The great and good of motor racing could not hide their shock at the controversial penalty that cost Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari victory at the Canadian GP.
Sebastian Vettel launched a scathing attack on the Montreal race stewards after being penalised for an incident with Lewis Hamilton on lap 48. Having run wide on track, Vettel rejoined the track into the path of Hamilton and forced the reigning world champion into evasive action.
The stewards deemed that his return to the track was done in an “unsafe manner,” but Vettel questioned afterward where else he could have gone.
The overwhelming response on social media was against the decision. 1978 world champion Mario Andretti said it was “not acceptable” at the pinnacle of motor racing, and 1992 world champion Nigel Mansell called the episode “very very embarrassing.” NASCAR legend Jimmie Johnson called it “BS.”
I think the function of the stewards is to penalize flagrantly unsafe moves not honest mistakes as result of hard racing. What happened at #CanadaGp is not acceptable at this level of our great sport. @F1
— Mario Andretti (@MarioAndretti) June 9, 2019
— Jimmie Johnson (@JimmieJohnson) June 9, 2019
my observation on Vettel rejoining: his helmet moved to look into mirror only after steering correction! that he slid that far is laws of physics. No space for Lewis is name of game with street tracks. What happened to #LetThemRace ? Was it sketchy? yes! a penalty? not in my view
— alex wurz (@alex_wurz) June 9, 2019
That’s ridiculous 5 seconds penalty,Seb did well not to hit the https://t.co/f2onSfj4Bl GRIP ON GRASS !
No room on track there.Great driving from Lewis.
— Nigel Mansell CBE (@nigelmansell) June 9, 2019
Any of the stewards ever raced at the front in F1? Didn’t watch the race.. have now seen the “incident”.
Mental penalty. 🥴🧐
— Mark Webber (@AussieGrit) June 9, 2019
— Giedo van der Garde (@GvanderGarde) June 9, 2019