Niki Lauda has made no bones about blaming Sebastian Vettel for his ‘road rage’ incident during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, and says he would not be surprised if Lewis Hamilton punched the Ferrari driver at some point.
Speaking to reporters about Vettel after the headline grabbing incident in Baku, Lauda said, “He freaked out in himself. “When you hit somebody up the arse it is your fault. No question. But then to drive next to him and hit him on purpose, I have never seen anything like this.’
“To do that I don’t understand. Vettel is a decent guy normally. This I don’t understand. He is crazy. Lewis will hit him one day. Not with the car but with his fist.”
In the wake of Vettel’s angry swerve into Hamilton’s Mercedes, the FIA race stewards slapped a ten seconds stop-and-go penalty on the German and also made public telemetry showing that Hamilton did not brake test Vettel as the latter claimed.
Lauda said, “Nobody can criticise the stewards because they are what they are, like a referee… but they could have done more, certainly because I think it’s the worst you can do.”
“If you overtake somebody and drive into him as a mistake, fine, but this was deliberately in a phase of the race where you are driving slow.”
Lauda continued, “You have to be so under control yourself that you don’t do that. First he was upset he hit him up the back but this was also his fault, not Lewis’ fault.”
“Therefore what he did after I don’t understand. He could have damaged his car, Lewis’ car and could have been taken out of race, so I don’t know why he is risking all of that,” added the triple Formula 1 World Champion and Mercedes F1 chairman.
Despite his shenanigans Vettel finished fourth and Hamilton fifth, thus the Ferrari driver increased his lead in the championship standings over his Mercedes rival to 14 points (from 12 before the race) with eight rounds completed.
Big Question: Did the penalty served on Seb fit the crime?