Vettel and Horner slam Hamilton
Red Bull duo round on McLaren driver after he unlaps himself
Last Updated: July 23, 2012 7:33am
Sebastian Vettel has branded Lewis Hamilton "stupid" for unlapping himself during the German Grand Prix, arguing that the McLaren driver shouldn't have 'interfered' with the race leaders.
Hamilton was running out of contention a lap down having picked up a puncture on the opening lap at Hockenheim but at around the halfway stage, having just pitted for fresh tyres, he found himself right behind race leaders Fernando Alonso and Vettel and just ahead of Button, who was in the process of catching his two rivals.
Although out of position and already lapped, Hamilton's McLaren was running at a faster pace at the time on far fresher tyres compared to the three cars around him and the Briton was able to line up and pass Vettel with the aid of DRS on the run to the turn six hairpin on lap 36.
The move drew an animated response from Vettel - with the World Champion to be seen waving his arm from the RB8 cockpit - and he continued his attack on his McLaren rival in the post-race press conference.
"That was not nice of him [Hamilton]. I don't see the point why he is trying to race us," Vettel complained. "If he wants to go fast then he can drop back, find a gap and go fast there.
"But it's a bit stupid to disturb the leaders. He was a lap down so I don't see the point anyway. I think that potentially lost us the position to Jenson because soon after that we pitted, I think only two or three laps after that."
Vettel's pass to re-take second from Button on the final lap of the race was at the centre of later controversy as the German driver completed the move with all four wheels off the race track and he was later handed a 20-second time penalty that dropped the World Champion to fifth place in the final classification.
However, speaking live on Sky Sports F1 amid his defence of his driver's actions in that incident, Red Bull chief Christian Horner suggested Hamilton's alleged crime was far worse.
"I think a bigger incident is what went on with Lewis Hamilton. Why was he interfering with the race leaders?" Horner asked. "He should have respected the fact that they were ahead on the track."
When put to him by Sky Sports F1's Johnny Herbert that Hamilton was actually the quickest car on the track at the time and there is no rule that says you are not allowed to unlap yourself, Horner replied: "Yes and no. Yes and no. He didn't attempt to make any move on Fernando. He was a lap down and this was for the lead of the race. Sebastian gets pushed off line, gets dirt on his tyres and it costs him time in a crucial battle with Fernando Alonso."