Monday 21 October 2019

Vettel fumes after paying penalty in Hamilton win

Sebastian Vettel. Photo: PA
Sebastian Vettel. Photo: PA

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Lewis Hamilton was crowned the winner of a remarkable Canadian Grand Prix after Sebastian Vettel's victory was chalked off following a five-second penalty.

Vettel took the chequered flag at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, but was sensationally demoted to runner-up after he was controversially penalised for a near-collision with Hamilton on lap 48.

"They are stealing the race from us," said a furious Vettel over the radio.

Hamilton crossed the line 1.3 seconds behind Vettel to ensure he would take the fifth win of his championship defence, and extend his title lead to 29 points after Valtteri Bottas finished fourth. Charles Leclerc completed the podium.

Pole-sitter Vettel had appeared on course to end a miserable 287-day losing streak, but the race exploded into life with 22 of 70 laps to run.

Hounded by Hamilton, Vettel, who has made a series of ruinous mistakes in recent seasons, lost control of his Ferrari at the left-handed third bend and ran over the grass.

Hamilton was within half-a-second of the Ferrari car at that point, and as Vettel re-joined the track at the ensuing corner, Hamilton, pushed up against the concrete wall, was forced to slam on the brakes to avoid a coming together.

Blind

"I would have been past if it wasn't for the wall," said Hamilton on the radio after emulating Michael Schumacher by winning for a record-equalling seventh time in Canada. But Vettel was incandescent.

"No, no, no, not like that," he said on the radio. "Seriously, you need to be a blind man to think you can go through the grass and control your car. We are lucky I did not hit the wall. Where was I allowed to go?"

Vettel went to see the stewards while a ripple of boos rung around the track as Hamilton was interviewed after stepping out of his car.

"Naturally that is not the way I wanted to win," said Hamilton, who is now 62 points clear of Vettel. "It is unfortunate, but this is my race."

Vettel then went in front of Hamilton's parked-up Mercedes and removed the board saying he had finished first, replacing it with the second-place marker reserved for his Ferrari.

As the drivers made their way on to the podium, Vettel deliberately stood with his left foot on the top step to make his feelings clear.

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