BAKU (REUTERS) – Formel-1-Champion Lewis Hamilton hat dem Ferrari-Titelrivalen Sebastian Vettel vorgeworfen, beim chaotischen Grand Prix von Aserbaidschan am Sonntag nicht nach den Regeln zu spielen.
Der Mercedes-Pilot sagte Reportern, er werde sich vor dem nächsten Rennen in Spanien um eine Klärung beim Rennleiter Charlie Whiting bemühen.
Hamilton, der in Baku gewann und Vettel nach vier Rennen mit vier Punkten anführt, war im vergangenen Jahr in Aserbaidschan am Ende eines berühmten “Road Rage”-Vorfalls, als die Rollen vertauscht wurden.
Then, the Briton was leading the German while the safety car was deployed and was accused of “brake testing”, with the two colliding and the Ferrari driver angrily pulling alongside to bang wheels.
Vettel later apologised for his behaviour.
“The rules are that when the safety car goes (in), you’re not allowed to start and stop, start and stop,” Hamilton said. “You’re not allowed to gas and then brake. You’re not allowed to fake the guy behind.
“Because naturally if there was not that rule, that’s what you’d do because eventually you’d catch them sleeping. You’re not allowed to do that.
“Every re-start I’ve done…I’ve abided by that,” the Briton told reporters. “In Australia, Sebastian accelerated and then braked and I nearly went up the back end of him. And today he did it like maybe four times.”
Hamilton said he believed Whiting had passed the matter on to stewards for their consideration but they had decided not to take action because the other cars were doing it.
The four-time world champion said that was because of a domino effect.
“That now sets a precedent, so that means everyone leading a grand prix under a safety car can start and stop, start and stop,” he said.
“I need to get that rectified when I have the briefing next because clearly they don’t care about it, and if that’s the case then we will see more of that. And I will expect that from him next time I am racing with him.”
Sunday’s race had two safety car periods due to crashes, with drivers weaving to keep heat in their tyres in cold and gusty conditions.
Vettel was leading from pole position at the first re-start, with Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas at the head of the field for the second with the Ferrari behind and Hamilton third.
The German overcooked an attempt to pass Bottas at the second re-start, with Hamilton and Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen going through as he went wide. Bottas retired with a puncture three laps from the end.