Sebastian Vettel: “I don’t think what Max was trying to do would have worked”

Sebastian Vettel - Credit: Scuderia Ferrari

Sebastian Vettel believed Max Verstappen was at fault for the first lap La Source clash that compromised the afternoon for both Scuderia Ferrari drivers at Spa-Francorchamps on Sunday.

Starting fourth, Vettel managed to get his nose in front at the first corner, and although he left room for his team-mate Kimi Raikkonen into the first turn, he did not expect there to be a third car on the inside as Verstappen took the attack in his Red Bull.

Vettel was spun around as a result and rejoined at the back of the field, with the German being forced to come through the pack to finish sixth, not where the Ferrari driver wanted to be.

“Today I had a brilliant start,” said Vettel. “I was in second place and half a car ahead, so I could dictate the way.

“I could hardly see Kimi, he was in my blind spot, with Max even further right and out of sight. So I don’t think what Max was trying to do would have worked. Obviously he didn’t allow Kimi to move into the inside, and that prevented both of them from clearing Turn One in a normal way.

“We all three touched and collided, and this was bad news for Kimi and for me. Of course, with hindsight, I would have given more room to the inside, but you want to make the corner and try to race, and I gave room to Kimi, but not to three cars.

“Max had a bad start, he was falling behind. I think we have seen in the last couple of years that if you really dive down the very inside, the track is falling off and you basically go straight. The cars ahead have priority, and this is something he needs to understand.

“In that regard there was no way he could have made the corner without making contact. I don’t think that me and Kimi have to change what we are doing, we respect each other and it’s a pity when two cars of the same colour collide.”