Sebastian Vettel says Lewis Hamilton did not leave him enough space as the the 2018 Formula 1 title rivals clashed on the opening lap of the Italian Grand Prix.

Hamilton made a quick start from third on the grid and tucked in behind Vettel on the run to the Variante della Roggia, before challenging the Ferrari driver around the outside.

The outside line became the inside on entry to the chicane, with Hamilton edging clear, only for the pair to make contact, pitching Vettel into a spin that dropped him to the rear of the field.

The Monza stewards initially investigated the incident but took no further action, though Vettel felt contact was unavoidable due to Hamilton not providing sufficient room.

“I tried to pass Kimi and then he put on the brakes and then I didn’t really have a gap and I didn’t want to try something silly,” Vettel explained.

“So then I left a gap and Lewis obviously saw a little bit around the outside but then he didn’t leave me any space. I had no other chance than to run into him and make contact.

“I tried to get out there but I couldn’t. Unfortunately I was the one that spun around, which was a bit ironic but was that way.”

Hamilton turned in a brilliant drive and passed polesitter Kimi Raikkonen to seal victory on Ferrari’s home soil, as he extended his championship lead with a record-equalling fifth win at Monza.

Vettel recovered from the clash to finish fifth on the road, which turned into fourth when Max Verstappen’s post-race time penalty was applied for causing a collision with Valtteri Bottas.

The German is now 30 points behind Hamilton in the drivers’ standings with seven rounds remaining, though Vettel is remaining positive about his title aspirations.

“It doesn’t help when you lose points but it isn’t the end of the world,” he insisted. “I think we all still wake up tomorrow morning but for sure I’m down at the moment.

“But what then what can you do when you get spun around, there’s not much you can do from there. It could have been a good race but it wasn’t.

“It was still entertaining, probably more so that way but I’m not too worried if we have the pace. The points sound a lot but it doesn’t take long to get them down.”



Loading Comments...