By its very nature, Formula One is a dangerous sport. Yes, decades spent relentlessly pursuing a safer environment for our gladiators to do battle in have thankfully resulted in an F1 that is deemed safe.
It’s not perfect. Harrowingly, the tragic death of the incredibly talented Jules Bianchi is far too recent. If there was one positive from Jules’ passintg, it was that the sport learned and acted appropriately.
Let’s make no bones about it. Safety is paramount and nothing should be allowed to compromise it.
So why was Sebastian Vettel allowed to?
Ever more frequently, F1 fans are being treated to Vettel’s ugly side and to be honest it’s not pretty. In terms of ability, he is one of the best on the grid and his four world championships pay tribute to that perfectly.
But then he lets himself down. Things don’t go his way, he becomes exasperated and the red mist descends.
No doubt those within the sport will attribute his acrions to the intensity of the situation and attempt to rationalise it as a “heat of the moment” thing.
What we have here is a top level sportsman showing disdain for his fellow drivers, the stewards, his team and safety.
The moment in question did occur behind the safety car and at reduced speed but to use that as a get-out clause and to give him a mere slap in the wrist is wrong.
In Mexico last year he turned the radio waves blue with an expletive-laden rant aimed at race director Charlie Whiting. The punishment? Nothing.
It’s not surprising then that he took it to another level in Baku. He drives into Hamilton on purpose and the punishment does not fit the crime.
Vettel’s behaviour needs to be addressed and the FIA need to take action.