There was a lot of surprise when Sebastian Vettel ‘only’ got given a 10-second stop-go for penalty for his wheel-banging incident with Lewis Hamilton in Baku. Regardless of the speed it happened at the fact that it was intentional is a big no-no in many people’s eyes, and the penalty was seen by many as a bit lenient.
According to Auto Motor und Sport, FIA president Jean Todt is unhappy with Vettel’s penalty and the Ferrari driver could be brought before the FIA’s International Tribunal to answer for what he did, and possibly be issued further sanctions. Vettel almost faced the same thing after Mexico last year following his sweary rant at race director Charlie Whiting.
At the time he was accused of bringing the sport into disrepute, though he was let off as he issued an official apology. Vettel was however warned that a repeat investigation would probably lead to a penalty. Now, eight months later here we are – the incident is different, but the effect is similar.
One of the things Todt is apparently unhappy about is the suggestion that the stewards went easy on Vettel because he’s a championship challenger. A disqualification from the race is thought to have been considered, but ultimately rejected, so that the title fight wouldn’t be too badly affected.
If Todt does decide to bring Vettel before the International Tribunal then there’s a chance he could face further sanctions, most likely a race ban or a hefty fine. Todt has been a staunch advocate for road safety during his time as FIA president, and having one of F1s biggest names getting away with deliberate contact wouldn’t reflect too well on that.
Whether or not Todt is going to take action is unknown at the moment, but he’s expected to make a decision before the Austrian Grand Prix.
Do you think Vettel needs to be penalised further? Let us know in the comments.