• Home
  • formula-1
  • Schmidt's F1 blog on possible suspension for Sebastian Vettel

Schmidt's F1 blog on possible suspension for Sebastian Vettel

Schmidt's F1 blog about Sebastian Vettel
Subscriptions & booklets

D his GP Azerbaijan had everything that a car race had needs. Fights, overtaking maneuvers, unexpected turns, a surprise winner, mishaps of the big ones, great moments for the little ones and a solid controversy between the two superstars. Some spoke of a scandal. Sebastian Vettel drove his World Cup opponent Lewis Hamilton into the back of the car and then again from the side.

Vettel can be a hot head

The first was a rear-end collision. Vettel wasn't paying attention. His opponent took off the gas, Vettel accelerated. That had to end in the rear of the Mercedes. A misunderstanding behind the safety car, as happens from time to time. We only think of the collision between Michael Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya in 2004 in the Monte Carlo tunnel. So not worth mentioning.

What followed was a mixture of revenge foul and educational measure. Vettel assumed a brake test that wasn't, but had to look like this from his point of view. A Jackie Stewart, Alain Prost or Mika Häkkinen would probably have kept calm in the situation, saved the emotions for a verbal attack after the race. Ayrton Senna or Michael Schumacher would probably also have gone through the horse. How far they would have gone is a question that we never get answered. And what Hamilton would have done in the opposite case, neither.

Vettel can be a hothead if, in his opinion, he is treated unfairly on the racetrack. The one with the unfriendly hand signal was okay. The collision went too far. He was punished for this. Some don't mean hard enough. Well, at least it made him lose the race. And to make it clear again. He would not have won the Baku Grand Prix because of the ram blow.

Hamilton fell back because of a loose neck protector that had nothing to do with the collision. Not even the safety car phase that led to the breakdown with the collar in the cockpit was triggered by Vettel's lack of control. Hamilton can thank the Force India pilots. The Mercedes driver has to blame himself for the fact that he ended up behind Vettel despite the shorter pit time. He was 3.2 seconds too slow in the decisive two laps.

Hamilton now has a free shot

The stewards' judgment cost Vettel 13 points, which he had at the end of the championship could still hurt. It is not nothing. HisMisconduct did not affect the race, nor was it dangerous. It was, as Jenson Button correctly estimates, just plain foolish. Because it pushes Hamilton into the role of the victim and makes the World Cup rival strong. The Englishman now has a free shot. It is okay for the FIA ​​to open the case again because Vettel is a repeat offender. Not doing anything now would encourage others to punish inconsistencies on the track themselves.

Comparisons with the Schumacher collision against Villeneuve are limping. It took place in the race with the clear intention of preventing the opponent from overtaking. A failure of Villeneuve would have decided the World Cup directly. As was the case with the crashes between Senna and Prost in 1989 and 1990. The analogy to soccer, in which comparable behavior would be punished with a red card, does not fit either. In football, the 10 remaining players on the field would still have the chance to influence the result. A racing driver sits alone in the car. Much will come with the argument that you hang the little ones and let the big ones run. I dare say that the same incident between Marcus Ericsson and Stoffel Vandoorne would not have been noticed in the battle for 15th place. And in the worst case, no more than a 10-second penalty would have been given.

Due to the circumstances, a direct suspension would be too high a penalty. Because it would intervene in the title race and a shadow would fall over a great championship fight that is getting a bit hotter due to the recent controversy. Until the end, one would calculate how the World Cup would have gone without a suspension, whether it was fair and whether the world champion also deserved the title. The FIA ​​would be well advised to keep an eye on the bigger picture. A race ban with one year probation also serves its purpose. It would be a solution that would make everyone save face.


Leave a reply

Name *