Azerbaijan GP: Lewis Hamilton criticises 'dangerous' Sebastian Vettel after 2017 title rivals collide
Hamilton condemns Vettel's "dangerous driving" as title rivals twice collide in Baku; Vettel penalised but insists Hamilton also deserved punishment; German now 14 points ahead in the championship
By Matt Morlidge
Last Updated: 25/06/17 7:01pm
Lewis Hamilton has criticised Sebastian Vettel's "driver conduct" and the penalty the championship leader received, after the Mercedes and Ferrari rivals twice collided at a chaotic Azerbaijan GP.
Speaking to Sky Sports F1 after the race, which leaves him 14 points behind Vettel in the standings after finishing one place behind the four-time world champion in fifth, Hamilton added: "I think it's just not driver conduct. It's dangerous driving and to get a 10-second penalty for that... I don't need to say anything else."The clashes, which may have ignited a fierce 2017 title rivalry, came in quick succession at the end of a second Safety Car period in Baku, with Vettel first going into the back of Hamilton at Turn 16 as the Briton controlled the pace from the front.
Vettel waved his hand in the cockpit in apparent show of anger and then moved alongside his championship rival on the straight, before appearing to turn right into Hamilton as the Ferrari and Mercedes bumped wheels.
The German received a 10-second stop-and-go penalty for his part in the incident, but the blow of dropping down the field was softened by the fact Hamilton had to pit from the lead due to a loose headrest on his W08.
"A 10-second penalty is not enough for driver behaviour like that," Hamilton said over team radio as Vettel emerged from his penalty in the pits in front of him, before appearing to criticise FIA race director Charlie Whiting. "You know that, Charlie."
Speaking to Sky Sports F1 after the race, which leaves him 14 points behind Vettel in the standings after finishing one place behind the four-time world champion in fifth, Hamilton added: "I think it's just not driver conduct. It's dangerous driving and to get a 10-second penalty for that... I don't need to say anything else."
Sky F1's Damon Hill seemed to agree with Hamilton's complaints, suggesting Vettel saw red in Baku. "That was a petulant move and something a four-time world champion should be able to control," he said. "It was a rush of blood to the head."
Vettel, however, deflected criticism onto Hamilton, who he believed was at fault for the first incident and also deserved a penalty.
"I don't think I did anything wrong today," insisted Vettel, who also angrily responded to claims that he has tarnished his reputation. "You expect us to race with our elbows out. It wasn't the right thing what he did, it wasn't right that I got a penalty and he didn't."
An adamant Vettel added to Rachel Brookes: "He brake-checked me as well, so what do you expect? I'm sure he didn't do it on purpose but for sure it was not the right move. If I'm struggling, the people at the back are struggling even more, so I don't think it was necessary.
"I got damage, he risked damage. He's done something similar a couple of years ago in China at the restart so it's not the way to do it, I think.
"After the incident, we were side by side, I raised my hand and showed him that I wasn't happy with that."
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