Stewart: 'Provoked' Vettel made mistake in Hamilton Baku F1 clash

Three-time Formula 1 world champion Sir Jackie Stewart says Sebastian Vettel was "provoked" by Lewis Hamilton before their Azerbaijan Grand Prix clash, but feels the German made "a large mistake"

Stewart: 'Provoked' Vettel made mistake in Hamilton Baku F1 clash

Vettel ran into the back of Hamilton while the field ran behind the safety car before driving alongside and banging wheels with the Mercedes driver, suggesting to Ferrari he had been brake-tested.

The FIA cleared Hamilton of any such action, but despite saying Vettel's actions had been ill-judged Stewart felt he had been provoked.

"There is no doubt in my opinion that Vettel was completely wrong, irresponsible in colliding with Lewis," Stewart told Motorsport.tv's weekly programme The Flying Lap.

"Whether that was a moment of anger, or whatever it may have been, it was still not correct.

"However, there's another side to that which I think is more important.

"The reason that it happened was that Lewis either lifted off completely from the gas pedal or brushed the brakes at a time when no racing driver behind the leader would have expected anybody to do that it.

"Vettel, even with the fast reactions of an F1 world champion of four times, still ran into the back of Lewis, not by any intention at all, but by the fact that it was such a severe retardation while he, and every other driver for that matter, was ready to accelerate down the straight because the pace car had already disappeared.

"That provoked, no doubt, Vettel's frame of mind. And the mind management wasn't working.

"As it developed, in my opinion, Vettel was absolutely wrong to collide with Lewis Hamilton.

"I think that was a large mistake."

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