Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo won in Baku after a chaotic race which saw Ferrari's Vettel given a 10-second stop-go penalty when he steered into the back of race leader Hamilton's Mercedes under safety vehicle conditions after a red-flag stoppage on lap 22.
Vettel had earlier smacked into the back of race leader Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes while travelling in a slow convoy behind the safety vehicle; he blamed Hamilton for braking unexpectedly, then drew alongside and drove into the Merc's front wheel as payback.
"Nothing happened, did it?", said Vettel to Sky Sports F1, when quizzed about the incident.
"All I'm thinking is "get my head together". "I think he disgraced himself today". The second Safety Car after that really helped me out and, step by step, I moved forward from there. "It is not the way to do it".
"So I kept a consistent pace, a consistent deceleration down to the apex and just didn't speed up..."
"We're here to race as I said, we're grown ups and people expect us to race and use our elbows, that's what people want, here and there you might get a bit close, but people want real overtaking not just us driving past, so after that I had a handful obviously".
"The championship battle is still respectful I don't have a problem with him, I think today's action was wrong", he said.
Safety vehicle rules make clear that the leader "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 likely to endanger other drivers or impede the restart".
Vettel hit the back of Hamilton's Mercedes and then swerved sideways into him. "I don't think there is a big problem". Obviously, I've already had a few victories, but I think pretty much all of them have come under pretty insane circumstances.
It was a move that would later come back to bite Vettel as he was forced to take a ten-second stop-and-go penalty for unsafe driving during his second pit stop. I did not give him the finger.
When the dust settled on a chaotic race, which saw three safety cars and a red flag, the insults and accusations were flying around as readily as the carbon fibre shards that accompanied every crash. If he wants to prove that he is a man we should do it out of the auto, face-to-face. He said that he thought the penalty must have been for hitting Hamilton from behind.
Hamilton, who had dominated after a strong start from his 66th pole position, was also undone by a loose headrest that caused him to be ordered to pit for repairs, for safety reasons. Imagine all the young kids that are watching Formula One today and seeing that kind of behaviour from a four-time world champion. "A lot of pressure as we've been struggling with getting temperature into the tyres - I was just praying it was enough". This year we did and I was able to take advantage. "The lap, in the end, wasn't quite ideal, I was struggling the front left temperature and Lewis then did his lap! I don't think there was any point in doing that".
But all the talk was about the Hamilton-Vettel incident with the Austrian GP next.