Sebastian Vettel crashed out of the Mexican Grand Prix at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on Sunday, admitting he was probably trying too hard to make up ground after an early puncture and a spin had left him outside the points and a lap down.
The Scuderia Ferrari driver suffered the puncture on the opening lap after a clash with his former Infiniti Red Bull Racing team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, with the German driver seemingly laying the blame at his rivals feet, but the stewards deemed the incident a racing incident.
“Today I had a bad start, and obviously after the contact with Daniel I was very angry, but in the end I think no one is to blame,” said Vettel. “He clearly could not avoid hitting me being too fast for the line he had chosen, but these things happen.
“That’s racing, even if of course it’s painful if it happens in the first corner and you have to drive all the way back. So the race was pretty much lost at that time.”
Vettel had hoped for a safety car period to be able to close the gap, but in the end it was himself that caused its deployment when he spun into the barriers in the Esses section. He bemoaned the fact that he left Mexico without any points after being close to the pace of the Mercedes AMG PETRONAS team all weekend.
“I was hoping for a safety car earlier on, but it didn’t happen,” said Vettel. “I tried to catch up, but the two mistakes didn’t help. The last one obviously ended my race and I am not proud of it.
“The car in general was good, we were quick, the pace was promising and we were very close to Mercedes, probably we hadn’t been that close for a while. I tried everything to force it and come back. And trying too hard is probably the right explanation for my mistake.”