F1 Throwback: When a Furious Sebastian Vettel Swapped Winners’ Board With Lewis Hamilton in Canada

Published 06/09/2021, 12:46 PM EDT
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO – Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Ferrari prepares to drive on the grid before the F1 Grand Prix of Mexico at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)


Back in 2019, Sebastian Vettel was enduring a lacklustre season with Scuderia Ferrari. However, he had a great chance to redeem himself at the 2019 Canadian Grand Prix.

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Vettel bagged pole position with Lewis Hamilton alongside him on the front row. The two of them battled for a long time with the Ferrari driver crossing the line in P1.

However, the FIA slapped Vettel with a post-race penalty, relegating him to 2nd and promoting Hamilton. Naturally, the German driver was furious and felt that the FIA had committed daylight robbery.

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So in a fit of petty revenge, he decided to swap the No. 1 and No. 2 boards between himself and Hamilton. Interestingly, FIA steward Emmanuel Pirro felt that Vettel deserved the win.

Pirro confessed that he desperately wanted Vettel to win. So when he had to hand the then Ferrari driver a 5-second time penalty, he felt sorry for him. Having said all that, he insisted that he had to look at the incident objectively.

What happened to Sebastian Vettel during that incident?

On Lap 48, Vettel slithered off the track while heading into Turn 4. Sensing blood, Hamilton saw a gap open and grabbed the opportunity with both hands.

However, he did not expect Vettel to skip across the grass and rejoin the track just inches ahead of him and nearly squeezing him into the wall. Admittedly, one could argue that Vettel’s actions were dangerous, and the FIA was justified.

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BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN: Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Ferrari prepares to drive on the grid before the F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain at Bahrain International Circuit in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

However, the other side of the argument says that Vettel’s tires had run their course, and he had almost no grip left. Obviously, the Scuderia Ferrari appealed the decision, but the FIA refused to budge from their stance.

Admittedly, Hamilton revealed that he forced Sebastian Vettel into the mistake, but earning the win through a penalty did not sit right with him. The Briton even said that he did not have the pace to re-overtake Vettel without the penalty.

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DIVE DEEPER

F1 Steward Confesses Sebastian Vettel “Deserved” Canadian GP Win in 2019

8 months ago

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Dhruv George

11667 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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