Formula One: Sebastian Vettel has egg on his face after branding Lewis Hamilton as ‘stupid’
Sebastian Vettel slated Lewis Hamilton for being “a bit stupid”, but come the conclusion of yesterday’s German Grand Prix it was the German who emerged as the foolish one.
In front of his fans at Hockenheim, Vettel celebrated finishing runner-up to Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, who is the first driver this season to win three races.
But around two hours later, the 25-year-old was hauled before the stewards and handed a retrospective drive-through penalty which added 20 seconds to his finishing time.
Vettel had been found guilty of exceeding track limits following a move on McLaren’s Jenson Button on the penultimate lap to move up to second.
The end result was Vettel found himself demoted to fifth, losing eight valuable points in his bid to win a third successive Formula 1 world title.
For Button, who finally brought an end to his miserable run in which he had collected just seven points from the previous six races, justice was served.
“Sebastian’s pass was a pretty straightforward matter: the rules state you can’t go off the track to gain an advantage,” said Button, who then highlighted Vettel’s imprudence. “The thing is, there would have been more opportunities for him before the end of the race as my rear tyres were damaged.”
Explaining his actions, Vettel said: “I wasn’t sure he was still on the side of me or not. I can’t see from the inside of the car. So I tried to give him enough room and went wide.
“The only intention was not to crash and to give him enough room. Although it was good to be on the podium at the home race, I have to respect the stewards’ decision.”
Vettel also drew short shrift from Hamilton and team principal Martin Whitmarsh for his unwise criticism of the 27-year-old.
On the occasion of his 100th grand prix, Hamilton sustained a lap-two puncture in running over debris caused by Felipe Massa losing the front wing of his Ferrari in hitting the back of Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen at the start of the race.
The slow trundle back to the pits and early stop relegated the Briton to 22nd, and a fight then for respectability.
Come Hamilton’s second stop on lap 33 it dropped him in among the leaders, a lap down. On fresh rubber, and although effectively a backmarker, given the speed of his McLaren he tried to unlap himself by first passing second-placed Vettel. Far from happy, Vettel waved his hand at in disgust at Hamilton, who then had the speed to pull away and attack leader Alonso.
Post-race, Vettel launched into Hamilton as he said: “That was not nice of him. I don’t see why he tried to race us.
“If he wants to drive fast then he can drop back, find a gap and go fast then.
“But it was a bit stupid to disturb the leaders. He was a lap down, so I don’t see his point. If you are a lap down and with no chance of winning the race any more, you should respect that and use common sense.”
Hamilton was terse and somewhat sarcastic in his response as he said: “Maturity has come through I guess. It shows his maturity.”
As for Whitmarsh, he naturally defended Hamilton as he said: “Racing drivers race. If that’s stupid, I don’t know what else. He was quicker, overtook and pulled away, so I’m not quite sure of the stupidity. That’s for others to comment on I suppose.”
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 9 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: South west