Vettel, Hamilton clash as Ricciardo wins in Baku

Paola Ditto
Giugno 26, 2017

During last weekend's Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Sebastian Vettel rammed title rival Lewis Hamilton after the Mercedes driver slowed his vehicle while exiting Turn 15.

Vettel earned himself a 10-second stop-go penalty after driving up alongside Hamilton and swiping the No.44 auto in protest at what he had deemed to be a "brake-check" from his title rival.

Vettel then speeds around the 32-year-old's Mercedes, drives alongside Hamilton and swerves into his auto before continuing with the race.

Hamilton was then asked about quotes Vettel reportedly told German media that the swipe was him making a point about Formula One being a "sport for being men", Hamilton replied: "If he wants to prove that he's a man we should do it out of the vehicle face to face".

The German was handed a 10-second penalty for that incident but finished one place ahead of his championship rival in fourth after Hamilton - who was on course for a comfortable win - was forced to pit due to a loose head rest, with Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo going on to claim victory.

"He brake tested me", shouted Vettel over the team radio.

"I think today what we did well was just stay out of trouble, and let other drivers make mistakes, and get to the end".

"I really hope that kids don't see that and think that is the right way". It also reminds us of the 1990 blockbuster "Days of Thunder" where Tom Cruise's character Cole Trickle goes back out on the oval only to ram his vehicle into his rival, Russ Wheeler, after he was forced off the track.

The three-time champion Briton managed to remain calm after the race, despite the provocation, after the stewards had confirmed that he had not "brake-tested" Vettel, as he alleged, leading to the Ferrari driving into him.

But it was not a view shared in the paddock with Hamilton, now even further adrift of Vettel in the title race, the first to lay down the law.

Told of Vettel's planned call, Hamilton said: "He doesn't have my number".

However, the Briton rejected the claim that he had brake-tested Vettel, saying, "I think it's a misjudgment from him to blame it on the auto in front.Some people don't like to own up to their own mistakes". "I respect him a lot for the driver he is, but now is not the right time to talk".

"I think he disgraced himself today, to be honest", he added. "I drove alongside mostly to raise my hand, I didn't give him a finger or anything". If I am struggling, people in the back are going to too. If one of us gets a penalty, we both do. We are both grown-up men.

"I honestly would never have thought that that would have happened, but we can only look at that as a positive for us."

Vettel leads the overall standings on 153 points ahead of Briton Hamilton on 139 and Finland's Bottas with 111.

"It's unsafe driving and to get a 10-seconds penalty for that".

"I didn't, I controlled the pace", said Hamilton.

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