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Data shows Hamilton did not brake test Vettel.


Toto Wolff has confirmed that data provided to the race stewards in Baku prove that Lewis Hamilton did not brake test Sebastian Vettel following the second safety car re-start.

The German claims that as Hamilton led the field through Turn 15 he deliberately slowed causing the Ferrari to run into the back of the Mercedes.

"I didn't run into the back of him on purpose," he told reporters after the race. "I damaged my wing; he had a little damage as well.

"His restart was really good, I didn't think it was necessary," added the German. "The problem is me right behind getting ready and all the other cars. He did something similar a couple of years ago in China at the restart. It is not the way to do it."

However, Wolff revealed that the data provided to the stewards demonstrate that Hamilton did nothing unusual and drove at the same pace as he did at the first re-start.

"The only explanation I have, and I am not trying to protect Sebastian here, the only explanation I have is that Sebastian thought Lewis was braking testing him, which he wasn't," said the Austrian, "we have seen in the data and the safety car being 150m ahead, so that was a wrong judgement.

"I can't imagine he did it on purpose in shunting into him," he continued, "so I would like to speak to him personally and hear from him personally, to hear what he says about the incident rather than making a judgment without properly hearing or reading a statement."

Safety car rules make clear that the leader "may dictate the pace" of the pack but that all drivers must proceed at a pace "which involves no erratic acceleration or braking nor any other manoeuvre likely to endanger other drivers or impede the restart".

"First of all, the leading driver can manage the pace," said Wolff. "When he went into the turn the Safety Car was barely 150 metres in front of him and you could see from the start before that he almost caught the Safety Car over the Safety Car line. So there was never a question that at that stage he would accelerate... no way.

"Looking at the data, there was no brake involved," he insisted, "he went through the corner and off the throttle and Sebastian went into him. So, nothing wrong on Lewis' side, it's just unfortunate."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Baku, here.


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1. Posted by 4-Wheel Drifter, 30/06/2017 17:02

"Fun, as always, to read reactions of fans to incidents involving drivers they don't like. Both Vettel and Hamilton are brilliant drivers (though, IMHO, neither is in the Senna, Schumacher & Alonso class). Both Hamilton and Vettel find excuses for their mistakes rather than learning from them. As to 'punishing' them for their mistakes, when said mistakes do more for F1's popularity and money making than their steady climbs in the record books, I have to laugh at the purists who imagine that there are any gentlemen in F1 racing, from the tyre changers to the manufacturers. The whole point of racing is to win. Period. And at Baku, the Mercedes Team threw away the win for Hamilton and Seb threw it away himself. But neither drove a race half-way as brilliant as Valteri's, who realizing the damage to his machine drove it as carefully as he could back to his crew without causing any further damage. And then sliced his way through the field from a lap down to second on the podium. My interest in F1 has INCREASED with the antics of BOTH Seb and Lewis. Money always has the last word in F1, so neither Lewis nor Seb has to worry about either Fernando or Max or Estaban. Yet. Indeed, given Valteri's performance so far, I wonder whether we'll even see him with Lewis next year. Of course, he's no 'gentleman' either. Fortunately, though the way points are awarded in F1 are truly ridiculous, all that matters is winning. We don't award 'style' points and being a gentleman is worth exactly nothing. That's why we have the race; not to see goodness or class or likabliity, or even skill, rewarded, but to see who WINS. And whinging about who deserves or doesn't deserve it is a waste of time. "

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2. Posted by Spindoctor, 27/06/2017 15:07


This was a restart. Under these circumstances nobody with any instinct for racing should expect anything. The whole point of the exercise is for the person in front to try and gain advantage by NOT doing what the other drivers expect, or at least to do what's expected, but not when they expect it to happen (if you see what I mean).

Vettel is showing himself in a very poor light with both his behaviour and his refusal to admit he was wrong. Own up and\or shut up Seb. When you're down a hole, stop digging.
Despite being a plonker you "won" because Mr Wolff & his team screwed up and Lewis had to stop for longer than you...."

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3. Posted by Pavlo, 27/06/2017 14:37

"Vettel reacted stupidly, second time already just punished himself. Punishing the opponent yourself instead of waiting for the referee's decision is not an acceptable behavior in any sport, and should always be punished. Which is sad for me as his fan but still have to admit.
imejl99: mountain road example is a very bad one - on the regular road you have to keep the distance and be ready to stop if the car in front decided not to accelerate.
And imagine, what if there was a piece of debris on the track that Lewis wanted to avoid? "

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4. Posted by imejl99, 27/06/2017 11:44

"Everyone expects the car in front to accelerate exiting the corner, even on the mountain road...
Whoever is behind #44 next time should position front wing endplate in line with rear tire of car in front, so he can "not accelerate" all the corner exits he chooses... "

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5. Posted by Editor, 27/06/2017 10:34

"Though the data shows that Hamilton did not slow, on previous laps Hamilton had increased his speed (accelerated) out of that corner.

A subtle difference."

