MONZA, Italy — Sebastian Vettel claims his title rival Lewis Hamilton did not leave him enough space ahead of their collision on the opening lap of the Italian Grand Prix.
Vettel started in second place but by the exit of the second chicane was running last with a damage car after making contact with Hamilton. The incident occurred as Vettel considered passing Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen for the lead on the inside to the chicane only to find Hamilton’s Mercedes overtaking him on the outside.
As Hamilton claimed the second apex and took the position from Vettel, the Ferrari driver was spun round and sustained damage to his front wing and the floor of his car.
According to Vettel’s version of events, Hamilton did not leave him enough room to avoid a collision.
“Well I think you had more angles than I had but I tried to pass Kimi and then he put on the brakes and then I didn’t really have a gap and I didn’t want to try something silly,” Vettel said. “So then I left a gap and Lewis obviously saw a little bit around the outside but then he didn’t leave me any space. I had no other chance than to run into him and make contact.
“I tried to get out there but I couldn’t. Unfortunately, I was the one that spun around, which was a bit ironic but was that way. Then things were not looking too peachy but from there we drove well and tried to recover and we still got a lot of points so it could have been much worse today.”
Vettel added that the incident was “unnecessary” and that Hamilton could easily have been the one that came away with a damaged car in last place.
“I think you can imagine how I felt. You are looking the wrong way and everybody is coming at you, so you know something is not right. It was obviously unnecessary, it could have been the other way around, but it wasn’t so it was unfortunate and unlucky for us.”