Former world champion Jenson Button says Sebastian Vettel should not be punished further for his deliberate collision with Lewis Hamilton in the rather wild Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
The Ferrari driver is facing a disciplinary hearing on 3 July after swerving into Hamilton’s path that led to dramatic events following a safety car period.
Vettel was given a 10-second stop-and-go penalty in the race on last Sunday. His actions will be scrutinised at a meeting organized by FIA president Jean Todt who spends most of his time campaigning for better road safety.
The incident unfolded like this: Vettel was right behind Hamilton as they prepared for a re-start and ran into the back of him when the Briton did not accelerate out of the penultimate corner while Vettel did.
In fury that Hamilton had deliberately slowed to cause him trouble, Vettel pulled alongside and his car swerved banging wheels causing the Ferrari to jump briefly into the air.
Vettel has been on a warning since last year’s Mexican Grand Prix, when he was penalised for moving under braking while defending from Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo.
No action was taken against Vettel at that time, after he wrote letters of apology to Todt and Whiting. Vettel ended up finishing fourth in Baku, one place ahead of Hamilton, who was delayed further to have a loose headrest replaced at the pits due to the collision. The highly emotional and thrilling saw Williams’ Lance Stroll taking his maiden F1 podium behind Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas and race winner Daniel Ricciardo.