Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Baku City Circuit, 2017

Vettel accepts Hamilton did not brake-test him

2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel has accepted Lewis Hamilton did not brake test him during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

“I don’t think he actually brake-tested me,” Vettel confirmed during the pre-race press conference for the Austrian Grand Prix. The Ferrari driver admitted it had been “the wrong decision” to pull alongside Hamilton’s car and hit him.

The pair spoke to each other following their controversial clash in the last race. Vettel was told by Hamilton to make it clear no brake-testing had taken place.

“My only point to Sebastian was I felt that saying I had brake-tested him, I was like ‘I hope you can correct that because people who people who were watching felt that was something I did’,” said Hamilton.

“The data obviously showed that was not the case. In actual fact he accelerated, I think the goal was to be as close as possible to me, but that was an error in judgement.”

“My only point there in the reply to him was that I hope he makes that clear because I had no intentions, there was no need for me to do something like that as I was in the lead.”

“I accept his apology and we’ll move forward,” Hamilton added. Vettel apologised to him when the pair exchanged text messages following the race.

‘Jean should answer questions’

Jean Todt, Sochi Autodrom, 2017
Hamilton said Todt should face questions
Hamilton said he stands by his claim that Vettel’s driving set a bad example for younger drivers.

“I don’t think anything changes,” he said. “With all due respect Jean [Todt, FIA president] should be sitting next to us, to be honest, to answer some questions, perhaps, because I think that they didn’t change anything on the Monday so the message that was sent remains the same.”

Asked if the interested generated by the indictment was positive for F1, Hamilton said “intense battles is always a good thing for any sport, so I don’t disagree with that.”

“But of course we are used as a platform, we are supposed to be role models, we are supposed to give a certain message. And we’re only human beings so we don;’t always get things right.”

“But collectively, as a sport, we are supposed to inspire and send the right message to so many people who want to be in our position. We’re in a position of power and how we utilise that is very important.”

Vettel denied the incident showed he has a problem with his temper. “I can see why you might believe’s it not,” he said, “but I think I face a lot of situations that are quite hot and I don’t think so.”

2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
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  • 46 comments on “Vettel accepts Hamilton did not brake-test him”

    1. So Ecclestone, Stewart and half the internet accusing Hamilton of brake testing Vettel have now been disproven by Vettel himself, as well as what some of us like to call real world observation. Not that it will make much difference. Maybe Hamilton bullied that admission out of him?

      1. I still think Vettel was fishing for a penalty for Hamilton. Like a soccer player falling at the slightest touch and calling for a foul.
        He was pretty adamant that Hamilton had done that before, so I think Vettel thought Hamilton was doing something wrong, and he went for it, and fell at the slightest touch, as it were.
        It didn’t go well for him, but that was obvious immediately, because the stewards didn’t penalize Hamilton.

      2. @david-br Wanna bet how long before someone post a comment still arguing Hamilton did a brake-test? :P

        1. It’s one post down already. *sigh*

      3. Stewart won’t change his mind, and still hold to his position,

      4. I don’t understand why people where so quick and adamant to believe Seb even though the evidence was so obvious and clear that Seb was wrong and at fault.

        The camera never lied, just peoples interpretations where way off. People even claiming the FIA rigged the telemetry to frame Seb.

        With Seb now setting the record straight, apologising, taking responsibility and even admitting that Lewis never brake checked, and even accelerated, what does that say about the huge amount of anti Lewis venom we’ve witnessed since the incident?

        What does that say about the comments from F1 royalty like Stewart, Ecclestone etc.

        Will all those that where adamant Lewis did wrong now publicly admit they where wrong and apologise too?

        I suggest no one hold their breath waiting.

    2. Well it looked mighty like a brake test.

      F1 cars slow down a lot when lifting. There’s all kinds of braking going on, at 70 km/h droping to 50 km/h can be done quite fast, especially in a corner with super sticky tires… lift and net effect can be comparable to a road car braking.

      Issue was compounded by Vettel not having enough safety margin, resonable why not. They were preparing to race. Vettel was on his gearbox, Hamilton was trying to push the field back, to get some safety for himself on restart…

      So while it looked like brake test at first… telemetry showed it wasn’t. Vettel thought it was at first aswell… now appologised and confirmed it was indeed not.

