Safety Car, Baku City Circuit, 2018

Hamilton wants answers from FIA on Vettel’s restart tactics

2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton warned Sebastian Vettel’s restart tactics set a dangerous precedent and wants answers from the FIA on why they were allowed.

The Mercedes driver accused Vettel of deliberately slowing and accelerating prior to the first Safety Car restart.

“The rules are when the Safety Car goes you’re not allowed to start, stop, start, stop,” said Hamilton.

“You’re not allowed to gas and then brake, you’re not allowed to fake the car behind. Because naturally if there was not that rule, that’s what you would do, and eventually you catch them sleeping. You’re not allowed to do that. You’re allowed to weave, you’re not allowed to start-stop. That’s against the rules.

“And if you look at all the times, every restart I’ve done, particularly the four I did last year I didn’t do that and I’ve abided by that. In Australia Sebastian accelerated then brakes and I nearly went up the back end of him. Today he did it maybe four times.”

Hamilton complained about Vettel’s behaviour on the radio but the stewards were satisfied his driving was within the rules.

Race director Charlie Whiting said: “There was a little bit of a complaint from Lewis that [Vettel] was not going at a constant rate. But then when you look down through the field quite a few places where that happens so I think to expect them to all go at one speed doesn’t seem to happen.

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Baku City Circuit, 2018
2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix in pictures
“As long as no one does anything that’s obviously dangerous then I think we’re happy with what happened and I think he did control it rather well.”

However Hamilton questioned the justification that other drivers further down the order were also varying their speeds.

“The stewards supposedly said that all the other cars are doing it. But we’re the leaders, so cascades down, it’s a domino effect. What the first car does, everyone does the same thing.”

Hamilton believes a new precedent has been set which other drivers will now copy.

“What that does is that now sets a precedent so that means that everyone that’s leading a grand prix under a Safety Car can start-stop. That goes down to Formula Two, Formula Three, Formula Four. Because they’re not going to get penalised.

“So I need to get that rectified when I have the briefing next because clearly they don’t care about it and if that’s the case then we will see more of that.

“And I would expect that from [Vettel] next time I’m racing him. If you noticed I already put my car to the right to avoid a collision because he was starting and stopping. Otherwise I would tuck in behind.”

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  • 109 comments on “Hamilton wants answers from FIA on Vettel’s restart tactics”

    1. Kinda ironic that the guy who complained (falsely) about being brake tested turns right around & does the brake testing. For some reason, Charlie Whiting always seems to have an excuse at the ready to defend whatever Vettel does, & it’s usually something along the lines of “Well, he did do something wrong, but……” …….

      1. Bottas did something similar later on ,the commentators on Sky mentioned him copying Vettel. The only difference was that Bottas went for it earlier.

        1. They were saying that Bottas was doing the same thing, as in waiting until the restart line to start racing again, not start and stop and finally go at the safety car line to start racing again.

      2. +1 he seems completely out of touch with what’s going on out there. In those driver briefings last year he was making excuse after excuse or saying how he hadn’t seen somethimg etc. If the people watching have noted it then race control really need to be more on the ball.

        1. He seems to completely miss hamiltons point, hamilton is questioning the speeding up and slowing down which is done to warm tyres and brakes he is clearly questioning the legality of the ‘faking’ which there are clear clips of. I dont think he’s accusing vettel of being dirty even just that it’s a bad precedent to set because if you have someone less experienced doing that, or behind that, then you’re going to get a crash, which is why the rule is as it’s stated anyway.

          1. sorry: isn’t questioning, doh

      3. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
        29th April 2018, 21:50

        The list of Vettel keeps on growing, and the inaction is deafening. I’d say he’s the most dangerous driver in F1, if it wasn’t for Magnussen (and Grosjean and Verstappen) driving into others quite as often as he does

      4. Kind of ironic he complains about Vettel when he reciprocates what Hamilton did last year.

          1. Vettel was hitting the brakes to stop p start today and essentially brake testing Hamilton. Last year Hamilton did not brake so there was no stop start he stayed at a constant speed and just didn’t accelerate out of the corner. There is a massive difference and what Vettel did today was dangerous.

            1. Vettel was weaving to heat up his tyres. There has been no telemetry evidence that he was braking as well.

            2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
              30th April 2018, 14:06

              @angie you should watch it again, Vettel pulls off, Hamilton follows, Vettel slows down abruptly, Hamilton swerved to avoid hitting Vettel. Vettel is very lucky he finished the race yesterday and didn’t take Lewis with him.

