Sebastian Vettel has voiced his defence of the FIA, who allowed a number of tough overtakes to take place without awarding a penalty at the recent British Grand Prix.
Some of the overtakes in question involved both Red Bull Racing drivers, with Max Verstappen in particular having infuriated Haas team principal Guenther Steiner.
Verstappen virtually ran Mick Schumacher off the circuit on the final lap, whilst the young German was going for an overtake at the end of the Hangar straight.
Verstappen’s overtakes were questioned, after the reigning World Champion failed to leave a cars’ width for the other driver.
The rules dictate that a driver must do so when going wheel-to-wheel with a fellow competitor, with failure to do so usually resulting in a penalty.
Vettel himself was also forced off the track by Verstappen during the race; however, the four-time World Champion saw nothing wrong with that or any other of the Dutch drivers ambitious moves.
“He was faster than me,” explained Vettel.
“If it doesn’t happen there it happens at the next corner, so I wasn’t stressing massively about it.
“Going into turn four, I knew he was there. I wasn’t sure if he was trying and then I saw that he was there so I left the room.
“Then I wasn’t sure if he was actually going for it or not so I went around the outside, then he was and I had no more space.
“I wasn’t too worried about it at the time, or upset, because I knew it was going to happen anyway.
“Whereas if I had only made a mistake and that was the only small chance for him to pass, I would probably have stressed more about the fact that he pushed me wide a bit.
“But then, that is racing.”
Verstappen, Sergio Pérez and Charles Leclerc all completed what appeared to be overly aggressive overtakes.
Pérez in particular performed an overtake on Leclerc at the penultimate corner, which resulted in the Ferrari driver dropping from second, to fourth after being forced off the circuit.
Despite this, Vettel was pleased to see the FIA allowing drivers to race with their “elbows out”.
“I looked at the other incidences as well and I don’t know,” Vettel noted.
“I don’t think they were interfering much in the race, which I think is right.
“We should be the best judges. If we push somebody off and we know it is too much then we should be prepared to get a penalty.
“Sometimes they don’t see – it shouldn’t happen but it happens – but as long as it is fair, even if it is hard with elbows out and stuff, it is okay.”