Sebastian Vettel did himself no favours when he succumbed to a bout of ‘road rage’ during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, and as a a result was handed a ten seconds stop-and-go penalty and three penalty points added to his super licence.
Just before the restart, after a red flag period to clear debris from the Baku City Circuit, Vettel nearly slammed into the back of Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes as they prepared to step on the gas.
Vettel’s Ferrari tapped the rear-end of the Mercedes, which had slowed substantially, and then the German showed his anger by driving alongside Hamilton and swerving into the silver car.
After the race Vettel told TV reporters, “Nothing happened, did it?”
“He brake checked me as well, so what do you expert? I’m sure he didn’t do it on purpose but for sure it was not the right move. If I’m struggling, people at the back struggling even more, so I don’t think it was necessary.”
“I got damage, he risked damage. He’s done something similar in China at the restart a couple of years ago so it’s not the way to do it, I think. After the incident, we were side by side, I raised my hand and showed him that I wasn’t happy with that,” explained Vettel.
The stewards served him with a ten second penalty for his antics which, as it panned out with Hamilton having to pit to sort out a petulant headrest, may have cost him victory on the day.
Vettel took exception to the decision, “In the end I don’t agree with the penalty that I got, because if you penalise me then you should penalise us both, because that was not the way to do it.”
“The leader dictates the pace, but we were exiting the corner, he was accelerating and then he braked so much that I couldn’t stop in time and ran into the back of him.”
“I think that was just not necessary. I don’t think it was deliberate of him to brake-check me, I don’t think he’s that kind of guy. But obviously that’s what it turned out to be, that’s what it is, and I wasn’t happy with that.
“As I said I drove alongside him and raised my hand to say ‘that’s not the way to do it’, because at that moment I damaged my front wing and I think he paid the price as well by having slight damage to his car as well,” added Vettel seemingly ignoring the fact that the “dangerous driving” the stewards looked at was the angry swerve at the Mercedes when he alongside it.