Formula 1 Vettel: The former world champion had insulted the race director at the Mexican Grand Prix. It was ultimately not sanctioned.
Vettel Escape Explanations
The incident occurred at the very end of the GP of Mexico, a fortnight ago. In the closing laps, Vettel fight for a podium finish . Scalded by Max Verstappen , taking advantage of a runway exit to the double, the Ferrari driver blames Charlie Whiting, the race director. “Fuck you Charlie,” he yells in his radio.
At the end of the Grand Prix, Vettel learns that Verstappen is penalized, and gets on the podium. A third place he eventually fell, after receiving a penalty of 10 seconds for an overly aggressive defense maneuver on Daniel Ricciardo. In the official ranking, he is 5th. But much more than this sporting disappointment, Ferrari is worried about the consequences of the words of his pilot. Vettel then rushes into Charlie Whiting’s office to apologize. At the initiative of the boss of Ferrari Maurizio Arrivabene, the quadruple world champion joins the writer to the word: he writes a letter of formal apology. From Paris, the FIA President Jean Todt request an additional report to the stewards.
Next episode Tuesday 1 November, two days after the Grand Prix. In the early afternoon, the staff of the FIA landed in Paris. No time to return home, an emergency meeting is convened, at the seat of the Federation, to decide the fate of Vettel. Suspension? Penalty? Fine? Nothing is then excluded. It was only at the end of the afternoon that we learned, by a communiqué, that no action was taken on the case. A simple warning is sent to Vettel. A close friend of Jean Todt, of the first circle of his collaborators, decrypts: “Jean, it is not a technocrat, it is a man who comes from the race (editor: he has managed the scuderia Ferrari for years). He knows that a pilot can sometimes skid in the heat of the action. He had to be warned but he did not want to punish him. Vettel’s sincere apologies, as well as a phone call to Todt, seem to have paid off. Especially since his ten seconds penalty, depriving him of a podium, already resemble a beautiful punishment.
Formula 1 Race Director Charlie Whiting
It remained to hear the version of Charlie Whiting. Silent since the incident, it was Thursday, in “guest star,” guest of the official press conference that launches every weekend of GP. A presence in the form of a first. Immediately, he absolves Vettel: “This is not the first time that big words are used, and it is unfortunate that it is against me. But there were many extenuating circumstances. Seb was obviously frustrated, and the fact that he came very soon after the race to apologize was enough. It is already forgotten and we start again. It happened in the heat of the action, and the position of the FIA suits me perfectly »
The other pilots also support this decision, adding that this kind of words is common to all high-level athletes under great pressure. “Imagine that you were putting a microphone on a football player during a match,” said Verstappen, who was also insulted by Vettel in his radio, “there would be a lot of big words. One always leads to the limit, the adrenaline is very high. So if we consider that it is a problem for the younger generations, do not disseminate that kind of thing. “
The other drivers present, and Whiting, abound. A stone in the garden of the FOM which chooses, in slightly delayed, to retransmit, or not, some radio exchanges. The insult of Vettel was therefore deliberately disseminated to the media of the whole world.