              He should have been penalized for that one.

        1. Hamilton did not do that though…

          The investigation into that incident was thorough and came to the conclusion that Hamilton had not braked anymore than would be normal for the corner. He was judged to have had a smooth deceleration curve and in fact if I remember right, Hamilton was actually accelerating slightly at the moment Vettel hit him. I think also that Vettel carried more speed though the corner than he had the lap before.

          Also that was through a corner not on a straight. There is not reason to be decelerating that much on a straight.

          Hamilton is right to ask the question as everyone needs to know what is acceptable under the rules. If the answer is that it is perfectly fine to decelerate on the straights under a safety car then that is what all drivers can then do in the future, if not then questions ought to be asked of why Vettel was not warned.

          1. +1
            That’s what stuns me about Whiting’s response. Vettel clearly took away the idea – erroneously – from last year that weaving and stop-starting was OK. He really didn’t accept responsibility for the collision. So this year he decided to imitate what he – erroneously – thought Hamilton had done, only ten-fold. Obviously if all drivers do this, there will be a collision sooner rather than later. A new precedent has been set. Vettel fans will respond that he was being clever. I’d say that his mindset remains flawed, as shown by his poor decision that later lost him the race.

            1. I agree.

              However by asking for clarification then it should either give the drivers the green light to do the same thing from now on (and lead to many crashes) or it will solidify the rules from this moment forward.

              What I find totally baffling is the response suggesting that because others were doing it then it is fine! How is that ever a valid response from the stewards?

              Also why on earth was the Kimi vs Ocon incident left until after the race to resolve when all the other incidents were dealt with during the race (bar a couple right at the end which is perfectly reasonable)?

            2. Just because LH self-proclaims himself to be innocent of ever doing what he claims SV did, doesn’t mean LH has a monopoly on the regs and his behaviour defines the regs. Obviously what SV did was within the rules which means that LH could have done it in the past if he wanted, just as CW has said others do it too. All drivers need to do if they feel it is happening in front of them is to do as he said he did yesterday, which was to stay to the right so that he wouldn’t hit SV.

            3. But it does not appear to be within the rules! It seems the stewards agree that Vettel was braking and accelerating but their excuse is that everyone was doing it… Is that an acceptable response?

              Hamilton simply wants to know what the line is now as clearly the rules have been changed on a whim…

            4. @lee1 No, Whiting was not giving an ‘excuse’ that everyone was doing it. That is a fact, and it happens always, even if it is as LH says…the cascade effect, and what Whiting also said was that as long as a driver is not doing something obviously dangerous, then that is within the rules. Nothing has changed with the rules. SV was not being dangerous. LH adapted by staying to the right. He’ll do that the next time he’s behind SV, and I would caution SV to do the same the next time he’s behind LH.

          2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            30th April 2018, 14:09

            Exactly and they had an investigation. They had a late investigation for Vettel’s thug-like behavior last year and gave him a penalty that was sure to benefit him in the WDC.

            No investigation from Carlos Bianchissimo this year, essentially he rubbished Lewis’s comments. He should have ended his interview with Forzq Ragazzi:)

        2. Some of you have a habit of “remembering” things that didn’t happen, apparently.

      5. Hamilton did exactly the same thing last year. Accelerated and then, without braking, slowed down massively and Vettel crashed into him.
        First it is hypocritical to complain about and second Verrel followed his example

        1. No he didn’t.

          He was proven to have not done any such thing. In fact it was Vettel who sped up not Hamilton slowing down.

        2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          30th April 2018, 14:24

          Some people just to be very disconnected from reality…

      6. 39) SAFETY CAR
        39.13
        …In order to avoid the likelihood of accidents before the safety car returns to the pits, from the
        point at which the lights on the car are turned out drivers must proceed at a pace which
        involves no erratic acceleration or braking nor any other manoeuvre which is likely to
        endanger other drivers or impede the restart.

        1. This rule is clear as day. Unless you’re Vettel it seems.

    2. He’s got a point. I thought at the time Vettel was speeding and slowing and thought it was against the rules. the response from race control is dreadful. Of course if the car leading is doing it then everyone else will be forced to do it too. It’s a knock on effect caused by the leader.

