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Vettel denies he was 'desperate' to overtake Verstappen

  • Published on 07 Oct 2018 09:54
  • comments 14
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Sebastian Vettel has denied that he was desperate to overtake Max Verstappen for third place during the Japanese Grand Prix. The German attempted to pass the Red Bull driver into the Spoon curve but made contact, spinning him around and sending him to the back of the grid.

The four-time world champion recovered to finish in sixth place behind the Mercedes', Red Bulls and this teammate Kimi Raikkonen. But despite dropping to 67 points behind championship rival Lewis Hamilton, Vettel says he doesn't regret making the move.

“I don’t regret the move,” he told Sky F1. “Obviously with that outcome you would do different because with hindsight it’s always different. But inside the car, the gap was there, his battery was clipping, I was boosting, I saved my battery, I had more speed, I would make the corner, I was side-by-side and he didn’t give enough room and we touched.”

Vettel doesn't believe that he was to blame for the incident, and cited Verstappen's aggressiveness by mentioning the previous altercation with Raikkonen on lap 1. Verstappen locked up at the final chicane and rejoined the track, pushing Raikkonen wide.

“I was obviously pushing to get past but I wasn’t desperate to get past,” said Vettel. “I knew he had a penalty but I also felt that we were faster. And then he was clipping on that straight with the battery and I was catching, I had a good exit. Obviously the Safety Car helped to be closer.

“The gap was there but as soon as he saw me obviously he defended. But I had the inside. As soon as he realised somebody is close or next to him he tries to, in my opinion, push when you shouldn’t push any more. I mean look at Kimi: he’s off the track and he comes back and if Kimi just drives on they collide.

"But it’s not always right that the other guy has to move. We’re all racing, the race is long, for me the gap was there otherwise I don’t do it. I think I got through the whole field without any trouble, sometimes closer, sometimes with more margin. It’s normal that sometimes it gets close but I think you need to always leave a space. In that case I couldn’t go anywhere and then we touched."

Replies (14)

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  • Vettel has lost the plot and his mind... (and the world championship fight)
    Quite rich to blame VER for that incident.

    • + 1
    • Oct 7 2018 - 10:28
    • Vettel knows, it's his last desperate shot at the championship. Next year he will be the new Bottas.
      It's a shame, someone with such limited driving skills can call himself 4x F1 champion.

      • + 0
      • Oct 7 2018 - 18:29
  • boudy

    Posts: 1,168

    Vettels arrogance will be his downfall. However the stewards sided with him. Wether we like it or not.

    • + 0
    • Oct 7 2018 - 11:01
    • Deeming it a "racing incident" and not penalising isn't the same as "siding with". If you were implying that Vettel deserved a penalty for his stupid move there, then I would agree.

      • + 1
      • Oct 7 2018 - 12:34
  • It seems to look different of you sat in the car!!? It was from all positions over aggressive. He shouldn’t have gotten away with, just not fair in comparisson to the other drivers

    • + 1
    • Oct 7 2018 - 12:29
  • If it's true he wasn't desperate then his move was even stupider. Verstappen has less engine power so needs to ride corners like that with a different line in order to carry as much speed as possible into the subsequent straight.
    If Vettel doesn't realise that and just thinks "ah, a gap" then it's Vettel who isn't demonstrating sufficient racing experience here ....

    • + 1
    • Oct 7 2018 - 12:33
  • Also:
    -Verstappen left space for Vettel, who just carried too much speed in order to use it
    -Vettel trying to cast doubt on Verstappen based on the altercation with Raikkonen is just childish. It's not as if Vettel himself hasn't slammed into a certain Mercedes himself earlier this season.

    • + 1
    • Oct 7 2018 - 12:37
    • f1ski

      Posts: 726

      leaving space isn't entering the space the other car occupies. They are racing and the goal is to overtake. This isn't a sport where another driver appears and you announce your intentions to take the spot. Vettel took the the space held his position and verstappen came in.

      • + 1
      • Oct 8 2018 - 03:52
  • xoya

    Posts: 583

    And to think they named Kvyat "the torpedo". Verstappen is obviously the greatest torpedo that ever lived. Maldonado has nothing on the guy.

    • + 0
    • Oct 7 2018 - 14:33
    • Time to take the pills!

      • + 0
      • Oct 7 2018 - 14:59
    • xoya

      Posts: 583

      That's rich, coming from a tinfoil hat king. :)

      • + 0
      • Oct 7 2018 - 15:09
  • Verstappen, the bane of Ferrari ;)

    • + 0
    • Oct 7 2018 - 19:25
    • More like the bane of anyone trying to overtake him. ;)

      • + 0
      • Oct 7 2018 - 22:45
    • xoya

      Posts: 583

      @calle.itw
      Finally, someone with some common sense. :)

      • + 0
      • Oct 8 2018 - 00:41

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