Whiting accepts Vettel apology and moves on

Reuters News
Posted: Nov 10, 2016 3:01 PM

By Alan Baldwin

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Formula One race director Charlie Whiting said on Thursday he had accepted an apology from Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel and moved on after the German swore at him during the recent Mexican Grand Prix.

"It’s not the first time that bad language has been used, of course, and the fact that it was directed at me was unfortunate," the Briton told reporters at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

"I think there are a number of mitigating circumstances that led up to Sebastian’s obvious frustration but the fact that he sought me out very shortly after the race to apologize, for me that was enough and I’m prepared to just forget it and move on.

"I think that’s really what we should do. Things happen in the heat of the moment. I think you’ve seen what the FIA’s position on this is; and I personally feel that’s enough," added Whiting.

Vettel escaped sanction for the outburst, made over the Ferrari team radio in the heat of the closing laps after officials failed to order Red Bull's Dutch driver Max Verstappen to give up a place.

The four times world champion was warned about his behavior, however, and the impact his language had on the younger generation.

"I’m sorry for what I said. Obviously when we are racing, when we are fighting...for sure I regret what I said and certainly didn’t mean it," said Vettel.

"It was very clear for me to look for Charlie right after. I wrote a letter as well. I’m happy that Charlie accepted the apology and happy to, as he said, move on."

Verstappen, 19, was asked as a member of the younger generation what he thought about the incident and felt caution was needed.

"With the radio around you it’s pretty dangerous. So, I think maybe you shouldn’t broadcast it. That’s another solution," he suggested.

"We are driving on the limit, in some good fights and then, you know the adrenaline is going really high. So maybe in the future, if it’s bad for the younger generation, just don’t broadcast it."

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Larry Fine)