      :D This saga does continue to crank up views, clicks, publicity. Typical F1. Action on track lasts minutes, conversation about wheel to wheel contact lasts for 2 weeks now.

      1. Heat of the moment reaction. Drivers should have instant replays in their cars before they scream in the radio.
        We all say the sun rises in the east, but relative to the earth, the sun is essentially static.

      2. @jureo No it did not looked like it, it looks like that because Vettel accelerated towards Hamilton.

      3. @jureo

        Actually it didn’t look like a brake test. It’s just the tifosi and finger boy following group that started this nonsense.

        If you look at the 2 restarts, you will see Lewis taking the exact same speed and braking points in both. Vettel got left behind at the 1st restart, and in his enthusiasm to make up for that error, he got over excited and ran in to the back of Hamilton on the 2nd restart.

        Vettel realised his error and made a public statement about it.

        Time for this ridiculous brake test story to stop.

    3. I’m sure that wasn’t easy for him to say, but I think that should settle the “fireworks” aspect of things and good riddance to it. These are not two guys who have any axes to grind with each other, and they have both been around long enough to have to apologize for various screw ups to various other people. (Although I expect an extended montage with furious jump-cuts and thumping dubstep over Leigh Diffy’s tiresome yelping on NBCsN to hype up the Vettel/Hamilton “fireworks” for Austria.)

    4. I think all the noise over this is because Vettel did finish the race ahead of Hamilton. If Hamilton win the race and Vettel finishes fifth, then everyone would think the 10sec penalty was enough.

      1. Not me. I think intentionally running into another car has to be an automatic DQ. I’m a bit of a scold, but I think this is a widely held and well supported idea.. But it’s over now. Life isn’t just, and not every injury has a remedy, #stillirise.

      2. I’m not so sure. Hamilton winning would have masked the issue to some extent, but it would be unresolved, with Vettel feeling aggrieved (probably failing to recognize he wasn’t brake tested) and his road rage moment not really addressed. For me it still hasn’t. For people like Brundle, Vettel showed ‘passion.’ What he actually showed was the kind of uncontrolled rage that gets people killed, even if it’s over in seconds. And Formula 1 has given that kind of reaction a green light. That’s why this issue isn’t disappearing fast. A lot of people feel uneasy for this reason, not out of any vindictiveness towards Vettel. He set a precedent that won’t be forgotten, and FIA has been derelict in its duty to protect drivers and help to set good practice. Todt and FIA campaigning for road safety will be a farce now.

        1. @david-br No I think you are overthinking this now. Or you weren’t watching MS/Benetton and MS/Ferrari. Much has been forgotten by many. Campaigning for road safety will go on and will be good and healthy and necessary. What F1 does otherwise is on designated race tracks not on roads. They did punish SV and he did apologize. Now parents can teach their kids that even adult professional athletes can make mistakes and they can also own up to them and apologize and learn from them. This can be a teachable moment.

      3. It has nothing to do with Hamilton winning or not winning. The FIA has rules it must uphold. And they failed.
        The FIA investigated Perez and Raikkonen for working on their cars in the garage, despite being several laps down and in no contention for points.

      4. No, Vettle should have been black flagged.

        1. Why wasn’t there any of this fuss when Ricciardo deliberately hit Vettel in China?
          Much higher speed, much more dangerous situation.
          Where are the hyperbolic statements about “using his car as a weapon” or calling for a black flag?

          While Vettel didn’t call on Charlie to help him during the race, or suggest that Jean should have been at the drivers conference to explain why he didn’t hand out a ban to his competitor, at least Hamilton isn’t as big a hypocrite as some of his fans who insist on extra special protection for that extra special someone in their lives.

    5. Here we go again.

      1. Yeah, you’re right Chip Hilton ! Trouble is that, as far as F1 enthusiasts with
        no axe to grind for either party are concerned, the ludicrous weakness of
        Todt and others with decision making power means that Vettel, the clear
        offender, now has a vitally increased points lead over his chief rival, when
        the Baku incident should, at the very least, have equalised the two top
        drivers. Even Vettel admits he behaved badly ( again ! )…..but he still has
        his points lead when that should no longer be the case.

