Sebastian Vettel’s attack on FIA Race Director Charlie Whiting has been cleared by the FIA after an apology from the Ferrari driver.
Vettel was critical of the actions taken by the stewards during the Mexican Grand Prix, in which he believed Max Verstappen should have got a penalty for leaving the track, and then backing him into Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate, for Ricciardo to try and make an overtake. In his sweary attack on the outgoing Race Director, the communication was broadcast on the world feed for everyone to hear, which didn’t go down well with fans.
The Ferrari driver apologised to Whiting after the race, and wrote to the FIA to apologise formally after his actions. As such the FIA didn’t take any action against him, but clarified that further outbursts would not be tolerated:
At the recent Mexican Grand Prix, the Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel made comments over team radio using repeated foul language directed at both the FIA Formula 1 Race Director Charlie Whiting and a fellow competitor which were retransmitted during the live broadcast of the event.
Immediately following this incident, Sebastian Vettel spontaneously sought out Charlie Whiting to express his regrets for his behaviour in person. He then, again on his own initiative, sent letters to each of the FIA President Jean Todt and Charlie Whiting, in which he apologised profusely for his actions. He also indicated that he would likewise be contacting Max Verstappen and vowed that such an incident would never occur again.
In the light of this sincere apology and strong commitment, the FIA President has decided, on an exceptional basis, not to take disciplinary action against Mr Vettel by bringing this matter before the FIA International Tribunal.
The FIA will always condemn the use of offensive language in motor sport – especially when directed at officials and/or fellow participants – and expects all participants in its Championships to be respectful and mindful of the example they set for the public and the younger generation in particular.
The FIA takes this opportunity to advise that, in the event of any future incident similar to the one that occurred in Mexico, disciplinary action will be taken by bringing such incident before the FIA International Tribunal to be judged.