Lewis Hamilton slams Sebastian Vettel's driving in Baku as 'disgusting' and 'disrespectful'
Mercedes driver turns up heat on 'under pressure' rival after Azerbaijan GP controversy; Hamilton denies brake-testing Ferrari
By Pete Gill in Baku
Last Updated: 26/06/17 6:22am
Lewis Hamilton has described Sebastian Vettel's driving in Baku as "disgusting" and "disrespectful".
Hamilton has also made clear he believes the Ferrari driver rammed him deliberately during Sunday's controversial thriller.
Championship leader Vettel was handed a 10-second stop-and-go penalty by the Azerbaijan GP race stewards after his car hit Hamilton's twice behind the Safety Car - once under braking and then again when Vettel first drew alongside Hamilton to gesticulate at his title rival before swiping into the Mercedes.
In a scathing rebuke of his championship rival, Hamilton told Sky Sports News HQ: "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.
"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."
In his media briefing at Baku, Hamilton added: "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."
Hamilton also agreed when it was suggested that Vettel's reaction proved that he wasn't as mentally strong as generally depicted.
"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," said the Mercedes driver. "That can only be a positive - he is obviously under pressure. That shows that pressure can get to some of the best of us."
In their ruling, the stewards stated that Vettel 'steered' into Hamilton's car and described the move as 'potentially dangerous'.
"There was no reason to pull up alongside the leader at that point and it couldn't be clearer," Hamilton responded when asked if he thought Vettel's ram was deliberate.
"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."
Vettel accused Hamilton of 'brake testing' as both drivers strived to keep their tyres up to temperature but Hamilton was adamant he didn't do anything wrong.
"I didn't do any brake testing, I did the same what I did on the previous laps," he said. "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."
Don't miss the F1 Report: Azerbaijan GP Review on Sky Sports F1 at 8.30pm on Wednesday for the final word on the weekend's action.
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