Formula One: Vettel blames Hamilton, but experts blame the German driver

03 September, 2018, 18:43 | Author: Rachel Mcdaniel
  • Italy Grand Prix Sebastian Vettel

Hamilton had started third, behind Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel on the starting grid, and yet he beat them both to stretch his championship lead to 30 points with seven races remaining.

Sebastian Vettel claims his title rival Lewis Hamilton did not leave him enough space ahead of their collision on the opening lap of the Italian Grand Prix.

Mercedes crucially left Hamilton's sole stop eight laps later than Ferrari and Raikkonen, and then kept Valtteri Bottas out longer to impede the race leader and allow Hamilton to close in.

The fanatical tifosi supporters arrived in Monza expecting to see Vettel convert a Ferrari lockout of the front row into a crushing win.

Vettel spun in a lap-one clash with Hamilton and although he raced back through the field with a damaged vehicle to fourth, he slipped 30 points behind the Englishman with seven races to go.

"I want to give it up to Ferrari who put up a great challenge and gave us a great fight", said Hamilton after the race.

The Italian media and others surmised, however, that Raikkonen's uncompromising start may have had something to do with other matters off the track that left him in no mood to make life easy. I saw on the screens that he had spun but that definitely took a lot of pressure off from behind and meant that I could just focus on Kimi for the whole race, and it's great as we had a couple of good battles at the restart. "I actually accept it", Hamilton, booed on the podium by the crowd flooding the main straight with their flares and flags, said.

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Vettel managed to cross the line in fifth after climbing back through the field, and was promoted to fourth following the five-second time penalty for Max Verstappen.

" I stuck it down the outside and made sure I was far enough alongside."

Following the Safety Car caused by the incident, Hamilton and Raikkonen then enjoyed an nearly identical battle, with Raikkonen, having been passed in Turn 1, going around the outside of Hamilton into Turn 4 - although this time, no contact was made...

"I'm happy to fight three cars, I'm happy to fight 19 cars", said Vettel, when asked whether he was hampered by having to essentially compete against three cars, including that of his teammate, rather than two. But from there I think we drove well and tried to recover. Unfortunately we didn't deliver, but then what can you do.

"In future, the negativity is really a positive thing for me because I harness it and turn it from negative to positive", added the 33-year-old, who also paid tribute to his fans for holding firm. I had the experience a few years ago of being on the inside and it didn't come off too well.

"But then what can you do when you get spun around?" "It is very hard for people watching who are not in it to feel what we feel".



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