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The gloves are off between Hamilton and Vettel

26 Juin 2017

Lewis Hamilton accused Sebastian Vettel of driving dangerously during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on Sunday.

Vettel received a 10-second stop-go penalty for the incident and three points on his superlicence - moving him closer to a one-race ban but the German believed that punishing only him was not the right decision.

Vettel declined to answer direct questions on the second contact that occurred when he pulled alongside Hamilton to gesticulate at him.

Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull took the chequered flag, while Vettel came home fourth, one place and 0.2secs ahead of Hamilton, increasing his lead at the top of the table to 14 points.

So irked was the Ferrari driver by what he perceived to be so-called "brake testing" by the Briton, where a driver deliberately slows down to force another vehicle to brake, he immediately pulled up alongside Hamilton, gestured his dismay, and swerved into the Mercedes, causing a clash of wheels.

"Driving alongside and deliberately driving into a driver and getting away scot-free pretty much - he still came away with fourth - I think that's a disgrace", Hamilton was quoted as saying by the Guardian. "I think it says it all". "If I get a penalty, then we should both get a penalty", he added.

The three-time champion Briton managed to remain calm after the race, despite the provocation, after the stewards had confirmed that he had not "brake-tested" Vettel, as he alleged, leading to the Ferrari driving into him.

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Hamilton and Vettel had an on-track run-in while the race was neutralised, which yielded a penalty for the latter - but a loose headrest denied Hamilton what could've been a comfortable cruise to victory.

"I didn't", Hamilton said to the accusation he had brake-tested Vettel. "I respect him a lot for the driver he is, but now is not the right time to talk". If I'm struggling, people at the back are struggling even more so I don't think it was necessary. "On the cool-down lap, I was just giggling like a schoolboy".

"I passed him because he pitted". He was obviously sleeping and drove into the back of me. In the end, we're racing as men. If one of us gets a penalty, we both do.

It was the American writer Dale Carnegie who once famously said: "Two men looked out through prison bars, one saw mud, the other saw stars".

"If he wants to prove that he's a man, I think he should do it out of the auto face to face". "We had the upper hand this weekend and will continue to move forward".

"He was accelerating then he braked so much that I was braking as soon as I saw but I couldn't stop in time and ran in the back of him".

"They're warriors and you're at war at that moment, fighting for the race win and the championship", Wolff said.

The gloves are off between Hamilton and Vettel