The great and good of motor racing could not hide their shock at the controversial penalty that cost Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari victory at the Canadian Grand Prix.

Vettel launched a scathing attack on the Montreal race stewards after being penalised for an incident with Lewis Hamilton on lap 48. Having run wide on track, Vettel rejoined the track into the path of Hamilton and forced the reigning world champion into evasive action.

The stewards deemed that his return to the track was done in an “unsafe manner,” but Vettel questioned afterward where else he could have gone.

The overwhelming response on social media was against the decision. 1978 world champion Mario Andretti said it was “not acceptable” at the pinnacle of motor racing, and 1992 world champion Nigel Mansell called the episode “very very embarrassing.” NASCAR legend Jimmie Johnson called it “BS.”

I think the function of the stewards is to penalize flagrantly unsafe moves not honest mistakes as result of hard racing. What happened at #CanadaGp is not acceptable at this level of our great sport. @F1

— Mario Andretti (@MarioAndretti) June 9, 2019

I’m glad we don’t have stewards in @nascar. #BS

— Jimmie Johnson (@JimmieJohnson) June 9, 2019

my observation on Vettel rejoining: his helmet moved to look into mirror only after steering correction! that he slid that far is laws of physics. No space for Lewis is name of game with street tracks. What happened to #LetThemRace ? Was it sketchy? yes! a penalty? not in my view

— alex wurz (@alex_wurz) June 9, 2019

Very very joy in watching this race ,two champions driving brilliantly,will end in a false result.

— Nigel Mansell CBE (@nigelmansell) June 9, 2019

Any of the stewards ever raced at the front in F1? Didn’t watch the race.. have now seen the “incident”.
Mental penalty. 🥴🧐

— Mark Webber (@AussieGrit) June 9, 2019

Not really sure what VET could have done differently when rejoining….with the momentum he had he was always going to end up where he did….tough decision for VET.

— Allan McNish (@allanmcnish) June 9, 2019

So close. Closed it well by Vettel, to me that’s racing. No penalty. End of message. #CanadianGP

— Giedo van der Garde (@GvanderGarde) June 9, 2019

Tough result for F1.
I can see it both ways.
FIA are following the rule book that you can’t rejoin by going straight to the racing line but poor choice for the sport.
All drivers know Vettel could have not gone back to power and joined safely on the inside.#F1

— M A X Chilton (@maxchilton) June 9, 2019

Damon Hill, 1996 world champion, said it was worth comparing the events of Montreal to the legendary wheel-to-wheel battle between Gilles Villeneuve and Rene Arnoux at the 1979 French Grand Prix.

Thanks for all your votes. My personal view is that he could have left more room, but we lost a great final few laps because of the penalty. There was enough doubt to let them carry on. Remember Dijon! #f1 #Dijon

— Damon Hill (@HillF1) June 9, 2019

Ahah! That’s the one. Couple of maniacs. No compliants from either driver. Or the fans. #f1 #Dijon

— Damon Hill (@HillF1) June 9, 2019

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