Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel has escaped further punishment despite admitting he was solely to blame for his bust-up with title rival Lewis Hamilton at last month’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
Formula One’s governing body the FIA last night declared the matter “closed” after Vettel promised president Jean Todt he would issue a public apology for deliberately swerving into Hamilton in Baku.
Ferrari driver Vettel, who received a 10-second penalty during the race but still finished one place ahead of Hamilton, said he “overreacted” but insisted he had not meant to endanger the Briton.
“I want to apologise to Lewis directly, as well as to all the people who were watching the race. I realise that I was not setting a good example,” said the German.
The FIA said it had noted Vettel’s contrition and commitment to devote time to the organisation’s education projects over the next 12 months.
“In light of these developments, FIA president Jean Todt decided that on this occasion the matter should be closed,” it added.
Vettel leads three-time champion Hamilton by 14 points after eight of 20 races in what already appears to be a straight shoot-put between the pair for the title.
Hamilton called Vettel “a disgrace” after the flashpoint in Azerbaijan on 25 June, which came after the Ferrari driver accidentally shunted Hamilton’s Mercedes during a safety car period.