Hamilton: Todt should "answer questions" over FIA's Vettel call

Lewis Hamilton believes FIA president Jean Todt should “answer some questions” about why Sebastian Vettel was not further sanctioned for the potential damage his actions in Baku could have on the sport.

Hamilton: Todt should "answer questions" over FIA's Vettel call
 Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1, alongside Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari and Jean Todt, FIA President
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari
 Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1, Romain Grosjean, Haas F1 Team and Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari
 Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1
 Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari
 Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari
 Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W08

Although Hamilton said on Thursday he accepted an apology from Vettel over their clash behind the safety car in Azerbaijan, he also made it clear he stands by claims that Vettel not being punished more severely sent a bad message out for the younger generation.

Asked in Austria about whether he had revised his opinion in the wake of the FIA decision on Monday to not take the matter further, Hamilton said: “I don’t think anything changes, so my opinion stays the same. 

“With all due respect, Jean should be sitting next to us to answer some questions perhaps, because I think they didn’t change anything on the Monday. So the message that was sent still remains the same.”

Pushed to say whether he regretted saying Vettel had ‘disgraced’ himself amid high emotions after the race, the Mercedes driver replied: “I don’t feel I was particularly upset after the race. If I was upset it was for other reasons. 

“I don’t feel I said anything that I particularly wish to take back, but I still have the same opinion of what happened. It is water under the bridge now, we move forwards, we spoke about it, so there is no point saying much more.”

Vettel regret

Vettel has reiterated his regret about what happened, after saying that he overreacted to the mistaken belief that Hamilton had brake-tested him.

“It was the wrong move, wrong decision, it was the wrong move to drive alongside him and hit his tyre,” said Vettel.

“That is what you all want to hear about, but there is not much more to say. At the time I was surprised. It felt that Lewis hit the brakes and I couldn’t stop running into his car.

“I also said in the statement and said afterwards, I don’t think there is any bad intention so I don’t think he actually brake-tested me. At the time I read it like that. 

“I was surprised and hence why I was obviously upset and overreacted. Am I proud of the moment? No. Can I take it back? No. Do I regret it? Yes. But I don’t think we need to drag it out any longer.”

“I never had the intention to hurt him”

Although the FIA has faced criticisms for not dealing with Vettel more harshly, the German hit back at suggestions he had got off lightly for what happened in Baku.

“I got a penalty,” he said. “The race potentially was handed to me, with the fault or technical problem that Lewis’ car had with headrest. You can believe me that I wasn’t happy at all after race.

"I finished fourth, I could have won the race, I don’t need to tell you how many points difference that is.

“I said also, to him, that I never had the intention to hurt him, it is not like I tried to punch him… I overreacted.

“The intention at that moment wasn’t to hurt him or damage his car, it was at low speed. But looking back it was the wrong thing to do. It was dangerous plus it was unnecessary because it didn’t win me anything.”

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