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Mercedes' data shows Lewis Hamilton didn't brake test Sebastian Vettel

BAKU, Azerbaijan -- Data from Lewis Hamilton's car proves he did not brake test Sebastian Vettel under the Safety Car at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

A collision between the two championship leaders ahead of a Safety Car restart caused huge controversy as Vettel hit the back of Hamilton's car. Vettel then drove alongside Hamilton's car and turned in on him, causing a second collision and earning the Ferrari driver a 10-second stop-go penalty in the pits.

Lewis Hamilton; Sebastian Vettel
The Ferrari driver claimed Hamilton caused the initial collision by hitting the brakes on the exit of Turn 15, but after examining data from both cars, the stewards did not find anything unusual and that Hamilton drove in the same manner as on the previous restart. Mercedes boss Toto Wolff later said that the data presented to the stewards clearly showed Hamilton did not hit the brakes on the exit of the corner.

"I guess the only explanation I have [for Vettel's reaction], and I am not going to protect Sebastian here, the only explanation I have is that Sebastian thought Lewis was braking testing him, which he wasn't -- we have seen in the data and the safety car being 150m ahead, so that was a wrong judgement.

"I can't imagine he did it on purpose in shunting into him, so I would like to speak to him personally and hear from him personally, to hear what he says about the incident rather than making a judgment without properly hearing or reading a statement."

During a Safety Car restart, the rules say the lead driver "may dictate the pace" of the pack but that all drivers "must proceed at a pace which involves no erratic acceleration or braking nor any other manoeuvre which is likely to endanger other drivers or impede the restart". Wolff said there was no question that Hamilton did anything outside the rules.

"First of all, the leading driver can manage the pace. When he went into the turn the Safety Car was barely 150 metres in front of him and you could see from the start before that he almost caught the Safety Car over the Safety Car line. So there was never a question that at that stage he would accelerate -- no way.

"Looking at the data, there was no brake involved, he went through the corner and went off the throttle and Sebastian went into him. So, nothing wrong on Lewis' side, it's just unfortunate."

Source: http://www.espn.co.uk/f1/story/_/id/19733657/mercedes-data-shows-lewis-hamilton-brake-test-sebastian-vettel

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