Sebastian Vettel says the penalty which lost him the Canadian Grand Prix will damage Formula 1 by putting off fans as he hits out at the FIA race stewards.

While defending his lead against Lewis Hamilton on Lap 48, the Ferrari driver was given a five-second time penalty for re-joining the track in an unsafe manner and forcing Lewis Hamilton off track, according to the FIA penalty decision, after he went off at Turn 4 before cutting back ahead of the Mercedes driver to retain first place.

With Hamilton able to stay close behind Vettel at the finish the reigning F1 world champion duly picked up the victory once the penalty was applied with the Ferrari driver in second place on adjusted times.

The incident was reviewed by the FIA race stewards who handed Vettel the penalty during the race, which launched the four-time F1 world champion into a radio rant, with the Ferrari driver showing further frustration by initially not going to the top three parc ferme.

After a brief delay Vettel returned to pit lane to take part in the podium ceremony and made his feeling clear on the FIA penalty call.

“It’s not making our sport popular is it with these kind of decisions?” Vettel said. “People want to see us race and that was I think racing. I hope the people come back, that’s the main thing obviously.

“They’re the reason why we’re able to put this show on and build these incredible cars. It’s just a shame when we have all these funny decisions.

“It’s not about the title now. I think we really deserved to win today. I think that’s our opinion. I think the people’s opinion out there as well… It’s a bit weird now to be honest. I don’t know what else to say.

“I really enjoyed the race, I enjoyed the crowd, every lap seeing them cheer me on, especially round the hairpin,”It was very intense, Lewis was a bit quicker throughout the race but we were able to stay ahead.

“For the rest, I think I’ve said enough. You should ask the people what they think. I think we had a great show. Lewis showed some great respect. Ask the people.”

Vettel also stepped in during the podium ceremony to ask the fans at the track not to boo Hamilton and instead direct their frustration at the decision on the FIA race stewards.

“The people shouldn’t boo at Lewis,” he said. “I think he saw what was going on, I don’t think there was any intention to be in his way. I had trouble to stay on track.

“The people shouldn’t boo at Lewis, if anything they should boo at these funny decisions.”

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