Formula 1

Vettel move not “dirty” like Ricciardo’s in F1 Canada GP – Villeneuve

Jacques Villeneuve says Sebastian Vettel did nothing “dirty” to earn his penalty in Canada, opposed to Daniel Ricciardo’s defensive manoeuvre in the same Formula 1 race.

Vettel was penalised five-seconds as he was deemed to have rejoined the track unsafely after a mistake sent him over the grass at Turn 3 as he battled Lewis Hamilton.

Ricciardo came under scrutiny for his defensive driving on the back straight when under pressure from the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas early in the race, but went unpunished for the manoeuvre.

“I wasn’t surprised by Vettel’s penalty, because it’s often the opposite of what happens,” Villeneuve told Autosport.

“Ricciardo deserved a penalty for the way he drove in a straight line, and he didn’t get one. It’s often been like that.

“It’s bad for F1 anyway.

“It ruined the race because it was a bad call, not because, ‘It should have been a different winner.’

“If Vettel had done something dirty or bad, like Ricciardo did on the straight, that would have deserved a penalty, and that would have been fine, even though it would have been another Lewis win.

“That’s not the issue, it’s not that it could have been a Ferrari win, you can’t take that into account.”

Villeneuve says he disagrees with the penalty levied, mainly because he did not believe that Vettel did anything intentionally wrong in the incident.

“There should be a difference between intentional and when you go through a corner and get back on the track sideways,” he added.

“And mostly because the driver behind knows what’s happening. Lewis knew where Vettel was going. “[Vettel] could have come across the track much more aggressively, and he didn’t.

“It’s not a question of letting them race, because ‘let them race’ means people do dirty, stupid stuff.

“You should never do anything intentional that forces another driver to back off or put him in danger, that’s one thing.”

“But you go across a chicane, you get back on the gas as hard as you can, even if it might be risking other drivers, because the guys behind know, ‘This guy is in the grass, he’ll probably get sideways, the chances are I’ll be squished… OK, I’ll go for the inside.’

“Lewis did the right thing, he managed to impose a penalty on Vettel. He’s very good at that!”

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