      1. @F12020 The video clearly shows Vettel weaving to get heat into his tyres prior to him accelerating to re-start the race.
        You need to get on and off the throttle to perform that maneuver so yes his speed would be varying. That doesn’t mean that he was using the brakes and I doubt that he was. Hamilton on the other hand was keeping a constant straight line at that point which means that he would have to use the brakes and throttle to keep a reasonable distance from Vettel. It makes it difficult to keep a constant distance behind and it masks the moment when the lead car is going to accelerate for real. Good tactics from Vettel. I don’t think that Vettel was out of line doing what he did and I also don’t think that Hamilton has a legitimate gripe in this instance. The fact that the stewards let it go supports this.

        1. The video shows vettel ‘pretending’ to go, the car body language is very clear, which causes lewis to accelerate. This kind of faking is prohibited in the current rules, it isnt a huge issue but he does have a point because if you swap lewis for idk hartley or someone unexperienced then they’re going into the back of a person who does that and you get a pileup (admittedly a very low speed one).

          1. Telemetry is the deciding factor and not body language. There is nothing in the re-start procedure that prohibits weaving to heat up the tyres. Would you prefer them to all restart on cold tyres and save the accident scene for turn one? Then you could have a field day with your comments.

            1. @angie The acceleration and deceleration did not happen whilst weaving, Vettel did that in a straight line. That is what the issue is.

            2. Should any driver have his tyres up to temperature before this point, so that he can drive at a constant speed until he floors it.

            3. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
              30th April 2018, 14:36

              @angie I have no clue why you would even bother arguing against it. Vettel knows he broke the rule, he doesn’t give a hoot. Charlie knows he broke it and will get a lovely compensation. We all know it.

              What’s the point of arguing that Vettel was right to do it? If Lewis had hit Vettel yesterday, that would have been 100% Vettel’s fault just as the 2 collisions were last year.

              Anyone who watches F1 knows that Vettel is one of the most dangerous drivers to drive those cars.
              Even Vettel said that he can’t control himself last week – he said he really wanted to let Verstappen go by in China because he knew it was pointless to put up a fight but in the end they smashed into each other.

              I was shocked yesterday that Vettel didn’t take out Bottas on the corner at the end of the race – I’m sure it crossed him mind many times. I think it was because he was afraid that Lewis would get all the points and he’d rather live to fight another day.

              But he nearly took Raikonnen out and himself on turn 2 – that would have been hilarious :-)

            4. @freelittlebirds What a toxic and negative post. You’re way overplaying this. SV broke no rule. CW knows it. And will get a lovely compensation? We all know it? No ‘we’ don’t. SV one of the most dangerous? Anyone who watches knows that? No ‘we’ don’t. These are your opinions. Not everyone’s. Obviously. And somehow Max hitting SV in China was SV’s fault now?

              I have to ask why you watch F1 if you actually think Whiting is being bribed. If you actually think that is what is going on. By your thinking, how did Merc even manage a string of dominance? Why is Whiting suddenly so pro SV and anti LH now? I think the answers to these questions are in your mirror.

            5. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
              30th April 2018, 15:13

              @Robbie There is no plausible explanation for CW’s behavior. The incident at Baku last year was one of the worst racing incidents I have witnessed. I’d rather Vettel goes up to Lewis and punches him in the face rather than hit his car on purpose under safety car. And that was AFTER Vettel had already crashed into Lewis under the safety car which makes it 10 times worse.

              Just based on those 2 incidents Vettel is the most dangerous driver in F1 – you can’t smash into another car during the Safety Car and then intentionally go and hit the car because you feel that you were wronged. Who are you? The FIA or a street thug?

              But feel free to disagree.

              But it’s not just that incident – Vettel runs people off all the time and he doesn’t run them off in a controlled manner, there are plenty of cases where he’s racing them against a wall and trying to push them. Gasly complained about that against Magnussen but Vettel does it every chance he has and he never gets investigated. I personally don’t find Magnussen any more dangerous than Vettel. They are almost identical drivers in terms of danger.

              I don’t know why CW is still in F1 – he answers to no one and apparently does and can say whatever he wants. I don’t even know how much influence he has over the stewards.

