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Charlie Whiting: Sebastian Vettel apology fine after 'unfortunate' comments

Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Charlie Whiting considers the matter of Sebastian Vettel's abusive language towards him at the Mexican Grand Prix to be closed, saying he's willing to "forget it and move on" after the German personally apologised to him.

An irate Vettel told the FIA's race director to "f--- off" twice over his radio in the closing laps of the grand prix following Max Verstappen's refusal to give up third place. Vettel's language was later investigated by the FIA but he was spared punishment after he sought Whiting out after the race to say sorry, before writing a letter to the governing body the following week.

In an unusual step this week, the FIA invited Whiting to sit alongside the drivers in Brazil's Thursday press conference, where Vettel was one of the drivers in attendance. Whiting was addressing the various controversies to come out of the race, including Vettel's foul language.

When asked for his personal views on what was said about him, Whiting replied: "It's not the first time bad language has been used, of course, and the fact it was directed at me was unfortunate. I think there were a number of mitigating circumstances which led up to Sebastian's obvious frustration.

"But the fact he sought me out very shortly after the race to apologise... for me, that was enough and I'm prepared just to forget it and move on. I think that's really what we should do. Things happen in the heat of the moment and I think you've seen the FIA's position is and I personally feel that that's enough."

Vettel reiterated his regret at what was said, pointing out that the comments were made in the heat of the moment.

"I have no problem saying it again -- I'm sorry for what I said," he said. "When you are racing, you are fighting, you can understand why I wasn't so happy at that point. For sure I regret what I said.

"I certainly didn't mean it, it was very clear for me to look for Charlie right after, I wrote a letter as well. I'm happy Charlie accepted the apology and I'm happy to move on."