Wolff wants to hear Vettel's side on Baku Hamilton incident
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says he wants to speak to Sebastian Vettel before judging whether or not the German overstepped the mark in his collision with Lewis Hamilton at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
Vettel was handed a 10-second stop-go penalty, plus three penalty points on his licence, for being deemed to have driven in a potentially dangerous manner when he swerved into Hamilton ahead of a safety car restart.
The Ferrari driver claimed that the clash came as he waved his fist in fury, after feeling that Hamilton had brake tested him in a bid to keep him at bay ahead of a safety car restart.
But while Hamilton said Vettel had 'disgraced' himself with the way he drove, Wolff is more circumspect for now and wants to understand better why the four-time champion acted in such a way.
When asked by Motorsport.com about whether he felt Vettel had ‘disgraced’ himself as Hamilton suggested, Wolff said: "Disgraced himself with his behaviour? Hmm.
"You know, the emotions go high in a race car. Like we've seen in the past, you have the visor down and you have your own perception of events so I guess the only explanation I have - and I'm not going to protect Sebastian here - is that Sebastian thought Lewis was brake-testing him, which he wasn't.
"We have seen that in the data, with the safety car being 150 metres ahead. So that was a wrong judgement.
"I almost can't imagine that he did it on purpose in shunting into him. So I'd like to speak to him personally and hear what he says about the incident rather than making a judgement without properly having heard his statement."
As well as being upset at what Vettel did, Hamilton was also unhappy that his championship rival had escaped with just a time penalty rather than a heavier sanction.
Pushed on the stop-go penalty, Wolff said: "If a driver does that on purpose in anger, then you have to think about the size of the penalty.
"Of course he is a four-time world champion and in Formula 1 we are setting examples to all the young drivers out there about what is all allowed and what is not. It is difficult for me to understand. It didn't change anything."
But despite drawing short of wanting to criticise Vettel for what happened, Wolff was adamant that Hamilton was entirely innocent in the events.
"First of all, the leading driver can manage the pace," added Wolff.
"The safety car was barely 150 metres in front of him, and you could have seen at the restart before that he almost caught the safety car over the safety car line. So there was never a question that at that stage he would accelerate. No way.
"Looking at the data, there was no brake involved. He went through the corner and went out of the throttle and Sebastian went into him. I think this is what I can acknowledge, if you have the visor down, Sebastian didn't want to miss out on the restart. Nothing wrong on Lewis's side."
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|Location||Baku City Circuit|
|Article type||Breaking news|