FIA will take no disciplinary action on Sebastian Vettel after radio outburst

Sebastian Vettel seen walking through the paddock after a practice session prior the Formula One Grand Prix of Mexico at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on Oct. 28, 2016 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Hector Vivas/LatinContent/Getty Images)
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The FIA has decided not to take any disciplinary action against Ferrari F1 driver Sebastian Vettel following his radio outburst during Sunday’s Mexican Grand Prix.

In the closing laps of the race, Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen had gone off track during a battle with Vettel and rejoined the circuit in front of him. Verstappen remained in front, and his teammate Daniel Ricciardo then attempted a pass on Vettel, leading the two – Vettel and Ricciardo – to make contact. The FIA race director Charlie Whiting placed Vettel under investigation for his defensive moves under braking.

Upon being informed that he was under investigation, Vettel made comments over his team radio that were deemed “foul language” by the FIA, directed toward Whiting and Verstappen.

Following the race, the FIA states that Vettel sought out Whiting in person to apologize for his behavior. Additionally, the FIA states that Vettel then sent letters to FIA President Jean Todt and Whiting apologizing for his actions and vowing that no such incident would occur again, adding that he would be reaching out to Verstappen.

The FIA adds that “in the light of this sincere apology and strong commitment,” Todt had decided “not to take disciplinary action against Mr. Vettel by bringing this matter before the FIA International Tribunal.”

The statement adds that the FIA will always condemn the use of offensive language directed toward officials and competitors in motorsport.

The full statement reads as follows:

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.

Immediately following this incident, Sebastian Vettel spontaneously sought out Charlie Whiting to express his regrets for his behavior 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 apologized 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.