Red Bull-Renault driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany gives an autograph to a fan in the paddock area prior to the third practice session of Formula One Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang International Circuit in Sepang. AFP PHOTO / Prakash Singh
Two-time defending world champion Sebastian Vettel could face sanctions from world motorsport governing body FIA for his action during and after last weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix.
The Red Bull driver clipped the front wing of Narain Karthikeyan's HRT as he was coming up to lap him, puncturing his tyre and hurling him out of the points.
Vettel was caught on camera flipping his middle finger to the Indian driver. He then proceeded to call Narain an "idiot" and a "cucumber".
Speaking to HT, on Wednesday, Narain labelled Vettel's comments as shameful.
Reports in Germany, including in the Kolner Express, Bild and Die Welt newspapers, now claim that Red Bull driver's behaviour may have breached the new stricter code of conduct introduced by FIA president Jean Todt.
"He has breached the code of conduct," former F1 driver Marc Surer told Germany's Sky television.
"You sign it when you get the license and then you have to behave correspondingly. Any behaviour that hurts other people or the sport is an offense."
Asked what the penalties might be, Surer explained: "Anything from a warning to a license revocation. In this case I think it was quite understandable and there will be a mild punishment, if there is anything."
Vettel, meanwhile, is still piqued about the incident, with the Kleine Zeitung newspaper quoting him as saying, "Maybe Formula One is not the place to learn how to drive."