Lauda unhappy with 'too little' penalty handed out to Vettel


Niki Lauda says the French Grand Prix stewards were too lenient on Sebastian Vettel following the German driver's contact with Valtteri Bottas on the opening lap of the race.

The Ferrari driver locked-up on the entry to Turn 1, ran wide and spun his Mercedes rival around, ruining both drivers' afternoon.

Vettel was subsequently held accountable for the mishap, and hit with a 5-second time penalty which Lauda viewed as insufficient, notwithstanding the fact that it likely deprived the Silver Arrows outfit of a 1-2 finish.

"I think we could have done, and why Vettel only gets five seconds for this enormous mistake I don't really understand. It is too little," Lauda told Sky F1's Ted Kravitz.

"There is more time they can give them. That is what I mean. Five seconds is nothing. He destroyed the whole race for himself and Bottas."

Lauda wasn't the only one disappointed by Vettels' move, with Lewis Hamilton reacting in the cool-down room after the race to a video replay of the incident. "Oh man, that's crazy!" gasped the day's winner.

"I've not seen it in detail but I saw something played back there," Hamilton later said.

"For me, I'm disappointed because we had a chance to get a one-two finish. That's the ultimate goal within the team and Valtteri had done a solid job this weekend, as he has all year.

"We all went into Turn 1 as hard as we could. When someone destroys your race and then gets a tap on the hand, pretty much… they shouldn't be able to come back and finish ahead."

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