August 22, 2019
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Ferrari to appeal penalty that deprived Vettel of F1 win, gave it to Hamilton

Montreal (Canada), Jun 10 (efe-epa).- Ferrari has said it is to appeal against a decision that punished its driver Sebastian Vettel with a five-second penalty and gave the race win to Mercedes rival Lewis Hamilton at the Canadian Grand Prix, Formula One said Monday.

Vettel, who had led the race from pole position, lost the grip of his rear tires on Lap 48 as he entered turn 3 when under pressure from a pursuing Hamilton, causing him to skid onto the grass before rejoining the race track just as the Mercedes was overtaking.

“The stewards reviewed video evidence and determined that Car 5 (Vettel), left the track at turn 3, rejoined the track at turn 4 in an unsafe manner and forced car 44 (Hamilton) off track. Car 44 had to take evasive action to avoid a collision,” F1 stewards said after the incident had been referred to them by the Race Director.

Their decision was to hand Vettel a five-second time penalty which demoted him to second place, despite having crossed the finish line first.

“They are stealing the race from us,” said Vettel on his car radio as he drove back after the end of the race. "I was trying to survive, to keep the car on the track. I came from the grass, the tires were dirty and I was fighting to get back on line and get control back of the car,” Vettel said, adding, "I don't know what I can do differently. It is a very short time. I lost the rear on entry. I had to make the correction. I sailed through the grass. I was lucky not to spin.”

However, the video of the event does show Vettel adjusting his steering in such a way that squeezed Hamilton’s car into the right-hand wall just as he was about to speed past the Ferrari.

“When you come back on track, you’re not supposed to go straight back on the racing line, you’re supposed to come back safely,” Hamilton said on his radio.

Vettel was furious with the decision and Ferrari has informed F1’s governing body, the FIA, that it intends to appeal the decision and has 96 hours to gather evidence for the appeal.

Four-time world champion Vettel was so annoyed that when he turned up to where Hamilton’s car was parked, next to the No. 1 poster, he replaced it with the No. 2 marker, as captured by an epa photographer.

"It's so hard to accept not having won that Grand Prix after a very good weekend for the whole team, after an amazing pole position and a perfect lap from Sebastian Vettel,” said Marc Gene, Ferrari Ambassador. “Today was a very intense race for both drivers, both for Charles and especially for Vettel, so not having won that race, a race that clearly Seb deserved and the team deserved to have won, it's very, very hard to accept,” he said.

“Vettel was fighting all the time with Lewis, it looked more like a qualifying race than just a normal race,” Gene said. “And then the moment everybody talks about when he cut the chicane because he had some snap oversteer on entry into turn three. He rejoined the track with opposite lock so he was worried or just concentrating on keeping the car on track so it was not deliberate at all to put Lewis against the wall,” Gene added.

“I've spoken to many here in the paddock,” the Spanish former driver said, adding, “I think it's unfair the fact that he got the penalty because I really think he was the driver that deserved to win that race.”

Defending champion Hamilton said that while it was good to win, he was not happy with the manner in which he was given the top spot on the podium.

“It’s not the way I wanted to win. I was pushing to the end to try and get past. I forced him into an error, he went wide, I had the run on that corner and we nearly collided,” he said. “It’s unfortunate, but this is motor racing.”

Hamilton, leads the standings on 162 points after seven races, ahead of Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas who is on 133 points, with Vettel in third place on 100.EFE

hh/jt

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