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FIA data shows Hamilton did not brake-test Vettel

FIA data shows Hamilton did not brake-test Vettel

As Daniel Ricciardo celebrated winning a hectic Azerbaijan Grand Prix on Sunday, title rivals Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel clashed in a bitter incident that could shape the rest of an intriguing Formula One season.

Ricciardo started the race from 10th on the grid and was 17th after six laps, but he worked his way forward to claim his fifth career win and first this year. The governing FIA confirmed that Hamilton's auto data showed he "maintained a consistent speed and behaved in the same manner on that occasion as in all the other re-starts during the race". "He could have damaged his auto, Lewis' vehicle and could have been taken out of race, so I don't know why he is risking all of that".

Vettel added that it was "quite obvious" Hamilton had brake-tested him.

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Hamilton, who was leading after making a clean start from the 66th pole position of his career, had initially slowed to avoid the slow-moving safety auto ahead of him, an action that may have caused Vettel to drive into the rear of his Mercedes.

However, Hamilton said Vettel's actions set a "precedent" for impressionable young racers coming through the ranks, and others agree that the FIA may still act. "He brake-checked me as well so what do you expect?" he said.

Vettel, who had attempted to demand an explanation for the penalty during a terse radio exchange with his Ferrari team, said that nothing had happened. "I think it was very clear". No question. But then to drive next to him and hit him on objective, I have never seen anything like this. "If we get a penalty, we should both get a penalty". We saw it in Mexico previous year with his radio messages, and that was nothing but an emotional response to what he thought Hamilton had done to him. "He's done something similar in China at the restart a couple of years ago so it's not the way to do it, I think". "It's unsafe driving and to get a 10-seconds penalty for that..." He went even slower.

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"We've put a lot of pressure on Ferrari". Imagine all the kids watching Formula 1 today and see that kind of behaviour from a four-time world champion. "It says it all".

"We had the upper hand this weekend. Through hard times true colours show, so it is a good day for me".

He is referring to the way the Ferrari driver pulled alongside Hamilton and apparently deliberately turned into him, earning him a penalty and bringing him close to the end of his super license penalty points. It is just one action today that was wrong. I'm willing to sort it out with him. "I will talk to him when you (the media) are not there and then we move on".

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Russ Rader Spokesman Insurance Institute for Highway Safety said alcohol impairment is still the main concern on the road. This year, his legalization bill remains stalled in a committee as the session comes to a close later this month.

But, while Stewart feels Vettel has tarnished his reputation with the stunt, the Scot - world champion in 1969, 1971 and 1973 - reckons Hamilton should accept a portion of the responsibility for the flashpoint. "I don't need to say anything else". I don't think there is much to sort out.


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