Former Formula 1 driver turned pundit Marc Surer believes this is the last time Sebastian Vettel would get away with a series incident where he loses his temper.
The Scuderia Ferrari driver thought Lewis Hamilton had braked test him while behind the safety car at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, leading to him losing his temper and colliding with the side of the Mercedes W08. Vettel was handed a ten-second stop and go penalty, along with three penalty points on his Superlicence. But for some, this wasn’t enough to be his punishment, on Monday the FIA called an additional hearing with Vettel but decided that no further penalties would be given for the incident.
Some believe Vettel’s remorse was not real, including Surer, adding, “Because he took so long (to apologise), I think it was calculated.
“He really thought Hamilton had brake tested him, but Sebastian is an intelligent guy and knew he would get away with an apology.”
Surer was not surprised that Vettel escaped a major sanction, adding, “Even though he is a repeat offender.
“But it will be the last time he gets away with it. In his next offence, the FIA would have to follow through, as even a go-kart driver is punished if he rams another.”
The decision not to drag out the procedure until the summer makes some suspect that the FIA are giving preferential treatment to Vettel and Ferrari, making it seem that the FIA were keeping an eye on the championship fight.
“The FIA did not want to make the story even bigger, with a procedure dragging on until the summer,” said Surer.
“I think this mild judgement is also to not influence the world championship. If they ban Vettel for a race, Hamilton would naturally win it and that could really influence things. In this respect, the FIA was keeping an eye on the championship fight.”