A Formula 1 steward at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix has revealed that Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel could have received a harsher penalty for his collision with Lewis Hamilton as considered by his colleagues.
Speaking to Switzerland’s Blick newspaper, F1 steward Paul Gutjahr said: "Of course we could have issued a more severe penalty. Like the black flag or a race ban. But Hamilton had no damage and we did not want to influence the world championship too much."
While some figures in the motorsport world such as Max Mosely are calling for the four-time champion to be slapped with a harsher penalty, others disagree, and MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi was one such racer. "When one driver fights against the other and they are so different, there may always be crashes,” he said when talking to Marca sports newspaper. "Personally I liked it. It's the beauty of the sport."
On Monday, the FIA will meet to consider handing Vettel an additional penalty to accompany the 10-second stop-go penalty he received in the race in Baku last weekend which could threaten the German with a race ban due to the number of points on his super licence.
Speaking to Russia’s Sportbox, Renault reserve driver Sergey Sirotkin has revealed that he believes that Vettel will manage a lucky escape: "To be honest, looking at the onboard, it is not obvious that Sebastian deliberately hit Lewis. I think at the moment he raised his hand and turned his head, he didn't realise the car was turning towards Lewis and they touched. In my opinion, everything is much calmer than everyone is talking about."
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing