Vettel not blaming Verstappen for lap one contact

2017 Canadian Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

Sebastian Vettel shrugged off the contact with Max Verstappen on the first lap of the Canadian Grand Prix which compromised his race.

2017 Canadian Grand Prix in pictures
The Ferrari driver lost part of his front wing when he made contact with Verstappen at the start. “Three cars in turn one doesn’t work,” Vettel reflected, but he accepted the contact hadn’t been intentional.

“I had a bit of a poor position then,” he said. “I need to have a look, maybe it could have been better.”

“I was stuck with Lewis [Hamilton] in front, I can’t brake any deeper otherwise I push him off. Valtteri [Bottas] on the left and Max then suddenly appearing on the right.”

“I think he saw his gap, fair enough, and he ran over my front wing. You don’t do that on purpose because the chance of a puncture is very high. So in the end I was the one that had damage which was a bit unfortunate.”

Vettel revealed he didn’t immediately notice how serious the damage was to his front wing.

“With the safety car on track I did not realise that the damage to the front wing was as bad as it actually was, we only noticed it at full speed.”

“There was also some additional damage to other parts of the bodywork, hard to say what they cost me in terms of lap time, but the car did not feel as the one I had driven in the past two days.”

Vettel eventually recovered to finish in fourth place.

2017 Canadian Grand Prix

    Browse all Canadian Grand Prix articles

    Author information

    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

    Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

    33 comments on “Vettel not blaming Verstappen for lap one contact”

    1. It’s ok if Vettel couldn’t see the damage to his front wing, the viewers could and I believe so could the team. The edges were flapping around and it was evident that it would go off any time soon.

      Not sure why he wasn’t pulled in quicker during the SC period itself. Could have been right at the back at the restart and had a great chance of podium by the look of things.

      The two lead drivers of the front runners seem to be having a different car to others. Vettel was very much quicker in the old tires than Kimi and so was Hamilton over Bottas.

      Glad he got by the FIs. One more lap and the 3rd place was his as well. They need to get their starts proper. Getting mugged by the Mercedes once more will not help things in tight circuits.

    2. Surprised the team didnt pick up penalty for leaving a car out on track which was shedding parts on track for safety reasons.

    3. Definitely Max not guilty

      1. MG421982 (@)
        12th June 2017, 9:41

        If there’s 1 driver with 0% blame, that is VET. If it’s a must to find somebody at fault, that would be VER. VER was the driver who came from behind, he had greater speed and initiated the move and also very important, coming from behind VER had a looooot better view and could evaluate the situation VET was creating or what VET was doing. I agree that the driver in front should pay some attention too, but let’s not push the human abilities beyond possibilities. VET did not even see VER coming, couldn’t see him because he was paying attention to the left (and BOT) and in right at the start of the corner VER appeared at higher speed. By the time VET noticed VER… it was too late. To avoid the contact VET should have braked earlier… but he was beyond that point and BOT got the inside, so couldn’t turn either. So, the blame goes to the driver who had the option to avoid the incident and that’s VER. He had the option to keep it behind, not try any move there. That corner it’s like 1st corner from Barcelona – no room for 3 cars. Blaming VET even 1% it’s blaming MAS for being taken out by SAI.

        1. MG421982 (@)
          12th June 2017, 9:47

          But, because taking chances, racing and passing other cars is one of the main parts of F1, then given the gravity, I think it’s fair to label it “racing incident” and not blame anybody.

        2. Verstappen had already made the move before corner entry. Vettel’s mistake was that he only had eyes for Bottas and was not expecting Verstappen. I don’t believe anyone would expect a Red bull to come from 5th…

          1. Yup no mistake, no blame, just racing. Max saw an opening and went for it. Max did what the RBR’s can only do these days…try to gain positions off the start because so far this season if two Ferraris and two Mercs head the RBR’s after the first few turns RBR will not likely podium other than through attrition of others. They HAVE to do what Max did. What a great move. What a great racer. Such a massive career ahead of him.

          2. MG421982 (@)
            12th June 2017, 18:08

            Exactly what I said: you ask too much from a human in a split second! So, VET should have avoided BOT but VER too. Almost impossible. That’s why computers were created, humans cannot take care of multiple tasks at the same time in that kind of time. Why VET be careful to 2 drivers and not blame VER for not being careful at just 1 driver (VET), anticipate that they could touch and take the corner even more to the outside in order to avoid a collision?!

        3. Arnoud van Houwelingen
          12th June 2017, 17:10

          Nobody is blaming VET MG432982 so why bring up this point?

          1. @arnooud, but MG is blaming Max! That is the issue :)

    4. Why is it that articles that have reasonable responses to hot topics, in this case VET responding to questions about whether Max was at fault for T1 incident, that there seems to be little to no interest. However, random comments in a race review thread gets all the attention… I’m glad that for those that look, there are some balanced articles around.

      1. Fukobayashi (@)
        12th June 2017, 10:54

        Because there is less to comment on. This is article is referring to one brief snippet from one interview describing something that was pretty evident on first viewing. A race review features a whole bunch more information to discuss, incidents, results, strategy, drivers, team personnel, stats, everything.

    5. Nice onboard views:

      Actually looks like Vettel steers to the right into Max…

      1. Indeed!

        Stepping through the frames reveals that Vettel was steering left initially but when Verstappen comes into view he flicks the steering wheel straight a couple of times… only to steer full left again after clipping Verstappens rear tire – leading him to hit Valtteri too.

        Verstappens perspective shows how Vettel first boxes in Bottas on the inside, leaving the door wide open on the right. Vettel then returns to the racing line, but Verstappen is there already.
        If would all have worked but for that last flick of the wheel…

        Al this happens within a very small time space and it is hard to judge whether the flicks were necessary to regain grip, like catching a slide, or an instinctive blocking move.

        1. Bottas was locking up, Vettel was keeping an eye on that as well as Hamilton right in front so as not to run through him. Max did a great move unless Vettel was mm perfect he would have touched Bottas Hamilton or Verstappen. It was a slight contact so maybe 1cm to the left there would be no contact. This is a great example of a pure race incident with no party to blame. In hindsight Vettel may have moved to the right before the corner but no way to know that and that may have resulted in another issue.

          1. SevenFiftySeven
            13th June 2017, 10:49

            Also, note the line Bottas was taking. He’s right at the edge of the inside line. The 2nd pic posted in this article clearly shows that. Bottas was never going to make that turn with that line, so in anticipation of Bottas going slightly to the left to take that corner, Vettel also had to go left. Remember, the last thing Vettel wants at this time is to have a collision, so he stays in the middle of the track. Verstappen started well and found clear space on the far left, and by the time it was turning time for turn 1, he could clearly see a gap there on the left, so he went for it.

            Vettel would have known Bottas was there, but would only know where Verstappen was by the time he was alongside and overlapping. Verstappen would have also known where Vettel was, but wouldn’t have known where Bottas was. So, Verstappen’s turning radius was based on knowing where Vettel was at the time, which is in the middle. Vettel, knowing that Bottas is going to need to go left to make the turn, had to leave some space and turn left, himself. That moment just happened to be when Verstappen touched Vettel. It’s a racing incident that Vettel and Verstappen couldn’t avoid. If Vettel had known where Verstappen was (and overlapping him on the left) slightly earlier, he would have braked a bit to avoid contact, because he doesn’t want to take chances as a championship contender.

            Naturally, Vettel’s first instinct would be to block Bottas, because his job is to foil Vettel’s chances and score bit points with Toto and Lauda in the process to earn another year with Mercedes. He can’t be finishing 3rd behind Vettel. Vettel needs to be wary of this in future grand prixs and let Bottas know that if he is going to take a line like that, he’ll have to use the grass to turn. The cheeky guy here is Bottas. But, credit to him for starting well.

            1. SevenFiftySeven
              13th June 2017, 10:50

              Left = right. Meant right, sorry.

      2. Actually looks like Vettel steers to the right into Max…

        I honestly have no idea what you were looking at. That clip shows Max chopping across the front of Seb, who is simply driving on his normal line and not making any unusual moves to the right or the left.

    6. Looks to me like VER gets away with irratic driving yet again. Had that been Perez the fans would want his head.

      1. Antoon van Gemert
        12th June 2017, 15:40

        Nothing erratic about it! It was a masterly executed move by Max Verstappen, overtaking Raikkonen, the again hesitating Bottas and Vettel, who didn’t expect Max to pop up there. But at the start you must expect everything and watch your mirrors. If Vettel had moved a little bit to the left (see the smaller picture!) they wouldn’t have made contact. Nevertheless, it was a simple and small racing-incident that often happens at the start and in the first corner. Nobody to blame, just pure racing and loving it! By the way, Red Bull should stop wasting the exceptional talent of Max Verstappen and work really hard on the reliability-issues that haunt them since the first official testday for the start of this season. The jinx is upon Max at the moment and that’s a big shame for Max and F1!

        1. No it wasn’t “masterly executed” move… if it was, he would not run over Vettel’s front wing.

        2. How many drivers will look in their mirrors when they are heading for the first corner at the start, do you think? I am pretty sure nobody will, because they all need both eyes to watch the guys who are right next to or right in front of them.

    7. Ferrari, Seb fan
      12th June 2017, 16:16

      I don’t think anyone was to blame. Vettel actually got a good start in the first phase, but I think Hamilton moved over to defend his place from Vettel. Secondly Verstappen had a great start meaning he was on the outside of Vettel. Then Vettel had Bottas coming down the inside of him. Bottas locked his wheel also. With all of this, there was three cars coming up the inside.

      So there are 4 factors that led to Vettel’s front wing damage. These are:

      1. Hamilton moving over to defend his place.

      2. Verstappen getting a good start.

      3. Bottas coming down the inside.

      4. Three cars going side-by-side into turn one.

      So let’s go through these factors. Hamilton moving over was perfectly reasonable and I am sure many people expected that to happen. Verstappen got a good start, which put him alongside Vettel, which is also perfectly reasonable. Bottas came down the inside, which mabye was a bit risky but we can’t expect him to just stay behind. The last factor, three cars side-by-side, pretty much means contact is inevitable no matter what you do most of the time. So that would be ruled as a racing incident.

      The last thing you can argue about is that Verstappen Sould have left space. If he had left space, he would have gone on to the grass. So it was a racing incident. Credit to Vettel for not blaming Verstappen. I think he has matured from last year and this has won him more fans

      1. Cool neutral analysis! I like that in contradiction to way too many other posts here and there

      2. Ferrari, Seb fan
        12th June 2017, 18:17


        1. Antoon van Gemert
          12th June 2017, 19:47

          Indeed, good and objective analysis. I don’t know if Max ‘should’ have left space? Maybe he could have, but you give the right answer why he didn’t. Again, Sebastian had a little more space on his left side, but he never saw Max coming on the outside. Of course it’s easy to judge from the couch at home, but the drivers have to decide in a matter of seconds or maybe less. Your conclusion is the same as mine: racing incident, simple as that!

          Yes, the ‘old’ Sebastian Vettel is back, fighting in great style for his fifth Worldchampionship! If he wins it, he will be alongside the legendary Juan Manuel Fangio!

    8. Someone noted that Vettel should get credited for not blaming Verstappen for cutting the move short and breaking off part of Vettel’s wing .That is right, credit to Vettel .
      It seems,however, that the “racing gods” were not so forgiving of Verstappen .I for one favor Karma.t
      What also is of interest is the contrast between Vettel and Hamilton when it comes to public comments comments.
      Vettel ,as always, ( except for when complaining about the stewards and Whiting and they should be complained about ) took the high ground even though Verstappen’s miscalculation ruined Vettel’s race.
      Compare that to Hamilton’s post race comment where he said ” we stuck it to Ferrari “.
      Maybe in England saying one ” stuck it ” to another party is acceptable but, what I heard was a low class remark with overtones of penetration and more than a hint of resentment .
      Both Vettel and Hamilton drive like champions but, when the camera I on only Vettel acts like one .

      1. I would not call it a miscalculation when you are in a situation that you have to make split second decisions, like at the start of a race, but I agree with you on crediting Vettel for not blaming Max.

    9. Unless I missed it, it seems no one has yet to mention the intentional semi-brake check by Hamilton! (The perpetrator that got away.)

    10. Thanks on your marvelous posting! I really
      enjoyed reading it, you are a great author.
      I will be sure to bookmark your blog and may come back sometime soon. I want to encourage continue your great writing,
      have a nice evening!

    11. You need to be a part of a contest for one of the finest sites
      on the web. I’m going to highly recommend this website!

    12. Just want to say your article is as amazing.
      The clarity in your post is simply cool and i could assume you are an expert on this
      subject. Fine with your permission allow me to grab your RSS
      feed to keep updated with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please keep up the gratifying work.

    13. I’m amazed, I must say. Rarely do I come across a blog that’s both
      educative and amusing, and let me tell you, you’ve hit
      the nail on the head. The problem is something which
      too few people are speaking intelligently about.
      I’m very happy that I found this during my search for
      something concerning this.

    Comments are closed.