Paris - The
FIA Formula One governing body on Tuesday let off Ferrari star
Sebastian Vettel with a warning for an expletive-filled rant against the
race director at the Mexico Grand Prix.
FIA president Jean Todt decided "on an exceptional basis" not to
charge Vettel after he made an apology to race director Charlie Whiting
and wrote contrite letters to Todt and Whiting, said a statement.
The German four time world champion, furious over the driving of Red
Bull's Max Verstappen, repeatedly swore at Whiting during the closing
stages of Sunday's race.
The tirade was captured on the team radio and broadcast around the world on live television.
Todt ordered a special report on the incident into what the FIA
statement called "foul language" directed at Whiting and Verstappen.
But it added: "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
But it added that "in the event of any future incident similar to the
one that occurred in Mexico" Vettel would go before the tribunal.
The FIA said it would always "condemn the use of offensive language"
especially directed at race officials and other competitors.
Vettel was reminded that the governing body "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 driver said after the race that his F-word outburst had been a heat-of-the-moment explosion at the end of a fraught race.
The ex-champion was already penalised 10 seconds for blocking Red
Bull's Daniel Ricciardo, dropping him from third to fifth in the final
Vettel had been promoted to third provisionally, replacing
Verstappen, immediately after the Dutch teenager was given a five
Vettel was penalised for moving under braking as he defended fourth
place at a turn against Ricciardo in the penultimate lap of the race at
the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.
The pair banged wheels and Vettel retained his position.