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Lewis Hamilton rejects call to talk from title rival Sebastian Vettel

28 June 2017

Stroll thereby claimed his first podium finish after unlikely setbacks had hit fourth-placed world championship leader Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari and three-time champion Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes.

Vettel hit the back of Hamilton's Mercedes and then swerved sideways into him.

Hamilton, however, was backed by the data from his vehicle which appeared to show the "brake-test" was imagined by Vettel and was in no mood for reconciliation.

"The only explanation I have, and I am not trying to protect Sebastian here, the only explanation I have is that Sebastian thought Lewis was braking testing him, which he wasn't", said the Austrian, "we have seen in the data and the safety auto being 150m ahead, so that was a wrong judgement". Hamilton was not reprimanded or punished.

Vettel added that it was "quite obvious" Hamilton had brake-tested him. For him to pretty much get away with driving into another driver is a disgrace.

Speaking on Britain's Channel 4 television just after the race, Hamilton went as far as to say that Vettel "disgraced himself", adding that "if he wants to prove he is a man we should do it out of the vehicle". "They've seen today how a four-time world champion behaves". "I think he disgraced himself today".

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Hamilton pointed out Vettel has had a history of losing his temper on the track and the German must now walk a tightrope in the next race in Austria on July 9.

"Nothing happened, did it? He brake checked me as well, so what do you expect?" the German said. "I want to win this championship the right way". I don't think there is much to sort out.

"We had a little contact, but I drove alongside him, mostly to raise my hand".

Hamilton and Vettel have won a combined seven F1 titles and more than 100 races.

Vettel insisted he had done nothing wrong but at least tried to cool things down by saying: "I don't have a problem with him". There is then a chain reaction. We are racing with men. "That shows that often pressure can get to even some of the best of us". If a driver receives 12 in a 12-month period, it triggers an automatic race ban.

"I think it's just not driver conduct".

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"Every week in the Premier League you have refs blowing the whistle - and some players agree, some disagree".

Vettel, 14 points ahead of Hamilton in the title race, claimed he will seek out his rival to clear the air before the next round of the championship.

Lewis Hamilton says he has no intention of speaking to Sebastian Vettel about their collisions in the Azerbaijan GP. "If you overtake somebody and drive into him as a mistake, fine, but this was deliberately in a phase of the race where you are driving slow".

If he reaches 10, he faces a possible further sanction.

Lauda says the incident was out of character for Vettel. They are warriors. They are at war at that moment.

Although they have both been racing in F1 since 2007 this is the first year in which they have both had competitive cars. "I think he disgraced himself today", said triple champion Hamilton.

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"What we have seen is the ingredient of a great championship".