Vettel praises Verstappen for apology after their Chinese GP clash

Formula 1 world championship leader Sebastian Vettel says he appreciated Max Verstappen's handling of their Chinese Grand Prix collision and the Red Bull driver's prompt apology

Vettel praises Verstappen for apology after their Chinese GP clash

Vettel, winner of the first two grands prix of the 2018 F1 season, was tapped into a spin by Verstappen 13 laps from the end of the Shanghai race as the Red Bull caught his third-placed Ferrari having taken on fresh tyres during a safety car period.

Verstappen accepted full responsibility for the incident and approached Vettel to discuss it immediately after the race finished.

"He came up straight after. He realised that he did a mistake," said Vettel.

"I said to him 'look, the races are long and you threw your podium away'. He was lucky to continue, I was lucky to continue, but it was not necessary.

"I think he got it. He was quite composed and realised that he messed up.

"People were asking if it was a question of age, but it's not. He's done so many races.

"We had a bit of tailwind the whole race and after 41 laps you know that it's tricky to stop the car there. But it happens.

"I appreciate the fact that he came to me straight away.

"I told him that was the way to solve it, face to face and not through the media or blowing something up."

Vettel, who had led the first part of the race before being jumped by Valtteri Bottas in the initial pitstops, underlined that he would have let Verstappen past without a fight given their respective tyre situations.

Verstappen's team-mate Daniel Ricciardo used the same strategy to charge from sixth to victory in the final part of the race.

"It was clear that the Red Bulls were faster," said Vettel.

"The way Daniel approached from behind there was no point to resist much and the same with Max.

"I think he had a bad exit onto the big straight, otherwise I was just ready to let him go.

"He wasn't there, so then you stay in front.

"I gave a bit of room just in case he had a tiny lock-up and then obviously he had a big lock-up... That's when we crashed."

Vettel resumed in sixth after the clash but struggled with a damaged car for the rest of the race and fell to eighth behind Nico Hulkenberg's Renault and Fernando Alonso's McLaren.

"I think in a way I'm lucky that I got to the end of it," Vettel added.

"After a collision like that we might've stopped there.

"The lucky thing was the car was still working. Obviously the floor was damaged and the balance was gone.

"The car wasn't the same after that. It had a lot of understeer."

Verstappen was given a 10-second time penalty for the collision, demoting him from fourth to fifth in the results.

shares
comments
Formula 1: 'Miscommunication blamed for Toro Rosso collision

Previous article

Formula 1: 'Miscommunication blamed for Toro Rosso collision

Next article

Lewis Hamilton 'not in the best place' in Chinese GP - Toto Wolff

Lewis Hamilton 'not in the best place' in Chinese GP - Toto Wolff
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Sebastian Vettel , Jos Verstappen , Max Verstappen
Author Matt Beer
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Plus

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says NIGEL ROEBUCK

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Are we at peak F1 right now? Plus

Are we at peak F1 right now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021
How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021 Plus

How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021

The longer Red Bull can maintain a performance edge over Mercedes, the better the odds will be in the team’s favour against the defending world champions. But as the Bahrain Grand Prix showed, many more factors will be critical in the outcome of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship

Formula 1
Apr 7, 2021
How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend Plus

How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend

Williams held out against the tide for many years but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, the age of the owner-manager is long gone

Formula 1
Apr 6, 2021
When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m Plus

When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m

Nikita Mazepin’s Formula 1 debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix lasted mere corners before he wiped himself out in a shunt, but his financial backing affords him a full season. Back in 1993 though, Marco Apicella was an F1 driver for just 800m before a first corner fracas ended his career. Here’s the story of his very short time at motorsport’s pinnacle

Formula 1
Apr 4, 2021
The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes Plus

The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton took victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix despite, for a change, not having the quickest car. But any hopes of developing its W12 to surpass Red Bull's RB16B in terms of outright speed could not have come at a worse time.

Formula 1
Apr 2, 2021
How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his team-mate's F1 career climb Plus

How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his team-mate's F1 career climb

Kimi Raikkonen’s emergence as a Formula 1 star in his rookie campaign remains one of the legendary storylines from 2001, but his exploits had an unwanted impact on his Sauber team-mate’s own prospects. Twenty years on from his first F1 podium at the Brazilian GP, here’s how Nick Heidfeld’s career was chilled by the Iceman

Formula 1
Apr 1, 2021