Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel is facing further punishment for ramming Britain’s Lewis Hamilton at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix after Formula One chiefs launched an investigation.
Governing body the FIA said it would “examine the causes” of Vettel’s collision with Hamilton in Baku on Sunday and issue a verdict before the Austrian Grand Prix on 9 July.
Hamilton called Vettel “a disgrace” following the race and insisted that his title rival’s 10-second punishment had been insufficient. The German insisted Hamilton had provoked the row by slowing down too suddenly behind the safety car.
The FIA said: “Following the recent incident at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in which Car 5 [Sebastian Vettel] was involved in a collision with Car 44 [Lewis Hamilton], on Monday 3rd July, the FIA will further examine the causes of the incident in order to evaluate whether further action is necessary. A statement regarding the outcome of this process will be made available before the upcoming Austrian Grand Prix.”
Leading figures in motor sport such as Damon Hill and Niki Lauda condemned Vettel for swerving into Hamilton in a rage after accidentally running into the back of his slowing Mercedes.
But British former world champion Sir Jackie Stewart defended Vettel, saying the Ferrari driver and Hamilton were both to blame.