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Todt: Vettel on final warning

NEWS STORY
09/07/2017

Despite the best efforts of the (mainly British) media, the Baku saga is at an end, and whether you agree with the decision or not the fact is that Sebastian Vettel's actions on the streets of Azerbaijan, where he admits to over reacting in the heat of the moment, that rush of blood to the head cost him a stop and go penalty and a possible win... when you consider Lewis Hamilton's subsequent headrest issues.

Though he might have escaped further punishment from the FIA however, its president, Jean Todt, has warned that any kind of reoccurrence of the Baku incident will result in "severe consequences".

In the eyes of many, it wasn't merely the Baku clash that warranted further punishment but the fact that it was another example of the German's hot headedness, the incident coming months after another lucky escape, when Vettel was merely reprimanded following a tirade of profane abuse aimed at Race Director, Charlie Whiting, in Mexico.

"It is up to the president of the FIA to decide whether he should be asked to go in front of the International Tribunal," Todt told Sky Sports. "After Mexico, which was a completely different offence, and I mean clearly we see that Sebastian, who is a great driver, sometimes is not able to control himself as much as he should. And I used to run drivers, and they are in a very tense situation.

"I think you must try also to interpret the situation well," he continued. "This doesn't mean that you give them the right to do anything, but you must try and understand it. It's so easy to make decisions behind a desk, or to judge behind a desk. You must accept in life that human beings may have some emotions.

"This thing was a completely different matter," he insisted, "but clearly, Sebastian has had some very strong warnings. And clearly, it won't happen again. If it would, then the consequences would be very severe."

In the days following Monday's hearing, many compared how the sport's governing body had reacted to Vettel's actions in relation to the move which saw Peter Sagan disqualified from the Tour de France for his part in the crash with Mark Cavendish.

Todt insists the two incidents are quite different.

"We are in a business where we need to be very precise," he said. "I am not very familiar with cyclists or football but I think it's irrelevant to compare what happened recently in the Tour de France and what happened in Baku. The cyclists were in full action and not during a neutralised period. I don't know what would have been the consequences or what would have happened."

Referring to the fact that it wasn't until Monday's hearing that Vettel actually admitted culpability and apologised, Todt said: "He was digesting the scene and the emotion was such that he did make a big mistake. He slowly understood that he did make a big mistake and at least he assured me that it would never happen again.

"Time will tell if it never happens again but, if it does, the consequences will be very severe."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Spielberg, here.

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