Formula 1 race director Charlie Whiting says he wants to “move on” from Sebastian Vettel’s expletive-laden radio rant in Mexico two weeks ago, having accepted the German’s apology.
Vettel sent a number of sweary radio messages to his Ferrari pit wall in the closing stages of the Mexican Grand Prix after getting frustrated during a battle with Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo on-track.
In one of his messages, Vettel targeted Whiting after a stewards’ call failed to go his way, telling the race director to “f**k off” twice.
Vettel apologized to Whiting and FIA president Jean Todt after the race, meaning he escaped without sanction, but the FIA confirmed it would clamp down on repeat incidents in the future.
Speaking in Thursday’s FIA press conference, Whiting said that while the incident was regrettable, he has since moved on.
“It’s not the first time that bad language has been used, of course, and the fact that it was directed at me was unfortunate and I think there are a number of mitigating circumstances that led up to Sebastian’s obvious frustration,” Whiting said.
“But the fact that he sought me out very shortly after the race to apologize, for me that was enough and I’m prepared to just forget it and move on.
“I think that’s really what we should do. Things happen in the heat of the moment. I think you’ve seen what the FIA’s position on this is, and I personally feel that’s enough.”
“I’m sorry for what I said,” Vettel added.
“Obviously when we are racing, when we are fighting… I think you can understand why I wasn’t so happy at that point but yeah, for sure I regret what I said and certainly didn’t mean it but yeah, it was very clear for me to look for Charlie right after.
“I wrote a letter as well. I’m happy that Charlie accepted the apology and happy to, as he said, move on.”