel would have got away with a reprimand at most.

    But Vettel wrongly thought Hamilton had brake tested him and couldn’t control his anger and drove into Hamilton, it may have been at slow speed with no damage to the cars but Vettel still drove into another car on purpose.

    During the race I didn’t give much thought to what punishment Vettel would receive, I certainly didn’t think he would be disqualified or receive a race ban, but I did think that if a driver such as Maldonado had done this then there would be a lot of calls for him to banned.

    I don’t think Vettel helped himself with his comments after the race, I thought there would have been an opportunity during the red flag for the Vettel and Ferrari to talk about the incident, but in the interview I saw it seemed as if he thought he was being punished for the initial accidental collision with Hamilton not the later intentional collision.

    I read some comments from fans where they thought it was as if he was so angry at the time that he didn’t remember driving into Hamilton on purpose, I can’t believe that could be the case and more likely that he didn’t want to admit he was wrong or more worryingly that he thought his actions were acceptable because of what he thought Hamilton did first.

    If Hamilton had not had problems with his headrest and had cruised to victory instead of ending up finishing behind Vettel, Hamilton would have taken the lead in the championship and there would not be as strong a feeling that Vettel got away with it.

    We don’t normally hear from Vettel outside of Grand Prix weekends but I half expected some comment or press release after Sunday when he had a chance to calm down stating that he apologised unreservedly, that he realised what he did was wrong and would not be justified in any circumstances, just to try and defuse the situation.

    Because what Vettel did was so out of the ordinary I was not sure at the time what the punishment would be or now after the stewards have made their decision if the penalties Vettel received were correct.

    At the moment I am leaning towards slightly too lenient, partly due to the fact he still ended up extending his lead in the championship. If Vettel does not publically admit what he did was wrong I think the punishment would definitely be too lenient.

  96. jack (@jackobite)
    3rd July 2017, 14:22

    Todd will do nothing. I stern letter of warning to Vet with a 30 EU fine at most.
    also, if not a black flag for hitting another car deliberately while under a safety car, then when?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments are moderated. See the Comment Policy and FAQ for more.
If the person you're replying to is a registered user you can notify them of your reply using '@username'.