Hamilton received Vettel apology via text message

Sebastian Vettel has revealed he apologised to Lewis Hamilton for his behaviour via text message in the days after their Azerbaijan GP clash, in the wake of a phone call between the pair on the day after the race.

Hamilton received Vettel apology via text message
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1, Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team, Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari
 Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari
 Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1
 Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1
 Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari
 Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1
 Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari
 Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari

Although the Ferrari driver waited until this week to go public with his regret about swerving into Hamilton behind the safety car in Baku, he says the matter was dealt with privately on the Monday and Tuesday after the Baku race.

"Obviously I had a very different view inside the car than with a little bit of a gap outside of the car – that is why I made a statement," said Vettel about the fallout from the controversy ahead of this weekend's Austrian GP.

"I had the chance to quickly talk to Lewis after the race, but I don't want to pump this up more than it is already. It is my right, our right, that it stays between us. But I think I said everything I had to say."

Apology accepted

Hamilton said that during the conversation they had on the day after the race, he made it clear to Vettel that he was not happy to have been accused of brake-testing him.

The Mercedes driver said: "We spoke after the race on the Monday and then shortly after that he messaged me, the day after, I think it was.

"For me, I just said that for me I still have the utmost respect for him as a driver and will continue to race him hard through the rest of the season, in the same way I always have, no less hard than we have been already up until now. 

"My only point to Sebastian was that I felt that saying that I had brake tested him, I hope you can correct that publicly because people who were watching felt that was something I did, and the data showed that was not the case. In actual fact, he accelerated. 

"The goal was to be as close as possible to me, but that was an error in judgement. My only point there in the reply to him was that I hope he makes that clear. There was no need for me to do something like that as I was in the lead."

When asked whether he accepted Vettel's apology over the phone, Hamilton said: "The conversation we had [on the Monday], it wasn't actually an apology in the conversation we had, even though that perhaps was the intent. 

"It was literally the next day when I got a text from Sebastian apologising. And I did accept it."

"The person I had to talk to was Lewis"

Vettel has faced some criticism for only issuing a public apology in the wake of an FIA hearing – having previously suggested that he felt he had done nothing wrong.

When asked by a journalist why it had taken him so long to say sorry, he said: "I don't have your number. I don't want it. So... I don't feel the need to talk to all of you [media]. 

"I think the person I had to talk to was Lewis. That was the most important and then the Monday I went to Paris to see the FIA. We had the hearing, they asked me my opinion in terms of what happened, we ran through the incident and that is what I did.

"I don't think there was a need in that regard to talk to you straight after. You are not the most important people I think – the most important for me is the guy I am racing with is Lewis and that is the one I decided to call first."

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