Formula One world drivers' championship leader Sebastian Vettel has escaped further punishment after crashing into Lewis Hamilton at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. The Ferrari driver intentionally collided with his Mercedes rival during the race and was handed a 10-second penalty, yet Hamilton led calls for the punishment to be increased.

Vettel, a four-time world champion, attended a FIA hearing in Paris on Monday (3 July) to further examine the incident with the possibility of an enhanced penalty that could have included disqualification or a ban from future races.

But after pledging to publicly apologise and committing to a series of educational programmes across a number of FIA events, Vettel has escaped any additional sanctions that could have compromised his lead in the drivers' championships. The 30-year-old also offered "sincere apologies" to the governing body for any harm caused by his actions.

FIA president Jean Todd said: "Top-level sport is an intense environment in which tempers can flare. However it is the role of top sportsmen to deal with that pressure calmly and to conduct themselves in a manner that not only respect the regulations of the sport but which befits the elevated status they enjoy.

Sebastian Vettel
Vettel will head to Austria with his 14-point championship lead intact. Reuters

"Sportsmen must be cognisant of the impact of their behaviour can have on those who look up to them. They are heroes and role models and to millions of fans worldwide and must conduct themselves accordingly."

Reports were rife on social media prior to the announcement that Vettel's results from Azerbaijan would be wiped, meaning he would be docked the 12 points gained from finishing fourth and forced to share the lead of the championship with Hamilton. However, instead he will head into the weekend's Austrian Grand Prix with his 14-point advantage intact.