Ferrari CEO Sergio Marchionne has stated his belief the 10 second stop/go penalty Sebastian Vettel received in Baku for his controversial coming together with Lewis Hamilton was a sufficient punishment, according to Italian newspaper, il Giornale.
Vettel was investigated by the FIA after the Azerbaijan Grand Prix for his role in the incident, but the panel ultimately decided no further action was needed.
“In fact [the penalty] was almost 30 seconds because he had to pit,” Marchionne told the paper. “He paid, let him be at peace now.”
The subtle reference Vettel “paid” for the clash with the harshest possible in-race penalty suggests Marchionne agrees with the FIA that no further action was necessary.
But, that decision has been met with some opposition from Hamilton, who demanded FIA President Jean Todt to answer questions from the press during Austria’s press conference on Thursday.
“With all due respect, Jean should be here to answer some questions,” he quipped, “[the FIA] didn’t change anything on Monday so the message remains the same.”
The so-called message Hamilton refers to is the younger generation of drivers. Immediately after the clash in Baku, Hamilton told media, “All the young kids in other series look up to us … and that is not the behavior you expect to see from a multiple champion.”
Ultimately, however, Marchionne feels what happened in Baku is now a closed case, telling the paper, “we have closed the chapter and life goes on.” If that wasn’t clear enough, he repeats himself later in the statement, adding, “But now we close chapter and we move on.”
In terms of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Marchionne wasn’t just vociferous about the Hamilton incident; the Italian was similarly critical of Valtteri Bottas’ move on Kimi Raikkonen in Turn 2 on the opening lap.
Bottas’ rash move ended in contact and subsequent unforced pit stops for both drivers, which Marchionne thought was “not very correct.”
In Marchionne’s opinion, the whole race “looked more like the Colosseum” – a comical reference to the historic state of disrepair the Roman relic is currently in.
These thoughts of Marchionne were originally given in Italian, but have been translated for an English speaking audience.
You can view the original article on il Giornale here.