Stewart: Vettel's Mistake Greater Than McLaren's

Sir Jackie Stewart is definitely on McLaren's side when it comes to the lie-gate saga. Not that he doesn't agree with the obvious fact that Lewis Hamilton and the British team have done a terrible job lying to the Australian stewards, but the 3-time world champion argued Sebastian Vettel's mistake in the closing laps of the race was more serious than the Hamilton-Trulli incident.

A few laps to the finish line, Vettel refused to let Robert Kubica overtake him and eventually caused an accident that would lead to both drivers crashing out of the race. Although he admitted he made a stupid mistake, Vettel only received a 10-grid penalty from the FIA.

“In my opinion, what Vettel did in Melbourne was potentially more serious than what McLaren have been accused of, because that wheel could have flown into the crowd and killed somebody. Yet he was only penalized 10 places on the grid at the next race, which is no more than a strong slap on the wrist,” said Stewart. in an interview for The Scottish Herald.

Nevertheless, the Scot does believe McLaren are going to pay dearly for their wrongdoings – both Hamilton and sporting director Dave Ryan lied to the Aussie stewards two times in the post-race investigation – as they already admitted they did things the wrong way. Coming less than 2 years after the spy-gate, this new scandal will result in drastic measures from the FIA, thinks Stewart.

“It is hard to see how they can escape stringent sanctions when Lewis has already apologized publicly and the team has admitted that it got things wrong, which leaves them at the mercy of the FIA. It is difficult to believe they will get off with simply a financial penalty, considering that the World Council fined them $100m £68m, for their role in an alleged spy scandal involving Ferrari as recently as 2007,” added the legendary Scottish driver.

Hamilton and McLaren are to be heard by the World Motor Sport Council on April 29th concerning the incident.
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