        None of the current batch of top F1 drivers is pure as the driven snow,
        but there needs to be a ruling body which bites and bites hard when
        drivers do things they are well aware is not allowed. No matter who they
        are. No matter who they drive for. No matter what the cost in prestige,
        driver points, team points, etcetera……

        1. I guess it’s similar to overtime of a hockey or basketball championship game. Announcers often talk about the referees “putting away the whistle” because you practically have to kill someone to get a penalty called, the theory being that the fans don’t want a title decided by the officials.

        2. @loen To me the points are irrelevant, as are the fact that they’re both title contenders. Deliberately hitting another car MUST be an automatic disqualification. I’m struggling to understand how anyone could think otherwise.

          1. Probably because we’ve seen it before at much higher speeds. It’s never pretty, and some have even won a WDC doing it, like MS on Hill 94. And in terms of less extreme examples, contact can sometimes look intentional but is in fact just hard racing. It’s just not black and white. And yes, fair or not, F1 has always been inconsistent with the administering of penalties. F1 likes the controversy, all incidents are different, and they do prefer when a Championship can come down to the wire. As pointed out by Chip Hilton sometimes they put away the whistle because we want to see it settled on the court, the rink, the track…not in the boardroom.

    6. Penalties have been too lenient for a while now, iv been moaning about drivers getting 5 secs added for a while now, overtake on a chicane or push them off to get past is a no brainer when you have a car 2 secs faster but because of dirty air you can get past, its best to take the 5 secs penalty.
      this kind of leniency will eventually result in something bad.
      I think this Vettel road rage episode is done for now, I hope hes learned something from it all, roll on Austria!

    7. A lot of discussion, probably 30% of comments on the BBC site in the post Peter Sagan DSQ from Le Tour centred on the contrast between the no-nonsense approach of the TdF race commisars and the woeful inadequacy of the FIA in regard to Vettel road rage.

      Terrible performance from the FIA, but it’s Todt and it’s Ferrari so you can’t be too surprised.

      1. @frasier Well said mate.

        1. Yeah I don’t know about that. With the TdF it wasn’t even road rage was it? Wasn’t it just blatantly trying and succeeding at forcing another guy to crash? At speed? More akin to MS trying to literally punt JV off? SV moved alongside LH and intentional bumped him wheel to wheel at very low speed to express his anger. Didn’t try to crash him or cut his tire or anything like he could have done. Unlike MS or Sagan, at least what SV did was vent, not literally do LH or his car harm. I know I know I know…but he could have….blah blah blah… If he wanted to he would have, but he left LH intact, unlike MS who damaged JV’s car and got no penalty of any consequence. Unlike Sagan who actually injured another rider going for the ‘win’ not even in a rage.

    8. I would incourage people to actually watch the press-conference. It was quite fun and rich.
      I feel a bit sorry for K-Mag, but still…

    9. Its surprising how maturely Hamilton handled the whole fiasco.

      1. Why?

      2. Yeah… maturely 🤣 with every answer, the drama drama drama… drama

      3. Yes C, why?

        What has Hamilton done in the past to make you think he would have handled this any different?

        1. I think LH has it within him to bring this up again if he loses the WDC. For now he didn’t have to say much as the onus was on SV. LH didn’t have to reinforce that he didn’t brake test since the stewards did that for him. He expressed himself clearly enough on the radio and of course that’s one of the ones we got to hear too. So I don’t really think LH needed to say much anyway, but time will tell if we’ve heard the last of this from him.

    10. Just wanted to make a point, while we’re wrapping up this topic. Here in Ontario Canada we have speeding laws and penalties of course, and if a bloke takes it to the extreme and gets caught going 50kph or more over the posted speed limit he or she can be fined or even jailed for street racing (even if they weren’t actually racing anyone) and have their car impounded and their licence pulled. And what the police do in conjunction with this, in terms of urging people to not do this, they say take it to the track…there are programs and venues for you to go and blow off your need for speed away from the public streets and highways. This is similarly encouraged for dealing with road rage too.

