NO FURTHER ACTION: Sebastian Vettel is in the clear after his crash with Lewis Hamilton.
NO FURTHER ACTION: Sebastian Vettel is in the clear after his crash with Lewis Hamilton. VALDRIN XHEMAJ

Vettel in clear after Hamilton collision

SEBASTIAN Vettel will face no further action from the FIA for his collision with Lewis Hamilton in last month's Azerbaijan GP.

F1's governing body's decision means the Ferrari driver retains his 14-point lead in the drivers' championship heading into this weekend's Austrian GP.

The FIA said in a statement Vettel had "admitted full responsibility" and "extended his sincere apologies to the FIA and the wider motorsport family".

"In light of these developments, FIA President Jean Todt decided that on this occasion the matter should be closed," it concluded.

Vettel admitted he had overreacted after running into the back of Hamilton's car behind the safety car in a statement released on his website.

"With hindsight, I don't believe he had any bad intentions. In the heat of the action I then overreacted, and therefore I want to apologise to Lewis directly, as well as to all the people who were watching the race. I realise that I was not setting a good example," he said.

"I had no intention at any time to put Lewis in danger, but I understand that I caused a dangerous situation.

"Therefore, I would like to apologise to the FIA. I accept and respect the decisions that were taken at today's meeting in Paris, as well as the penalty imposed by the stewards in Baku.

"I love this sport and I am determined to represent it in a way that can be an example for future generations."

Vettel has also been warned by the FIA that any repetition of such behaviour will immediately be referred to the FIA's International Tribunal for further investigation.

In addition, the four-time world champion will take part in a variety of educational activities across the FIA's championships.

Vettel served a 10-second stop-and-go penalty during the race in Baku, and was given three penalty points on his Superlicence, after stewards ruled that he had "steered" into Hamilton's car behind the safety car, moments after running into the race-leading Mercedes.

Despite his race penalty, Vettel still managed to finish fourth, a place ahead of Hamilton, to extend his championship lead, after the Mercedes driver was forced into an extra pit stop due to his headrest coming loose after a red-flag period.

It is the second time in a less than a year that Vettel has avoided a hearing with the International Tribunal after a post-race investigation into his behaviour and subsequent apology.

In October, Vettel was also reminded of his conduct and how he portrays himself following an expletive-ridden rant at race director Charlie Whiting over team radio during the Mexican GP.

"In the light of this sincere apology and strong commitment, the FIA President has decided, on an exceptional basis, not to take disciplinary action against Mr Vettel by bringing this matter before the FIA International Tribunal," the FIA stated at the time.

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