Sebastian Vettel believes the furor over him and Kimi Raikkonen swearing during Abu Dhabi Grand Prix podium interviews was excessive.
Both third-place finisher Vettel and winner Raikkonen used profanities when being quizzed by Formula 1 racer turned commentator David Coulthard during the new-style live interview procedure at Yas Marina. The FIA subsequently wrote to teams underlining that it considers swearing in media sessions "unacceptable."
Coulthard apologized for the drivers' language immediately afterward, with Vettel also subsequently issuing a message of contrition on his personal website. But asked about the FIA's warning in a pre-United States GP press conference on Thursday, Vettel said he had been surprised how much coverage the incident had received. The German intimated that viewers should not be too shocked to chance upon accidental swearing in live sports coverage.
"I think if you are sensitive then you should watch some kids' program," he said. "You have the remote control in your hand. It was not intentional in the last race."
Vettel suggested the matter had been blown out of proportion.
"It was unnecessary to create such a big fuss," he said. "But anyway, if I said some things that were not appropriate then I apologize. But there is not a lot I have to do differently to succeed in that regard."