Sebastian Vettel claims Lewis Hamilton didn’t leave him room when the two title rivals collided at the start of the Italian Grand Prix.
Kimi Raikkonen was leading out of the first chicane, the Finn defending the middle of the track heading toward the Variante della Roggia — the second chicane — and Vettel took to the inside but couldn’t attack his teammate. Hamilton then took advantage by attempting to pass Vettel around the outside, with the Ferrari hitting the inside curb before making contact with the Mercedes and spinning.
“Well, I think you had more [viewing] angles than I had but 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 of there but I couldn’t. Unfortunately I was the one that spun around, which was a bit ironic but was that way. Then things are not looking too peachy but from there we drove well and tried to recover and we still got a lot of points, so it could have been much worse today.”
Having finished fourth and dropped 30 points behind Hamilton in the standings, Vettel downplayed the gap between the two, saying he is confident he can close the gap given Ferrari’s level of competitiveness.
“It doesn’t help when you lose points but it isn’t the end of the world. I think we all still wake up tomorrow morning,” he said. “For sure I’m down at the moment. Mostly for the people [fans] – their support has been incredible and unfortunately we didn’t deliver. But 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.”