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FIA issues statement on Vettel radio comments

NEWS STORY
01/11/2016

The FIA has tonight issued the following:

"At the recent Mexican Grand Prix, the Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel made comments over team radio using repeated foul language directed at both the FIA Formula 1 Race Director Charlie Whiting and a fellow competitor which were retransmitted during the live broadcast of the event.

Immediately following this incident, Sebastian Vettel spontaneously sought out Charlie Whiting to express his regrets for his behaviour in person. He then, again on his own initiative, sent letters to each of the FIA President Jean Todt and Charlie Whiting, in which he apologised profusely for his actions. He also indicated that he would likewise be contacting Max Verstappen and vowed that such an incident would never occur again.

In the light of this sincere apology and strong commitment, the FIA President has decided, on an exceptional basis, not to take disciplinary action against Mr Vettel by bringing this matter before the FIA International Tribunal.

The FIA will always condemn the use of offensive language in motor sport – especially when directed at officials and/or fellow participants – and expects all participants in its Championships to be respectful and mindful of the example they set for the public and the younger generation in particular.

The FIA takes this opportunity to advise that, in the event of any future incident similar to the one that occurred in Mexico, disciplinary action will be taken by bringing such incident before the FIA International Tribunal to be judged."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by LukeP, 03/11/2016 15:49

"@CB120 I don't suggest that Max should have ignored his team and moved over for Vettel - I agree with yourself and other posters on this. The last part of my comment was to say: to me it looked like Max could have made turn 2 after going wide at turn 1, but would have slotted in behind Vettel. By skipping turn 2 the advantage gained was that he did not have to forfeit the position. I therefore agree with the 5-second penalty."

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2. Posted by Pavlo, 03/11/2016 13:44

"To CB120: LukeP clearly showed, that Max and Seb just got the opposite information. Max was told to stay there, Seb was told that Max is told to give him position. So here I completely understand Max (if you know that stewards don't punish it, why to give up the position yourself?) and completely agree with Vettel - the situation when another driver breaks the rules, blocks you to allow his teammate catch you, and then gets only 5 seconds penalty is stupid.
Also FOM now should apologize (which they will obviously not do). They translated only part of radio messages, making me as a viewer believe that Max is not following direct order of his engineer and Vettel is only swearing on the radio.
Can you really imagine Senna, or Schumacher, or Lauda, or any champion of the past else being nice and polite after such a situation? We just had no opportunity to hear."

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3. Posted by imejl99, 03/11/2016 7:57

"Don`t say this, don`t say that, don`t do this, stay within track limits, God forbid 3 wheels over the line, don`t go 0.000001 km/h over pit lane speed limit, don`t complain, shut up and drive, operate all the gadgets on the steering wheel, don`t over celebrate, be polite, don`t even think of donuts, keep in mind that you are recorded all the time...
Roborace?"

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4. Posted by CB120, 03/11/2016 1:41

"Hmm! LukeP states that Verstappen was told by his team, "OK stay there." LukeP later said that Verstappen should have given the position up. I don't understand. What would any driver do if their team told them to stay where they were? Move over and let Vettel through. I don't think so. If the positions were reversed would Vettel give up the position? I don't think so. In addition Verstappen had seen Hamilton do exactly the same thing on the first lap, without penalty. And yes Hamilton did get a huge advantage at the beginning of the race which was somewhat negated by the full course yellow. If there had been no carnage, Hamilton would have been way out in front thanks to his "shortcut". So Verstappen was told by his team to stay where he was and had seen Hamilton not get penalized for the same transgression. What was he supposed to do?
It also seems that Ferrari needs to improve their communications with their drivers. "

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5. Posted by Yeyox02, 02/11/2016 23:57

"FIA is to blame for all this bizarre situation in F1. Rule book is toilet paper at the moment."

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6. Posted by Pavlo, 02/11/2016 22:15

"How nicely FIA always use the possibility to play "good judge", completely ignoring the faults of own stuff. They should be thankful to Vettel that now they can discuss bad language and nobody questions incompetent judges - once again, not the first time, and with this approach surely not the last.
Or is it only me who thinks that when punishment is milder than results of following the rules is somewhat stupid?"

