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F1 steward admits that Vettel could have received "race ban"

  • Published on 30 Jun 2017 12:37
  • comments 9
  • By: Fergal Walsh

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."

 

Chris Soulsby

Replies (9)

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  • ianf1

    Posts: 184

    This is a general point, I'm not trying to re-ignite the arguments that have been discussed to death re: this particular incident.

    So, with that in mind:
    I'm not sure that the stewards should take things like "influencing the world championship too much" into account when they are making decisions about any penalty to impose? Shouldn't they just be looking at the incident in question in isolation? Otherwise their decision will always be tainted.

    What do others think?

    • + 0
    • Jun 30 2017 - 13:07
    • FatMike

      Posts: 153

      If you start taking variables like a WC into account you are actually influencing the one thing you didnt want to influence. Also when circumstances like that start to matter you run a serious risk of entangling yourself into what looks to be class justice.
      regardless of what i feel should have been the penalty here (if even needed) i feel the situation should be regarded on the basis of the seriousness of the offence and not as to what the impact of a penalty could be. I'd say dangerous driving by a 4 time wc is not less dangerous than that of any other racer in the field.

      Personally i dont think a "lesser" driver would have gotten away with a 10second stop and go for this.

      • + 0
      • Jun 30 2017 - 13:40
    • boudy

      Posts: 1,168

      I agree Ian in that stewards should look at each incident on its own.

      However, Mercedes and Ferrari have been looked after for years, I am still surprised that Bottas hasn't received a penalty yet for wiping Kimi out. Also I am not surprised that Vettel didn't get more. HAM has done numerous things in the past that should have been punished.

      The biggest issue with most things is that each incident is unique and therein is the problem; Slowing down and than blaming the person behind you if they touch has been done by all drivers the only problem is that in this instance Vettel went into him. I am unsure if Vettel actually meant touching Hamilton. The onboard footage showed Vettel with both hands in the air.

      F1 has moved away from strict ruling since it actually stopped racing; now they are running more of a self governance by the drivers. Austria should be great.

      • + 1
      • Jun 30 2017 - 17:47
  • LH knew exactly what he was doing, slowing exactly when he knew SV was right up his ass! He's way more clever than I thought! There should be.............. no more................ penalties at all, and................. watch the show get better.

    • + 0
    • Jun 30 2017 - 13:54
    • ianf1

      Posts: 184

      Ok, I get all that... but what do you think about the question I asked in the first post?

      • + 1
      • Jun 30 2017 - 15:01
    • Im not really surprised. We've seen it happen over and over again. Remember in Spain, in 2016, when Lewis tried to overtake by pushing Rosberg wide, and Rosberg didnt budge? Remember how Lewis blamed Rosberg for that incident? Remember all the times Hamilton pushed Rosberg wide on the first corner of the race? Remember the time LH helped the Mexican stewards with the grass mowing while at the same time cutting a chicane, gaining an advantage and didnt even get a warning? I suppose I do remember those times. Good times. Really.

      • + 1
      • Jun 30 2017 - 17:23
  • I think they should not influence the championship, like they saying, and not make decisions in isolation, think of bigger picture, as two many rules, and let them fight it out, if it's gets dirty so be it, as long as it's not overt and an over the top. That's what makes good TV, and why we still talking more about this race MORE than........ all races put together last year. We need a raw fight, less rules.............

    • + 0
    • Jun 30 2017 - 15:08
  • HEINZ

    Posts: 61

    No penalties whatsoever would better! No harm done to any car and it improved the show dramatically ;)
    Liberty should "arrange" (meaning force) for them to meet each other on a room with cameras and stream the video to the fans! DO IT :)

    • + 0
    • Jun 30 2017 - 15:44
  • Squirrel10

    Posts: 36

    Maybe it's time the stewards had the bottle to "punish" LH for all his no-damage-done antics!

    • + 0
    • Jun 30 2017 - 20:00

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