Sebastian Vettel has revealed he got in a “really good mood” at his 30th birthday party – the night before the FIA hearing into his incident with Lewis Hamilton in Baku.
One of the most controversial moments in the German’s career came at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in 2017 when, after feeling Hamilton had brake-tested him behind the Safety Car, causing him to hit the back of the Mercedes, he pulled alongside the Briton and deliberately banged wheels with him.
Vettel had to attend an FIA hearing in Paris due to his actions, ultimately having to issue a public apology and having three penalty points added to his licence for the incident.
To make matters worse, the hearing took place the day after his 30th birthday party, but he did not let that stop him from having a good time at it.
“We had a good party. I don’t celebrate my birthday normally but 30, I thought ‘special occasion’. I got in a really good mood, if you see what I mean.
“And the next day I had the hearing at the FIA in Paris because of the Baku incident. You know, when I drove into Lewis, because I was angry that he stopped, blah blah blah…”
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Vettel and Schumacher have struck up a close relationship since the son of Michael joined the grid with Haas at the start of this season. Due to the friendship he had enjoyed with Mick’s father though, the 34-year-old knew him long before he became a Formula 1 driver.
Specifically, he remembers first meeting the Haas driver on a plane in 2011 when the two played Angry Birds together.
“I think I met you for the first then,” he said.
“Because I think before that, when you were little…I got a lot closer to your father when we were racing together, and before that he was at the races but you weren’t there, at the track.
“So it was that time, when were on the plane.”