New Delhi, March 30 (IANS) Reigning Formula One World Champion Sebastian Vettel got away with his "idiot" remark as well as the obscene gesture of showing his middle finger to Indian Narain Karthikeyan after the two collided in the Malaysian Grand Prix last weekend.
Karthikeyan, in his HRT, had a brush with Vettel's Red Bull in the dying moments of the rain-affected race Sunday, resulting in a rare 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.
Vettel apparently vented his frustration by pointing his finger from the cockpit and followed it up calling Karthikeyan an "idiot".
While the Indian was handed a 20-second penalty by the stewards, not even a warning was issued to the double World Champion.
An FIA spokesperson told IANS that though Vettel's behaviour was not acceptable, he won't be booked for his action.
"If he had to be penalised, race stewards would have done that in Malaysia itself. He (Vettel) is usually a nice guy who over-reacted at that point of time. Normally, race decisions are taken at the Grand Prix venue. If they did not penalise Vettel at that time, it is very unlikely they will do it now," the spokesperson told IANS from FIA headquarters in Paris.
Explaining the technicalities of the decision taken at Sepang, the official said: "Driver behaviour is a matter governed since 2011 by Appendix B of the International Sporting code (Code of Good Standing) which is in the FIA Yearbook.
"We imagine this has been taken into consideration by the FIA stewards panel in Malaysia."
Karthikeyan had described Vettel's outburst as an act of a "bully" and got support from fellow drivers in Sahara Force India's Paul di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg.
"I heard about the incident 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," Hulkenberg had said Tuesday.
Vettel had earlier told the BBC: "Like on normal roads, you have some idiots driving around. It seems there is also one driving here."
Thirteen-time Grand Prix winner and now F1 commentator David Coulthard dismissed it as a racing incident.
"Karthikeyan can't make his car invisible," he said.
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