Lewis Hamilton called Sebastian Vettel's driving 'disgusting' and 'disrespectful' following their coming together in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
Ferrari’s Vettel was slapped with a 10-second stop-and-go penalty by stewards after he made contact with Hamilton twice while under the Virtual Safety Car. First when he slammed into the back of Hamilton as he braked, and then again as Vettel drew alongside Hamilton’s Mercedes, bumping wheels and gesticulating at his title rival.
Speaking after the race, Hamilton was adamant that Vettel had made contact with him deliberately in Sunday's race.
"The fact that that's the only kind of result [the penalty] you could get from such disgusting driving, that means for the whole paddock we can all drive like that and you can still score fourth place and still get away with it,” Hamilton told Sky TV.
"I don't really know what the penalty for that kind of driving is because I haven't come across that in terms of wheel-to-wheel battling with anyone. I can't really remember coming across that, particularly in Formula 1. It's just not sportsman conduct."
"What happened was disrespectful. There are kids watching us on TV and to see a multi-world champion…you would think he would behave better than that. Today wasn't fair play. Today was a different Sebastian we are seeing,” the British driver said at his media briefing.
Meanwhile, Hamilton agreed when it was put to him that Vettel was not as unflappable as had been suggested.
"I think that's been obvious for some time, look at the things last year he said on the radio. We know how he can be," he said.
"That can only be a positive – he is obviously under pressure. That shows that pressure can get to some of the best of us."
Asked if the contact had been deliberate, Hamilton said: "There was no reason to pull up alongside the leader at that point and it couldn't be clearer."
"It is clear as the blue skies. We are world champions, we are the best drivers in the world. Maybe when you are going down the road in your road car and you do this [gesture at another driver] you might swerve to the right. But we don't do that. We've been racing for years, we just don't do that."
Responding to Vettel’s accusation that he had been 'brake testing' as both drivers tried to keep their tyres up to temperature, Hamilton said: "I didn't do any brake testing, I did the same what I did on the previous laps."
"I'm leading the race, why would I brake test him? The stewards looked at my data and clearly I didn't. There would have been zero benefit.
"Honestly, I think it's a misjudgement from him. To blame it on the car in front? Some people don't like to own up to their own mistakes."
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