RESULTS: Malaysian Grand Prix – Race results
Sebastian Vettel has inferred that Max Verstappen played his part in the collision that eliminated the Ferrari driver and compromised Nico Rosberg's race at the start of the Malaysian Grand Prix.
The Ferrari driver made a strong start from fifth place to challenge Max Verstappen on the inside for third coming into the opening bend, but would find himself on too-tight a line entering the right-hander, Vettel proceeding to clip the unsighted right-rear wheel of Rosberg's Mercedes as the title contender turned into the apex ahead of him.
Leaving Rosberg unimpressed – quipping that he was 't-boned by a four-time world champion – and resulting in Vettel getting a three-place grid penalty for the Japanese Grand Prix, while the German was full of remorse for hampering his countryman, he nonetheless saved some criticism for Verstappen for squeezing him to the inside in the first place.
POINTS: F1 World Championship Standings after the Malaysian GP
“If anything I was braking at the same point as [Verstappen],” he said when asked whether he out-braked himself. “So I was going side-by-side, he was squeezing me down to the inside. I think both of us would make the corner not a problem.
“Obviously Nico decided to do a different line -- he is ahead -- he's got nothing to do with it, he doesn't have to bother with what people are doing behind. I think there's two things that are wrong; first that Nico without any blame, gets turned around and second that I am standing here and the race is still going on.”
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The incident comes just two races after Vettel engaged in a war-of-words with Verstappen over his driving conduct after lambasting the Dutchman for moving under braking. It is a critique the Ferrari driver suggested played on his mind as he raced alongside Verstappen.
“Well racing him is moving around, I think everybody knows by now. Obviously if you are squeezed to the inside, your angle doesn't get any better for Turn 1.
“It was quite bad the angle, so I was trying to do everything to turn and get the corner, I do get the corner no problem, I'm not braking massively too late or at all too late. Nico tries to cut back I guess, to fight Lewis, but at that point we made contact.”
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