The FIA have decided not to penalise Sebastian Vettel any further after his clash with Lewis Hamilton during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix last weekend.
Although the Ferrari driver was given a 10 second stop/go penalty during the race and three penalty points after on his super licence, the FIA referred the matter to the tribunal for a hearing that took place yesterday with a panel comprised of FIA Deputy President for Sport Graham Stoker, FIA General Secretary for Sport Peter Bayer, FIA Formula One World Championship Race Director Charlie Whiting and FIA Formula One World Championship Deputy Race Director and FIA Safety Director Laurent Mekies.
According to the official statement, Vettel “admitted full responsibility” for the incident and is committed to dedicating his personal time to educational activities across the FIA’s lower division single seater categories. He will not however take part in the promotion of the ‘Action for Road Safety’ campaign for the remainder of the year.
“Top level sport is an intense environment in which tempers can flare,” said FIA President Jean Todt. “However, it is the role of top sportsmen to deal with that pressure calmly and to conduct themselves in a manner that not only respects the regulations of the sport but which befits the elevated status they enjoy.”
“Sportsmen must be cognisant of the impact their behaviour can have on those who look up to them. They are heroes and role models and to millions of fans worldwide and must conduct themselves accordingly.”
In an additional statement on his website, Vettel said: “During the re-start lap, I got surprised by Lewis and ran into the back of his car. With hindsight, I don’t believe he had any bad intentions. In the heat of the action I then overreacted, and therefore I want to apologise to Lewis directly, as well as to all the people who were watching the race. I realize that I was not setting a good example.”