FIA takes no further action against Vettel for Baku F1 clash

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The FIA has confirmed it will take no further action against Sebastian Vettel for his clash with Formula 1 title rival Lewis Hamilton in Azerbaijan.

Vettel drove towards Hamilton behind the safety car in Baku eight days ago after feeling he was brake-tested ahead of the restart, causing contact between the two drivers with a side-swipe.

Vettel was hit with a 10-second stop/go penalty during the race – the harshest penalty besides disqualification – before the matter was re-examined by the FIA following outcry from a number of figures in the paddock, including Hamilton.

On Monday, the FIA announced that it would be taking no further action against Vettel, respecting the stewards’ decision from the Baku race as the German took full responsibility for the clash and issued an apology.

“The FIA remained deeply concerned by the wider implications of the incident, firstly through the impact such behavior may have on fans and young competitors worldwide and secondly due to the damage such behavior may cause fo the FIA’s image and reputation of the sport,” part of a statement from the FIA reads.

“Following detailed discussion and further examination of video and data evidence related to the incident, Sebastian Vettel admitted full responsibility.

“Sebastian Vettel extended his sincere apologies to the FIA and the wider motorsport family. He additionally committed to devote personal time over the next 12 months to educational activities across a variety of FIA championships and events, including in the FIA Formula 2 Championship, the FIA Formula 3 Championship, at an FIA Formula 4 Championship to be defined and at the FIA Stewards’ seminar.

“Due to this incident, president Jean Todt instructed that no road safety activities should be endorsed by Sebastian Vettel until the end of this year.

“The FIA notes this commitment, the personal apology made by Sebastian Vettel and his pledge to make that apology public. The FIA also notes that Scuderia Ferrari is aligned with the values and objectives of the FIA.

“In light of these developments, FIA president Jean Todt decided that on this occasion the matter should be closed.”

However, Todt did stress that a repeat of the incident would not be tolerated, and would be referred immediately to the FIA International Tribunal should it occur again.

“Top level sport is an intense environment in which tempers can flare. However, it is the role of top sportsmen to deal with that pressure calmly and to conduct themselves in a manner that not only respects the regulations of the sport, but which befits the elevated status they enjoy,” Todt said.

“Sportsmen must be cognizant of the impact their behavior can have on those who look up to them. They are heroes and role models to millions of fans worldwide and must conduct themselves accordingly.”

After dodging further punishment, Vettel will head to this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix still leading the drivers’ championship by 14 points from Hamilton with 12 races remaining.

Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
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ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).

“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.

“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”

For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.

“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.

“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”

Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.

“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the 3rd time in my career. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in our future.” Roczen said in the Instagram post.