Sebastian Vettel said he was “worried” for the safety of Racing Point mechanics when Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas collided in the pitlane during the Monaco Grand Prix.

Vettel was immediately behind the pair as all three drivers pitted under a Safety Car period early on in Monaco, with Verstappen emerging from his pit box alongside Bottas on pit road.

Verstappen squeezed Bottas into the armco barriers as both cars suffered minor damage, before he snuck ahead of the Mercedes driver. The Dutchman was hit with a five-second time penalty for the unsafe release by Red Bull and ultimately finished fourth behind Vettel and Bottas.

“I was surprised,” Vettel said. “Max must have had an amazing pit stop first of all, because we were all just right behind each other and I came out just behind Valtteri but Max jumped him, so he had a better stop than both of us. But then there was nowhere to go.

I was worried actually, because some of the guys further down the pit lane were, not panicking, but they did really well - the mechanics of Racing Point - clearing the hoses and giving way to two cars.

“Not sure Max saw that Valtteri was really side-by-side but it was just getting closer and I could see it coming. Valtteri had no place to go, but yeah, I thought maybe there’s something I can benefit, which turned out to be the case.

“Valtteri was lucky, I guess the lead pack had such a big margin to the cars behind that he had eventually another free pit stop - but it’s not ideal, obviously, it could have ended his race there.”

Asked if he felt a five-second time penalty was fair punishment for Verstappen, Vettel replied: “Obviously here is a tricky one to call because you have no space in the pit lane.

“I’m not a fan of penalties in general but then you need to find some way of limiting some of the actions.

“It was close with some of the hoses if the pit lane is not designed to have two cars fighting each other. I don’t know.

“I’m sure they looked at it again and again and again from behind, it looked like Max should have left more space but as I said, this small decision - I don’t know if Max was ahead, so I don’t know if it was necessary to squeeze Valtteri so much.

“I can’t see that much beyond his car but as I said, in general I’m not a fan of penalties but I’m sure they had to obviously look at it and that’s what they decided, so fair enough.”



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