Hamilton to let driving do the talking rather than speak to Vettel


Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel - is their mutual respect for each other over? Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team driver Lewis Hamilton says he does not see any point in talking to Scuderia Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel about their fracas in Azerbaijan last weekend, deeming the reaction from the German “disrespectful”.

The two came together during a safety car period, just after the safety car had been called in and the race was about to get back underway. As the lead car, Hamilton had the right to dictate the pace, as long as it is done within the rules, which telemetry data following the race shows, the Brit did.

Vettel felt he had purposefully been brake tested by Hamilton, causing him to drive into the back of the W08, when he had been expecting him to accelerate. However, as previously mentioned, the lead car dictates the pace and so Vettel should never have assumed this was going to be the case.

The incident angered the German, who then took it upon himself to drive alongside Hamilton, gesticulate at him, and then ram his Ferrari into the side of the Mercedes before getting back into line.

Having calmed down slightly since the race, Vettel stated that he would have talks with Hamilton to discuss what had happened, but the Brit was unwilling to play along, saying that he preferred to do his talking on the track instead, as he explained later on Sunday night.

“Firstly, he doesn’t have my number.

“I’m just going to do my talking on the track, that’s most important for me.

“I’ve heard of what he’s said after the race.

“I’ve not come out of the race pointing the finger or said anything. It is what it is.

“It happened, I don’t think it was right but the biggest thing for me was that I lost the race through the headrest issue.

“All I’m thinking of is: get my head together.

“I want to kill it for the next 12 races to go. I want to win the next 12 races.”

Hamilton meanwhile remains unhappy about the way Vettel reacted during the race, feeling the German showed a complete lack of respect and was not being a good role model to younger drivers.

“I need some time to reflect on it all, but I think ultimately what happened was disrespectful.

“If I had any ill intent in terms of my driving towards him, brake testing, whatever it may be, I still think it’s not deserving of that kind of reaction from someone – that person you do have respect for and always showed it on the track.

“That’s the kind of thing you see in go-karts, which you learn from not doing in karts.

“I hope that kids don’t see that in F2 and GP3 and think that’s the right way.

“That’s not how you drive. And that’s not an answer to any situation or issue you have.”

The Brit also rubbished suggestions that Vettel could have lost control of the SF70-H as he let go of the steering wheel to gesticulate at the Mercedes driver.

“We’re world champions; we’re the best drivers in the world.

“Maybe if you’re going down the road in your road car and you put your hand out the window and you do this, you might swerve to the right.

“But we don’t do that. We’ve been racing for years, you just don’t do that.”