Ferrari Formula 1 driver Sebastian Vettel felt the booing of race-winner Lewis Hamilton was unfair as he “had nothing to do with” the controversial outcome of the Canadian Grand Prix.

Vettel crossed the line in first place ahead of Hamilton following a race-long scrap for the lead but was demoted to second after receiving a five-second time penalty.

Having made a mistake under pressure from Hamilton at Turn 3, Vettel was adjudged to have returned to the track in an unsafe manner as he swerved into the path of Hamilton, causing the Mercedes driver to slam on the brakes to avoid making contact.

Hamilton was met with boos from the Montreal crowd as he celebrated in parc ferme, before being subject to another round of booing on the podium.

Vettel interjected a podium interview with Hamilton to say: “The people shouldn’t boo at Lewis, because I think he saw what was going on and I don’t think there was any intention to be in his, harm’s way.

“I had trouble in staying on track. But the people shouldn’t boo at Lewis. If anything, they should boo at these funny decisions.”

Asked about the subject again in the post-race press conference, Vettel added: “I obviously understand that the people weren’t happy, as I wasn’t happy myself with these sort of decisions – but nothing to do with Lewis.

“It’s just not nice when people boo you, so that’s why I jumped in. I’m sorry that I interrupted his answer but I jumped in and said ‘don’t boo him, he’s done nothing wrong’.

“If anything he drove a great race, put me under a lot of pressure and I really, really enjoyed that. I think we share great respect amongst each other. Nothing to do with him.”

Hamilton admitted he “felt a little odd” being booed but insisted he could forgive the crowd given the circumstances.

“This has always been a great hunting ground for me,” Hamilton said.

“It’s been a place that I really have loved, and have always felt like I’ve been really accepted and supported here. There’s a lot of Ferrari fans in Canada but nonetheless I still appreciate them.

“I won my first grand prix here, lots of poles, and it’s just been a place that I’ve thoroughly loved driving. So, that’s never going to change.

“I felt a little bit odd, being booed – but it’s not like the first time I’ve been booed. I’m used to it – and I forgive.”

Vettel said he initially did not want to join in with the podium celebrations but ultimately did so out of a show of respect to Hamilton and his Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc.

“I parked the car in parc ferme, the one that is not for the top three and then went to get weighed and then at that point didn’t really want to join anything that was happening after that,” Vettel explained.

“I wasn’t very heated up, obviously angry and disappointed but I think everybody understands why but I think it’s a matter of respect to show to Lewis and Charles and also the representative for Mercedes on the podium, to be part of the podium.

“Certainly it wasn’t the place where I wanted to be because at that point you just want to get out but yeah, also sitting here is not of my free will but I have to be here.”

 

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