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Ferrari to appeal Sebastian Vettel’s penalty

German deemed to have forced Mercedes driver Hamilton off the track

Ferrari will appeal against the five-second penalty that cost Sebastian Vettel victory in the Canadian Grand Prix yesterday morning (Singapore time).

Five-time Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton maintained Mercedes' record-winning start to the season when he was handed the controversial victory, courtesy of a disputed stewards' decision, despite crossing the finish line just behind the German.

Vettel was judged to have forced a charging Hamilton towards a wall after running off at a chicane and rejoining across a strip of grass.

The Briton had to brake and pull out of his overtaking manoeuvre, prompting the stewards to impose the time penalty on Vettel.

The stewards deemed him guilty of an "unsafe re-entry forcing another driver off the track" and the five-second penalty decided the outcome as Hamilton crossed the line 1.342sec behind Vettel.

"Where could I go?" said an angry Vettel on team radio.

"I had nowhere to go...

"They are stealing the race from us... This is the wrong world. This is not fair."

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto later said they would be appealing against the penalty.

DISAPPOINTED

"At the moment, we, as a team, are naturally disappointed," said Binotto in a statement on the Ferrari website.

"As for Seb, I don't think he could have done things differently, which is why we have decided to appeal the Stewards' decision."

Under the regulations, Ferrari have 96 hours from the end of the race to gather evidence to support their appeal.

Vettel drove his car back to the garage instead of into the parc ferme and refused to attend the post-race interviews.

He stormed off to the Ferrari motor home before being persuaded by his team to return for the podium ceremonies.

On the way, he walked into the parc ferme and swopped the No. 1 for the winner from in front of Hamilton's Mercedes with the No. 2 in front of the empty space for his car.

The pro-Ferrari crowd booed Hamilton on the podium, but Vettel told them: "Don't boo Lewis - you should boo these decisions, not him."

It was a record seventh victory in Canada for Hamilton and the 78th of his career. It extended Mercedes' season-opening run to seven successive wins.

Vettel was classified second ahead of his teammate Charles Leclerc. Valtteri Bottas was fourth in the second Mercedes, followed by Max Verstappen of Red Bull and Daniel Ricciardo of Renault. - AFP

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