Belfast Telegraph

Vettel points finger at Hamilton after their Monza collision after Lewis seals victory


First home: Lewis Hamilton
First home: Lewis Hamilton

By Philip Duncan

Sebastian Vettel has accused Lewis Hamilton of being at fault for their collision in yesterday's Italian Grand Prix.

Vettel is now a distant 30 points behind in the championship race after he finished only fourth and Hamilton claimed a brilliant win in Monza.

The flashpoint arrived after only four corners when Hamilton and Vettel tangled at the second chicane.

Hamilton took advantage of a slipstream off the back of Vettel's Ferrari to line up a move on his rival.

Vettel covered the inside, but Hamilton moved to his right to take the racing line, and he was ahead of the Ferrari as they took the corner side by side.

Vettel appeared reluctant to give up the place, and the right-hand side of his Ferrari made contact with Hamilton's Mercedes. Vettel spun, dropped to last, and had to pit for a new front wing.

"That was silly," Vettel said over the radio. "Where did he [Hamilton] want to go?"

The stewards reviewed the incident, but took no action.

"I didn't want to try something silly so I left a gap, and Lewis saw a little space around the outside of me," Vettel said.

"But then he didn't leave any room. I had no other chance than to run into him and make contact.

"Unfortunately, I was the one that spun around, which was a bit ironic."

Hamilton's long-time rival Nico Rosberg, however, claimed on commentary that Vettel was "100% at fault".

Later, Hamilton was asked for his response to Vettel's claim that the first-lap move was "silly".

"It worked," he replied. "It was a racing move and that is what we are supposed to do out there. We are supposed to be racing.

"I left him space and I was still on the track.

"When we went into turn four, I was a bit surprised that he chose the inside line and did not go for the outside.

"That was my opportunity and I had to make sure that I was far enough alongside him. We touched for a brief moment and my car was slightly damaged afterwards, but fortunately I was able to continue."

Results: FIA Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix, Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza, Italy

Leading Positions after Race (53 Laps): 1 Lewis Hamilton (Gbr) Mercedes GP 1hr 16mins 54.484secs, 2 Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Ferrari 1:17:03.189, 3 Valtteri Bottas (Fin) Mercedes GP 1:17:08.550, 4 Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Ferrari 1:17:10.635, 5 Max Verstappen (Ned) Red Bull 1:17:12.692, 6 Romain Grosjean (Fra) Haas F1 1:17:50.804, 7 Esteban Ocon (Fra) Force India 1:17:52.245, 8 Sergio Perez (Mex) Force India 1:17:53.162, 9 Carlos Sainz (Spa) Renault 1:18:12.624.

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