Max Verstappen: Sebastian Vettel 'drove into the side of my car'

Max Verstappen feels Formula 1 rival Sebastian Vettel "drove into the side of my car" in their Japanese Grand Prix clash, which the Dutchman likened to their China collision

Max Verstappen: Sebastian Vettel 'drove into the side of my car'

Vettel challenged Verstappen for third down the inside of the Spoon left-hander after an early-race safety car restart, but it ended in a collision and sent the Ferrari driver spinning.

The incident was investigated by the stewards, with no further action taken, but Verstappen felt it was clear Vettel had been at fault.

"In that corner you cannot overtake," he said. "I even gave him space. But he understeered into my car."

When asked whether Vettel deserved a penalty for the move, Verstappen compared it to his ill-fated move on the German in the closing stages of April's Chinese GP - which spun both cars around and yielded a 10-second penalty for the Red Bull driver.

"I'm not the one who makes the rules otherwise a lot of penalties would have been avoided in F1, but I think it is a similar scenario to what I had in China with him," Verstappen said.

"Of course we didn't spin off the track [like in China], but he drove into the side of my car.

"He could have been a bit more careful."

Vettel was adamant Verstappen was fully to blame.

Verstappen's run-in with Vettel was set up by a previous incident with the German's Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.

The Raikkonen clash had been triggered by Verstappen locking his right front approaching the final chicane and missing the corner, skipping across the grass to return to the track.

Raikkonen tried to clear him round the outside of the second part of the chicane, only to be forced off by the rejoining Red Bull and fall behind Vettel. Verstappen was subsequently assessed a five-second time penalty.

Verstappen went on to finish third regardless, and when told by team principal Christian Horner after the race that he would not be "too popular with Ferrari and the Italians", he jovially replied: "That's not my problem, they were too aggressive."

He felt Raikkonen could have avoided their contact, saying "I totally don't agree" with the penalty.

"I locked up and I could easily have cut the track, [but] I made my best effort to get back on track," Verstappen argued.

"And he chose to go around the outside, he could have waited for me to understeer wide.

"So I don't know why I got a penalty. It is a bit stupid."

Valtteri Bottas ran off at the chicane in his later battle with Verstappen over second, prompting Verstappen to tell Sky Sports F1: "If I get a five-second penalty for that [Raikkonen incident] then next time I'll just cut the track and do it like Valtteri".

shares
comments
Vettel: Verstappen completely to blame for F1 Japanese GP collision

Previous article

Vettel: Verstappen completely to blame for F1 Japanese GP collision

Next article

Charles Leclerc: F1 must be harsher on 'dangerous' Kevin Magnussen

Charles Leclerc: F1 must be harsher on 'dangerous' Kevin Magnussen
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Sebastian Vettel , Jos Verstappen , Max Verstappen
Author Jonathan Noble
What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Plus

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix Plus

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix

Red Bull's Portuguese Grand Prix fortunes were decidedly second best to Mercedes', but the result skews the potential that the team had at Portimao. With a new set of updates, the team looks good going forward into the rest of 2021's spicy F1 competition

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
Portuguese Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Portuguese Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 Portuguese GP will for several drivers go down as a weekend of missed opportunities amid imperfect track conditions that caused struggles with tyre warmup. But the performances of a select few stood out from the crowd

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
How Hamilton took a “completely different journey” to Portugal victory Plus

How Hamilton took a “completely different journey” to Portugal victory

Just as he did in 2020, Lewis Hamilton had to come from behind to win the 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix. Only this time there were two rivals he had to pass, among the several challenges he had to overcome, on his way to securing a 97th grand prix victory

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
The ‘big fish’ mentality that kept an Australian legend winning Plus

The ‘big fish’ mentality that kept an Australian legend winning

Frank Gardner was the veteran of just eight grand prix starts. It could have been more, but why waste his talent if the cars weren't up to it? NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls the life of one of racing's great characters

Formula 1
May 2, 2021
Why Todt’s FIA successor could be cut from the same cloth Plus

Why Todt’s FIA successor could be cut from the same cloth

Jean Todt has signalled that he will not stand for re-election as FIA president. MARK GALLAGHER analyses the strong credentials of one potential successor…

Formula 1
May 1, 2021
The data that leaves both Red Bull and Mercedes uncertain of supremacy at Portimao Plus

The data that leaves both Red Bull and Mercedes uncertain of supremacy at Portimao

Lewis Hamilton topped the crucial FP2 session on Friday as F1 returned to Portugal, but his Mercedes team cannot be sure it has the edge on its Red Bull rivals. As cool temperatures and wind combine with the still-slippery surface to present drivers with quandaries over set-up and tyre warmup, there's still everything to play for come qualifying

Formula 1
Apr 30, 2021
How in-form Norris is staking his claim as Britain's next F1 champion Plus

How in-form Norris is staking his claim as Britain's next F1 champion

As a highly-rated Mercedes junior, George Russell is naturally billed as Lewis Hamilton's heir apparent where Britain's next Formula 1 champion is concerned. But he may face competition for that accolade from Lando Norris, fresh from a confidence-boosting run to third at Imola, whose rise is being accelerated by his McLaren team’s revival

Formula 1
Apr 29, 2021