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Vettel

The Canadian Grand Prix produced excellent and exciting racing. Strategy played almost no part and we were treated to motor racing at its best. Sadly, the racing has been overshadowed.

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Some months ago, we produced a series of our views of some of the ways that Formula One could be improved to avoid it becoming a high-speed procession around circuits that are, often, not very interesting from a spectators' point of view. One of those was a system where the fastest drivers were rewarded for being fastest but started at the back. In the past few races, without the incentives, that's what we've seen and yesterday's German Grand Prix demonstrated why it's such an excellent concept, even when the stewards act to spoil it.

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er.. Wow. I thought I'd miss the Grid Girls (amazingly, I didn't notice they weren't there until someone pointed out that the parade as they left the grid carrying their signboards aloft didn't happen) and I thought I'd hate the halo (I did, until the racing started and then, except for one novelty moment, forgot it was there). I thought I'd be confused by the names of the tyres (I was, so I ignored it and it became irrelevant chatter) and I thought I'd be bemoaning yet another procession (actually, that was kind of true but it was a procession with enough drama to keep it interesting). Aside from the obvious colour changes, team changes and the halo, what's so different? The answer is "lots."

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Was it madness, bravery or simply feeling that all the bad stuff that could happen had already happened? Lewis Hamilton, so often almost dismissive of his achievements, is collecting records, awards and accolades with every race. But in Mexico Hamilton, directed to the place where the top three cars were parked despite finishing ninth, was beside himself with joy. Unable to give a proper interview to the persistent and increasingly irritated David Coulthard, all Hamilton wanted to to was to get back to his team. And so, as the crowd swarmed onto the track, he turned and ran. There was no personal security, no looking around: just Hamilton running the long way back without a care in the world. Now, perhaps, the world will start to like him.

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Sebastian Vettel, F1's spoiled brat, had tears in his eyes as he got a hug from Ferrari Team Principal Maurizio Arrivabene. For his part, Arrivabene, already subject to some kind of gagging order from his bosses, has some explaining to do and he'd better come up with something better than his last excuse: a third party delivered sub-standard components and the team didn't notice before they failed. But it might be that the real reason that things are going tits up for the German driver are more intangible than the latest official reason of a failing spark plug. Renault and Torro Rosso are being taught a lesson, too. Welcome to the mystical East.

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Let's be clear about one thing: if a normal person deliberately drives his car into the car of another driver, he goes to jail. How, then, does Vettel get away with an insignificant penalty plus three points on his licence (that will have little or no effect due to points due to expire soon) for exactly that action. The FIA needs to review the Azerbaijan stewards' decision, retrospectively cancel Vettel's points from Baku and impose a meaningful and immediate ban of, say, three races. Also, he should be penalised for causing a collision when he ran into the back of Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes causing extensive damage.

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Hamilton won, Rosberg was second. Then it all got a bit muddled. Now the a third driver has been awarded third place. If the shoe fits...

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Some say that Mark Webber is the unluckiest man in F1. That's wrong: he's one of the unluckiest men in any sport. But it's also true that one makes one's own luck.

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The official word from Red Bull Racing is that Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber have "settled" the issue that arose when Vettel ignored team orders in Malaysia and took away Webber's victory. But as always, the devil is in the detail.

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The most fun of the weekend in Malaysia was not the (rather sad) race weekend concert but when Lewis Hamilton forgot that he's changed teams and is now driving for Mercedes. The McLaren pit crew who watched him pull in between the lines - with tyres ready - waited patiently while he worked out his error and set off for his own box further down the pit lane. No one else had anything to smile about, including eventual winner, Vettel. He broke team orders to stay behind Webber but says "you know I’m not sorry to win."

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Given Ferrari's history of stress-testing and even breaking the rules, often with the support of stewards and the FIA, it's a bit rich that they asked the FIA to review the stewards' decision over a pass by Sebastian Vettel on Verne in the Brazilian Grand Prix.

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Speaking at the first press conference for the first US Grand Prix yesterday, Sebastian Vettel told the global F1 audience to not to watch F1 if they are "sensitive." Bryan Edwards, our motor sport editor, writes him an open letter.

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The future of the recent development of podium interviews must be in doubt as two Formula One champions disgrace themselves and the sport by the use of coarse - in one case foul - language live across the conservative Abu Dhabi landscape and the world's TV screens.

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hahagotcha