Sebastian Vettel says he “couldn’t avoid” crashing into the back of Alpine's Esteban Ocon in the season-opening Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix.

While running well outside of the top ten, Vettel drove into the back of Ocon on the run down to Turn 1.

The German was handed a 10-second time penalty and two penalty points on his superlicence for the incident.

 

The four-time world champion complained Ocon had moved under braking, although the stewards’ verdict disagreed with this view.

The stewards’ verdict read: "The Stewards reviewed multiple angles of video evidence and telemetry and determined that Car 5 was wholly to blame for the contact at Turn 1."

Reflecting on the incident with Ocon, Vettel felt he had nowhere to go.

“I was sure he was leaving me space on the left but then he crossed back and as soon as I was behind him I locked up and couldn’t avoid hitting him,” Vettel said.

Vettel’s debut for Aston Martin has been nothing short of a nightmare after he picked up a five-place grid penalty before the race for failing to slow down for yellow flags in qualifying.

In a bid to turn his weekend around, Aston Martin put the German on a one-stop strategy, but he never looked like he was going to break into the points-paying positions in Bahrain.

"It's been a tricky race, we tried the one stop, we had to try something different," Vettel added.

"Initially it looked like it wasn't that bad but first stint but towards the end I was struggling quite a bit with tyres so I don't think we could have realistically scored points."

Aston Martin teammate Lance Stroll finished tenth, scoring one point.

 

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