Sebastian Vettel qualified third for the French Grand Prix but had a poor start as his clash with Valtteri Bottas forced him to pit and dropped him to the back of the pack. The German admitted that the crash was his error.
When asked he if he could change something about the whole incident, Vettel said, “With hindsight, I would have liked to have a worse start, because then it would have been more straightforward, I wouldn’t be in that position.”
“In the end, there wasn’t much I could have done different. Just the wrong place. Obviously what you don’t see is that I lose a lot of grip, you don’t hit the brakes 200 metres before the corner just because you think it is a bad spot, you try to be competitive”, he added.
Vettel certainly seemed to be vindicated on viewing the replays. The fact of the matter was that both he and Bottas got brilliant starts but Hamilton ahead of them did not get away too well, because of which Vettel had to slow down.
Inevitably, the collision happened and both Vettel and Bottas had to come into the pits for new tyres and a new front wing for the Ferrari driver. He was ultimately given a 5-second time penalty for causing the incident.
It did not affect him in the end as he finished almost 20 seconds ahead of Haas’ Kevin Magnussen. The Ferrari man also offered an apology to Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas. “Obviously for Valtteri, it was very bad because it affected his race and he had nothing to do with it.”
“I went to him after the race. Given the situation, how tight it was, I think we were both lucky in a way to be able to continue. It was certainly not intentional because it could as well have been the end of the race for me”, he revealed.
Mercedes were obviously unhappy with the situation, with Lauda and Hamilton airing their displeasure to the reporters.