Sebastian Vettel admits he lifted off in Turn 3 before being hit by Daniil Kvyat at the start of the Russian Grand Prix.
Attacking Daniel Ricciardo in to Turn 2 – the first braking point on the circuit – Vettel was hit from behind by Kvyat and slid sideways in to the other Red Bull. Then going through Turn 3, Vettel appeared to slow and Kvyat again hit the rear of the car, causing the Ferrari to spin in to the barriers.
Having complained about Kvyat overtaking him “like a torpedo” at the start of the Chinese Grand Prix, Vettel explained the collision from his point of view.
“Well not happy to make predictions, I had hoped that I was wrong [in China] but I think you saw much more than I did because my mirrors are about that size (gestures), so there was not so much I could have done,” Vettel said.
“I got a good start, was making progress fighting Daniel tight in to the first proper corner at Turn 2. Got a big hit which obviously compromised me already and I hit Daniel as a consequence and then in to Turn 3 got another big hit which was just way too much.”
Asked if he lifted fearing he had damage from the first incident, Vettel replied: “Yeah I wasn’t sure.
“I looked at the rear of my car, I didn’t see big, big damage as I wasn’t sure if I had a puncture or whether something structural was broken. Also I was reacting to Lewis, I wanted to attack him straight away because I got a better exit still out of Turn 2, but you know the corner is going left, I was on the right so I lifted off a bit.”
However, Vettel held back from being too critical of Kvyat after the collision.
“Look, I don’t dislike him, but I think he did a mistake two weeks ago. I think he did a mistake today – it is fairly obvious – but it doesn’t help me now because I am not in the car.
“Well I can’t do anything but in the end this is racing. These things happen, people do mistakes, I have done mistakes, I will do mistakes in the future but it is just frustrating because the race is 53 laps not two corners.”
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