Italian Grand Prix – Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel says his car was quite badly damaged in the racing incident between himself and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton on Sunday.
Racing against teammate Kimi Raikkonen and main title rival Lewis Hamilton heading into Turn 4 at Monza on Sunday, Vettel went defensive early against Hamilton and gave him the opportunity to steal the outside line into the second chicane. Now hemmed in on the inside apex, Vettel made contact with the Mercedes and spun. The touch also resulted in damage to his front wing and bargeboard that necessitated a pitstop for a new front wing.
While Vettel was able to recover to an eventual P4 finish, the German driver lost further ground to Hamilton in the title chase and, with the Italian media deriding Vettel for another costly racing error, Vettel apologised: “I am sorry for our tifosi because they just deserved a different result today.”
At the beginning I tried to overtake Kimi in Turn 1 and 4, but I couldn’t. He opened the brakes, which he had the right to do, so I moved aside and left a gap for Lewis. So, when I touched Lewis, I span around and that was unfortunate, as my car got quite badly damaged.”
“It could have gone differently, but obviously it wasn’t the case. Unfortunately, our race was compromised and it was a shame, but then I tried to do my best and had a decent recovery from the back. All in all, it could have been even worse. It’s disappointing of course, because we had the pace and we definitely could have won. There are many points to win back now in the championship, but we still have time to improve and we have the margin to recover. “
Vettel is now 30 points behind Hamilton, with seven races remaining.