            6. @freelittlebirds Yeah for now I’ll feel free to disagree. Gotta go on about my day for now. No plausible explanation? Sure there is. CW goes by the rules and the severity of the situation, and as I suggested, your answers are in your mirror because of your unique over reaction to what SV did. I opine that SV had a little ‘track rage’ at low speed, thinking he was wronged by LH, of which there was no evidence, just as LH thought he was wronged by SV this weekend, of which there is no evidence. You’re making this into a world disaster and are showing your skewing to dislike SV and therefore come up with all kinds of inflammatory language.

            7. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
              30th April 2018, 16:03

              @Robbie well, you can call it a little “track rage”. We can turn every fatal accident into a minor fender-bender by pointing out that others have done worse and survived.

              As you pointed out, Vettel did that to Lewis multiple times and he waited to lodge a complaint at the end of the race with race direction.

              I get that Vettel is competitive and loses his temper on track turning into some uncontrollable demon. I just ran into a friend who acted that way on the tennis court. I couldn’t recognize the person and he’s 10 times nicer than anyone in F1:-)

              I think Vettel should have won yesterday’s race but the start was very dangerous and could have cost him and Lewis their race – Charlie (aka Race Direction) should have looked at it and given Vettel a few points as a penalty. It just lets the driver know that you were careless and we feel you’re careless. Given Vettel’s aggression and his past behavior under safety cars, you can even make the case that he should have gotten a 5-10 second penalty. The penalty just prevent drivers from crossing the line. If you can cross the line and get away with it, then you’ll cross the line every time and Vettel does that because he actually has no idea where the line is for him. He can play the entire court and the court next to him and he can serve from net – he can do anything he pleases. It’s not his fault – it’s Charlie’s fault.

              If you have a child and you let them do whatever they want, you can’t blame them for doing bad things.

            8. @freelittlebirds Yeah I call it track rage because that is far less harmful, especially at pace car speeds, in cars that can protect the driver safely in crashes at 300+ kph, than road rage performed by private citizens in domestic cars. Our police here in Ontario try to teach youth that they should take their ‘rage’ to the track and not street race nor take out their aggressions on regular streets. That’s why I was not bent out of shape whatsoever about SV’s brief show of emotion. Otherwise, yesterday there was no line that SV crossed.

    3. This has to be clarified by the FIA indeed. Either way I’d be happy.

    4. Ferrari International Assistance
      once again in action until someone dies :(

      1. Are you saying that Bianchi’s death was caused by FIA’s favouritism towards Ferrari?

      2. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
        29th April 2018, 21:51

        *In Inaction

    5. To make it simple, why don’t they make the leader of the snake travel on his speed limiter at a constant speed after the safety car has left them until he is ready to go. He could still weave etc… But it would give them a constant they could control. Once it’s off, the brake are not allowed to be used until necessary.

      1. Good idea…. will never happen!

    6. the blind corner version is lewis speciality so i don’t see the danger in what vettel did. the leader dictates the pace, that’s what happened.

      1. Exactly. Hammy whinging so early on is a big sign.

    7. A non starter, but good try Hammy 😒
      I personally demand clarification on Lipgate; first Danny Rick’s lip then Seb’s! Coincidence I think now. Those two have something goin’!

      1. They have herpes going. That’s what you get from spaying champagne on the podium

        1. Sonsofbeaches
          30th April 2018, 1:12

          Ric had a touch of tinea – luckily no re-dose this week.

      2. Ric is going to Ferrari; he and Seb kissed to seal the deal.

    8. The difference between Vettel and Lewis is that Vettel has actually read the rules.

      1. The difference is that Vettel takes matters into his own hands instead of questioning it after the race.

      2. Judging by what Lewis said, seems pretty clear to me that he has read & knows the rules.

        1. Hmmmm. Doubtful.

    9. Vettel just did a better job then most on his restart. Simple as that. Lewis would do the same moves

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        29th April 2018, 22:01

        @racerdude7730 Vettel’s a complete joke – I can’t imagine anyone taking him seriously – I’m hardly surprised that he still wears a onesie as he acts like a baby.

        Last year, he ran into Lewis as if he was the FIA because he suspected that Lewis had brake tested him which he hadn’t. Then he gets a polite slap on the hand because Lewis had to fix his headrest.

        Seb is now brake testing the entire field for a quarter mile but hey it’s legal until someone else does it. Charlie continues to make a mockery of F1 which is essentially his only role at this point.

        1. You misspelled yoke, it’za yoke

          1. Ah Joao, your comments are regularly hilarious and in an intelligent way. Appreciate it Sir, keep it up!

        2. @ Michael, Oh you do make me laugh with your uninformed silly posts!

