Vettel to face further punishment for Baku antics?
There could be further sanctions for Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel for his incident with Lewis Hamilton while under the safety car at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, which could result in a race ban or monetary fine.
Vettel Accused Hamilton, who was leading the pack as the safety car turned it’s lights off and left him the pace setter, of brake testing him, which resulted in the Ferrari running into the back of the Mercedes, damaging both cars. Unhappy with Hamilton’s actions, Vettel drives alongside and turned towards him by making contact wheel to wheel but avoiding any further damage.
By looking at the data from Hamilton’s car, the FIA cleared Hamilton from any wrong-doing with proof that he did not brake aggressively, nor act any different to his previous restart.
“It emerged that Hamilton did correctly, maintained a consistent speed and behaved in the same manner on that occasion as in all other restarts during the race” — Stewards’ statement.
FIA president Jean Todd is believed to be unhappy with Vettel’s actions and the way the incident was dealt with by the stewards who handed Vettel a ten-second stop and go penalty. According to German magazine Auto Motor und Sport, Todt is deciding wether to bring Vettel before the *International Tribunal after the international criticism of the penalty Vettel received during the race.
According to former F1 driver and current F1 pundit, Martin Brundle, the correct punishment was given:-
“I think the Stewards got it right; I wouldn’t have disqualified him or banned him from the next race unless he took Hamilton out in Baku.”
A decision on wether there will be a hearing should come this week with Vettel potentially facing a one-race ban if it is deemed the initial punishment was not severe enough.
*International Tribunal — The IT exercises the FIA’s disciplinary powers at fist instance, for all cases whether they have been dealt or not with by the Stewarts of the meeting. It consists of 12 members who are recommended by the FIA Judicial Appointment Committee and then elected by the DIA General Assembly.