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Sebastian Vettel will not be penalised for his Mexican GP rant

Sebastian Vettel will not be penalised for his Mexican GP rant
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Sebastian Vettel has escaped sanction for his expletive-laden radio messages in the Mexican GP after writing letters of apology to the FIA.

FIA president Jean Todt decided that on “an exceptional basis” Vettel would not be hauled before F1’s disciplinary tribunal after the Ferrari driver wrote letters of apology to the Frenchman and race director Charlie Whiting.

Vettel also indicated he will “be contacting Max Verstappen and vowed such an incident would never occur again”.

However, F1’s governing body has warned that further incidence of a driver using foul language in a similar fashion will be brought before its International Tribunal.

“Immediately following this incident, Sebastian Vettel spontaneously sought out Charlie Whiting to express his regrets for his behaviour in person,” said an FIA statement. “He then, again on his own initiative, sent letters to each of the FIA President Jean Todt and Charlie Whiting, in which he apologised profusely for his actions. 

“He also indicated that he would likewise be contacting Max Verstappen and vowed that such an incident would never occur again.

“In the light of this sincere apology and strong commitment, the FIA President has decided, on an exceptional basis, not to take disciplinary action against Mr Vettel by bringing this matter before the FIA International Tribunal.”

Brundle on sweary Seb and stewards’ decisions

An angry Vettel let rip across team radio during the closing stages of Sunday’s race after Verstappen ran off the track while battling the German over third place and then did not cede position to him.

When his race engineer began to tell him what Whiting had said, Vettel said the team should tell the race director to “**** off”. The Ferrari driver also aimed expletives at Verstappen.

Vettel told Sky F1 immediately after the race he had spoken to Whiting to offer his apologies, although refused to divulge what the Englishman said to him in response.

“For sure it wasn’t the right thing to say, but equally emotion and adrenaline was running high,” the four-time champion said. “Out of respect I went to see him.”

The FIA statement added that it “will always condemn the use of offensive language in motor sport – especially when directed at officials and/or fellow participants” and that all drivers and team members needed to be “respectful and mindful of the example they set for the public and the younger generation in particular.”

Vettel was initially promoted to third after Verstappen received a post-race time penalty for going off track, but then demoted to fifth hours later after being penalised for a later collision with the other Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo.

FIA statement in full

‘At the recent Mexican Grand Prix, the Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel made comments over team radio using repeated foul language directed at both the FIA Formula 1 Race Director Charlie Whiting and a fellow competitor which were retransmitted during the live broadcast of the event.

‘Immediately following this incident, Sebastian Vettel spontaneously sought out Charlie Whiting to express his regrets for his behaviour in person.  He then, again on his own initiative, sent letters to each of the FIA President Jean Todt and Charlie Whiting, in which he apologised profusely for his actions. 

‘He also indicated that he would likewise be contacting Max Verstappen and vowed that such an incident would never occur again.

‘In the light of this sincere apology and strong commitment, the FIA President has decided, on an exceptional basis, not to take disciplinary action against Mr Vettel by bringing this matter before the FIA International Tribunal.

‘The FIA will always condemn the use of offensive language in motor sport – especially when directed at officials and/or fellow participants – and expects all participants in its Championships to be respectful and mindful of the example they set for the public and the younger generation in particular. 

‘The FIA takes this opportunity to advise that, in the event of any future incident similar to the one that occurred in Mexico, disciplinary action will be taken by bringing such incident before the FIA International Tribunal to be judged.’

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