Vettel wants to speak with Hamilton following contact at Baku

by Tom Jeffries

Sebastian Vettel is looking to talk with Lewis Hamilton following their contact in Sunday’s race at Baku City Circuit.

The Scuderia Ferrari driver made contact with the Mercedes AMG Petronas driver under the safety car twice on Sunday – the first time running into the back of Hamilton on the exit of turn 15, the second time swerving into the side of him to show his displeasure at the initial contact. Whilst he felt Hamilton had brake-checked him, FIA data showed this wasn’t the case. The German driver was subsequently given a ten-second stop-go penalty for “dangerous driving”.

A war of words ensued; Vettel questioned why Hamilton hadn’t also been penalised, and Hamilton claimed Vettel had “disgraced himself”. Now that the dust has settled, Vettel is looking to put the drama of the race behind them – insisting that he doesn’t believe Hamilton deliberately caused the initial contact:

“I don’t have a problem with him. I respect him a lot for the driver he is.” Vettel told Autosport.

“I don’t think that was his intention [to damage Vettel’s car] because he’s also risking damage to his car, and his race is over.

“Now is not the right time to talk. I’ll do that just with him and clear it and move on.

“Maybe I’m not clever enough but I’m not complicated. I’m willing to sort it out with him. I don’t think there’s much to sort out.”

“I enjoyed the race but I don’t think it’s the right thing that I got a penalty and he didn’t.”

Vettel’s reprimand leaves him in real danger of receiving a one-race ban. With nine points on his license, and twelve resulting in a ban, he needs to refrain from any further bouts of aggression during the Austrian Grand Prix weekend (after which three points will be removed).

Despite having the penalty levied for the swerve into Hamilton’s car, and not the initial contact, Vettel does still think Hamilton deserves penalisation for his part in the incident:

“I enjoyed the race but I don’t think it’s the right thing that I got a penalty and he didn’t.”

Vettel remains at the top of the table, with a fourteen point lead over title rival Hamilton.

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