The FIA said on Wednesday that it would re-examine the evidence after Sebastian Vettel‘s clash with Mercedes rival Lewis Hamilton in Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix: “The FIA will further examine the causes of the incident in order to evaluate whether further action is necessary,” it announced in a statement on Monday, meaning that Formula One championship leader Sebastian Vettel risks further sanctions from the governing body.
The outcome of that process will be made public before the Austrian Grand Prix weekend of July 7-9. Race stewards imposed a 10 second stop and go penalty on Vettel in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix after Scuderia Ferrari’s German driver hit the back of race leader Hamilton’s car and then angrily pulled alongside and banged wheels while both were behind the safety car. They ruled, after an examination of the video evidence, that Sebastian Vettel had steered into Lewis Hamilton in a “potentially dangerous” manoeuvre.
Vettel accused Hamilton of ‘brake testing’ him by suddenly slowing coming out of Turn 16 as the safety car prepared to return to the pits. The FIA explained on Sunday, however, that the data showed no indication of the Briton having being guilty of such a maneuver, as he “maintained a consistent speed and behaved in the same manner on that occasion as in all the other re-starts during the race”.
Scuderia Ferrari’s German driver refused to accept blame after Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix while the Maranello team principal Maurizio Arrivabene spoke of “some decisions that were not entirely clear”.