Formula 1 steward admits Sebastian Vettel race ban was possible

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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