    10. Hamilton has a point, it’s explicitly against the regulations, and Whiting’s response that others doing the same is ridiculous. Not the answer of a professional given a job to do, more a hobbiest given a cushy job for life where he makes up the rules on the spot.

      1. Michael Brown (@)
        30th April 2018, 4:46

        @david-br Just like how Raikkonen caused that crashed at the 2014 British Grand Prix. “Anyone else would have done it, so no penalty.”

    11. I thought that Vettel started to copy Hamilton’s style. 🙃

      1. Mrs Pauline hull
        30th April 2018, 9:51

        Hamilton done the same last year he is such a sore loser he only won yesterday because of incidents

    12. v=d/t

      While Vettel was weaving to heat his tires, he traveled longer distances over the same time periods, resulting in lower relative velocities compared to Hamilton travelling in a straight line. It would appear to Hamilton that Vettel had constant speed while traveling in a straight line and decelerated when weaving.

      1. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
        30th April 2018, 7:59

        Cotd

    13. To be fair, the safety car lights were only turned off when the cars were on the final straight, so Vettel couldn’t adjust his pace before. He had to drive erratically on the final straight in order to surprise his rivals, otherwise he would have lost his position.

      1. However they were told over the radio that the SC was coming in on that lap, so when the lights go out, is irrelevant to what Hamilton is discussing.

    14. Some driver will sit back in say..5th position if it helps them win a title while others select the true racers way and go for every win possible even if it means taking a risk of a larger loss.
      The “sit back” type of driver can’t help complain about everything the risk taker does because the former knows that he will never be a popular as the other type of driver nor will he ever have the “heart ” that the risk taker has and thus the non-risk taker will resort to childish passive aggressive tactics like saying that when he speaks out with critiques he is not concerned for himself but rather is concerned because of the example the subject conduct may give young and lower level drivers ( you know the kind of driver that the concerned racer is always devoting his time and own money to help ).
      If F1 still wonders why it’s popularity has slipped so much and is still slipping perhaps it’s because its current champion is not a sportsman ,does not have the ” go big or go home” attitude we all want to see in any sport but, especially in a high risk sport like auto racing and has generally put forth both a “look at me ” and a “I come first” attitude “.
      If you drive a super car you will win races ,lots of them but, real champions do more than beat drivers in lesser cars and most all all they act like men of character .
      Case in point,look at all the bad luck and team errors that Kimi Raikonnen has endured yet he always carries himself like great example of his and all sports. He NEVER criticizes the team even when they clearly make mistakes which hurt him or favor the teams other driver and-could anyone ever see Kimi complaining about another driver and saying he is concerned that the offending driver has set a bad example and he (Kimi ha spoke out because of how the other drivers methods might effect F2 or F3 drivers ?
      Maybe someday Lewis will learn that painting his jet red and collecting multi million dollars cars and having unnatural angles cut into his beard will not make him an admirable “face” of a sport and neither will rushing down from a podium to hug not a family member but, a vandalizing teen idol .
      Until then we will just have to expect that in F1 Lewis Hamilton will win races because he is a good driver and drives a great car and because he wins races he will get a forum from which to speak but, will should all be prepared to hear childish and self serving blabber and accept the fact that he thinks we will be fooled by his pretend concern for others .
      It is a shame ,I used to have hopes that he would mature and be a great spokesman for not only F1 but, for all motor sport. I wanted the cheer for a guy who came from little and in a sport where money matters rose to the top but, no such luck .
      I can’t pull for someone who is selfish,self- important and thinks I’ll believe what is clearly a line and since a multi WDC is not a national hero in a country that bleeds F1 ,it is clear that I am not alone .

      1. Come on, you really say that Hamilton is a no risks driver?
        That Raikkonen never blame his team? (Sure he got a lot of money to be a number two) and so the Finn is a great example for all the sport, when almost anyone think its time for him to retire and give space to Ricciardo or other ones…
        That F1 is losing popularity because of Hamilton?
        Ask how many drivers are known to the common people, apart of him.

        1. For some reason common people know Kimi but not Vettel or Hamilton. Very strange. I noticed this in the bar few days ago… People stoped watching round 2008.

          1. @jureo to be fair I would understand someone being turned off by Brawn domination.