      What SV did was ugly, but one of the reasons I haven’t been all bent out of shape about it is that at least he did this on the track, not in public, with trophies and hundreds of millions at stake. As disagreeable as this may sound, I find what SV did rare, but also at least somewhat understandable given the setting. That is not at all to say I encourage it nor that anyone should encourage it, but track rage is one thing…road rage on public streets is truly far worse.

      As to the role model thing? Yeah I used to argue that all the time regarding MS, but you know what?…FIA, Mosley, BE, Todt, Brawn, Briatore etc all turned blind eyes in the MS/ Benetton and MS/ Ferrari eras. So it’s nice for F1 to say they should be role models but ultimately, as I have said above, the fact that they’re racing in anger with much at stake in a competition, not on public roads, takes precedent over the role model thing, or penalties would be far stricter and automatic. Was LH any better a role model last year for throwing his team under the bus with his numerous innuendos of his team favouring Nico? It is up to parents to put this all in perspective for their kids, because adults can act as kids too, including top athletes in many sports.

      1. But if you are going to have road rage, there better be a good reason, and not your mind playing tricks on you, as happened to Vettel.

        1. Lol well sure. I wonder if it wasn’t just something like what happens at a baseball player sometimes…looks like an easy grounder that should result in a double play so buddy is already anticipating throwing it to second but he hasn’t caught the ball yet, and so he takes his eye off it and misses it. Methinks SV’s right foot was thinking faster than his eyes were, anticipating getting the jump on LH before LH has even accelerated. Let’s face it, SV hasn’t exactly made a career of this.

          1. Should be ‘to a baseball player sometimes…’

      2. @robbie I agree that we can’t always directly compare what happens on a race track to what happens on a public road, but you have to draw the line on unacceptable behaviour, and in this instance Vettel’s behaviour was unacceptable. Unacceptable to the point that he should have been disqualified.

        In general in sport deliberately striking an opponent is an offence that won’t be tolerated, even most contact sports have guidelines on what’s not acceptable.

        The fact that the same offence in junior karting would be deemed a black flag, makes me incredulous that it isn’t viewed as the same at the very top of the sport. I struggle to see how anyone can argue otherwise. I’d be saying the same for any driver on the grid. The subject rumbles on because the punishment wasn’t right, if he’d been black flagged, surely it would have still been a massive talking point, but it would be easier to draw a line under it. The FIA just proved that they haven’t learned from their previous mistakes.

      3. I simply cannot believe that even you are suggesting that last years comment about something or someone did not want him to win the championship is in any way the equal or even on the same damn planet as what SV did Robbie!

        That is a real new low even for you and your hatred (there would seem to be little else to call it) of Hamilton is now getting ridiculous. Particularly as we clearly saw in the last race, his team did want NR to win! Even after Hamiltons and only Hamiltons engines failed in 20% of the races, he still won more races and poles!

        Further, the only person throwing the team under the bus last year was Nico. That was made plain by Lauda and pretty much confirmed by Toto earlier this year. Toto went on to add a few more zingers showing that Nico and not Lewis was the main problem.

        I note a common thread in all your posts regarding the current issue – you simply fail in all your discussions to realise that at the time of the incident they were NOT racing.

        They were under the SAFETY CAR and thus all comments regarding speed, racing, others have done it and can we all move on, are completely moot.

        Because no one in the history of F1 has driven into the safety car, then driven alongside it and smashed into the side of it in a temper.

        And seemingly got away with it.

        I can imagine a VERY different stance from you if the drivers were reversed…

    11. Well thats over now. How many times can the same question be asked in different ways. Its all good now and Vettel stretched his lead slightly so most can be happy.

    12. Whilst I think F1 needs to move on from this now (I think Vettel should have been black-flagged at the time, but do not think he should have been “further” punished at the hearing), I would have liked Vettel to be a little clearer in his acceptance that Hamilton did not brake-test him:

      “I don’t think he actually brake-tested me”
      Does not sound the same as
      “[I accept that] he didn’t brake-test me”

      1. The only bit what a person says that counts is what comes after the word BUT.

        It’s over until Friday when Sky will ram it down our throats none stop.

    13. I still think that the victory was stolen from vettel.

      1. @zad2 Vettel stole it from himself

    14. This story had been done to death. Lets move on, I hope this final admission from Vettel is the last we hear of it.

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