FIA plays down obscene Vettel gesture
29 March, 2012
Mar.29 (GMM) F1′s governing body, the FIA, has played down that claims Sebastian Vettel faces a penalty for his behaviour during the Malaysian Grand Prix.
After the race, the reigning world champion dismissed HRT’s Narain Karthikeyan as an “idiot” following their on-track collision.
On-board footage subsequently proved that Red Bull driver Vettel, 24, twice showed the Indian driver a ‘middle finger’ salute.
Reports in Germany suggested the behaviour was a breach of the stricter code of conduct under FIA president Jean Todt, with the German theoretically facing anything from a warning to the revocation of his superlicense.
“My understanding is these matters are dealt with by stewards at each grand prix,” an FIA spokesman told us. “I am not aware of any other action being contemplated.”
Karthikeyan, who was penalised after the clash, told the Hindustan Times newspaper that the stewards favoured world champion Vettel’s explanation.
“They [the stewards] didn’t care about what I had to say because Mr Vettel told them god knows what when he went and talked to them,” he said.
But Red Bull team boss Christian Horner defended Vettel, telling the Mirror that it is “Karthikeyan’s responsibility to get out of the way of the leaders”.
Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg, meanwhile, partly excused Vettel’s outbursts.
“I think Vettel was just emotional at that point [in] time. At the end of the day, he is just human and sometimes you get emotional,” the German is quoted by the Times of India.
Former Force India driver Adrian Sutil goes even further.
“I can understand him (Vettel),” he told Die Welt newspaper in Germany. “I was often angry when I was lapping people, when they make no room for you while they are fighting for places that have almost no significance.
“Karthikeyan ended up influencing not only Vettel’s race, but also Jenson Button’s. They [backmarkers] have to understand that as well.”
Subbed by AJN.
- Vettel: I’ve experienced incredible times with the team over the last few years
- Hamilton: When Ron Dennis told me I’d be much slower than Fernando, I thought – he’s wrong
- Red Bull confirms Buemi and Da Costa as 2014 reserve drivers
- Horner: We won the title early, enabling us to focus on the RB10 while our rivals battled
- Critics of faultless Vettel are incompetent declares Pirro
- Ferrari tester Gene believes that Red Bull will have advantage in 2014
- Newey: We are about six months off being prepared for the start of the 2014 season
- Newey: 2014 car is cousin to Red Bull RB9 and shares similar traits
- Ricciardo shedding kilos to fit in to Red Bull RB10 cockpit
- Haug doubts that Mercedes can break Red Bull and Vettel dominance