            1. :D but imagine Right now say STR starts to dominate F1… what a season that would be? Gasly a new world champion? Ferrari, Mercedes, Red Bull raging about loophole,… man it would be fun.

      2. You mean the great sportsman who won the race because of his team mates misfortune and understood it was not a win to jump and celebrate for so quietly thanked his team, complimented his team mates performance and said his team mate deserved the win and not himself.

      3. All that writing just to complain about Hamilton. Keep it to 3 lines its way easier to read

      4. YellowSubmarine
        30th April 2018, 23:21

        Thought the forum had matured to the point where it was beyond these sorts of pointless, unsubstantiated attacks on drivers and/or teams, but it seems I was wrong.
        It appears this sort of thing was absent merely because Hamilton wasn’t winning races: soon as he wins a race, we get this type of screed.
        Disgraceful.

    15. Have you tried writing to his mum? Maybe she can have a word with him. Just say you get really upset.

    16. Action packed race. Lots of fun to watch. I dont like the 200mph+ stuff on the straights tho. To many near misses that could of ended in big accidents.

    17. Unless i’m wrong I believe that what’s not allowed is accelerating hard as if you have begun the restart only to then brake hard.

      Vettel wasn’t doing that today from what I saw. He was accelerating slowly to maintain speed while weaving & braking fairly softly like what you always see under the SC. At no point do I recall seeing him accelerate hard to fake a restart only to then brake hard, If he had that would have been something that should be looked at but I don’t believe he did.

      1. Where it got dangerous was he backed them up alot on a wide track with lots of cars close togeather and and knowing they were all very close slowed alot a number if times.

    18. Sour grapes even after a win. Tsk tsk.

    19. Charlie seems clueless about Hamilton’s questions and vehicle dynamics in general. I don’t follow Charlie news much, but if that’s his level of intellect, I’m shocked.

    20. Charlie doesn’t know what he is talking about. is there rules or isnt there rules? Cmon be consistent

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        30th April 2018, 1:50

        @peartree you mean Vettel right?

        1. I know what you mean. Obviously ham. And this is the reason why vettel should ve never defended ham publicly.

    21. Just chance the rule into:

      When you go your not allows to brake or let the accelerator go. So there wasn’t any breaktests anymore!

    22. So when charlie cuts hamilton some slack, the “investigation is always thorough and hamilton has done nothing wrong” but when Charlie doesn’t reprimaand another driver its always “FIA- ferrari international assistance,or bias.” No body is a saint. We all know what lewis did last year. Granted vettel should’ve kept his cool. But Lewis seems to always play the victim card and how he has had to fight the entire “System” to win.

      1. I think it is the response that is the issue. Clearly the stewards believe Hamilton is correct and Vettel was braking and accelerating. Their response that “Everyone was doing it so it was ok” is not a professional response and leaves the rule open to abuse… If someone else does the same thing at the next race but “everyone is not doing the same” then is that driver then going to run foul of the rules? If so then this means that drivers are at the mercy of the rest of the field as to whether they have broken the rules or not… that is just madness.

        The rule is pretty clear. (I will take the comment from @ben post above to illustrate)

        39) SAFETY CAR
        39.13
        …In order to avoid the likelihood of accidents before the safety car returns to the pits, from the
        point at which the lights on the car are turned out drivers must proceed at a pace which
        involves no erratic acceleration or braking nor any other manoeuvre which is likely to
        endanger other drivers or impede the restart.

        So if he was braking and accelerating (also excessive weaving) then he has broken the rule. It mentions nothing about whether the rule suddenly becomes invalid because everyone else is doing the same…

        Does that also mean that as long as the majority of the field are running a 4 litre engine then it suddenly is perfectly fine?

        1. So the issue is with the enforcement of the rules, which has always been a problem for the stewards, but to say that last year the investigation was thorough because Lewis was not penalized (Seb was because he had road rage). Somehow this year the investigation was not thorough because another driver was not reprimanded is kind of silly. We also know these are mind games from lewis.

    23. Melchior (@)
      30th April 2018, 7:16

      Kind of hypocritical of Hamilton as in the past he has been very good at playing games behind the safety car.
      A wet race at Fuji springs readily to mind when Webber was at Red Bull and Vettel was still at Toro Rosso

    24. Sounds like Vettel gave Hamilton some of his own medicine from last year.

      I am sure he only used engine braking and hybrid regen settings.

