Crashgate: No further action, Vettel is on community service and not allowed to endorse any road safety


Official Press Release from FIA

Paris, July 3 – Following an incident at the recent Azerbaijan Grand Prix involving a collision between Car 5 (Sebastian Vettel) and Car 44 (Lewis Hamilton), Sebastian Vettel was today invited to attend a meeting at the FIA’s Paris headquarters. He was accompanied by his Team Principal Maurizio Arrivabene. He reviewed the incident together with a panel comprised of FIA Deputy President for Sport Graham Stoker, FIA General Secretary for Sport Peter Bayer, FIA Formula One World Championship Race Director Charlie Whiting and FIA Formula One World Championship Deputy Race Director and FIA Safety Director Laurent Mekies.

During the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, stewards officiating at the event issued a 10-second stop-and-go penalty to Sebastian Vettel, the most severe penalty immediately applicable before displaying a black flag notice to the driver. Sebastian Vettel also had three penalty points applied to his FIA Superlicence, taking his current total to nine.

However, while respecting the Stewards’ decision, the FIA remained deeply concerned by the wider implications of the incident, firstly through the impact such behaviour may have on fans and young competitors worldwide and secondly due to the damage such behaviour may cause to the FIA’s image and reputation of the sport.

Following detailed discussion and further examination of video and data evidence related to the incident, Sebastian Vettel admitted full responsibility.

Sebastian Vettel extended his sincere apologies (ed. letter below this script) to the FIA and the wider motor sport family. He additionally committed to devote personal time over the next 12 months to educational activities across a variety of FIA championships and events, including in the FIA Formula 2 Championship, the FIA Formula 3 European Championship, at an FIA Formula 4 Championship to be defined and at the FIA Stewards’ seminar. Due to this incident, President Jean Todt instructed that no road safety activities should be endorsed by Sebastian Vettel until the end of this year.

The FIA notes this commitment, the personal apology made by Sebastian Vettel and his pledge to make that apology public. The FIA also notes that Scuderia Ferrari is aligned with the values and objectives of the FIA.

In light of these developments, FIA President Jean Todt decided that on this occasion the matter should be closed.

Nevertheless, in noting the severity of the offence and its potential negative consequences, FIA President Todt made it clear that should there be any repetition of such behaviour, the matter would immediately be referred to the FIA International Tribunal for further investigation.

Commenting on the outcome of today’s meeting, FIA President Jean Todt said: “Top level sport is an intense environment in which tempers can flare. However, it is the role of top sportsmen to deal with that pressure calmly and to conduct themselves in a manner that not only respects the regulations of the sport but which befits the elevated status they enjoy.

“Sportsmen must be cognisant of the impact their behaviour can have on those who look up to them. They are heroes and role models and to millions of fans worldwide and must conduct themselves accordingly.”

Vettel’s Apology letter:


Earlier today we reported that some observers have felt the punitive measures issued to Vettel by the FIA over what has now been described as a “potentially dangerous” manoeuvre were not harsh enough. It appears these extra investigations are directed at the moment Vettel appeared to drive into the side of Hamilton’s car. It would seem the situation has finally been closed.

FIA statements went from “…data shows Hamilton didn’t brake test…” – no further action required, to “could” Further examine (28/06) to WILL later the same day. Why? I ask myself how much pressure internet discussions are bearing down on the president’s shoulders, when after less than a week ago the FIA leader (who also serves as UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety) preached about his responsibility of “taking leadership” around such matters.

Others chipped in:

Latest to come out of retirement to throw their hat into the ring is Button with a “Move on”. He stated “Azerbaijan GP was a pleasure to watch,” via Twitter on Thursday. “Why? because adrenaline and emotions were high. What Vettel did was silly but he’s been punished. Move on.”

Button, who was a director of the Grand Prix Drivers Association (GPDA) with Vettel before leaving Formula One at the end of last year, said a 10 second stop and go penalty was effectively 30 seconds with time lost at the pit entry and exit.

And Max (fifty shades) Mosley has labelled Sebastian Vettel’s behaviour as “intolerable” and calling for a black flag. I was surprised to see Max’s involvement, he hates it when people violate HIS private sphere.

Finally, it would seem, we can all move on and enjoy Spielberg


11 responses to “Crashgate: No further action, Vettel is on community service and not allowed to endorse any road safety

  1. While Vettel shouldn’t have done what he did – there was no intent to injure or cause damage to Hamilton’s car. The incident was properly handled by the stewards at the race. It should have ended in Baku. It was kept going by the English motoring racing press. The same press that always found an excuse for Hamilton when he drove into Rosberg.

    The FIA were never going to DSQ Vettel from the race or hand out some other substantive penalty. Incurring the wrath of Ferrari and the teams fans around the world was never going to happen.

    • It’s like someone has stolen my thoughts here. I agree with all points made. The whole event was purely handbags. There’s plenty of very dangerous things that have happened in F1 over the years, this wasn’t one of them. The punishment was suitable for the crime, and the fact Mercs headrest came out is the only reason why it’s suddenly an injustice for Englishman Lewis in the opinion of the wholly unbiased English media.

  2. Another top line sportsman who only gets a slap on the wrist for highly inappropriate, unsportsmanlike behaviour in front of the entire sporting world.
    What a joke … why bother? It merely makes the whole thing stink of another scenario where the FIA looks after Ferrari!

    Over the past week Jean Todt has used his lofty position to put up what was obviously just a smoke-screen of low tolerance for Seb’s bad behaviour, disrespect for the regulations, blatant lying about his part in the ugly incident and blaming someone else for it.
    Whatever happened to making a person pay dearly and making an example of them for “bringing the sport into disrepute”?
    If Todt had followed up his initial damning comments with the same disdain during this hearing, there is no way he could have allowed such leniency. Either something drastically changed with the evidence (apparently not if you read the “minutes”) or it was a huge farce for the sake of marketing F1 in the world media for a few more days.
    Moreover, why bother wasting all of those people’s time and the huge amount of money it cost for travel, accommodation, food etc etc etc, on a hearing which did nothing other than deem the penalty already handed out as appropriate.

    Toothless Tigers like Todt should not have powers bestowed upon them as far reaching as his position allows.
    The entire process only makes the FIA look flaccid and stupid for sticking their nose in after the fact.

    Maybe a shiny new LaFerrari, (with “Jean Todt” written on the ownership papers), will show up in a scarlet Scuderia transporter at Todt’s residence in the next month … as a nice little “thank you old friend”.
    After all, he does love Hydrid PUs! 😉

    • Strictly speaking the LaFerrari isn’t a hybrid. It uses a KERS system. And that is simply the first of many errors in your comment.

      • Strictly speaking, if a combustion engine is assisted by an electrical source which uses the same drive-train components to deliver both power sources to the wheels … it’s a hybrid!!!

        • A hybrid uses an electric motor to power the wheels. A KERS system doesn’t use electric motors.

    • If you can disagree with the FIA, then so can I in stating Hamilton instigated the event by erratic driving under the safety car once again. See Fuji 2007.

      • Wow … that’s 10 years ago Bill! Even a court of law has to abide by a stute of limitations which only covers the past 7 years …
        Have you got enough fingers to count Seb’s misdemeanours in that time?

        • Which statue is that, Liberty?
          Actually statutes of limitations vary depending on the subject and the legal system.
          We can also look at Melbourne 2009, the time Hamilton passed Truli behind the safety car then lied about it.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.