The Russian Grand Prix stewards ruled Sebastian Vettel did not make two moves to defend his position while trying to keep Lewis Hamilton behind him in the race.
Vettel squeezed Hamilton hard as they approached turn two when Vettel got ahead of his rival during the race. Hamilton managed to pass Vettel two corners later.
The stewards cleared Vettel over the incident, ruling the move “did not constitute two significant changes in direction”.
Hamilton, however, said his rival’s defensive moves were too strong. “Ultimately for me, he did move over to the inside, and then he moved again, and then he put me in the wall,” he said. “I thought was a double move but I guess they didn’t see that.”
“But fortunately I was able to stay out of the wall and still get around the corner.”
Vettel said Hamilton “had a run into turn two” which he “managed to cover”, but then chose to leave more room for his rival the next time he attacked.
“I didn’t see him through the left-hander, I wasn’t really sure where he was,” said Hamilton. “I thought he was somewhere on the outside.”
Vettel said it was “fair enough” to give Hamilton room at turn four “even if I didn’t want to, but I had to, to make sure that it remained fair – or hard but fair – and he obviously got past.”
Hamilton out-braked Vettel for second place into turn four. “It was just a question of who was going to break earlier in the next corner and I wanted it more at the time,” said the Mercedes driver.
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