Vettel: Hamilton should have been penalised

Tom Howard

Monday 26th June, 2017 - 3:01am

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Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel believes Formula 1 title rival Lewis Hamilton should also have received a penalty following a clash behind the Safety Car in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Vettel was given a 10-second stop/go penalty for dangerous driving after swerving into the side of Hamilton’s Mercedes as they prepared for the second restart in Baku.

The Ferrari had hit the rear of the Mercedes moments before, which Vettel said was due to Hamilton brake-testing him.

“It was quite obvious. I didn’t run into the back of him on purpose,” Vettel told Channel 4.

“I damaged my wing, I think he had a little bit of damage as well. Nothing that would have impacted on the race.

“It’s just not the way to do it. He’s done it a couple of times.

“Afterwards his restart was really good. He surprised me and jumped me, so I don’t think it was necessary.

“The problem is with me right behind, getting ready and all the other cars, then there’s a chain reaction. He did something similar a couple of years ago in China at a restart. It’s just not the way to do it.

Vettel drove into the side of Hamilton under the Safety Car

“I think it was very clear. In the end, we’re racing as men. I don’t have a radio to him.

“If I get a penalty then we should both get a penalty.”

Vettel declined to answer direct questions regarding the second contact when he displayed his anger after the contact.

He also felt he had done nothing wrong and that his actions won’t tarnish his reputation.

“I don’t think I did anything wrong today,” insisted Vettel.

“You expect us to race with our elbows out. It wasn’t the right thing what he did, it wasn’t right that I got a penalty and he didn’t.”

“We’re all grown-ups, we’re men.

“Emotions are running high in the car.

“We want to race wheel to wheel, but not when it’s (before) the restart.”

He denied that the incident would make what has so far been a good-natured championship battle more fractious.

“It’s still respectful. I don’t have a problem with him,” said Vettel.

“I think it’s just one action today that was wrong and I think if I got penalised then he should get penalised.

“Probably every Sunday in the Premier League you have referees blowing the whistle and some players agreeing and some disagreeing. That’s sport.

“For sure 10 seconds is an awful long time when you stand there and you have nothing to do.”

Vettel leads Hamilton by 14 points in the championship standings.

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