F1 » 23 July 2012
Vettel hits out at Hamilton move
Sebastian Vettel questions Lewis Hamilton's decision to get involved in the fight for the lead of the German Grand Prix
Sebastian Vettel had labelled Lewis Hamilton's decision to unlap himself during the German Grand Prix as stupid, after the McLaren driver became embroiled in the battle for the lead at Hockenheim.
Hamilton was running a lap down after being forced to pit early on to replace a puncture and found himself running behind the top two but on fresh tyres after a pitstop mid-way through.
With more pace in his car than the leaders, Hamilton unlapped himself from Vettel and then ran between the top two cars which also allowed team-mate Jenson Button then close up on the two leaders.
Button would move ahead of Vettel at his final stop, with the German then hit with a penalty for running off track while trying to reclaim the position on the penultimate lap of the race.
“That was not nice of him,” Vettel said. “I don't see the point why he's trying to race us. If he wants to go fast he can drop back, find a gap and go fast there. But it's a bit stupid to disturb the leaders. He was a lap down so I don't see the point anyways. I think that potentially lost us the position to Jenson. Because soon after that we pitted.
“If you want to go quick and you're a lap down and there's no chance to win the race any more, I think you should respect that and use common sense so I don't think we need a rule. I didn't expect him to attack because I didn't see the point, and then I was surprised when he was side-by-side and lost quite a bit. For Fernando it was quite welcome, I think. He didn't mind. Then later on I saw that he was defending against Lewis so obviously he knew that as soon as he gets passed by Lewis he will lose some time, so he tried to avoid that, especially as we were approaching the pit stops.”
Alonso said he hadn't felt at risk when Hamilton became involved in he dice for the lead, and said it had helped to have the McLaren between him and Vettel.
“For me, I didn't feel any risk to be honest,” he said. “I knew that if Lewis was close enough and using the DRS and trying to overtake, going for it, I had a problem to leave the space and I knew that he was not in the race, so we didn't want to risk anything. For me, it was a good position to have Hamilton between me and Sebastian because we were approaching the pit stop time and having Hamilton there meant that Hamilton was around a second behind you and Sebastian was another second or 1.5s behind Lewis, so this 2.5s to Sebastian was very good, approaching the pit stop time so I tried to keep Lewis behind.”
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