      1. But hamilton did not do that last year. In fact the accident was caused by Vettel accelerating not Hamilton braking. Which Vettel had to concede after the event.

    25. Hamilton is a hypocrite.
      The FIA should have acted when Schumacher set the precedent. Vettel for sure would have grown up watching him.

    26. Solution: Have a safety car limiter (similar to a pit stop limiter)…
      The limiter’s speed is decided by the race director (depending on the track)…
      Limiter is deactivated once each car crosses the safety car line…
      Everyone is happy…

    27. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
      30th April 2018, 11:28

      Standard Hamilton whine

    28. A lot of people don’t seem to understand whats actually going on here.

      Last year, the moment when Vettel hit Hamilton, the Safety car was still active so Hamilton wasn’t the one setting the pace, so braking and weaving to keep temps is ok at this stage, once the Safety car lights go out, Hamilton then sets the pace and he was no longer ‘faking’ to go, he was still weaving, thats fine. What Vettel did yesterday was to ‘fake’ going once he became the pace car after the Safety car had gone, this is what is different, and a bit naughty.

    29. Glad this has been clarified..look forward to more guys doing it going forward.

    30. Mind games from Hamilton. Every driver does that if they lead at the restart, in every series of racing. Trying to put the guy behind at a disadvantage is the name of the game.
      Lewis got under Vettel’s skin last year, especially in Baku, and is trying to do the same again.
      Hamilton knows that this year the Ferrari is the slightly better car, so he has an even bigger job to try and unsettle Sebastien than before.
      Vettel makes mistakes under pressure, he always has done. Hamilton knows this, and is being quite devious. Can’t wait for Barcelona!

      1. I don’t think there are mind games at all. Even the commentary team were mentioning it during the race. It is not allowed and the rule is very clear. Yes the lead driver will do certain things to try to catch out the following drivers but they have to act within the rules. Hamilton simply wants to clarify what is now allowed as clearly the rules have changed all of a sudden.

        1. The only change is that last year Lewis was in front and this year Seb was…

          1. Nope. Hamilton was not braking erratically last year and in fact the incident was caused by Vettel accelerating in to the back of him. It was also through a corner and not on a straight (some deceleration and acceleration has to occur through a corner).

            You are correct in that the rule has not changed but its interpretation seems to have. Which is what Hamilton wants clarifying.

    31. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
      30th April 2018, 16:27

      Ridiculous of the FIA. Last year they pored over the telemetry to check whether Hamilton had done anything which even resembled a brake test – this year they wave aside Vettel’s behaviour when his car was visibly bucking wildly under braking and acceleration.

      And last year’s excuse from Vettel and his supporters: “Perhaps he didn’t touch the brakes and perhaps it wasn’t obvious from the TV that the car’s speed changed dramatically, BUT BELIEVE US IT AMOUNTED TO BRAKE TESTING”. Yet this year Vettel blatantly and repeatedly brake tests Hamilton as harshly as possible and now we’re told it’s not a problem!

      If Vettel’s behaviour becomes the norm you can forget overtaking at the restarts.

    32. I which those drivers would just man up. No matter if it’s HAM, VET or anybody else.

      15, 20 and more years ago rivals fought much harder and there was less whining and crying in the paddock.

      1. Drivers still asked for clarifications of the rules.

        And yes there was huge whining and crying in the padocks (Often for good reason sometimes not)! Do you not remember Ferrari trying to get McLaren banned for their car being 1cm too wide and the subsequent riot that happened in the stands? Do you not remember Senna complaining about the starting grid and subsequently taking out prost at the first corner on purpose? What about when schumacher parked his car on a corner at monaco during qualifying to prevent anyone else setting a faster lap? When schumacher purposefully crashed in to hill in order to win the championship? How about when ferrari refused to a track alteration at indianapolis so that all the other cars could run? What about Jackie Stewart etc constantly whining about safety (for very good reason) and in the end getting changes that made F1 a far less deadly sport?

    33. Unfortunately, this is a bit thick coming from the guy who escaped Fuji 2007 without a penalty…

    34. Also, from the limited replays available, I didn’t exactly see Vettel performing a fake-out. There was a point when he suddenly stopped weaving and Hamilton almost ran into his back, but it didn’t look like he was getting the hammer down for a restart, as he was weaving immediately after.

    35. He’s done it before, don’t forget Singapore 2011. Button nearly wiped them both out but avoided an accident

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