Sweary Vettel escapes FIA sanction after apology

Tue Nov 1, 2016 2:44pm EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) - Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel has escaped sanction after apologizing to Formula One race director Charlie Whiting and the sport's governing body for Sunday's expletive-laden Mexican Grand Prix rant.

The International Automobile Federation (FIA) said in a statement on Tuesday that its president Jean Todt had decided, "on an exceptional basis", not to take disciplinary action against the four-times world champion.

The FIA made clear, however, that any such incident in the future would be met with a summons to its International Tribunal.

Vettel could have faced anything from a reprimand to a race suspension if the governing body had decided to take disciplinary action.

The FIA said the German "spontaneously sought out" Whiting after the race and had, on his own initiative, also sent letters to him and Todt "in which he apologized profusely for his actions".

"He also indicated that he would likewise be contacting (Red Bull's) Max Verstappen and vowed that such an incident would never occur again."

Vettel's outburst, in the closing laps, was broadcast to a worldwide television audience on Sunday with the swear words beeped out.

Whiting drew his ire after race direction did not immediately order Verstappen to let Vettel past when the Dutch teenager gained an advantage by cutting a corner while defending third place.   Continued...

Ferrari Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany attends a news conference in Mexico City, Mexico, October 26, 2016. REUTERS/Henry Romero