Sebastian Vettel says he couldn’t see cars approaching and was struggling to move his Ferrari after spinning early in the Italian Grand Prix, resulting in him hitting Lance Stroll.
Running fourth on Lap 6, Vettel spun at Ascari and ended up in the middle of the fast complex leading onto the back straight. As he tried to rejoin, Vettel pulled into the path of Lance Stroll and clipped the Racing Point with his front wing, causing Stroll to spin. The incident resulted in Vettel being handed a 10-second stop/go penalty — the harshest before a disqualification — for rejoining the track in an unsafe manner, and he says he was unsighted as he tried to recover.
“Obviously I did a mistake on my side, lost the rear and spun,” Vettel said. “So I’m not happy with that and after that our race was gone.
“I lost the rear going in and then lost it even more. I had a couple of snaps the lap before but always could catch it, so it came a bit by surprise but obviously it’s my mistake. Then the rest of the race was just hoping for a safety car that didn’t come.
“I struggled a couple of times to get the car going and get the car going in the right direction so I didn’t see (Stroll) … I triggered the anti-stall a couple of times. So it was impossible to see the cars on the left, and I think I was also stuck on the curb a little bit, which didn’t help.”
Vettel insists he was not driving any differently despite being unhappy at how Ferrari had handled qualifying — when he felt he wasn’t supported by Charles Leclerc — with his teammate going on to win from pole position.
“Today is a different day. I was in good spirits before the race but the mistake I did cost us the race today.
“I’m not happy, obviously. It’s an important day for us here, which for the team went well but obviously not for me.”