Three distinct schools of thought exist with respect to Sebastian Vettel’s early-race collision with Jenson Button at the Belgian Grand Prix, which cost both drivers valuable championship points and could end the title aspirations for both men.
The former Minardi and Williams racer wrote in his regular column for El Mundo that the drive-through penalty handed out to Vettel by the race stewards “was totally disproportionate” to the offence.
“It is true that he was too aggressive, but for there to be a penalty … he did nothing wrong, it was an incident of the race,” he wrote.
The flip-side to the argument comes from three-time World Champion Niki Lauda, who wrote an open letter to Vettel in Germany’s Bild newspaper.
“You’re an absolute super-talent but you’ve taken excessive risks,” said Lauda. “One more mistake and your world championship will be over. Then you will have to drive for your teammate, which would be the ultimate penalty.
“You’re in the fastest car. The pressure can be paralysing, because everyone expects you to be in front and everything else is a disappointment.”
Sitting somewhere in the middle is former Red Bull driver David Coulthard, who has advised Vettel to get used to “the knives [that] seem to be out for him”.
“I want to make it clear I am not trying to excuse Sebastian’s recent high-profile errors,” he wrote in his column for the Telegraph.
“I see a young man who is suffering from his first spell of growing pains. I am not excusing [the mistakes] – as I have said before, F1 is no finishing school – I’m just saying they are understandable,” he added.
Do you think the penalty for Sebastian Vettel was warranted? I’d be interested to hear your thoughts! Post a comment to this article.