Scuderia Ferrari German driver Sebastian Vettel recently said that he struggled to move past his Azerbaijan Grand Prix mistake which cost him a potential victory, and that it was the worst he had felt all season. The four-time Formula One world champion was penalised for deliberately driving into the side of race leader Lewis Hamilton whilst behind the Safety Car in an act of revenge for what he suspected was a brake test – although the FIA said data showed that not to be the case – and with Lewis Hamilton forced to pit later in the race with a loose headrest, Sebastian Vettel would have assumed the lead had it not been for his penalty.
Speaking at the FIA’s prize giving gala, the German driver said the “unnecessary” act left him with the “worst feeling” during the 2017 Formula 1 season and one that he struggled to put behind him, more so than his Singapore start line crash or his failure to start the Japanese GP due to a faulty spark plug: “The worst feeling I had was after Baku I think, just because I sort of ruined the race with something unnecessary, so I struggled with that [mistake],” said the four-time champion – “Then you would probably refer to other races such as Singapore and Japan, but then in Singapore, my point of view, that’s racing. I thought about it a lot on Sunday night and it wasn’t easy to put behind. What do you do. Same in Japan…there’s a saying that you ‘can’t hold onto something that’s not in your hands’ and that’s a good fit. You have to move forward. You struggle a lot more in life with things that you messed up than things that got messed up for you if you see what I mean.” – Sebastian Vettel explained.
The Baku incident was re-opened after the race when FIA president Jean Todt called an FIA Tribunal to discuss the incident and what many believed to be a lenient penalty, but the matter was closed without further sanction following an apology from the German.