Former McLaren driver Jenson Button has weighed in to the controversy over Sebastian Vettel's car-swipe on Lewis Hamilton at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, saying Formula One should "move on" as the German already served a penalty in the race.
On Wednesday the FIA announced it is to hold a further investigation into the controversial moment in Azerbaijan which occurred before the second Safety Car restart. The pair collided twice; first when Vettel hit the rear of Hamilton on the exit of Turn 15, having expected the Mercedes driver to bolt out of the corner, and then again when he drove up alongside his title rival, raised his hand and drove into Hamilton's car in protest at what he perceived to have been a "brake test".
While race data cleared Hamilton of braking suddenly, Vettel was issued with a 10-second stop-go penalty during the race and handed three points on his superlicence -- meaning he is just three points away from a one-race ban. Reports in Germany suggest the governing body do not believe the penalty given by Baku's race stewards was severe enough, leading to the re-opening of the investigation.
The issue has split opinion in Formula One, with Hamilton suggesting the governing body should have made an example Vettel so it the incident did not set a precedent for children. Hamilton's former McLaren teammate Button, the 2009 world champion, disagrees, saying the in-race penalty handed to Vettel should have been enough and that it was refreshing to see such raw emotion on show during the race.
Azerbaijan GP was a pleasure 2watch. Why? because adrenaline & emotions were high. What Vettel did was silly but he's been punished. Move on— Jenson Button (@JensonButton) June 29, 2017
Button then took the time to respond to followers' responses to his tweet. One of them suggested Vettel had not helped his cause by his bizarre conduct after the race, when he refused to acknowledge that the second collision had taken place.
Agreed— Jenson Button (@JensonButton) June 29, 2017
He went on to answer other questions, including on why the in-race penalty is more serious than the 10-second time period suggests.
You can't compare racing with driving on the road as racing wouldn't exist.— Jenson Button (@JensonButton) June 29, 2017
Well I driver now knows that he will get a 10sec drive which equates to 30secs with pit entry and exit, race game over.— Jenson Button (@JensonButton) June 29, 2017
Well first of all 10secs is 10secs which I a punishment but when you have a 10secs stop and go it's more like 30secs— Jenson Button (@JensonButton) June 29, 2017
Vettel's penalty was served just after Hamilton had pitted from the lead so Mercedes could re-secure his headrest after it came loose during the red flag stoppage mid-way through the grand prix. That penalty likely robbed Hamilton of what would have been a routine victory once Vettel had served his stop-go and meant he actually finished one place behind his championship rival.
Sky Sports pundit and former F1 driver Martin Brundle responded to the tweet and suggested Hamilton's misfortune -- and the fact Vettel actually gained ground in the championship race as a result -- has led to a more extreme reaction against Vettel's behaviour.