Sebastian Vettel was furious with the stewards’ decision that handed the Canadian Grand Prix to Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton.
In an incident likely to be debated for a while, Vettel ran wide at Turn 4 on the 48th lap. In rejoining the track, Vettel moved into the path of Hamilton, who had to slow down to avoid contact with the Ferrari or the wall.
Race. Defining. Moment. 📽️#CanadianGP 🇨🇦 #F1 pic.twitter.com/053sau3we1
– Formula 1 (@F1) June 9, 2019
The incident was immediately investigated, and Vettel was hit with a five-second time penalty. That meant he had to finish the race more than five seconds ahead of Hamilton to win, which he was unable to do.
Vettel was livid on the radio after being told about the penalty.
“I had nowhere to go. Seriously, I had nowhere to go,” he said. “I did see him.
“Where the hell am I supposed to go? I have grass on my wheels. If he had gone to the inside, he could have gone past me. I am focused, but they are stealing the race from us!”
He later added: “You need to be an absolute blind man to think you can go through the grass and then control the car,” he said. “I was lucky I didn’t hit the wall. Where the hell am I supposed to go?
“This is a wrong world, I tell you. This is not fair.”
When told by Ferrari to calm down, he said: “I am not staying calm. This is not fair. It is not fair. I’m angry … and I have the right to be angry. I don’t care what people say.”
After the race, Vettel opened his radio channel to say, “No, no, no, guys, not like that.
“You need to be an absolute blind man to [make this decision] … to go through the grass and then control your car. This is a wrong world. This is not fair. Where the hell was I supposed to go?”
Briefly, it looked like Vettel was going to skip the podium ceremony, as he parked his car at the top of the pit lane and marched to the Ferrari hospitality centre. He was quickly convinced to come back. Before he did so, he visited parc ferme and took the “1” sign in front of Hamilton’s car and swapped it with the “2” sign.
When he got there, he was cheered, and Hamilton was booed.
In response to that, Hamilton told Martin Brundle, conducting the podium interviews: “All I can say is I didn’t make the decision, so I don’t know why they are booing at me.”
Vettel then took the microphone to defend his long-time rival.
“People shouldn’t boo at Lewis because I think he saw what was going, on and I don’t think there was any intention to be in his harm’s way. I had trouble to stay on track. But people shouldn’t boo at Lewis … I think if anything, they should boo at these funny decisions.”