Published: Wed, June 28, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Gloves are off between Hamilton and Vettel

Gloves are off between Hamilton and Vettel

Niki Lauda described Sebastian Vettel as "crazy" for hitting Lewis Hamilton during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix and says deliberately making contact with a auto is the worst thing a driver can do.

Despite the incident, Vettel managed to extend his championship lead - finishing ahead of Hamilton in fourth after the Mercedes driver pitted from the lead after his car's head rest came loose.

As a reminder, Vettel's colorful radio tirade during last year's Mexican Grand Prix, when he took personal aim at race director Charlie Whiting, landed the Ferrari driver in hot water but ultimately he received only a warning from the FIA.

From the number of accidents to the safety auto being deployed regularly to Daniel Ricciardo winning the race and Lance Stroll coming third and for the first time both Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel finished outside of the top three.

"I think that's been kind of obvious for some time now", Hamilton said when asked about Vettel's apparent lack of composure.

After the race, Hamilton accused Vettel of risky driving and the 32-year-old has now insisted his title rival's actions on Sunday show the pressure he is under to win the Championship. Although that meant Hamilton lost a bit of ground, he saw something to exploit over the remaining 12 races, something he considers Vettel's vulnerability under high pressure.

"Nothing happened, did it?"

"I definitely didn't brake-test Sebastian [Vettel]".

Azerbaijan GP: Ricciardo wins, Hamilton and Vettel clash
After the stop in Baku , the 2017 Formula One season will move to the Red Bull Ring for the Austrian Grand Prix from July 7th-9th. I really hope kids don't see that in GP2 and GP3 and think that's the right way, you know? 'To do that I don't understand.

"I want to do the talking on the track and I want to win this championship the right way". "I think after three days he realizes then, hopefully, and then he will be normal again".

"He's done something similar in China a couple of years ago", Vettel added.

Lewis Hamilton branded world championship leader Sebastian Vettel as a "disgrace" and challenged the German to "prove you're a man" after he deliberately crashed into him in Sunday's tempestuous Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Not once did he refer to bumping into Hamilton from the side, and he never mentioned the fact that he risked damage in doing so, instead only mentioning that Hamilton risked damage by going so slowly.

Post-race Hamilton told cameras, "If he wants to prove he is a man, we should do it out of the auto, face-to-face", prompting the bookmaker to stump up £1m for a charity fight to happen.

The four-time champion seemed infuriated with Hamilton after the Briton slowed on the exit of Turn 15.

"In terms of how things are penalised, how you can do something like that and then still finish fourth I don't know".

"Nobody wanted to see the schmoozing anyway, so now the gloves are off", he said. "I don't have a problem with him", he said.

'Maybe I'm not clever enough, but I'm not complicated. They've seen today how a multiple F1 champion behaves and I hope that doesn't ripple into the younger categories. I passed him because he pitted it.

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