Jacques Villeneuve defends Sebastian Vettel over 'ugly' Baku clash

Jacques Villeneuve has defended Sebastian Vettel's angry swerve at Lewis Hamilton in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, saying the incident shows that Formula 1 drivers have emotions

Jacques Villeneuve defends Sebastian Vettel over 'ugly' Baku clash

Villeneuve was involved in a notorious collision with Michael Schumacher in the 1997 F1 title decider at Jerez, which led to the Ferrari driver being excluded from that year's world championship.

But Villeneuve argued Vettel's actions were much less serious.

"It was very different," he told Autosport. "They're going 10mph, who cares?

"Of course it was ugly, but ultimately Lewis brake-tested him.

"I'm a driver, I've been there. Whenever a driver did that to me, then I would do whatever Seb did.

"He got a penalty, the biggest he could get I guess according to the new rules."

Telemetry data used for the FIA's investigation ruled out Hamilton having brake-tested Vettel.

Villeneuve suggested Vettel might have hit Hamilton by mistake while gesticulating in anger.

"I don't think he was trying to hit him," said the 1997 champion.

"He had one hand on the wheel and was looking at him and pointing the finger.

"You don't hit with your wheels turned like that, you will break your own car, and with one hand - if you're going to hit someone, you have two hands on the wheel!

"In a way I am happy to see that drivers have emotions. It's good, it's fun.

"We have the two guys fighting for the championship, getting angry with each other, and ultimately no damage was done.

"What's the big issue? It's great TV, it's good to see that they're on it.

"Much nicer than Lewis asking [Valtteri] Bottas to slow Vettel down. That was embarrassing."

While he backed the handling of Vettel's incident, Villeneuve called for more consistency with penalties in general.

"Bottas didn't get a penalty for running into Kimi [Raikkonen]," said Villeneuve.

"But at the same time the rules should allow racing and mistakes.

"I'm happy there was no penalty, but then others shouldn't get them either.

"It was racing, and one just made a mistake and ran into the other.

"But I would like to see more penalties for weaving, which we hardly ever see - that's the big issue.

"In Montreal I think [Stoffel] Vandoorne did it at one point, and at least [Carlos] Sainz [Jr] got a penalty.

"We see some extreme weaving and that should be penalised,

"What Bottas did, that was just poor driving, but it's racing.

"What Vettel did was not nice, not sportsmanlike, but good to see."

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