Formula 1 steward admits Sebastian Vettel race ban was possible

Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Ferrari looks on as he sits in the garage during final practice for the Formula One Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on September 5, 2015
© Getty Images
An F1 steward says that his colleagues considered a harsher penalty for Sebastian Vettel last weekend in Baku.

A Formula 1 steward has revealed that his colleagues considered a harsher penalty for Sebastian Vettel last weekend in Baku.

On Monday, which is also the German's 30th birthday, the FIA will meet to consider imposing an additional penalty to supplement his 10-second stop go.

"Of course we could have issued a more severe penalty," steward Paul Gutjahr told Swiss newspaper Blick.

"Like the black flag or a race ban. But [Lewis] Hamilton had no damage and we did not want to influence the world championship too much."

Gradually, the world of F1 is weighing into the controversy, with former FIA president Max Mosley urging for a harsher penalty but F1 sporting chief Ross Brawn claiming that F1 needs "passion".

Even MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi has an opinion, telling Marca sports newspaper: "When one driver fights against the other and they are so different, there may always be crashes.

"Personally I liked it. It's the beauty of the sport."

Others think that Vettel may indeed escape Monday's hearing with a black eye, with Renault reserve Sergey Sirotkin telling Sportbox: "To be honest, looking at the on board, it is not obvious that Sebastian deliberately hit Lewis.

"I think at the moment he raised his hand and turned his head, he didn't realise the car was turning towards Lewis and they touched.

"In my opinion, everything is much calmer than everyone is talking about."

The championship continues with the Austrian Grand Prix on July 9.

Niki Lauda watches the action during final practice ahead of the Canadian Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on June 7, 2014
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3Red Bull174
4Force India95
5Williams-Mercedes41
6Toro Rosso33
7Haas29
8Renault26
9Sauber5
10McLaren2
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1Sebastian VettelFerrari177
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes176
3Valtteri BottasMercedes154
4Daniel RicciardoRed Bull117
5Kimi RaikkonenFerrari98
6Max VerstappenRed Bull57
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11Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes23
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13Romain GrosjeanHaas18
14Kevin MagnussenHaas11
15Pascal WehrleinSauber5
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17Fernando AlonsoMcLaren2
18Jolyon PalmerRenault0
19Marcus EricssonSauber0
20Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren0
21Antonio GiovinazziSauber0
22Jenson ButtonMcLaren0
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