Maldonado's efforts were nasty but due to his driver ranking of less import. Vettel doing it, a respected (?) World Champion, to another World Champion, at the head of a train of cars, in the full glare of international media ? There is a case for sanctions to stop this sort of things becoming prevalent in lower categories (remember the increase in incidents during the Schuey era ??)
30mph bitch slap or 170mph pushing somebody within inches of a wall (Schuey on Massa) isn't a massive leap when the red mist decends.
In lessor hands in lower formulae it's asking for trouble.
As for Button/Brundle's comments, the FIA has to start somewhere. Why not the top.