Formula One Managing Director of Motorsports Ross Brawn does not agree with Scuderia Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel’s on-track actions at the 2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix, but at the same time admits that he admires the German’s passion for the sport. Sebastian Vettel was highly frustrated after feeling Hamilton had brake checked him as they prepared for the safety car restart.
The incident that followed has become well-known to the public: the Ferrari driver pulled alongside Hamilton and swerved into him, resulting in a 10 second stop/go penalty. Ross Brawn also thinks that if Hamilton didn’t have an issue with his headrest that forced him to pit, he would have won the race and there would not be so many discussions regarding this incident: “Sebastian did something he shouldn’t have done and got penalised for it. If we hadn’t had a technical problem we would be sat here with Lewis having scored substantially more points than he did, so Lewis would have won the race and that would have resulted in a different complexion. It wasn’t pre-meditated that’s for sure, it was a reaction to huge amount of adrenalin and passion running through these guys’ systems.” – the former Ferrari technical director said, as reported by BBC.
Despite the situation created in Baku, Ross Brawn does not think that the two will lose respect for each other. So far this season, both Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton have been in praise of one another and Brawn doesn’t believe that the relationship will turn stale due to the clash: “There is a lot of respect between them and that hasn’t changed. There’s a spike in that respect which will calm down. You don’t have one incident which destroys everything before. It wasn’t that severe of an event. Some fierce competition fought in the right way is what Formula 1 is about. Perhaps this will add a nice edge to the competition but we’re not advocating one approach of the other. There was heat, several red hot moments and your perception of what’s going on can sometimes get through. I don’t believe Lewis did anything wrong and Sebastian misread the situation, which is understandable in the intensity of the battle they were having.” – Ross Brawn concluded.