Lewis Hamilton says Sebastian Vettel ‘disgraced himself’

Lewis Hamilton finished sixth in Sunday's Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

With Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix having been one of the worst at the Baku City Circuit, it makes sense to revisit 2017, a year which saw one of the most eventful races at the venue.

Sergio Perez claimed a comfortable victory on Sunday to cut Max Verstappen’s championship lead to just six points, with the Dutchman having finished second.

The result marked Red Bull’s third 1-2 of the 2023 F1 season, with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc having claimed third.

Very little action took place during the race, with tyre preservation having been every driver’s priority, rather than pushing for an overtake.

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At Baku in 2017, four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel quite literally tried to push seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton.

Whilst behind a Safety Car, Hamilton led the race from Vettel, as the duo duelled as title rivals, rather than the friends they are today.

As they exited Turn 15, Vettel went straight into the back of Hamilton, whom the German was convinced tried to brake test him.

Vettel’s response to the incident saw him pull to the side of Hamilton and steer directly into him, damaging both of their cars.

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Daniel Ricciardo ended up winning the race, much to Hamilton’s anger.

Vettel was also furious after the race and was convinced that Hamilton touched his brakes; however, telemetry data proved that the 38-year-old hadn’t touched his brake pedal.

“F1 is for grown-ups,” Vettel insisted.

“I drove alongside and we had a little contact. I wasn’t happy with the brake-testing. I drove alongside him and raised my hand to say that is not the way to do it.”

Hamilton went a step further than Vettel and insisted that the 35-year-old had “disgraced himself”, with Hamilton having also added that if the German had anything to say to the Briton then he should do it “face-to-face”.

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“He was obviously sleeping and driving alongside, and deliberately driving into a driver and coming away scot-free is a disgrace,” Hamilton slammed.

“He disgraced himself. If he wants to prove he’s a man, we should do it out of the car face-to-face.

“Driving dangerously in any way can put another driver at risk. Luckily we were going slow. If we were going fast it could have been a lot worse. Imagine all the kids watching Formula 1 today and seeing that kind of behaviour from a four-time world champion.”