Hamilton won't take back 'disgrace' comment on Vettel

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Lewis Hamilton accepted Sebastian Vettel's apologies related to the pair's run-in at Baku, but would not take back the comments he expressed in the immediate aftermath of the incident.

The title rivals spoke at length in the days following the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, with Vettel sending his opponent a text message in which he delivered a formal  apology for his behaviour. 

"We spoke after the race on Monday and shortly after that he messaged me the day after," Hamilton said.

"I just said that for me I still have the utmost respect for him as a driver and will continue to race him hard as a driver as we always have and no less hard.

"My only point was that saying I had brake-tested him, I hoped he could correct that because people watching would think I had. That was not the case.

"In fact, he accelerated. It was an error of judgement. I said I hoped he made that clear. I had no intentions to do that. There was no need.

"There wasn't actually an apology in the conversation we had, even if that was maybe the intention. The next day when we were texting there was an apology and I did accept it."

Asked in Thursday's media conference in Baku if he regretted saying that Vettel had disgraced himself, Hamilton refuted that he had reacted out of anger, and stood by his initial remarks.

"I wasn't particularly upset," Hamilton said.

"If I was, it was for other reasons. I don't think I said anything I should take back. I am of the same opinion as to what happened but it is water under the bridge and there is no point saying much more."

Interestingly, when asked if the FIA's decision not to further pursue Vettel change his view on his rival's actions, Hamilton referenced the President of the governing body himself.

"With all due respect, Jean should be sitting next to us to answer some questions perhaps, because I think they didn't change anything on the Monday," said the Mercedes driver.

"So the message that was sent still remains the same."


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