Sebastian Vettel writes apology letters to FIA, Charlie Whiting over radio rant

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Sebastian Vettel has written letters to motorsport's governing body, the FIA, to apologise for his sweary tirade at the end of the Mexican Grand Prix.

Vettel lashed out at FIA race director Charlie Whiting in the final laps, twice telling him to "f--- off" after Max Verstappen refused cede third position after going off track to defend. Verstappen was eventually handed a post-penalty and Vettel went to personally apologise to Whiting after the podium ceremony -- though he would lose third himself after incurring a separate post-race penalty for an incident with Daniel Ricciardo.

The FIA is looking into Vettel's outburst and whether he did anything to warrant a punishment. According to the BBC Vettel wrote letters both to FIA president Jean Todt and Whiting on Monday in an attempt to bring the matter to a close without major disciplinary action.

The FIA's investigation could lead to a reprimand, a fine or even a race ban. Speaking after the race, Red Bull boss Christian Horner said he expected Vettel would receive a reprimand.

Two of the rules Vettel may have fallen foul of are in the FIA's International Sporting Code:

12.1.1.c Any fraudulent conduct or any act prejudicial to the interests of any Competition or to the interests of motor sport generally.

12.1.1.f Any words, deeds or writings that have caused moral injury or loss to the FIA, its bodies, its members or its executive officers.

The incident has been met with a mixed response from F1 fans. While some argue the comments were made in the heat of the moment, Vettel's anger must be seen as extreme when the 21 other race drivers on the grid have never rebuked a highly respected FIA official so publicly.

Several drivers have commented that Vettel's frustrations have boiled over to extreme levels this year, with the German often swearing throughout races at backmarkers not moving over immediately for blue flags. Verstappen, the subject of his anger, suggested the four-time world champion "go back to school" for language classes.