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Vettel issues public apology, admits to overreaction in Hamilton clash

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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.”

Reviewing Danica Patrick’s highs and lows at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

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So much of Danica Patrick’s fame can be traced to Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

It’s where she became a household name 13 years ago when she became the first woman to lead the Indianapolis 500 and emerged as a transcendent athlete.

It’s where everything started. This Sunday, it’s where everything will end, too.

In her last warmup before starting the final race of her career, Patrick had a bumpy final practice Friday on Carb Day. She was eighth fastest, but her Dallara-Chevrolet was in the garage most of the session because of an electrical problem in the engine. After returning during the final 10 minutes of the session, Patrick’s No. 13 seemed to be OK.

“At the end of the day, these are things you’re actually glad for, because if this had happened Sunday, we would have been done,” she said. “I’m glad to get the issues out of the way early on. Overall, today felt good. We made some changes when I went out the second time, and I’m feeling good about starting seventh on Sunday.”
Though she has had her share of success – along with a fourth in her debut, there was a third in 2009 and six top 10s in seven starts — Patrick has learned well how to handle frustration at the 2.5-mile track, too.

Fuel mileage might have kept her from winning her debut, a pit collision ruined 2008, and an unstable setup made 2010 a wild ride.

For a review of her up-and-down history at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and her legacy in racing, watch the video essay above that ran during Friday’s NASCAR America Motorsports Special on NBCSN.