FIA should excuse ’emotional’ Vettel – Berger

Jul.3 (GMM) Gerhard Berger says the FIA should forgive Sebastian Vettel for driving into Lewis Hamilton recently in Baku.

On Monday, which is also the Ferrari driver’s 30th birthday, the governing body will meet to consider applying a further penalty for the infraction.

But former Ferrari and McLaren driver Berger told Bild am Sonntag: “I don’t understand all the excitement.”

And he also told Kurier newspaper: “I find the whole story good, because every fan has an opinion and that’s what every sport needs.

“What we saw was two athletes with emotion, but no dangerous action. Both of them provoked, and both were punished — Vettel by the FIA and Hamilton by the motor sport gods with his headrest.

“The topic should be over and we move on,” Berger, now the DTM series boss, added.

Italy’s La Gazzetta dello Sport claims that if Vettel is given a race ban, Ferrari is threatening to boycott the race altogether.

Like Berger, Red Bull official Dr Helmut Marko thinks Mercedes’ Hamilton provoked Vettel, even if telemetry showed that the Briton didn’t do a ‘brake test’.

“Sebastian is an emotional person, but I stick to what I said because with these formula one cars, the electric motor is also like a brake if you are not on the power.

“I say Hamilton provoked him, and please — this is not a girls’ boarding school and the speed was not high,” Marko told Kronen Zeitung newspaper.

However, Mercedes’ Niki Lauda says the real issue is not Vettel steering into Hamilton, but the fact the German didn’t apologise afterwards.

“To be clear: even the best professionals make mistakes,” he told Welt am Sonntag newspaper.

“I think Sebastian is smart and experienced, but for him to take this hopeless and rigid stance against all the facts — I expected more from him,” Lauda added.

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