Sebastian Vettel fumes at Canadian GP penalty for Lewis Hamilton clash
Angry Ferrari driver hits out at penalty decision and, in act of defiance, puts second-placed board in front of Hamilton's car
By James Galloway in Montreal
Last Updated: 09/06/19 11:59pm
Sebastian Vettel raged at F1's officials and claimed they 'stole the race' from Ferrari after he was handed a controversial time penalty for a near-miss with Lewis Hamilton at the Canadian GP.
Vettel led Hamilton during an increasingly tense race and crossed the line in first place, but was immediately relegated behind the Mercedes to second having gained a five-time penalty after stewards ruled he had earlier forced the Mercedes off the track in an incident at Turn Three.
"They are stealing the race from us," argued Vettel over team radio.
"I had nowhere to go. I seriously had nowhere to go. I didn't see him. Where the hell was I supposed to go?"
An irate and frustrated Vettel shunned the usual parc ferme interviews and went straight to Ferrari hospitality.
But, apparently coaxed in to returning for the mandatory podium ceremony, Vettel then made a defiant statement by moving the first-place marker board placed in front Hamilton's car and replacing it with his second-placed one.
Vettel was given a huge ovation from the Montreal crowd and then stepped in to suggest that boos when Hamilton was speaking on the podium should instead be directed at F1 officials.
"The people shouldn't boo at Lewis, if anything they should boo at this funny decisions," he said.
Why did Vettel earn a penalty?
Coming under increasing pressure from Hamilton after the sole round of pit stops, Vettel outbraked himself amid a struggle with rear grip at the Turn Three chicane and went straight across the grass.
But it was the way he returned to the track, forcing Hamilton wide and towards the wall, which led to the stewards' punishment.
'The stewards reviewed video evidence and determined that Car 5, left the track at turn 3, rejoined the track at turn 4 in an unsafe manner and forced car 44 off track,' said the stewards' verdict.
'Car 44 had to take evasive action to avoid a collision.'
Vettel saddened by 'funny decisions'
Having calmed down by the time of his later interviews, Vettel suggested to Sky F1 that the sport a whole was the loser when such punishments were meted out.
"I think we really deserved to win today, that's my opinion and I think the people's opinion out there as well. It was a great race, they really cheered me on every lap," said Vettel of the packed Canadian crowd.
"It's not making our sport popular with these kind of decisions. People want to see us race and that was racing I think. I hope the people come back. They are the reason we are able to put this show on and build these incredible cars, it's just a shame when we have all these little funny decisions."
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