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FIA to investigate Vettel's outburst?

NEWS STORY
01/11/2016

It is understood that the FIA is to investigate Sebastian Vettel's radio meltdown in the final stages of Sunday's Mexican Grand Prix.

While we have grown used to the bleeps that punctuate drivers expressions of frustration over the airwaves; be it with their cars, rivals, blue flags, team strategy or most anything else, Sunday's 'message' from Sebastian Vettel to Race Director Charlie Whiting continues to cause debate.

Angry - read, beside himself with rage and frustration - that no action was being taken after Max Verstappen had cut a corner and gained an advantage, Vettel could no longer contain himself.

As he awaited officials to act and order the youngster to relinquish the position, Vettel instead found himself being backed up by the Dutch driver, forcing the Ferrari into the clutches of his Red Bull teammate.

"Move! Move for *** sake!" he shouted.

"He's a ****, that's what he is."

"I mean, am I the only one or are you not seeing what I'm seeing? He's just backing me off into Ricciardo ****."

When his engineer Riccardo Adami came on the radio to say: "Charlie said that…" Vettel immediately cut in: "Yeah! You know what? Here is the message for Charlie: **** off! Honestly, **** off."

At that point, aware that it was getting out of hand, team boss Maurizio Arrivabene spoke to Vettel: "Sebastian, Sebastian, calm down, calm down," said the Italian. "They are under investigation. I know that it is not fair but calm down. Put your head down and we talk afterwards."

"OK, copy Maurizio," said the German.

In the aftermath, Red Bull was quick to react, Max Verstappen accusing the German of having a potty mouth and needing to go back to school, while Daniel Ricciardo, admitting that the rant was borne of frustration, said his former teammate deserved to be punished, a view shared by his Red Bull team bosses.

It is now understood that the FIA is to investigate whether Vettel, in making his comments, breached the governing body's International Sporting Code.

The possible breaches are Article 12.1.1.c (Any fraudulent conduct or any act prejudicial to the interests of any Competition or to the interests of motor sport generally) and Article 12.1.1.f (Any words, deeds or writings that have caused moral injury or loss to the FIA, its bodies, its members or its executive officers.)

While Vettel was quick to apologise to Charlie Whiting immediately after the race, it remains to be seen if the FIA will choose to make an example of the German, not only for his rant at a senior official but the growing use of expletive filled radio communications.

Earlier in the season all radio communication was effectively banned, but shortly after the governing body did an about turn.

While in no way condoning Vettel's behaviour the fact is that he radio messages in the final laps of the race were not only understandable, considering that Verstappen was subsequently penalised, but added to the drama in the final laps of what had been a somewhat processional race.

We want our drivers to be human and not the grey, corporate, characterless automatons we have become used to, but then react with horror when they react to such situations as humans do.

On a purely personal level, the editor of this site still chuckles every time he reads Vettel's rant, far less listens to it.

"In the heat of the moment this was a German, speaking to his Italian crew using syntax that was almost perfect London," said editor Balfe. "While there will be concerns about younger fans hearing this, the fact is that this was a race driver reacting in the same way most of us would.

"Had there been radio communications like this in the days of Lauda, Jones or Hunt we would have heard far worse. Let's please not throw the baby out with the bath water... again"

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by jasman, 01/11/2016 23:39

"How would Murray Walker and James Hunt commented?
Murray "Oh, my my!"
James ?????"

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by Ted Baker, 01/11/2016 18:09

"Well, Vettel is now getting some of his own treatment that he dished out on Mark Webber and surprise surprise he doesn't like it. The main frustration is that Ferarri cannot give him a decent car and the Arrivabenne is such a crap Team Principal he cannot get the strategy right for Vettell to get a chance with a win. What a shame so not really surprised it has now started to turn him back into spoilt brat like he always was.!!!!"

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3. Posted by Kkiirmki, 01/11/2016 17:03

"Well, Bernie said he was a boring world champion. This is certainly keeping Vettel in the news, must be 'good' for F1 then?"

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

4. Posted by klmn, 01/11/2016 15:17

"I very much like the hard racing but the foul language is not cool but childish.
Vettel is indeed frustrated and is insulting everyone and colleague drivers. If he is a big boy he should kick Marcchionne in the ***** for not delivering a good car with that enormous pile of money they use."

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5. Posted by The Canadian, 01/11/2016 15:01

"The first sign in years that one of these guys might be falling back to the good old hard living swash buckling days, so let's kill it before it gets out of hand...Brilliant... Back to monotone, boring press conferences and further lack of individualism. "

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

6. Posted by TheHillsHaveEyes, 01/11/2016 14:17

"Don't the TV people control what is played back to the audience after the FIA release the audio communication in the first place, yes a driver says the words that some will find offensive, however they are said "to his team on their team radio, in the heat of the battle", not direct to the TV audience nor direct to any individual, except Charlie that is on this occasion(by default).

I understand the reasons why the FIA monitor all team communication's, if the FIA choose to monitor team communications then it is down to them to police what they think should be then passed on the the TV crews for them to air. if this isn't the case then it should be.

And no I'm not a Vettel or Red Bull fan before an easily offended individual gets on their soapbox I just like racing, the ups and the down. If those armchair fans get off the ass and go to a race track once in a while they will hear far worse and more of it than the 30snds that are aired over the two days of coverage, it's called atmosphere and excitement if you don't remember.


"

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7. Posted by -ape-, 01/11/2016 14:11

"Soon we will have all the football language ( and hooligans) in F1 if Vettel is not punished.

But because Vettel = Ferrari , Todt = ex Ferrari nothing will be done."

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8. Posted by Jet Jockey, 01/11/2016 13:21

"I totally agree with the editor.

So what if he used "bad words" he is after all human and let us not forget that it is the race director's fault for not acting quickly enough on the Verstappen incident that lead to this result. If the race director would have acted promptly and told Red Bull to tell his driver to move over, this whole incident would not have happened.

Frankly although a very good driver Verstappen is a little d*** head and needs to be raked over the coals IMO. I certainly hope it doesn't take an accident with injuries or a death for him to learn."

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9. Posted by Max Noble, 01/11/2016 12:43

"To err is human to forgive is... to be considered by the FIA and balanced against the grounds of merely being human. Thankfully my cat was already asleep and as a result spared the "Lock Stock and Two Smoking Vettels" language provided by the vexed Vettel at that stage of the race. Agree that the 1970's version would have been significantly more colourful..."

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