‘Sorry’ Vettel escapes major FIA penalty

Jul.4 (GMM) Sebastian Vettel has issued an apology after avoiding a major additional penalty as a result of intentionally driving into Lewis Hamilton in Baku.

On his 30th birthday, the Ferrari driver on Monday attended F1 governing body the FIA’s investigation into his behaviour that some thought might cost him a race ban.

In Baku, Vettel had refused to even acknowledge the collision took place let alone accept the blame, but the FIA said that on Monday the German “admitted full responsibility”.

He will not be penalised beyond helping educate Formula 2, F3 and F4 drivers, while Vettel has been banned from taking part in the FIA’s “road safety activities” in 2017.

“Sportsmen must be cognisant of the impact their behaviour can have on those who look up to them,” said FIA president Jean Todt, who otherwise declared the matter “closed”.

Later, Vettel made his apology public with an official statement.

“With hindsight, I don’t believe he (Hamilton) had any bad intentions. In the heat of the action I then overreacted,” said the 30-year-old as he apologised to his championship rival, the FIA and fans.

“I realise that I was not setting a good example. I love this sport and I am determined to represent it in a way that can be an example for future generations,” Vettel added.

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