Vettel accepts blame for Verstappen crash

Sebastian Vettel (GER) Ferrari SF90 crashes into the back of Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB15.
© XPB 

Sebastian Vettel admitted that it was his fault that he ran into the back of Max Verstappen on lap 38 of the 2019 British Grand Prix.

The pair had been engaged in a fierce on-track battle for position, when the Red Bull finally found a way around the Ferrari on the inside of Stowe.

Verstappen then had to brake to make it into the next corner at Vale - and behind him, Vettel missed his braking point, locked up, and ploughed into the back of the RB15 which was briefly launched into the air by the impact.

At the time, Vettel's radio message of "What was he doing?" suggested that he felt Verstappen was to blame for the collision. But it was Vettel who was penalised by the race stewards, and after the finish the four-time world champion accepted that the clash had been down to him.

“It was my mistake,” he told reporters, having already apologised to Verstappen in person when the drivers arrived in parc ferme.

“He passed me into Stowe and then he ran a bit wide which gave me the chance to come back," he explained.

“Then it looked for a second he was going to the right and there would be a gap on the left which I would be ready to go in for.

“It didn't open, and by then it was already too late, too close - and so I crashed.”

The coming together wrecked Vettel's front wing and he was forced to pit for a replacement which dropped him well down the running order.

A ten second penalty from the race stewards meant that he was classified in 16th place in the final results. He was also handed two penalty points on his superlicence for causing the collision.

"You can't change your line," Verstappen stated unequivocally when asked for his account of the incident, but added that he wouldn't be holding a grudge.

"I spoke to him, he apologised immediately after he got out of the car, so that's it," said the Dutch driver who held on to fifth place in the race despite the collision.

Sebastian Vettel (GER) Ferrari SF90 crashes into the back of Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB15.

It was an unfortunate end to the day for Vettel given that he had been looking competitive all afternoon, and his ongoing battle with Verstappen had been one of the highlights of a dramatic Grand Prix.

“Today was good, I was very happy,” he acknowledged, adding that the early safety car for Antonio Giovinazzi's retirement had helped his race strategy by giving him a 'free pit stop.

“We benefited from the safety car. We passed the three cars in front, but I think it was quite tight between us and Red Bull," he said.

“But Max was a bit quicker than us today, in the first stint and at the end of the race," Vettel admitted. “We probably should have finished fourth, but we didn't. I didn't. So can't be happy with that."

Finishing outside the points is a big dent in Vettel's 2019 title campaign. He's now 100 points behind Lewis Hamilton in the drivers championship after ten races, with 11 rounds still to go.

Vettel is currently in fourth place in the standings, behind Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas and Verstappen. His Ferrari team mate Charles Leclerc is now only three points in arrears in fifth.

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