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Sebastian Vettel explains Singapore crash

1y ago

7.1K

Ferrari have played down their faltering form with Sebastian Vettel shrugging off Lewis Hamilton's apparent criticism of his driving.

Vettel crashed out at the first lap at the last race in Singapore after colliding with team-mate Kimi Raikkonen and Red Bull's Max Verstappen and fell 28 points behind Hamilton in their world championship dogfight after the Mercedes driver's subsequent victory.

Although Vettel escaped further penalty at the hands of the stewards, Hamilton didn't miss a trick in scoring another psychological blow on his rival when he told the Jonathan Ross Saturday night chat show: "It is great to have seen some of the weaknesses come through this year and I'm grateful for this recent one."

Told of the remarks by Sky F1 after arriving in Malaysia, Vettel responded: "Accidents at the start happen. The way that happened can happen to anyone. If he can avoid that, good for him."

With 28 points in hand and just six races remaining, Hamilton's priority over the next two months will be avoiding the type of calamity which has so grievously damaged Vettel's hopes of landing a fifth world title.

"It's part of racing," Vettel said. "These things happen and therefore your time is better spent looking forward. It certainly didn't help Lewis scored a lot of points but that's the way it goes. What's done is done."

Vettel left Singapore without speaking to the media following the stewards' investigation having previously offered little insight into what happened.

But speaking to Sky F1 in Sepang, Vettel offered his first full account of the incident.

"I saw Max initially getting off the line quicker than me. I found the grip again focusing on the traction and squeezed him a bit to the left, which l think is completely normal for the guy on pole to do, to make it a bit less attractive for him into turn one," he explained.

"I then got a hit from the side from Kimi which l didn't understand at all. From what l saw at the start and what l saw in the mirrors, l won't be [changing his approach]. It was just one of those things."

Curiously, while seemingly sanguine about their ruinous crash, Raikkonen and Vettel were more vexed by questions about the Scuderia's faltering form in the wake of their double DNF in Singapore and a thrashing at their home race at Monza which president Sergio Marchionne termed "embarrassing".

"In Singapore, Seb was first in qualifying and l was third or fourth," Raikkonen replied when asked about Ferrari's poor run. "If you purely compare it to Mercedes, it was better. I don't see why you look at things so negatively.

"It's pointless to look at one race and one there, it's over the whole season."

A concurring Vettel added: "There are still a lot of races left and we have a strong car. It's been very tight the whole season."

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