Stewards could've penalised Vettel extra for switching signs "but opted not to"

13-06-2019 15:43
by Nicolás Quarles van Ufford
General
Stewards could've penalised Vettel extra for switching signs but opted not to

Formula 1 steward Hans-Gerd Ennser has revealed Sebastian Vettel could've been punished extra for swapping the signs of his and Lewis Hamilton's cars after the Canadian Grand Prix, as the German made it look so he finished first and the Brit was second.

Vettel was furious with the stewards after being handed a five-second penalty during the race, as he went wide onto the grass and rejoined the track right in front of Hamilton, who had to brake to avoid contact.

The four-time champion got penalised for the incident and subsequently lost the race because of it, with Hamilton following the Ferrari closely in the closing stages of the race.

After getting out of his car, Vettel stormed off to his motorhome, before returning to the pitlane and switching the signs in front of the cars so it looked like he finished first and Hamilton second.

"We saw it and thought: 'Let's just not do that at this moment," Ennser told German publication Kleine Zeitung.

"Emotions were running high and because of the pressure that came with our first decision [to penalise Vettel], we opted to not take any further action."

Regarding the penalty itself, which many former drivers like Nigel Mansell and Mario Andretti saw as very unfair to Vettel, Ennser said Vettel got away with just the five-second penalty.

"He got away with that. Five seconds is the minimum penalty for an offence like that. We could've also given him 10 or 20 seconds. Or even a stop-and-go!"

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