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6. Posted by Mad Matt, 27/06/2017 10:15

"I would hope that we're not reduced to playground language here. People can criticise Hamilton or Vettel without hating them.

Personally it looks to me like Hamilton was driving erratically and while Vettel clearly deserved his punishment F1 needs to make sure that people drive consistently behind the safety car or there will be more accidents."

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7. Posted by testa rossa, 26/06/2017 20:18

"Still the haters aka clowns will say it is Lewis' fault . So funny."

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8. Posted by ClarkwasGod, 26/06/2017 17:29

"Interestingly (on another site) screenshots of the moment in question appear to back up Vettel's claim (dropping to 1st from 2nd, and speed dropping by a few kph). However, nothing justifies his subsequent actions - the penalties available to the Stewards were apparently either too light (as applied), or, (maybe) too harsh (dsq).
There should be some form of graduated penalty tariff depending on the severity - maybe a 10 sec stop/go, as now; if a more serious delay is warranted, then rather than simply extending the stopped time, which would likely fry the engine, a further 10 seconds could be added either to the next routine pit stop, or, if no stop happens, to the overall time."

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9. Posted by Spindoctor, 26/06/2017 15:57

"I know some people dislike Hamilton, but "tourettes", really? Between Vettel & Hamilton that boot is surely on the other foot!
It's one thing to have a coming-together when racing, and both drivers have had their share, but behind the safety car? Would you let someone with such pitifully poor reaction-time and aggressive tendencies drive your multi-million dollar car at 200mph? [rhetorical flourish alert]

As to the incident itself Lewis has every right to feel aggrieved. He blitzed the field in Qualifying, then had done enough to win the race despite numerous restarts etc. Mercedes, true to form, let him down again with yet another unforced car-error which cost him (and them) the Race.

To add insult to injury he ended up behind the man who deliberately biffed him (possibly twice), and lost ground in the Championship. Given the circumstances I feel he was pretty calm and circumspect!


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10. Posted by mickl, 26/06/2017 14:39

"@stoney. Fair point about the tone of voice. Hadn't listened to the podcast before hand."

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11. Posted by mickl, 26/06/2017 14:37

"@FormerF1Fan You do understand what Tourettes is don't you? Do you mean it's something like swearing repeatedly on the team radio? Swearing at the FIA delegate and accusing him of biblical acts OVER THE TEAM RADIO because they've not made a car move over for them after they've been over taken. Or do you mean crashing into the back of the lead car during a safety car restart such as in Fuji 2007.

Actually....FormerF1Fan, I'd like you to name the rule changes that's been given out in the name of Tourettes/Hamilton if you can actually do so. Point out the specific regulation that was changed and then implemented because of Tourettes/Hamilton. Obviously you've studied it intensely as you've based your argument on it so you should be able to put this discussion to rest straight away and back up everything you've said. And as you're familiar with Google...give us the links that comments on these changes. I'm always willing to learn new things.

But I mostly suspect he'll just rate my comment as negative....hey ho......."

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12. Posted by stoney, 26/06/2017 14:33

"@mickl - check the BBC podcast yourself - it's in the first few minutes. The clear tone of voice was not out of fear of Vettel turning it nasty. It was a clear provocation.

Like I said in my original post, what Vettel did was absolutely wrong. There was no excuse for such a reaction - even if Hamilton had brake tested him (which the data indicates he didn't). Hamilton was perfectly within his right as the leader to drive as he pleased.

Nonetheless, playing the "think of the children" card, while simultaneously provoking a fight to resolve it is not something becoming of any driver on the F1 grid - whether you're at your first race, or have multiple world titles under your belt. It's hypocrisy pure and simple.

Apparently I'm in the minority though, given the Negative ratings - fair enough, I respect that. But I still stick to my opinion."

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13. Posted by mickl, 26/06/2017 12:09

"@Stoney. Possible Hamilton simply meant if Vettel had a problem to say it to him face to face as his second comment you quoted says "I don't fancy seeing him; it might turn into something else" meaning it may turn ugly which he doesn't want ie not get into a fight.

Vettel seems to be outright avoiding any comment or acknowledgement that he side swiped Hamilton."

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14. Posted by FormerF1Fan, 26/06/2017 12:05

"Given Hamilton's history of Tourettes (what is it, five rule changes to his name to prevent him taking the law intoi his own hands, including brake testing during the safety car?) maybe it's normal for all other drivers to be a bit wary of potential dirty tricks. Or does he have special permission like ex-cons on Google to have his crimes erased and forgotten?"

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15. Posted by RPrior, 26/06/2017 11:28

"Both incidents between Hamilton & Vettel were directly and unquestionably Vettel's fault.

F1 drivers should be able to drive wheel to wheel at close on 200 mph and NOT have an accident.
Reaction times are down to fractions of a fraction of a second.

What bothers me is that Road Rage and F1 do NOT go well together.

Vettel should have a minimum penalty of 1 race ban and a second incidence is the removal of his licence.


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