Vettel will discuss clash with Verstappen privately

Vettel will discuss clash with Verstappen privately

Vettel - who started eighth on the grid after a poor qualifying session at Suzuka yesterday - could only finish sixth while championship rival Lewis Hamilton cruised to victory.

Playing a big part in the races of the Ferrari drivers was Red Bull Racing's Max Verstappen, having shunted and spinning Mr. Vettel, and running wide at the final chicane in the early laps, Mr. Verstappen was slapped with a 5-sec penalty for returning to the track in an unsafe manner. We touched a little bit but I think it's really ridiculous, those five seconds.

"The problem was that as soon as he saw I was side-by-side, he opened the brakes, and tried to push", he said. But I had the inside.

"Look at [the incident with] Kimi, he's [Verstappen] off the track and comes back and if Kimi just drives on they'd collide. We're all racing, the race is long".

"For me, the gap was there - otherwise I wouldn't do it", Vettel added. I am racing also the guys in front ideally.

"It is not the prime overtaking spot, but if you are side-by-side then I think it is fair in that scenario and that occasion".

Vettel believes Verstappen made life more hard for him than necessary in the corner, and he should have given the Ferrari driver more margin.

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"If you analyse it very, very carefully, what you see is two cars coming down with Kevin not moving, and then Charles catches, catches, catches, he decides to go to the right, and at exactly the same time, on the video, one frame, there's one frame difference, then Kevin moves". I don't regret the move, obviously with that outcome you would do it differently because with hindsight it's always easy.

By the time the team had realised it had made a mistake and swapped Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen to slicks, the rain finally arrived and both drivers made errors on the damp circuit in their attempts to set a time.

That allowed Vettel to get between them, with the stewards penalising Verstappen for failing to rejoin safely.

"I think the first one was quite clearly a penalty because Max went off the track and re-joined the track unsafely", he said.

Verstappen finished third, while Raikkonen fell to fifth and said damage from the collision made his vehicle "far from ideal" afterwards.

"He knew that I was there and he just drove into me and pushed me off the track".

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