Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 June 2019

Sebastian Vettel hits out at F1 stewards for penalty that cost him and Ferrari Canadian GP win

German was penalised five seconds for unsafe return to track

Sebastian Vettel, right, is consoled by a Ferrari team member, after being demoted to second at the Canadian Grand Prix by a time penalty after crossing the finish line first. AP Photo
Sebastian Vettel, right, is consoled by a Ferrari team member, after being demoted to second at the Canadian Grand Prix by a time penalty after crossing the finish line first. AP Photo

Sebastian Vettel said he is falling out of love with Formula One after a controversial penalty denied him victory in Canada.

Lewis Hamilton was promoted to first place at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve - the British star claiming his fifth win from seven rounds - following Vettel's five-second punishment for almost crashing into his Mercedes rival.

On lap 48, and with Hamilton crawling all over his Ferrari gearbox, Vettel lost control, sliding over the grass at the third bend before re-joining the track.

But Hamilton, who was forced to brake to avoid a collision with the recovering Ferrari driver, accused Vettel of dangerous driving. The stewards concurred, hitting the German with a timed penalty and slapping him with two points on his licence.

"This is not the sport I fell in love with," said Vettel. "We all sound like lawyers. It just gives no edge to the sport.

"I am a purist. I love going back and looking at the old times, the old cars, the old drivers. It is an honour when you have the chance to meet them and speak to them. They are heroes.

"I really love that, but I just wish I could do what I do in their time, rather than today. It is not just about this decision, but other decisions, too.

"We have an official language, and it is wrong. We should be able to say what we think, but we are not. In this regard, I disagree with where the sport is now.

"I re-joined the track, Lewis had to react, but for me that is racing, and a lot of the old Formula One drivers, and people in the grandstands here would agree that this is part of racing.

"It hurts me today because it impacts my race result, but this is also part of a bigger criteria."

Britain's 1992 world champion Nigel Mansell was in agreement with Vettel.

"Very embarrassing," he tweeted. "No joy in watching this race. Two champions driving brilliantly, ending in a false result.

"What's Seb supposed to do? Crazy. The car stepped out. At that point he was a passenger."

Hamilton was jeered on the podium - the strong contingent of Ferrari supporters in North America unhappy with a penalty which denied Vettel his first win since last August's Belgian Grand Prix and the Scuderia's first of a disappointing campaign.

Vettel was furious with the decision, complaining over the radio before initially refusing to take part in the podium celebrations.

He marched in front of Hamilton's parked-up Mercedes and removed the board declaring he had finished first, replacing it with the second-place marker reserved for his Ferrari.

Hamilton, who is now 29 points clear of Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas in the championship, said: "All I can say is that I didn't make the decision. I don't know what they are booing at."

Updated: June 11, 2019 02:18 AM

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