Vettel was given a 10-second stop-go penalty for dangerous driving after swiping into the side of Hamilton’s Mercedes prior to the second restart on lap 18, with that contact occurring immediately after the German had run lightly into the back of his title rival.
Speaking about the incident after the race, Vettel pointed the finger at Hamilton, saying the Briton had brake tested him.
“The leader dictates the pace, but we were exiting the corner, he was accelerating and then he braked so much that I couldn’t stop in time and ran into the back of him,” Vettel explained.
“I think that was just not necessary. I don’t think it was deliberate of him to brake-check me, I don’t think he’s that kind of guy. But obviously that’s what it turned out to be, that’s what it is, and I wasn’t happy with that.
“As I said I drove alongside him and raised my hand to say ‘that’s not the way to do it’, because at that moment I damaged my front wing and I think he paid the price as well by having slight damage to his car as well.
“In the end I don’t agree with the penalty that I got, because if you penalise me then you should penalise us both, because that was not the way to do it.”
Hamilton said after the race that he believed Vettel’s behaviour set a bad example for younger drivers watching. However, Vettel was quick to brush that claim aside, saying: “I think F1 is for grown-ups, I think, as I said, the manoeuvre before was not necessary and obviously damaged my front wing. Damaged his rear also I think a little.
“So I think that was not the right way to do it, exiting the corner, accelerating and then braking. I don’t think there was any point in doing that.”
In addition to his ten-second stop-go penalty, Vettel, who stretched his lead in the championship over Hamilton from 12 to 14 points by finishing fourth, was awarded three penalty points on his license, bringing his total to nine for the last 12 months.
Drivers receive a one-race ban if they accumulate 12 points in any 12-month period.