Sebastian Vettel has been assessed three penalty points following his clash with Lewis Hamilton under a Safety Car period in today’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix, the FIA has confirmed.
Vettel and Hamilton collided twice on Lap 19 behind the safety car in Baku, with the German driver appearing to make a deliberate move on the second occasion in retaliation after believing to have been brake tested.
Vettel was handed a 10-second stop-and-go penalty in the immediate aftermath of the incident, dropping him out of contention for victory. The Ferrari driver ultimately finished the race fourth ahead of Hamilton in P5.
After the race, the stewards assessed a further penalty to Vettel that takes him up to nine total for a 12-month period.
“The Stewards examined video evidence which showed that car 5 drove alongside and then steered into car 44,” the report from the FIA reads.
“The Stewards decide this maneuver was deemed potentially dangerous.”
“I don’t know why I got the penalty and Lewis didn’t. It’s disappointing because it could have been a better result,” Vettel said after the race.
“I don’t have a problem with Lewis but I just think that what he did on the track was not OK.
“By now the decision is done but, in an episode like this one, I still think that if you give out a penalty, then it should be to both drivers.”
Now holding nine penalty points in a 12-month period, Vettel is just three away from a one race ban.
Jalek Swoll and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna teammate Malcolm Stewart sustained injury in separate crashes late last week. Stewart missed Anaheim 2 and Swoll will not mount up for the 250 East season opener in Houston on February 4.
“Spent all of yesterday in the ER and today getting surgery so haven’t been able to make an update post,” Swoll posted on Instagram. “Spiral fractured my humorous yesterday and was lucky enough to get into surgery today. Absolutely heartbroken that I couldn’t show all the hard work me, [Mike Brown], [Aldon Baker], and [Joel Perez] were working on truly felt like this year was going to a big one with massive improvements we made but I guess it just wasn’t my time.”
The team announced on Instagram that Swoll underwent successful surgery to repair a broken bone in his arm, sustained in a practice crash on Friday. After missing the division opener, no further timeline has been given for his return.
Swoll made eight starts in the 250 West division last season with a best finish of fifth. In 2021, he scored his first SuperMotocross win in the outdoor Pro Motocross season at High Point Raceway in Mount Morris, Pennsylvania.
Stewart missed Anaheim 2 due to a practice injury. Likewise, the team did not announce a timetable for Stewart’s return.
He showed a lot of speed in the first two rounds before accidents eliminated him from contention in both rounds. He finished 16th at Anaheim 1 and 15th in San Diego, putting him in a points’ deficit that was already going to be difficult to overcome.
Stewart entered the 2023 season with a ton of confidence and believed all he needed was to stack his chips the right way to get this year’s championship.
Husqvarna is now represented by RJ Hampshire in the 250 West division and Christian Craig in 450s.
Hampshire had a rough weekend in Anaheim 2 and finished 11th in the overall standings after scoring a last place result in Race 2 with a bike sidelined by crash damage and a 13th in Race 3 after another fall.
Craig has not yet scored a top-10 on his 450 with a best of 11th at San Diego and Anaheim 2.
The news of these two injuries comes on the heels of the Pro Circuit Kawasaki team losing three of their four 250 riders.
Last week, Pro Circuit Kawasaki announced Seth Hammaker would miss the season opener with a wrist injury. Almost immediately, it was announced Jo Shimoda would also miss the 250 East opener with a shoulder injury.
Chris Blose will serve as a replacement rider in the 250 East division with Carson Mumford scheduled to replace the injured Austin Forkner in the West.