‘Sincere apology’ saves Vettel from FIA punishment following radio outbursts

Sebastian Vettel - Credit: Scuderia Ferrari

Sebastian Vettel will not be punished by the FIA after his sincere apology and declaration that such an outburst will not happen again following his explicit radio messages during last weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix.

The Scuderia Ferrari driver was heard heavily criticising Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen and Race Director Charlie Whiting towards the end of the race at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez as he was angry with Verstappen’s failure to allow the German passed after appearing to gain an advantage by crossing the grass at turn one.

Jean Todt, the President of the FIA, has issued a statement saying that no further action will be taken on Vettel, and although offensive language is not called for in Formula 1, this case is being addressed as an exceptional basis and the German’s apology has been accepted and the case is now closed.

At the recent Mexican Grand Prix, the Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel made comments over team radio using repeated foul language directed at both the FIA Formula 1 Race Director Charlie Whiting and a fellow competitor which were retransmitted during the live broadcast of the event,” read the statement from the FIA.

“Immediately following this incident, Sebastian Vettel spontaneously sought out Charlie Whiting to express his regrets for his behaviour in person. He then, again on his own initiative, sent letters to each of the FIA President Jean Todt and Charlie Whiting, in which he apologised profusely for his actions. He also indicated that he would likewise be contacting Max Verstappen and vowed that such an incident would never occur again.

“In the light of this sincere apology and strong commitment, the FIA President has decided, on an exceptional basis, not to take disciplinary action against Mr Vettel by bringing this matter before the FIA International Tribunal.

“The FIA will always condemn the use of offensive language in motor sport – especially when directed at officials and/or fellow participants – and expects all participants in its Championships to be respectful and mindful of the example they set for the public and the younger generation in particular.

“The FIA takes this opportunity to advise that, in the event of any future incident similar to the one that occurred in Mexico, disciplinary action will be taken by bringing such incident before the FIA International Tribunal to be judged.”