Penalty for Vettel for flipping off Karthikeyan?

The FIA could sanction F1's world champion Sebastian Vettel for his behaviour during Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix.

Updated: March 28, 2012 21:05 IST
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The FIA could sanction F1's world champion Sebastian Vettel for his behaviour during Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix.

Before calling HRT's Narain Karthikeyan an "idiot" in the wake of their collision, Vettel was captured by his on-board camera twice displaying his middle-finger to the Indian driver.

Vettel has already courted controversy for his unsavoury remarks against Karthikeyan with drivers, experts and fans divided on the issue.

Vettel had told BBC after the race: "Like on normal roads, you have some idiots driving around. It seems there is also one driving here." His comment came after both their cars collided in the 46th lap of the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Karthikeyan on his part told NDTV that the pressure of not having the fastest car and being out-qualified by team-mate Mark Webber may be getting to the world champion.

Karthikeyan, in his HRT, contacted the rear left of Vettel's Red Bull in the dying moments of the rain-affected race on Sunday, which resulted in an 11th place finish for the German. Vettel was runing fourth at the time of the incident, meaning he lost out on 12 points in the drivers' standings.

But many from the F1 fraternity have backed Karthikeyan on the issue, shrugging it off as a racing incident that happens all the time.

Fellow Formula One drivers Paul di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg of Force India also supported Karthikeyan on the incident.

"I heard about whatever happened and I also saw it on tv. From what I saw, it was not Narain's fault. So, I don't really understand why he (Vettel) said all of that," said Hulkenberg.

"I think Vettel was just emotional at that point of time. He lost out on points, it was frustrating for him and his team. At the end of the day, he is just human and sometimes you get emotional."

Di Resta concurred with his Force India teammate.

"Though I have not really seen the incident, I am sure a lot of was said in the heat of the moment. May be he (Vettel) used the wrong words. Emotions run high in Formula One and sometimes you tend to say what you don't really mean," said di Resta.

"Having said that, Narain is entitled to do as much on the track in comparison as someone like Vettel. Both are F1 drivers and are there to represent their teams, he added.

Watch: Vettel flips off Karthikeyan

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