Mercedes driver Hamilton, who won in Canada last time out and started on pole, was seemingly on course to pick up a comfortable victory and make further inroads into Vettel's championship advantage after maintaining his lead following a red flag.
Vettel's swerve into Hamilton happened at the end of the second of three safety auto periods.
With the cars parked in the pit lane Hamilton and Vettel did not converse and the latter was able to take a new front wing.
In his rage Vettel pulled alongside Hamilton and gesticulated at the Mercedes driver - then steered towards him which caused the pair to clash wheels.
Vettel reacted to what he deemed to be brake-testing by immediately drawing level with Hamilton and turning his auto into his rival in a deliberate act of revenge. "What the f**k is going on?"
The heat in the Formula One world championship battle was turned up a notch at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix when Sebastian Vettel appeared to intentionally drive his Ferrari into Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes.
Hamilton was initially reluctant to discuss the incident post-race but felt his rival should have been given a tougher sanction.
Ricciardo started in 10th, but a insane races that saw six retirements and multiple safety cars allowed Ricciardo to move through the pack to take his first win of the year, CBNation reports. But the Australian was able to move forward during the race's jockeying for position, and had moved up to 6th by the time of the race's second safety vehicle stint.
"I think he disgraced himself today", he continued.
Vettel was given a 10-second stop-and-go penalty, but Hamilton lost valuable time changing a loose headrest at the same time.
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"Did I think I would win today?"
With Ferrari evidently backing Vettel as the No. 1 designated driver, it's highly likely that the German is strategically allowed to overtake teammate Raikkonen for a podium finish.
An adamant Vettel added to Rachel Brookes: "He brake-checked me as well, so what do you expect?" If I am struggling, people in the back are going to too. "I don't think I did anything wrong", he said. He's done something similar a couple of years ago in China at the restart so it's not the way to do it, I think.
You saw it happen, I don't really care about it.
Speaking shortly after to Channel 4, Hamilton took aim at his rival again, this time with a little more to say for himself.
"Like all the other restarts, I slowed down in the same spot", he said.
Speaking on Britain's Channel 4 television just after the race, Hamilton went as far as to say that Vettel "disgraced himself", adding that "if he wants to prove he is a man we should do it out of the vehicle".
We want to race wheel to wheel, but not when it is a restart.
At lap 10 Hamilton leads Vettel by 3.5 seconds, followed by Perez (8.8s), Verstappen (9.9s), Raikkonen (12.4s), Massa (15.7s), Ocon (17.8s), Stroll (19.5s), Hulkenberg (31.2s) and Magnussen (34.9s) in tenth place.