Sebastian Vettel has held his hands up for his part in the first corner crash with Valtteri Bottas and feels he had “nowhere to go” after his strong start off the line.

Vettel initially pulled alongside Bottas heading into the first corner after a quick blast off the start line but misjudged his braking which saw him lock-up his tyres and slide into the Mercedes driver at the corner entry.

Both drivers suffered substantial damage and were forced to pit after the first lap, with Vettel requiring a new front wing, as he charged back through the pack to finish in fifth place despite a five-second time penalty from the race stewards for causing the collision with Bottas.

Vettel says he accepts the penalty and his part in the incident which ultimately wrecked his shot at victory and also lost him the Formula 1 world championship lead to Lewis Hamilton.

“My start was too good and then I ended up with nowhere to go,” Vettel said. “It was my mistake and I tried to brake early to get out of it but I had no room and then no grip with it being so close to the cars in front and also next to me.

“Obviously Valtteri tried to get his position back which is fair enough but then I had nowhere to go obviously as the turn goes left and I tried to slow down but with that little grip I could only lock the rears and that meant I had to unfortunately make contact with Valtteri.”

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Bottas felt he gave the Ferrari driver sufficient room into the first turn but his lock-up caused the clash as the Finnish driver had to manage car damage on his own recovery drive to seventh place.

“I went to the outside, braked quite a bit later, left enough room for him to be inside still,” Bottas said. “He just went wide and hit me. I got a puncture and from the puncture got decent damage on the floor, which really compromised the race.”

Vettel now trails Hamilton by 14 points at the top of the F1 world drivers' championship.



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