'Vettel disgraced himself, to be honest'
Three-time world champion Lewis Hamilton has branded Sebastian Vettel a disgrace after the latter deliberately drove into him at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix and demanded that, if they are to clash, they should do so like "men" outside the car.
Vettel earned himself a 10-second stop-go penalty and moved to within three points of a one-race ban for driving up alongside Hamilton during the race, raising his right arm and slamming into the No.44 car.
An angry German was protesting what he had perceived to be a brake-test from the Briton while the three-time world champion was managing the pace under the Safety Car, though the data later showed Vettel's assumption to be incorrect.
"Driving alongside and deliberately driving into a driver and getting away scot-free pretty much -- he still came away with fourth -- I think that's a disgrace," Hamilton was quoted as saying by the Guardian.
"I think he disgraced himself today, to be honest," he added.
The three-time world champion, who finished one place back in fifth, said that if Vettel wants prove that he's a man, he should do it out of the car face to face.
"If he wants to prove that he's a man, I think he should do it out of the car face to face. I think driving dangerously which can put another driver at risk -- luckily we were going slow -- but if we were going fast it could have been a lot worse. Imagine all the young kids that are watching Formula One today and see that kind of behaviour from a four-time world champion. I think that says it all," he said.
Meanwhile, Vettel, Hamilton's Formula One world championship rival, insisted that he had not been at fault although he got a 10-second stop-go penalty for dangerous driving.
"It was quite obvious," he said.
"I didn't run into the back of him on purpose. I damaged my wing, I think he had a little bit of damage as well. Nothing that would have impacted on the race. It's just not the way to do it. I think it was very clear. In the end we're racing as men. I don't have a radio to him. If I get a penalty, then we should both get a penalty," he added.
The 29-year-old said he had not intended to hit Hamilton when he drew alongside him
"We had a little contact, but I drove alongside him mostly to raise my hand. I did not give him the finger," he said.
"I just wanted to tell him, because I can't literally talk to him, that what he did was not right," he added.
However, the Briton rejected the claim that he had brake-tested Vettel, saying, "I think it's a mis-judgment from him to blame it on the car in front. Some people don't like to own up to their own mistakes."
Despite the incident, Vettel managed to extend his championship lead -- finishing fourth after the Mercedes driver pitted from the lead after his car's head rest came loose.