F1: Vettel Could Face FIA Tribunal for Baku

Formula One Ferrari Driver Sebastian Vettel could face a potential FIA tribunal for his birthday pending his actions at the 2017 Baku Grand Prix.

What started off as a light 10-second penalty has grown into something much more grim. Ferrari driver and championship leader Sebastian Vettel may find himself in hot water come his birthday on July 3rd, as the FIA has recently announced that it is deliberating re-opening an investigation into Vettel’s shunt into Hamilton – and will have reached a decision come July third.

Vettel’s actions at Baku have already lit up the field with followers and fans of the sport split into opposing factions of those who believe Vettel did nothing wrong, and those who want to see a harsher penalty imposed on the German. However, the FIA’s decision to potentially re-open a penalty that was already handed out isn’t the first time that the stewards have borked a call this year. Daniil Kyvat had the pleasure of experiencing the indecision of the stewards first-hand after he was handed a drive through penalty, followed by another 10 second penalty later after the stewards realized they had handed the driver the incorrect penalty.

The Vettel-Hamilton incident bears echoes of the Kyvat event, but the stakes are considerably higher. Should Vettel receive and additional penalty atop the one he was already handed, we could see the Ferrari frontman handed a race suspension, and fall back in the championship significantly should Hamilton capitalize on the situation.
The FIA-issued statement regarding the tribunal is as follows:

“Following the recent incident at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in which Car 5 (Sebastian Vettel) was involved in a collision with Car 44 (Lewis Hamilton), on Monday 3rd July, the FIA will further examine the causes on the incident in order to evaluate whether further action is necessary.

A statement regarding the outcome of this process will be made available before the upcoming Austrian Grand Prix.” – The FIA

This sort of back-and-forth business is doing the FIA no favors. There are rumors circulating that the FIA was not satisfied with the penalty that was handed to Vettel for his “dangerous driving” but is it out of the realm of possibility to believe that such calls should be made by the end of the race day? Perhaps what remains is merely the fallout of the already chaotic race at Baku, but one can’t help but feel that