Sebastian Vettel has expressed his frustration at being blamed by stewards for running Felipe Massa off the track during the British Grand Prix as two off punctuated a disappointing run to ninth.
On a weekend that has seen Vettel and Ferrari struggle for notable pace compared with Mercedes and Red Bull, Vettel was always set to begin the Silverstone race on the back foot after a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change demoted him to 11th.
From here Vettel attempted to claw back ground in tricky conditions, but two offs – including a spin at turn one after being caught out by a damp track on slick tyres – would negate his challenge as he struggled to ninth.
“It was a bit of an eventful race. The call was very good so we decided to be the first car to come in and it was absolutely the right thing to do. I think we gained a lot of places but obviously then I went wide at Turn 1 and coming back to the dry with wet tyres I lost the car and spun.
“Then I lost a lot of time when I went onto the grass and spun once more. That was down to me and after that obviously we were quite a long way out and it was a bit difficult to go through traffic and really make a lot of progress when the field was spread out.”
Vettel's cause wasn't aided by an altercation with Felipe Massa after he attempted to pass the Williams at Turn 2 in the closing stages, only to out-brake himself and run the Williams driver out wide. Blamed by the stewards for 'forcing another driver off track', though the five-second penalty he received didn't change his result he didn't agree with the ruling.
“I was on the inside, he went a little bit wide at Turn 1, he was on the inside for Turn 3. We basically hit the brakes at the same time, I was trying to turn in and every time I tried to turn in I lost the car, lost the car, lost the car. So I had to open up and went wide myself.
“Obviously there was no intention to force him off the track because I was going off the track as well so it wasn't something that I controlled, but for some reason the stewards took the view that I did that on purpose and I got the penalty. But I think it was a racing incident.”