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Hamilton accuses Vettel of safety car rule breach

Lewis Hamilton felt Sebastian Vettel tried to "fake" him by stopping and starting behind the safety car in Baku.

Hamilton accuses Vettel of safety car rule breach
Getty Images

Lewis Hamilton has accused Sebastian Vettel of breaking the rules when the safety car was deployed during Sunday's action-packed Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Hamilton claimed his first victory of the season in Baku after his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas suffered a late puncture while leading. The defending champion replaced Vettel at the top of the driver standings, with the Ferrari driver finishing a chaotic race in fourth place.

Lewis Hamilton in Baku.
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Lewis Hamilton in Baku.Clive MasonGetty Images

Dangerous driving

Hamilton felt a disappointing day for Vettel could have been even worse if he had been punished for what the Brit considered to be dangerous driving behind the safety car and plans to speak to race director Charlie Whiting for clarification on the ruling. "You are not allowed to start and stop, start and stop," said Hamilton. "You're not allowed to fake the guy behind. If there was not that rule, that's what you'd do because eventually you'd catch them sleeping."

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Mark ThompsonGetty Images

Braking problem

He went on to add: "In Australia he accelerated and braked and I nearly went into the back of him and [in Baku] he did it four times and I need to speak to Charlie, because I don't understand. I understand he passed it to the stewards but they didn't do anything. They supposedly said everyone was doing it. But we're the leaders and it cascades down, what the first car does everyone does the same thing. That now sets a precedent, and it means everyone who is leading under a safety car can start-stop, start-stop. I need to get it rectified when I have the briefing next because clearly they don't care about it. And if that's the case we will see more of it. I will expect it from him next time and I will try to prepare."


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