Vettel sees what he wants to see (Baku should have convinced you
). He implied that he didn’t regain control until he was on the racing line with Hamilton directly behind him — the telemetry tells what happened, Vettel regained control after some short rear wheel spin traction loss on the inside edge of the track, way off the racing line, and then moved under control to block/push Hamilton off the track.
If you look at the ‘incident’ from a drivers perspective, ie imagine yourself in Vettel’s seat, with a clear objective of getting to the checkered flag in first position, then you empathize with Vettel and know that you would do the same as he did. And as a driver you may also empathize with Hamilton’s plight and making a vocal complaint, “he pushed me off the track!” — but you might also feel, well OK that’s racing I got baulked, get it together Hamilton and try for the win.
Now if you imagine you have the job of steward, then the drivers perspective is not any of your concern, nor should you have/allow any drivers preference influence your decision making. Your concern is, what the rules say, and what rules apply to this ‘incident’. And that is what we got.
Ferrari drops appeal
So now it moves onto rule change proposals I guess …. and the wheel turns
Believe me, I am not and have never been a fan of Vettel's. At the same time, I dislike BS, political correctness, illogic and sophistry, and in this case we had them - hence my objection.
I must disagree that the driver's perspective is not the stewards' concern. The driver's perspective is a vital concern, which is why they have a professional driver among the stewards. That does not mean that the professional steward is always right, that he always interprets the rules correctly or that he always employs impeccable reasoning in forming opinions, but there is recognition that it is impossible to assess racing actions and especially to assign blame
without a proper understanding of what the driver was and was not capable of doing at a given moment.
No surprise that Ferrari dropped the appeal. Like all governing bodies, the FIA are loath to reverse the judgment calls of their officials, and it was always doubtful that the stewards' in-race ruling would be subject to appeal anyhow.
I was about to write that, if Max von Mosley were still running the show, I'm sure that the Ferrari appeal would have been heard and won. Before typing that, however, I realised that, if von Mosley were still dictator, Ferrari and Vettel would never have been penalised in the first place, and I'd much rather have a few mistaken rulings than have that prick back again. Ugh.
Yes, now as to that cost-cap....