Sebastian Vettel has issued a public apology for his clash with Formula 1 title rival Lewis Hamilton in Azerbaijan, admitting that he “overreacted” after thinking he was being brake tested.
Vettel gave Hamilton a side-swipe with his Ferrari behind the safety car in response to the alleged brake test, resulting in a penalty for dangerous driving and a further investigation from the FIA.
The FIA announced on Monday that the matter had been resolved, with Vettel avoiding further punishment after admitting full responsibility for the clash and agreeing to take part in educational activities with junior series.
Vettel issued a statement soon after the ruling from the FIA in which he gave his side of the story before admitting that he overreacted to Hamilton’s move behind the safety car.
“Concerning the incidents of Baku I’d like to explain myself: during the re-start lap, I got surprised by Lewis and ran into the back of his car,” Vettel said.
“With hindsight, I don’t believe he had any bad intentions. In the heat of the action I then overreacted, and therefore I want to apologize to Lewis directly, as well as to all the people who were watching the race. I realize that I was not setting a good example.
“I had no intention at anytime to put Lewis in danger, but I understand that I caused a dangerous situation.
“Therefore, I would like to apologize to the FIA. I accept and respect the decisions that were taken at today’s meeting in Paris, as well as the penalty imposed by the Stewards in Baku.
“I love this sport and I am determined to represent it in a way that can be an example for future generations.”