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Vettel escapes FIA punishment after apologies

Sebastian Vettel will not face the FIA’s International Tribunal for his comments made during the Mexican Grand Prix.

Vettel swore at Max Verstappen over team radio before later telling FIA race director Charlie Whiting to “f**k off” while Whiting deliberated whether to punish the Red Bull driver for cutting Turn 2 when defending his position against the Ferrari.

The FIA was considering calling Vettel in front of the International Tribunal, but says his immediate apologies have led to him escaping punishment.

“At the recent Mexican Grand Prix, the Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel made comments over team radio using repeated foul language directed at both the FIA Formula 1 Race Director Charlie Whiting and a fellow competitor which were retransmitted during the live broadcast of the event,” an FIA statement read.

“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 International Tribunal.

“The FIA will always condemn the use of offensive language in motor sport – especially when directed at officials and/or fellow participants – and 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 FIA takes this opportunity to advise that, in the event of any future incident similar to the one that occurred in Mexico, disciplinary action will be taken by bringing such incident before the FIA International Tribunal to be judged.”

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