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7. Posted by Usedtobe, 02/11/2016 20:41

"For the record, i'm Vettel fan. I don't know wy people keep on calling F1 a sport, when it is just a entertainement made of car racing. It isn't hard to understand (mesure) if a driver leaves the track and rejoins x meters ahead if he gained any advantage from it, and for Lewis and Max's cutways on turn one there are any doubts that rejoining the track, safely, as soon as possible would be nowhere as fast as what they did, so they gained an illegal avantange. Lewis deserved a penalty, but that would be bad for the championship fight and for the figures on next races. Max gained avantage by cutting outside the track, so he should be ordered to give is position immediatly, but why don't keep him on is position so that he could do what e did and, therefore, you have 3 cars scrap for the finale of a race which major talking point have became "radio Vettel", provided by the FIA. Every thing what was done doesn't have nothing to do with sport, it was all showbizz."

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8. Posted by C5, 02/11/2016 17:27

"@Burton, I completely agree. Utter incompetence at all levels of governance.

Just this season, we've had inconsistent rulings, rulings not made, rulings made way late, ruling made where there was noting to rule, qualifying format debacle, radio communication debacle, track borders debacle, tire testing location debacle, grid penalty debacle, keeping that dead turd that is the halo concept alive, and now a campaign "to protect children from the radio broadcasts" that FIA (with FOM) themselves control...

Vettel got it completely right (with that incessant moaning all year, I guess he was bound to get something right eventually...). So with the risk of running afoul of the Pitpass forum rules: F. Charlie. And s...w Todt.
Maybe I should get that on a T-shirt?
"

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9. Posted by Burton, 02/11/2016 14:16

"A Presidential pardon? Once again decisive action by President Todt in matters of extreme importance!!

This requires a tribunal and presidential pardon?! Jesus wept. Hopefully the European Commission comes up with something more than just commercial and market issues and conflicts of interest..the whole system of governance of F1 is completely amateurish top from bottom, from stewarding, from ability to appeal, drivers leaving the track before the race positions are 100% official..absolutely scattershot ineptitude."

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10. Posted by edllorca, 02/11/2016 10:35

"Will the guy that let that message on the air face disciplinary action? Let's face it, not all messages go on air, therefore somebody is picking them and bleeping them. If it is such a bad message that the FIA wants to punish him for it why would they put it on air. Fia is as guilty of more than Vettel here and I am no Vettel fan at all for all his moaning."

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11. Posted by LukeP, 02/11/2016 10:27 (moderated by an Adminstrator, 02/11/2016 10:30)

"Based on the radio transcript (including the bits not broadcast) it seems that on lap 68 Verstappen's engineer said to Max "I think you're going to have to give the position," to which Max responded "Let me know," and the response came "OK stay there." On lap 69 Ferrari told Vettel that Verstappen had been ordered to give the place up.

On lap 70 (after Vettel had been on the radio saying "He is a [censored by FOM], that’s what he is" in reference to Max) Vettel's face engineer said "He has to fight within, you have to fight within. Charlie…" and on lap 71 Verstappen was told "Alright mate this is going to be investigated after the race..." so there was clearly confusion and inconsistency about what to do.

On lap 71, after Vettel could not overtake and was getting increasingly vocal, his race engineer said "Charlie said that… Charlie said..." and was interrupted by Vettel who said "Yeah? You know what? Here’s a message to Charlie: F**k off. Honestly, F**k off"

I think two main points have meant Vettel has not been punished: first, he has immediately (both publicly and in written/formal letters) apologised, and made it clear in the interviews it was adrenaline and pure frustration, and second, based on the radio, there was inconsistent messages given to the two drivers; it is unclear whether Verstappen was ordered to give up the place or not, but Vettel spent two laps behind Max thinking that he *had* been told to give up the place and was ignoring it. Then, from Vettel's perspective, this become "to be investigated after the race" which, in the circumstance, with Riccardo breathing down his neck, must have seemed pretty crazy.

Whether you agree that Verstappen should have been given the 5-second penalty is another question. For me at the time I thought they should just continue racing, but on 2nd viewing later I think Max could easily have run a bit wide and made turn two, but in doing so would have slotted in being Vettel - he therefore elected to skip turn two and stayed in front; clearly gaining an advantage and should have had to give the place up immediately, therefore avoiding this whole thing.

"

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12. Posted by Noushki, 02/11/2016 9:19

"Why did no one bat an eyelid when Ricciardo called Rosberg a mother****er during the previous race??"

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13. Posted by Willie, 02/11/2016 3:56

"I'm over 21 -- just what in the #$%^ did he say?"

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14. Posted by TokyoAussie, 02/11/2016 0:29

"The FIA under Todt does nothing, again. Still."

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15. Posted by Gacha74, 01/11/2016 22:55

"Thay are working hard to ruin F1. "

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