BERLIN (DPA) – Formula One driver Daniel Ricciardo says Lewis Hamilton was not punished in 2016 for a very similar incident to the one which cost Sebastian Vettel victory in the controversial Canadian Grand Prix.
Ferrari are appealing the decision of the stewards to give the German a five-second penalty in Montreal, which handed the win to championship leader Hamilton on Sunday (June 9).
Vettel was punished after coming back from the grass in front of Hamilton while under pressure in a manoeuvre regarded as dangerous by stewards.
“I don’t think he could have done things differently, which is why we have decided to appeal the stewards’ decision,” Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto said in a statement.
Many drivers have backed Vettel, including Renault’s Ricciardo.
“I had an identical situation with Lewis in 2016 in Monte Carlo,” he told reporters. “He had to go through the emergency exit and almost pushed me into the wall on his return. With me, it was tighter than now with him. He didn’t get a penalty. That was a good thing. It was hard racing.”
There has been speculation in F1 as to whether the rules even allow Ferrari to appeal and the sport is now waiting to see exactly what grounds the Italian team have.
The stewards have received some support however, with former F1 driver Jolyon Palmer telling the BBC they got it right in Montreal.
“By the letter of the law, Vettel was guilty. If he was forced to run all the way into Hamilton, that’s not safe. If he wasn’t, then he deliberately did it, and that’s not fair and deserves a penalty. You can’t have it both ways,” he said.
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