Amid accusations by Sebastian Vettel that Lewis Hamilton did a brake test on him before the second restart of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, the FIA has informed media that no such evidence exists after an extensive examination of the telemetry at their disposal.
The FIA examined the data from Hamilton’s car and found no evidence suggesting that the Mercedes driver stepped on the brakes as claimed by the Ferrari driver.
The incident occurred shortly before the resumption of racing behind the safety car, after the race was stopped on lap 22 to clear debris at various points on the circuit.
As Hamilton and Vettel exited Turn 15 nose-to-tail, the Ferrari collided into the back of the leading Mercedes which had slowed substantially to allow the safety car to make it into the pitlane.
Vettel immediately gesticulated angrily before driving alongside Hamilton to show his displeasure, and at the same time veered into the silver car.
For this second contact the FIA stewards concluded: “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.”
After the race Hamilton told reporters, “There was no reason to pull up alongside the leader at that point and it couldn’t be clearer. It is clear as the blue skies. We are world champions, we are the best drivers in the world.”
“Maybe when you are going down the road in your road car and you do this [gesture at another driver] you might swerve to the right. But we don’t do that. We’ve been racing for years, we just don’t do that,” insisted Hamilton.
When Vettel informed about the 10-seconds penalty he fumed, “When did I do dangerous driving then? Can you give me the time I did dangerous driving?”
Later the German explained why he went side-by-side with Hamilton, “I drove alongside, then we had a little contact but I drove alongside mostly to raise my hand. I didn’t give him a finger or anything, I just wanted to tell him – because I can’t literally talk to him – that that was not right.”
Stewards’ decision regarding the incident: